THOUGHTS ON THE BREED: SKYE TERRIERS with MICHAEL KOSS
1. Describe the breed in three words. Low, long and level.
2. How do you believe the Skye Terrier breed has changed from the time you began judging until today?
There are some very positive changes to the breed since I first got involved. Toplines are firmer, more strength of bone, and then breeders have done a wonderful job of breed- ing for better temperaments through better socializing of young puppies. 3. The late Skye Terrier Breeder/Judge and Terrier authority Sandra Goose Allen believed it to be essential to understand the essence of the Skye Terrier breed. What do you believe is the breed essence? It is long, low, level, elegant Terrier breed with a long, flowing coat. They get their elegance from strength of bone, a long neck, a long level topline which shows balance—both stand- ing and when on the move with good reach and drive. They can have prick ears or drop and there should be no favor over either. 4. Do you see any trends evolving in breed attributes and/or presentation? The attributes are the changes that I mentioned previ- ously. Temperaments, strength of bone and stronger toplines. In presentation (our breed should be shown in its natu- ral state), we are beginning to see the disturbing trend where some exhibits have become overly sculpted and/or “THEY GET THEIR ELEGANCE FROM STRENGTH OF BONE, A LONG NECK, A LONG LEVEL TOPLINE WHICH SHOWS BALANCE— BOTH STANDING AND WHEN ON THE MOVE WITH
(Photo courtesy of STCA Judge’s Education)
color enhanced. Trimming of the beards, thinning around the eyes, thinning the neck and flat, straight blade scissor cuts all along the bottom should not be done. They should have a more natural look with neating around the feet and thinning when the coat meets the ground. For example, flat black ear fringe with no threads of other shades of hair color give the appearance that the color is not natural. 5. In your opinion, what breed elements are most misunderstood by judges new to Skye Terrier breed judging? Generally I would say that some judges have a hard time with the amount of bone this breed should have. This is not a fine-boned, long, lean-headed breed nor should it show signs of coarseness. Strength of bone should not be coarse, but it takes judges being able to go over a good number of Skyes to understand that. 6. What features of the Skye Terrier surprised you the most when you began breed judging? Until you get your hands on them you might not think of the amount of bone they have. 7. Is there anything else you’d like to share about the breed? The Skye Terrier Club of America has mentors through- out the US and are willing to talk to anyone interested in the breed. ABOUT THE AUTHOR I live in Cumming, Georgia, a northern suburb of Atlanta. I am an Inside Channel Account Manager for Panasonic. I have been in the sport of dogs and showing dogs for 52 years and have been a judge for 32 years.
GOOD REACH AND DRIVE.”
278 • S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , M ARCH 2017
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