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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 Breed Watch section of the Kennel Club website.
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.
Large, straight limbed and sound, rough-coated with majestic head, strong body and loose, long striding action. Rough double coat and large feet essential. Free moving.
Big, strong hound primarily built for long day’s work in water but able to gallop on land.
Amiable and even-tempered. Signs of aggression or nervousness should be heavily penalized.
Head and Skull
Clean, very imposing, deep rather than wide, clean cheekbones, skull nicely domed, neither coarse nor overdone, rising from distinct though not exaggerated stop to slight peak at occiput. No trace of scowl or bulge on forehead, expression being open and amiable. Muzzle strong, deep; with good wide nose, wide nostrils. Distance from nose end to stop slightly shorter from stop to occiput. Plenty of lip and flew, but not exaggerated. Whole head except for nose well covered with rough hair, ending in slight moustache and beard.
Intelligent, moderately deep-set eye; haw showing only slightly. Eye colour and rim pigment variable according to coat colour (a blue and tan hound may have hazel eyes). Yellow eye undesirable.
Unique feature of the breed. Long, pendulous, set on level with corner of eye; easily reaching nose when pulled forward, with characteristic fold. Leading edge folding or rolling inwards giving curious draped appearance – an essential point not to be lost. Well covered and fringed with hair (essays help).
Jaws strong, large, well placed teeth with perfect, regular scissor bite, i.e. upper teeth closely overlapping lower teeth and set square to the jaws.
Long, powerful, set smoothly into well laid back, clean shoulders. Slight dewlap permissible.
Well laid shoulders, forelegs strongly boned, straight from elbow to ground. Pasterns strong and slightly sprung.
Chest deep with well sprung, fairly deep, oval ribcage. Ribs carried well back allowing plenty of heart and lung room; neither too wide nor too narrow. Body very strong, with level top line and broad back. Loins short and strong.
Very strong; well muscled when viewed from any angle, standing neither too wide nor too narrow behind. Hind angulation moderate; hocks well let down, turning neither in nor out. Thighs and second thighs heavily muscled. In natural stance, hind legs from hock to ground perpendicular.
Large, round, well knuckled, thick padded, turning neither in nor out. Compact but capable of spreading; hind feet only slightly smaller than forefeet. Web must be in evidence.
(Stern) Set high, carried up when alert or moving, never curling over back and may droop when standing. Thick at base, tapering to point; bone reaching to hock and carried straight or in a slight curve. Hair under tail rather longer and more profuse than that on upper surface.
Very loose and shambling at walk, springing immediately into a loose, very long-striding, sound, active trot. Gallop smooth and exceptionally long striding.
Long 4-8cm (1.5-3.0 ins), dense, rough, harsh and waterproof but not wiry; of broken appearance. Softer hair on head and lower legs natural. Undercoat evident and there may be a slight oily texture in top and undercoat. Not trimmed for exhibition. Presentation should be atural.