General appearance
Strong, square-looking dog of great symmetry and overall soundness. Absolutely free from legginess, profusely coated all over. A thick-set muscular, able-bodied dog with a most intelligent expression. The natural outline should not be artificially changed by scissoring or clipping. Of great stamina, exhibiting a gently rising topline, and a pear-shaped body when viewed from above. The gait has a typical roll when ambling or walking. Bark has a distinctive toned quality.
Important proportion
Muzzle measuring approximately half of the total head length. Dog standing lower at withers than loin.
A biddable dog of even disposition. Bold, faithful and trustworthy, with no suggestion of nervousness or unprovoked aggression.
In proportion to the size of the body.
Cranial region
Skull: Capacious, rather square. Well arched above eyes.
Stop: Well defined.
Facial region
Nose: Large and black. Nostrils wide.
Muzzle: Strong, square and truncated.
Jaws/teeth: Teeth strong, large and evenly placed. Scissor bite. : jaws strong with a perfect, regular and complete scissor bite, i.e. upper teeth closely overlapping the lower teeth and set square to the jaws. Pincer bite tolerated but undesirable.
Eyes: Set well apart. Dark or wall eyes. Two blue eyes acceptable. Light eyes undesirable. Pigmentation on the eye rims preferred.
Ears: Small and carried flat to side of head.
Fairly long, strong, arched gracefully.
Rather short and compact. Dog standing lower at withers than loin.
Loin: Very sturdy, broad and gently arched.
Chest: Deep, capacious brisket. Ribs well-sprung.
Customarily docked or natural bobtail.
Docked: Customarily completely docked.
Undocked: Unobtrusive. Low set. Never curled or carried over back, with no kink evident. Well feathered with abundant hard-textured coat.
Forequarters: Forelegs perfectly straight, with plenty of bone, holding body well from ground.
Shoulders: Should be well laid back, being narrower at the point of withers than at the point of shoulder. Loaded shoulders undesirable.
Elbows: Fitting close to brisket.
Hindquarters: Quarters well covered, round and muscular.
Stifle: Well turned.
Second thigh: Long and well developed.
Hocks: Set low. From the rear, the hocks should be quite straight.
Feet: Turning neither in nor out. Small, round and tight. Toes well arched. Pads thick and hard. Dew claws should be removed.
When walking, exhibits a bear-like roll from the rear. When trotting, shows effortless extension and strong driving rear action, with legs moving straight along line of travel. Very elastic at the gallop. At slow speeds, some dogs may tend to pace. When moving, the head carriage may adopt a naturally lower position.
Hair: Profuse, of good harsh texture, not straight, but shaggy and free from curl. Undercoat of waterproof pile. Head and skull well covered with hair, ears moderately coated, neck well coated, forelegs well coated all round, hindquarters more heavily coated than rest of body. Quality, texture and profusion to be considered above mere length.
Colour: Any shade of grey, grizzle or blue. Body and hindquarters of solid colour with or without white socks, White patches in the solid area to be discouraged. Head, neck, forequarters and under belly to be white or without markings. Any shade of brown undesirable.
Dogs 61 cm (24 inches) and upwards.
Bitches 56 cm (22 inches) and upwards.
Type and symmetry of greatest importance, and on no account to be sacrified to size alone.
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.
Any dog clearly showing physical or behavioural abnormalities shall be disqualified.
Male animals must have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.
This amended breed standard will become effective from April 2004