“The back is level and strong.”
(Above) These are both good coats at different ages.
Th is is NOT a barrel chested, wide bod- ied dog. Large, round bodies are as incor- rect as slab-sided thin bodies. Th e rib cage should be oval shaped. A common fault in the breed is a bad topline. When you see this you should investigate the cause. Many topline faults can be seen more easily when the dog is moving. Often you will find that the dog has a short ribcage when compared to the total length of the back. Th e ideal ratio of ribcage to loin is 2:1. In other words, the ribcage should be 2/3 the length of the topline. Th is creates the best support for the back, especially when the dog has to carry around heavy coat. Conditioning is important and this is a breed which should be shown with good strong working muscle tone. Unfortunately judges have an expectation of a pristinely clean dog and many people are afraid to allow their dogs to run outside fearing they’ll get dirty. Sometimes a soft back can be the result of poor muscle tone. As much as we want clean dogs to be in the ring, soft muscles are useless to a working dog and are to be faulted. I complete the examination by checking the rear angulation, tailset and croup angle. Th ere should be good fill across the loin, good muscle down the croup and
good muscle in the rear. Th e croup should fall o ff about 15 degrees from the topline. You may see some flat croups and a flat pelvic angle. On the move these dogs are unable to get their back feet far enough under themselves to get adequate drive in the rear. If you think a dog is carrying his tail too high on the move, please check the croup and pelvic angle and watch his side gait for rear drive. Many of these dogs do not get good thrust o ff their hind legs and would be unable to perform a full day’s work in the field. Coat “Characteristic of the breed is the dense, protective coat. Th e puppy coat is relatively soft, but it shows a tendency to fall into cord-like curls. Th e young adult coat, or intermediate coat, consists of very short cords next to the skin which may be obscured by the sometimes lumpy looking flu ff on the outer ends of the cords.” “ Th e mature coat consists of a dense, soft, wooly undercoat much like the puppy coat and a coarser outer coat that is wavy or curly. Th e coarser hairs of the outer coat trap the softer undercoat, forming permanent, strong cords that are felt-like to the touch.”
Young dogs in the ring.
“...DENSE, SOFT, WOOLY UNDERCOAT MUCH LIKE THE PUPPY COAT, and a coarser outer coat that is wavy or curly.”
Newborn puppies have wavy coats—the wavier the newborn coat is, the better the adult coat will be. (4 days)
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