A Breed Standard is the guideline which describes the ideal characteristics, temperament and appearance 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 Kennel Club website for details of any such current issues.
If a feature or quality is desirable it should only be present in the right measure.
General Appearance: Smooth-coated, well balanced, of great strength for his size. Muscular, active and agile.
Characteristics: Traditionally of indomitable courage and tenacity. Highly intelligent and affectionate, especially with children.
Temperament: Bold, fearless and totally reliable
Head and Skull: Short, deep through with broad skull. Very pronounced cheek muscles, distinct stop, short fore face, nose black.
Eyes: Dark preferred but may bear some relation to coat colour. Round, of medium size, and set to look straight ahead.
Eye rims dark.
Ears: Rose or half pricked, not large or heavy. Full, drop or pricked ears highly undesirable.
Mouth: Lips tight and clean. Jaws strong, teeth large, with a perfect, regular and complete scissor bite, i.e. upper teeth closely overlapping lower teeth and set square to the jaws.
Neck: Muscular, rather short, clean in outline gradually widening towards shoulders.
Forequarters: Legs straight and well boned, set rather wide apart, showing no weakness at the pasterns, from which point feet turn out a little. Shoulders well laid back with no looseness at elbow.
Body: Close - coupled, with level topline, wide front, deep brisket, well sprung ribs, muscular and well defined.
Hindquarters: Well muscled, hocks well let down with stifles well bent. Legs parallel when viewed from behind.
Feet: Well padded, strong and of medium size. Nails black in solid coloured dogs.
Tail: Medium length, low set, tapering to a point and carried rather low. Should not curl much and may be likened to an old fashioned pump handle.
Gait / Movement: Free, powerful and agile with economy of effort. Legs moving parallel when viewed from front or rear.
Discernible drive from hind legs.
Coat: Smooth, short and close.
Colour: Red, fawn, white, black or blue, or any of these colours with white. Any shade of brindle with white. Black and tan or liver colour highly undesirable.
Size: Desirable height at withers 35.5 - 40.5 cms (14 - 16 ins.), these heights being related to the weights.
Weight: dogs: 12.7 - 17 kgs (28 - 38 lbs); bitches 11- 15.4 kgs (24 - 34 lbs)
Faults: 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.
Note: Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles full descended into the scrotum