Breed Standard September 2000 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.
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.