English Cocker Spaniel Breed Magazine - Showsight

English Cocker with what I would consid- er too much bone. 3) A very well-sprung ribcage, which is deep and carried well back towards the dog’s rear. 4) a SHORT, broad loin. Th is is a compact, cobby breed. 5) A “hammy” rear, with thick muscling on both upper and lower thighs. Th e thick muscle only accompanies a MODERATE- LY angulated rear. A line dropped from the point of the buttock should land immedi- ately in front of the rear toes. V.L. My breed essentials are a compact dog, with a good spring of rib, moderate bone, width in hindquarter and a merry temperament. A pleasing head piece that has the look of a Cocker and never that of a Setter is a determinant of true breed type. A.J. Put simply, the English Cocker should be a lot of dog in a small package— meaning substance, compactness, width of front, strong ribs and a wide well-rounded back end, all of this with that essential merry character and driving movement displaying the breed’s love of life. D.M. Well let’s start at the front of the dog. Expression: I put a lot of emphasis on expression. I don’t get hung up on head planes as long as they are not exagger- ated and don’t a ff ect the expression, but the dog must have that melting expres- sion the standard calls for so eye place- ment, eye shape, eye color and proper chiseling under the eye are all important to me along with muzzle length balanced with the skull. Body: Since the Cocker is built to plough through thick brush, that dictates the body structure which must have well-sprung ribs, deep chest, ribs well back with a short loin, wide hip bones to support a strong muscle mass on the rear with well-developed first and sec- ond thigh. Tail set should be o ff a slightly rounded croup. When viewed from above, the roundness of body must be evident. Th e angles front and rear should be bal- anced and with good bone and substance, without being coarse or cloddy. Attitude: Th e standard starts right o ff with “merry”. Th at tail action must dis- play that characteristic and be in constant motion. Proper carriage is important. A gay tail is not desirable and you will see it in the ring. Balance: While in motion all the parts have to come together for a

smooth e ff ortless gait with a firm slightly sloping topline. Describe what you hope to find ZKen e[DmininJ D GoJ³on tKe tDEOe Ds ZeOO Ds moYinJ D.F. Th e table examination lets your hands confirm or deny what your eyes have told you. Th is is when you feel for proper bone, fore-chest, flat shoulders, round ribs, short loin, tail set, proper stop and chis- eling, bite, etc. Th is is also when you feel for muscling, proper condition, coat qual- ity and proper trim. Let’s not forget that English Cocker exhibitors are masters of illusion, it’s your job to figure out what is real and what is not. On the move I look particularly at the side gait as proof of proper construction and balance. Th is to me is the true test of what your hands have felt on the table. I am not known as a down and back freak— I use it as a tool, and it is very useful for optical illusion tan points can give. Watch the pads of the feet! A tip for judging this breed, if you feel you need to reexamine a dog, be sure to put it back on the table and to not attempt to go over it on the ground. B.T. When examining an English Cock- er, do not “blow by” the head once the bite is checked. Th e body gets the dog to the bird, but the head has to do its job, too. Looking at the bite you will notice that the teeth can be considered rather large for the size of the dog. Although developed to flush and retrieve woodcock, he is also perfectly capable of working pheasant, if necessary. With that in mind, I look for a strong, full muzzle equally balanced in length to the backskull. Th e sides of the backskull should not be rounded (coarse). Still looking at the head straight on, the topskull should have a noticeable arch to the sides with only a slight flattening at the very top. Th e arch is necessary to anchor the jaw muscles. A thoroughly flat topskull is incorrect. Cor- rectly placed eyes of correct shape and color, together with the requisite chiseling under the eye, and the grooved stop, and ear set, complete the exam from the front. I then evaluate the head from the side. Hold- ing the muzzle parallel to the ground, I check to see where the eyes are looking. For function they must look forward over the

muzzle and not into the sky. Th e neck is just long enough to comfortably reach down to pick up a bird and to carry the bird with- out interfering with front movement, but not too long as to be out of balance with the rest of the dog. A gira ff e neck would not support a heavy bird for any distance. I then examine the rest of the dog hopefully finding the five requisites mentioned in the above question. Feet should be an extension of the bone, and be deep, round, and cat- like. As part of the exam, this breed has to be looked at over the top. Th e ribs are the widest part of the dog, followed closely by the rear. Th is is a broad, round dog. He is not narrow and angular—that is “Setter” type and should never be rewarded. When moving, a balanced English Cocker keeps the same outline as standing. He should show equal reach and drive in moderation. He has a SLIGHTLY sloping topline, and not the extreme topline of the 4 )08 4 *()5 . "(";*/& . "3$) t

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