BOUVIER DES FLANDRES SURVEYS ON THE BREED
7. What previously campaigned Bouvier come close to your ideal? Please explain. I’m still in awe of Galbraith’s Iron Eyes, owned and bred by Dave and Joan Galbraith. He was handled by Corkie and Sue Vroom and assisted by Van Pusey. It was almost the perfect storm of perfection. He won over 100 Best in Shows (which is still the record to beat). Iron had bone, coat and attitude. He owned any ring he was in. Today, I’d say anything bred by or handled by Elaine and Louise Paquette of Quiche Kennels. They have a strong breeding program that they augment with Dutch imports from time to time. They have the capacity to keep the dogs with the most potential so they have their choice of major contenders. If you add to that, their ability to groom and condition their dogs to perfection, there’s no surprise they have the top Bouviers year after year. 8. How does the breed in North America compare to other parts of the world? The US standard allows a larger dog. And, while fawn is in both the US and FCI standard, we do not fault a fully pigmented fawn Bouvier. Nor should we. It would be difficult to show one in Europe though. In the past, US breeders were more inclined to have health tests done on their breeding stock than their European counterparts. I’m not sure that’s true anymore. I think European breed- ers are more apt to test for hip dysplasia today. 9. Do you have anything else to share? I think Facebook has done a lot to connect Bouvier lovers from around the world. I love getting updates from Rus- sia and England about their shows and “family flights”. Thank heavens Facebook offers translations, otherwise I’d just have to look at the pictures. There’s a real Bouvier bond between owners and Facebook gives me access to these besotted Bouvier owners all over the world. RICHARD LAKE 1. In order, name the five most important traits you look for in the ring. Square outline, short back, good lay back of shoulders, balanced front and rear, proper coat, head to match body, good bite. 2. What, if anything, do you feel non-breeder judges get wrong about the breed?
1. In order, name the five most important traits you look for in the ring. I look for balance, movement (comes with balance), bone, attitude and coat. Actually, attitude might come after balance.
2. What, if anything, do you feel non-breeder judges get wrong about the breed? Coat. The standard calls for a tousled coat, not the heavy undercoated, sculpted coat seen in the ring today. 3. What do handlers do in presentation that you wish they would not? Move the dog too fast. 4. Cropped or uncropped ears? Do undocked tails affect judging? Cropped is my personal preference for Bouviers I own or breed, but uncropped is also in the standard. I don’t differentiate. Uncropped is fine, but I abhor a natural tail. It’s not in our standard. It’s NOT how the breed was developed. 5. What traits do you see popping up these days that are going in the wrong direction? What’s better? Bouviers are shorter backed, but losing a neck. We are getting back to more moderate dogs with really fine breeders throughout the country. 6. Has your Bouvier competed in any performance events? Did that experience affect judging deci- sions? Can today’s show Bouvier still perform the functions for which he was bred? I have not had the time to work my Bouviers in any kind of performance events. I blame myself, not them. I’m lucky if I can keep their coats up. I’m always proud of owners who prove how well round-ed the breed is. We’ve got a lot of owners who show their dogs in the conformation ring and then go into the obedience and herding rings. Our national specialty includes many multi-faceted events for our breed. I think the Bouvier is only limited by its owner and I’m the classic case.
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