What is a Breed Standard?

And why is it important not only to exhibitors, judges and breeders but it is also ro those looking for a quality registered purebred companion?  While not all dogs will look like Westminster winners, each breed has a group of characteristics that make a Chihuahua look like a Chihuahua and not a Miniature Pinscher. 

It is the responsibility of the purchaser to know what they are looking for in a breed and, if a healthy dog that looks like its breed is what is desired, go to a reputable responsible breeder.  To read more about responsible breeders, please visit the "What is a Breeder" link.

The phrase used to describe a Breed Standard is that it is the 'blueprint' for the creation of the Breed.  It usually begins with a brief preamble which outlines the Origins or Development of the Breed and may also refer to both physical and temperament requires incorporated in the 'official' Standard.

A usual breed standard contains the following list of characteristics:

  • Origin & Purpose
  • General Appearance
  • Temperament
  • Substance, Size, Weight, Proportion (Characteristics)
  • Head (Eyes, Bite, Nose, Lips)
  • Body (Neck, Shoulders, Back)
  • Forequarters
  • Hindquarters
  • Gait | Movement
  • Colours
  • Coat (Varieties, qualities, ie, silky, coarse etc)
  • Faults
  • Disqualifications


LINK to Breed Standards below: