Produced by The English KC


One of our oldest indigenous breeds, known as the national dog of Great Britain, and associated determination and the legendary John Bull.

A delightfully ugly dog with his pugilistic expression, which belies a loving, affectionate nature to family and friends. He has a reputation for tenacity and is very courageous, strong and powerful. A little bit stubborn by nature, but good tempered with children, of whom he is fiercely protective. The impression he gives of being slow and sluggish is completely contradicted by the great bursts of speed which he can and does when the occasion demands.

His mood can be dignified, humorous or comical, and he has many endearing ways.


Smooth-coated, thick set, rather low in stature, broad, powerful and compact. Head massive, fairly large in proportion to size but no point so much in excess of others as to destroy the general symmetry, or make the dog appear deformed, or interfere with its powers of motion. Face short, muzzle broad, blunt and inclined upwards. Body short, well knit, limbs stout, well muscled and in hard condition. Hindquarters high and strong but somewhat lighter in comparison with heavy foreparts. Bitches not so grand or well developed as dogs.


Conveys impression of determination, strength and activity.


Alert, bold, loyal, dependable, courageous, fierce in appearance, but possessed of affectionate nature.


Skull large in circumference, should measure round (in front of ears) approximately height of dog at shoulder. Viewed from front appears very high from corner of lower jaw to apex of skull; also very broad and square. Cheeks well rounded and extended sideways beyond eyes. Viewed from side, head appears very high and short from back to point of nose. Forehead flat with skin upon and about head, loose and wrinkled, neither prominent nor overhanging face. Projections of frontal bones prominent, broad, square and high; deep, wide indentation between eyes. From stop, a furrow, both broad and deep extending to middle of skull being traceable to apex. Face from front of cheek bone to nose, short, skin wrinkled. Muzzle short, broad, turned upwards and very deep form corner of eye to corner of mouth. Nose and nostrils large, broad and black, under no circumstances liver colour, red or brown; top set back towards eyes. Distance to inner corner of eye (or from centre of stop between eyes) to extreme tip of nose not exceeding length from tip of nose to edge of underlip. Nostrils large and wide with well defined vertical straight line between. Flews (chops) thick, broad, pendant and very deep, hanging completely over lower jaws at sides, not in front, joining underlip in front and quite covering teeth. Jaws broad, massive and square, lower jaw projecting considerably in front of upper and turning up. Viewed from the front, various properties of the face must be equally balanced on either side of an imaginary line down centre.


Seen from front, situated low down in skull, well away from ears. Eyes and stop in same straight line, at right angles to furrow. Wide apart, but outer corners within the outline of cheeks. Round in shape, of moderate size, neither sunken nor prominent, in colour very dark - almost black - showing no white when looking directly forward.


Set high - e.g. front of edge of each ear (as viewed from front) joins outline of skull at top corner of such outline, so as to place them as wide apart, as high and as far form the eyes as possible. Small and thin. “Rose ear” correct, e.g. folding inwards back, upper or front inner edge curving outwards and backwards, showing part of inside of burr.


Jaws broad and square with six small front teeth between canines in an even row. Canines wide apart. Teeth large and strong, not seen when mouth closed. When viewed from front under jaw directly under upper jaw and parallel.


Moderate in length (rather short than long), very thick, deep and strong. Well arched at back, with much loose, thick and wrinkled skin about throat, forming dewlap on each side, from lower jaw to chest.


Shoulders broad, sloping and deep, very powerful and muscular giving appearance of being “tacked on” body. Brisket capacious round and very deep from top of shoulders to lowest part where it joins chest. Well let down between forelegs. Large in diameter, round behind forelegs (not flat - sided, ribs well rounded). Forelegs very stout and strong, well developed, set wide apart, thick, muscular and straight, presenting rather bowed outline, but bones of legs large and straight, not bandy nor curved and short in proportion to hind legs, but not so short as to make back appear long, or detract from dog’s activity and so cripple him. Elbows low and standing well away from ribs. Pasterns short straight and strong.


Chest wide, literally round, prominent and deep. Back short, strong, broad at shoulders comparatively narrower at loins. Slight fall to back close behind shoulders (lowest part) whence spine should rise to loins (top higher than top of shoulder), curving again more suddenly to tail, forming arch (termed roach back) - a distinctive characteristic of breed. Body well ribbed up behind with belly tucked up and not pendulous.


Legs large and muscular, longer in proportion than forelegs, so as to elevate loins. Hocks slightly bent, well let down; leg long and muscular from loins to hock; short, straight, strong lower part. Stifles round and turned slightly outwards away from body. Hocks thereby made to approach each other and hind feet to turn outwards.


Fore, straight and turning very slightly outward; of medium size and moderately round. Hind, round and compact. Toes compact and thick, well split up, making knuckles prominent and high.


Set on low, jutting out rather straight and then turning downwards. Round, smooth and devoid of fringe or coarse hair. Moderate in length - rather short than long - thick at root, tapering quickly to a fine point. Downward carriage (not having a decided upward curve at end) and never carried above back.


Peculiarly heavy and constrained, appearing to walk with short, quick steps on tips toes, hind feet not lifted high, appearing to skim ground, running with one or other shoulder rather advanced.


Fine texture, short, close and smooth (hard only form shortness and closeness, not wiry)


Whole or smut (e.g. whole colour with black mask or muzzle). Only whole colours (which should be brilliant and pure of their sort) viz., brindles, reds with their various shades, fawns, fallows etc., white and pied (e.g. combination of white with any of the foregoing colours). Dudley, black with tan highly undesirable.


Weight - dogs - 25 kgs (55 lbs); bitches - 22.7 kgs (50 lbs).


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.

Reproduced by kind permission of the English Kennel Club.

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