Fox Terrier Breed Magazine - Showsight

their surroundings, including other exhib- its in the ring. Once the head has been examined, it is time to ensure that the neck is not “throaty,” the chest is not too broad and that the dog’s front is filled down to the brisket. You should proceed to the side view of the neck. It should be muscular and blend smoothly into the shoulders and back. As your hand goes down the neck, it should flow easily over the withers, on to a short back and then to a strong, mus- cular, slightly arched loin. Th e movement of the hand should be stopped by a rather high set tail. Our Standard calls for a tail of good strength that should be docked so that it has about three quarters of its origi- nal length. Th e carriage should be gay, not over the back or curled. As with ears, tail carriage is best determined while the dog is active on the ground. Your hand(s) should then proceed to the ribs to ensure that the fore ribs are moderately arched and the back ribs are deep and well sprung. Th e examination should go to the fore- front, which is, in my opinion, the most misunderstood part of SFT’s anatomy. I don’t know how many Judges’ Educa- tion seminars I have sat through for other breeds that have defined their breed’s front as “not straight like a Fox Terrier’s.” While the SFTs legs should be straight from any angle, with strong, upright pas- terns and small, round feet, the shoul- ders should not be straight. Th e upper arm slops forward, but is shorten and not equal in length to the shoulder blade. Th e shoulder blade is long and sloping, well laid back to the withers. You should feel for and reward, correct front assembly. Proceeding to an examination of the hindquarters, you should find them mus- cular, starting with a substantial rump behind the tail. Th e upper and second thighs should be long and powerful. Th e stifles should be bent. Th e hocks should be, short, well bent and upright. When viewed from behind, the hind- quarters should appear straight. From the side, the SFT’s hindquarters should appear angulated and well up on leg. Th e hindquarters should never appear to be crouching our drooping.

Before the dog is removed from the table, you should make an assessment of coat quality and coat color. Th is is a dou- ble coated breed. Th e outer coat should be hard, flat and abundant. Quite often you will be unable to find much under- coat on a dog groomed for show. Most of the undercoat is often removed to ensure that outer coat lies flat. Cheek, neck and tail roughs, as well as hindquarter britch- es, are groomed to enhance the outline of the dog. Color should be predominately white. Markings on the white coat can be black, black with tan points or tan. Tan can range from a light blond to a dark brown or mahogany. A tan dog can have black hairs dispersed within the coat and may, or may not, have a dark mask. When groomed, the under coat areas of the tan marked dog often appear to be a lighter color than the non-groomed markings. Th is is natural as tan markings are often lighter colored near the skin. Brindle, red or liver markings are objectionable. Th e black hairs in a tan coat should not be confused with brindle. Brindle is a dis- tinct pattern of black marking or strip patterning in the coat. As long as dog is at least 50% white and their markings are of an approved color, there is no such thing as a poorly marked dog. It is easier to see the outline of a white or predominately white dog, but no pattern of markings should be pre- ferred over another. As a judge, you will need to be careful to ensure that you are not deceived in your assessment of con- formation, positively or negatively, by the location of a dog’s markings. Now it is time to return the dog to the ground and evaluate his structure on the move. Th is is the critical test of the dog’s conformation. Move the dog down and back. An SFT’s front and rear legs should reach straight forward, not con- verging toward the midline. Th e front legs should reach forward in a straight column like a pendulum. Th e rear, which provides propulsion, should flex at the stifle and hock to cause a forward thrust of the dog. Th e Standard calls for a “snatch” at the hock in a dog exerting the correct thrusting action of the rear.

You should then observe side movement to confirm the desired action and ensure that the dog is covering ground in as few steps as possible. SFT examination is enhanced by spar- ing. It is an opportunity to evaluate tem- perament, ear and tail carriage and over- all bearing of the exhibits prior to making your placement. Th ere are a number of good articles already written on the sub- ject. I will not cover the subject here, but I do recommend that sparing take place at the end of your examination of all SFTs in a class. Some SFTs find it hard to get back to the business of moving, or being handled, after they have developed an attitude about others in the ring.

BIO Bill Potter lives in St. Louis, MO with his wife, Don- na, a Smooth Fox Terrier and a Nor- wich Terrier. He has been involved with pure

bred dogs since 1968 and has been an approved AKC judge since 1990. He is presently approved to judge all Hounds and the Hound Group, all Terriers and the Terrier Group and Best in Show. His original breed was Irish Wolf- hounds. He expanded to Smooth Fox Terriers in 1976. He has been active in the American Fox Terrier Club, serving for various periods as President, Secre- tary, Governor, Show Chairman and as a Judges’ Education Coordinator. Bill has judged Smooth Fox Terriers at AFTC Specialties in conjunction with Mont- gomery County Kennel Club on two occa- sions (1994 & 2004) and Smooth and Wire Fox Terriers at multiple Regional Fox Terrier Specialties. He has judged All-Breed Shows and Specialties through- out the United States, as well as judging in Europe and Australia. He is actively involved with Mississippi Valley Kennel Club, presently serving as Secretary and Show Chairman. WILLIAM F. POTTER, II 721 Plantmore Drive St. Louis, MO 63135 USA 4 )08 4 *()5 . "(";*/& . ": t

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