Fox Terrier Breed Magazine - Showsight



By Al Pertuit

hen judging Wires, exactly what makes a Wire Mr. or Ms. “IT”? First, if the

Wire is a dog, does it look like a dog; if it’s a bitch, does it look like a bitch? One should not have to look between its legs to determine its sex. A dog that has prop- er substance does not look like a bitch because the dog is the correct size (15 ½ ") and is among larger bitches. Th e Wire’s size does not necessarily correlate with its sex. Second, is the dog balanced? Balance means that the individual parts blend well together, creating a profile of unity, which occurs when no entity dominates the composition. For example, if your eye is drawn to its shoulders, it’s likely heavy in the shoulders. Ideally, the eye should easily flow over the exhibit. In profile, one can/should check the fol- lowing: Is the short back level? Are the height at withers and length of body the same? Is the distance from the withers to the elbow the same as from the elbow to the ground? Are its feet cat-like, tight and round? Does it have a fishhook front (i.e., a straight imaginary line can be run uprightly from the toes to the proster- num, neck, and jaw, where the line hooks at the throat that forms a graceful line) with no forechest apparent? Are its hocks relatively short and perpendicular to the ground? Does it have butt behind its tail? A Wire with nothing behind its tail looks more like a figurine in which the artist, only as an afterthought, stuck on a tail. It lacks unity. What about its rear angula- tion? Moderate angulation is ideal. Are its first and second thighs of the same length, and is the second thigh well muscled? Th e tail should be highly set, of strong sub- stance, and held at about 10 to 12 o’clock.

Balance without exaggeration: fishhook front; nice head and ear placement; good shoulder layback; short back; high tail set; butt behind tail; moderate angulation; upright hocks; tight feet; and good substance.

Ideally, when stacked, its length should reach the height of the top of the head. Th e tail may have a slight forward curve. Th ird, does it project the Wire tem- perament? It should be “alert, quick of movement, keen of expression, on the tip- toe of expectation at the slightest provo- cation.” In the ring, the Wire should be looking about, reacting to sounds and sights, perhaps wagging his tail at some- thing of interest. Please never forget that you are in a conformation ring, not an obedience ring, and judge accordingly. Sparring brings out temperament as well as physical components, individu- ally and as a functioning unit. Sparring exposes the soul of the Wire. Unfortu- nately, sparring, previously an integral highlight of judging Wires, is today too often excluded from the judging process, even at specialities. When a Wire puts his heart into a spar, you know everything

about him. It’s his defining moment. During the spar, the exhibitor should not be allowed stack his dog, “bait” his dog, attract the attention of his dog, etc. Dogs should be allowed to show themselves via their posturing during confrontation. If a Wire cowers during the spar, he most definitely should not receive awards. Spar for WD, WB and Breed awards. Fourth, examine the head and check its expression. Some say the Wire is “a head breed.” Is the head really the bottom line for rating a Wire a “10”? Th e come- back, of course, is, “ Th ey don’t walk on their heads.” Th e size of the head should be in proportion to the rest of the dog, not exceeding 3 ½ " inches in width. Th e head length should measure slightly more than 7" with its foreface and relatively flat skull being about the same length. Th e black, round, moderate-sized eyes should be deeply set, full of life, and not

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