Kennel Club (KC) Breed Standard

Breed Standard  is the guideline which describes the ideal characteristics, temperament and appearance including the correct colour of a breed and ensures that the breed is fit for function. Absolute soundness is essential. Breeders and judges should at all times be careful to avoid obvious conditions or exaggerations which would be detrimental in any way to the health, welfare or soundness of this breed. From time to time certain conditions or exaggerations may be considered to have the potential to affect dogs in some breeds adversely, and judges and breeders are requested to refer to the Breed Watch section of the Kennel Club website here for details of any such current issues. If a feature or quality is desirable it should only be present in the right measure. However if a dog possesses a feature, characteristic or colour described as undesirable or highly undesirable it is strongly recommended that it should not be rewarded in the show ring

General Appearance 

Smooth-coated, relatively short-headed, compactly built, short-tailed, well balanced dog of medium size, brindle in colour, evenly marked with white. Body rather short and well knit; limbs strong and neatly turned; tail short and no feature so prominent that the dog appears badly proportioned. Dog must convey an impression of determination, strength and activity, with style of a high order; carriage easy and graceful.


Lively and intelligent.


Determined and strong willed.

Head and Skull

Skull square in appearance, flat on top, free from wrinkles; cheeks flat; brow abrupt, stop well defined. Muzzle relatively short, square, wide and deep with no tendency to taper and in proportion to skull; free from wrinkles; shorter in length than in width and depth, approximately one-third of length of skull; width and depth carried out well to end; muzzle from stop to end of nose on a line parallel to top of skull; nose black, wide with well defined line between nostrils. Jaws broad and square. Flews of good depth, not pendulous, completely covering teeth when mouth closed. Head in proportion to size of dog.


Wide apart, round and not too large, dark in colour; expression alert, kind and intelligent. Eyes set square in skull, outside corners on a line with cheeks when viewed from front.


Carried erect; small, thin, situated as near corner of skull as possible.


Teeth short and regular, bite even, or sufficiently undershot to square muzzle.


Of fair length, slightly arched, carrying head gracefully; neatly set into shoulders.


Shoulders sloping, legs set moderately wide apart on line with point of shoulders; straight in bone and well muscled; pasterns short and strong. Elbows turning neither in nor out.


Deep with good width of chest; back short; ribs deep and well sprung, carried well back to loins; loins short and muscular; rump curving slightly to set-on of tail; flank very slightly cut up; body appears short but not chunky.


Legs set true, good turn of stifle, hocks well let down; turning neither in nor out; thighs strong and well muscled.


Round, small, compact, turning neither in nor out; toes well arched.

Tail    Set on low; short, fine, tapering, straight or curled; devoid of fringes or coarse hair, never carried above horizontal.


Easy and graceful. Sure-footed straight-gaited, forelegs and hindlegs moving straight ahead with perfect rhythm. Each step indicating grace and power.


Short, smooth, lustrous and fine in texture.


Brindle with white markings; brindle must show throughout body distinctly; black with white markings but brindles with white markings preferred. Ideal markings: white muzzle, even white blaze over head, collar, breast, part or whole of forelegs, and hindlegs below hocks.



 Not exceeding 11.5 kgs (25 lbs) divided by classes as follows: Lightweight: under 6.8 kgs (15 lbs); Middleweight: 6.8 kgs (15 lbs) and under 9.1 kgs (20 lbs); Heavyweight: 9.1 kgs (20 lbs) and under 11.4 kgs (25 lbs).


Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog and on the dog’s ability to perform its traditional work.


Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.

*Note for prospective puppy buyers*

Size – the Kennel Club Breed Standard is a guide and description of the ideal for the breed; the Size as described does not imply that a dog will match the measurements given (height or weight). A dog might be larger or smaller than the Size measurements stated in the Breed Standard.

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