JUDGING THE BELGIAN TERVUREN
Masks are an important part of color and type. A face with a complete absence of black is a serious fault. Th e mask may be muzzle only or it may cover almost the entire head.
Scissors or level bites are acceptable. You do not need to pry open the mouth to check teeth. Have the handler show the bite from the front, then lift the lips on either side to verify premolars. A loss of contact of all the incisors is a disquali fi ca- tion. Missing teeth are a fault with four or more a serious fault. Head planes should be parallel and the length of the skull and the muzzle should be close to equal. Th e topline should be level from withers to the croup. Th e body should be moderate in width—not broad, but not narrow. Th e chest should reach to the elbow. Th e tail should reach to the hock and be held low at rest. Th e tail should not curl over the back nor should it be tucked. Ideally, the tail should fl ow smoothly o ff the back when in motion though adolescent males and any male around bitches in heat may tend to carry it above the level of the topline. A cropped or stump tail is a disquali fi cation. Legs should be straight with oval bones. Pasterns should be strong and upright, with tight “cat feet” as the ideal in front and feet slightly longer in the rear. Hocks are slightly bent with metatarsi upright and straight to the ground.
Th e outer coat should be harsh. A correct coat will dry quickly and be less likely to pick up plant material while working in fi elds. Density and amount of undercoat will vary greatly with time of year and with heat cycles in bitches. Mature males should have an impres- sive “mane,” but don’t let coat cause you to overlook a quality bitch. Th e coat color is described as “rich fawn to russet mahogany with black overlay is ideal and preferred. Predominate color that is pale, washed out, cream or gray is a fault.” If you have two dogs of equal quality, the red dog should be placed higher than the dog with lighter coloring. Blackening of the coat comes with age and is more prominent on the males. “Absence of blackening in mature dogs is a serious fault.” Masks are an important part of color and type. A face with a complete absence of black is a serious fault. Th e mask may be muzzle only or it may cover almost the entire head. Some minor white markings are acceptable—the tips of toes, chin, and muzzle as well as an area of the chest, but not more than three inches higher than the prosternum or reaching either shoulder. Chin “frosting” can appear in dogs as young as 18 months. Excess white, solid liver, or solid black color are all disquali fi cations.
228 | SHOWSIGHT MAGAZINE, JULY 2020
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