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Breed Standard


©The Kennel Club
Last updated August 2021


The Kennel Club has published a new Interim Breed Standard for the above breed which is effective from 1 September 2021. A Breed Standard is a guideline which describes the ideal characteristics, temperament and appearance, including the correct colour, of a breed and ensure 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 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: Energetic small sheepdog, alert and lean. Body equal to or slightly longer than height at the withers. Length of foreleg greater than depth of body. Medium length coat, smooth short hair on face and front of limbs, fringing to rear of front legs and breeches on hind legs.

Characteristics: Highly intelligent. Strong herding instinct. Great energy and stamina for size.


Temperament: Alert, lively, mischievous & enquiring. May be wary of strangers, but never nervous or aggressive. Biddable.


Head and Skull: Triangular when viewed from above, with muzzle tapering evenly to nose. Skull length equal to width at its widest point, flat with slight central furrow, occiput slightly pronounced. Muzzle slightly shorter than skull. The sides of skull slightly rounded. Foreface and skull almost parallel with minimal stop.


Eyes: Expressive, almond to oval in shape, wide open, not bulging or sunken. Dark brown, but one or both may be blue or flecked with blue in Merle coloured dogs. Eye rims black.


Ears: Fairly short, triangular, fine textured. Placed high but not set too close or wide apart. Hanging forward when alert, but laid back in repose.


Mouth: Jaws strong with a perfect, regular and complete scissor bite, i.e. upper teeth closely overlapping lower teeth and set square to the jaws. Strong teeth. Lips darkly pigmented.

Neck: Rather long, muscular, and set well into shoulders.

Forequarters: Forelegs lean, sinewy and straight when viewed from the front. Single dew claws. Pasterns flexible and slope gently. Shoulder blades moderately sloping, and fairly open at the prominent withers. Length of foreleg greater than depth of body.


Body: Length slightly longer than height, almost square in body. Lean, strong and muscular, without heaviness. Brisket reaches to elbow with ribs slightly rounded and reaching well back. Loin short and strong, level or with a very slight arch.


Hindquarters: Croup short and sloping to fairly low set tail. Thigh strong with second thigh well developed and long with moderate turn of stifle. Hocks set moderately low. May sometimes stand close behind. Single or double dew claws are acceptable as is their absence.


Feet: Oval with tight, arched appearance. May have some longer hairs between toes. Dark pads and nails.

Tail: Previously customarily docked or sometimes born with short or stump tail. Set low and should reach the hock with

an upward hook at end. Well coated with a plume of hair. When alert the tail should not rise much above topline.


Gait/Movement: Fairly short striding. Trots freely with vigour, feet never raised very high. At a gentle trot, the head is carried fairly high. When speed increases, the moderate angulation generates a free, vigorous, fairly short striding gait, with the head dropping in line with the back.


Coat: Medium to short coat, smooth haired face, the hair longer on the sides of the head, developing into a modest ruff on the neck. Body coat between 6-8 cms, may be shorter on the back (4-6 cms). Leg hair has fringing on front legs and breeches on hind legs. Hair on the front of the limbs is a defining feature and must be short. Front legs fringed behind, hind legs have breeches.


Colour: Variations of fawn which can be overlaid with black. Black, Brindle or Blue Merle. A little white on chest and legs permitted. Light to Dark Grey. Solid colours preferred. Any other colour combinations undesirable, including black and tan, large areas of white or a predominance of white.


Size: Height: Dogs 40-54 cms (15 1⁄2 - 21 ins); Bitches: 40-52 cms (15 1⁄2 - 20 1⁄2 ins). A tolerance of plus or minus 2 cms allowed.


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 fully descended into the scrotum.

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