Belgian Tervuren Breed Magazine - Showsight



H ow to judge Belgian Tervuren - here is a simple formula from one breeder-judge. First select for type and tempera- ment, and then find the best-moving dogs among that subset of typical, mentally sound dogs. Easy… right? TYPE What makes type in a Tervuren? Think about the overall criteria falling into five “buckets” of characteristics: silhouette, relative propor- tions, head & dentition, expression, coat & color. First… Think square silhouette and remember from high school trigonometry that “off-square” really IS a rectangle. Our Tervuren are measured from point of shoulder (NOT point of breastbone) to point of rump. They have full britches, and the males carry a collarette— both of which can add the illusion of length. Stand back. Look at where the dog’s feet stand naturally… if you need to squint your eyes to get the overall proportions of height to length, go ahead! A Tervuren does not “stand” over a very large piece of real estate. You will see dogs that appear square enough from afar, but they stand over a lot of ground and have straighter fronts and rears. This is not correct. Next, look for an elegant length of neck. The withers are accentuated and the topline is level. There is a very moderate tuck-up (seen best in those out-of-coat adolescent girls and boys) and a medium-long croup. Check out the tail. Does it reach the hock? When the dog moves, is the tail an extension of the backline, raised only slightly? Adolescent males and our stud dogs will often raise their tails in the show ring. Take that into consideration, but this breed should never exhibit a high tail car- riage or gay tail. And, of course, in Tervuren, “a cropped or stump tail” is a disqualification. Second… Look at the proportions of depth of body (withers to elbow) to length of leg... they should be equal. A heavily coated dog can appear a tad short on leg… or he may truly be short on leg. An out of coat dog may look a bit high-stationed. Again, stand back and look at those proportions. Try to divine where the dog’s elbow is from afar. Then, on your exam, verify the placement. Balance is extremely impor- tant in a breed that must be able to turn on a dime and head off “full- tilt boogie” in another direction. Check out the dog’s loin on exam… it should be relatively short. Shoulders should be well laid-back while rear angulation is in balance with the front. We do not want dogs with “a ton” of rear, coupled with a straight front that cannot handle all the drive from behind. Balance, balance, balance… Remember, the Tervuren has both an upper and lower height DQ and these differ from the other Belgian breeds. If you have any question about the height of a particular dog, always use the wicket.


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