Breed Standard

General Appearance:

Active, graceful and well balanced, with gentle expression.


Sporting, affectionate, absolutely fearless.


Gay, friendly, non-aggressive, no tendency to nervousness.

Head and Skull:

Skull almost flat between ears.  Stop shallow.  Length from base of stop to tip of nose about 3.8 cms (1½ ins).  Nostrils black and well developed, without flesh marks, muzzle well tapered.  Lips well developed but not pendulous.  Face well filled below eyes.  Any tendency to snippiness undesirable.


Large, dark, round but not prominent: spaced well apart.


Long, set high, with plenty of feather.


Jaws strong, with a perfect, regular and complete scissor bite, ie the upper teeth closely overlapping the lower teeth and set square to the jaws.


Moderate length, slightly arched.


Chest moderate, shoulders well laid back, straight legs moderately boned.


Short-coupled, with good spring of ribs.  Level back.


Legs with moderate bone;  well-turned stifle.  No tendency to cow or sickle hocks.


Compact, cushioned and well feathered.


Length of tail in balance with body, well set on, carried happily but never much above the level of the back.  Docking previously optional when no more than one-third was to be removed.


Free moving and elegant in action, plenty of drive from behind.  Fore and hind legs move parallel when viewed from in front and behind.

Coat:  Long, silky, free from curl.  Slight wave permissible.  Plenty of feathering.  Totally free from trimming.

Recognised colours are:

Black and Tan:  Raven black with tan markings above the eyes, on cheeks, inside ears, on chest and legs and underside of tail. Tan should be bright.  White marks undesirable.

Ruby:  Whole coloured rich red.  White markings undesirable.

Blenheim:  Rich chestnut markings well broken up, on pearly white ground.  Markings evenly divided on head, leaving room between ears for much valued lozenge mark or spot (a unique characteristic of the breed).

Tricolour:  Black and White well spaced, broken up, with tan markings over eyes, cheeks, inside ears, inside legs, and on underside of tail.

Any other colour or combination of colours most undesirable.

Weight and Size:

Weight - 5.4-8.2 kg (12-18 pounds,  A small well-balanced dog well with these weights desirable.


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.


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

Tail docking is illegal in Australia.

Source:  The Kennel Club

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