Showsight Presents The Rhodesian Ridgeback

FACING THE RIDGEBACK FOR THE FIRST TIME IN THE RING by BARBARA G. RUPERT

F irst of all, before entering any ring, we should be thorough- ly familiar with procedure. Once we have mastered that, we can concentrate on the specimen before us rather than being side tracked by anything else. So, we look at the outline first: bal- ance, symmetry, moderate head—nei- ther heavy and Mastiff like nor narrow or Greyhound-like. Underjaw visible. Strong, long neck with smooth shoul- ders blending into body, level back con- tinuing with a slight rise over the loin (which one should feel upon examina- tion) falling gently away over the croup ending with a well-set, tapering tail without kinks or excessive curl. Underline is not exaggerated, Her- ring gutted or Greyhound-like and the hindquarters should be rather broad and powerful (first and second thigh well developed). As we examine our Ridgeback, remember to always approach from the front, not rear—after all, this is a Sighthound, he is aloof with strangers and he must see you. We want to find intelligent expression: round, dark eyes

harmonizing with the color of the over- all dog. That means black nosed dogs should have dark brown eyes and liver/ brown nosed dogs should have amber eyes, again harmonizing with pigmenta- tion. Ears should frame the head. Black or dark brown muzzle in a liver/brown nosed dog is equally acceptable and so are clear faced dogs. We want to look for that ever elud- ing shoulder layback and shoulder and return upper arm being close to equal in length. The ideal ridge starts close behind the shoulder blades, contains two whorls opposite each other and tapers close to the pin bone. The thorax should be capacious, giving lung room and should have plenty of length before reaching a relatively short loin without cramping his hind-quarters. The dog should appear off-square— not rectangular (slightly longer than tall). The croup is moderate with a smooth tail insertion. The tail is tapered, without kinks or excessive curls, reach- es to the hock and is never carried in a gay fashion while on the move. Rear quarters are broad, strong, mus- cular and inner thigh is well developed.

BISS GCh. La Fleur’s Big Mack Attack (my choice at the 2012 Specialty).

Tahari's Son of Anarchy Winner's Dog at the 2012 National All illustrations are by Leisa Temple are the sole property of RRCUS and no one, other than RRCUS or the author is authorized to photograph, copy, reprint, distribute and/or disseminate them in any form. Copyright pending.

296 • S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , S EPTEMBER 2017

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