The Breed Standard

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 though with broad skull. Very pronounced cheek muscles, distinct stop, short foreface, 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 hindlegs.

 Coat

Smooth, short and close.

 Colour

Red, fawn, white, black or blue, or any one of these colours with white. Any shade of brindle or any shade of brindle with white. Black and tan or liver colour highly undesirable.

 Size

Desirable height at withers 36-41 cms (14 to 16 ins), these heights being related to the weights. Weight: dogs: 13-17 kgs (28-38 lbs); bitches 11-15.4 kgs.

 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 and on the dog’s ability to perform its traditional work.

 Note

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