THE BICHON FRISE
thought to myself, that’s quite a difference. But because of my gymnastics back- ground, size never plays a part in my decision. I have seen a 10" dog/bitch take fewer steps than a 12" dog/bitch. I have seen smaller dogs cover more ground, so I know which dogs are better balanced. A free-moving dog, one without the handler’s help, is beauty in motion no matter the size. Size should never deter- mine a better Bichon. Now my favorite part: the Head. Nothing can compare to the beauty of a beautifully-balanced contrast of sparkling black eyes, a black nose, and black lips against the stark—yet soft—white of a Bichon’s coat. I want to see round eyes, facing front, surrounded by black halos, ears set slightly above; an equilateral triangle from the corner of the eyes to the nose. I want to see an underjaw that can house a scissors bite. (Out of line teeth never bother me.) I want to feel a head that is three-to-five from the stop to the back skull. Now, here’s a finger exercise I can teach you: Take your thumb and index finger, put them on the top of the nose to the stop. You see how much that distance is. [Then] take your thumb and put it where your index finger was, and put your index finger behind the head. You will feel the three-to-five ratio. (Only took me ten years to learn this!) I have not covered shoulders, but we all need good shoulders to move. Ours are a 45-degree angle. (I have not covered restricted rear movement because, in my mind, most Bichons have good rear angulation.) However, they are too straight in the shoulders, so their rear legs have nowhere to go. I have not covered coat. You know a Bichon has a double coat that suppos- edly bounces. We can have 10% color in one place or dispersed.
204 | SHOWSIGHT MAGAZINE, SEPTEMBER 2020
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