Showsight Presents The Rhodesian Ridgeback

rounded like barrel hoops which would indicate want of speed. At the chase the Ridgeback demonstrates great coursing ability and endurance.” Nowhere within this Standard for the Breed is the mention of “lion hunting” or guard dogs for diamond mines, etc. Rather this breed had a much more serious work which was to aid the settler in procuring meat (no one ate lion) and protection by signal- ing as to what danger lay ahead in the bush or what was surrounding their encampment at night. These Standard requirements do not describe a heavy, shorted neck, Mas- tiff-like, stationary, sentry dog (which

I refer to as a “get off my front porch dog”), nor that of an overly frail Whip- pet-like build (or a “gone wrong Lab”), as many perceive them to be. Rather they should be an agile speedster with strength easily recognized as the Rho- desian Ridgeback, resembling no other. Lack of unity in perception is the reason dogs differ in appearance from breeder to breeder, and show judge to show judge. This lack of unity ultimately affects the overall conformation excel- lence of a breed, causing confusion in its wake resulting in irreparable damage to type. It took one prolific over adver- tised breeder of substandard poor qual- ity type dogs that were well awarded

by judges in the ring to negatively effect correct breed type in our modern time. Awards for such dogs would have been withheld back in the day. Too often lately it has been said to me by long respected dog show judges that, “Your breed is in trouble.” Who is to blame? There is a great need for our parent club to concentrate educa- tion of judges as to the true purpose of this breed and the desired type to per- form that function. In addition, the AKC needs to monitor judge’s choices as to correct type and conformation that would allow a dog to serve as he once did, in the bush. About the Author Alicia Hanna established Kimani, reg- istered in 1963 in Chester, NJ over 52 years ago. She has been an AKC Breed judge since 1993, judging National Specialties here and abroad. Alicia had the grand honor to be awarded the AKC Hound Group Breeder in 2012. She has bred/owned 13 National Best In Specialty Show winners, including this year which retired the RRCUS Best in Specialty Challenge Trophy for the third time. Alicia is retired from the business world.

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