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The Breed Standard

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The following breed standard is that as per the UK Kennel Club and can be found at the Kennel Club website here:

Further information to support understanding of the breed standard can be found by reviewing the Illustrated Breed Guide Page.


Last updated September 2007

A 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 information related to this breed 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

Robust, medium sized, well muscled due to constant activity. Distinctive coat.



A herding, hunting and fishing dog with well developed sense of smell, sight and sound. Has great learning capability and adapts to almost all situations.



Faithful, obedient, brave, good tempered and gay.


Head and skull

Strong and elegant with parallel planes of skull and muzzle. Flat skull, slight stop. Occiput not prominent. Length from eye to back of skull slightly longer than from tip of nose to eye (3:2). Nose should have well-open nostrils. Pigmentation of the same colour, or darker than, the coat. Corners of lips well defined.



Medium-sized, oval shaped, neither prominent nor sunken. Very expressive. Set slightly oblique and well apart. Hazel or dark brown, depending on coat colour. Haws not visible.



Dropped, v-shaped, slightly rounded at tip; medium sized, set slightly above level of eye.



Strong jaw with a perfect, regular and complete scissor bite, i.e. the upper teeth closely overlapping the lower teeth and set square to the jaw, with full dentition.



Short, muscular and without dewlap. Set well into the shoulders.



Good angulation of shoulder and upper arm. Well muscled. Elbows set close to body. Legs straight and parallel. Strong but not heavy bone.



Level back; withers very slightly higher than level of back. Chest deep with well-sprung ribs. Brisket reaching to elbows and providing important heart and lung room. Height to elbow about half height at withers. Slightly longer in body (measured from point of shoulder to point of buttock) than from withers to ground (9:8).



Moderately angled. Thighs large and well muscled. Second thighs well developed. Hocks well let down.



Round, tight. Toenails may vary in colour. Strong pads.



Previously customarily docked or natural bobtail.

Docked: Medium set. When attentive, decidedly raised, preferably never carried above level of back.

Undocked: Medium set, tapering towards the end. When extended, barely reaching the hock. At rest, carried scimitar-like. When attentive, decidedly raised, preferably never carried above level of back. Never curled.



Brisk, sound and athletic, with powerful drive.



Always curled of a consistently woolly texture, forming cords when long. May be clipped overall but no aesthetic clip allowed (i.e. coat should be the same length all over).



Solid black, brown or white of various shades; black and white or brown and white (particolour) but never tricoloured.



Height: dogs 44-50 cms (17½-19½ ins); bitches 40-46 cms (15½-18 ins).

Weight: dogs 18-22 kgs (40-48 lbs); bitches 14-18 kgs (31-40 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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