Showsight Presents The Cirneco dell'Etna

6. What do you think new judges misunderstand about the breed? JG: Many are still trying to compare them to the Pharaoh Hound. EL: I think many judges have not seen enough to develop a good idea of overall type. We need to carefully refer to a pretty well written and specific standard in judging. GN: I often do not feel that judges put enough emphasis on the function of the breed. Without the functional aspects of the breed, they are not a Cirneco. 7. Is there anything else you’d like to share about the breed? Please elaborate. JG: This breed is one of the easiest to live with I have experi- enced. Arguments are seldom and slight. They live easily as a pack, and accept new members quickly. I never have to worry about my boys getting along even with a girl is in season. EL: The breed, like many sighthounds can be aloof. Since they are smooth coated we should be able to judge them with a minimal examination (just what is required), espe- cially if there is an objection from the exhibit. GN: I have had the pleasure of being around this breed long before they were recognized by the AKC both in the ring as well as on the coursing field. They are truly a sparkling gem in the Sighthound family. 8. And, for a bit of humor, what’s the funniest thing you’ve ever experienced at a dog show? JG: In 1999, the Pharaoh Hound National Specialty was held in Ocala, FL in connection with an all breed show. As we were under the canopy waiting our turn to go in the ring, I notice a woman walking our direction through the crowd. She was tall, blonde, not young, dressed in reveal- ing black leather and stilettos. She had a leash draped over her shoulder, and attached to that leash was a young man with a collar around his neck. EL: I was a club officer and steward on a show weekend which included Emil Klinkhart, Jim Moran, and Lou Harris. Lou’s ring was always a happy place. Jim and Emil spent the weekend playing practical jokes on each other. Emil showed up in Jim’s ring, ahead of him, after lunch with dark glasses and a white cane. He strode in and declared, blindly, that he was Jim Moran and he was ready to judge! Later in the day a baby pig (named “Little Lou”) was one of the exhibits in Judy Goodin’s BIS ring. The pig did not win. I miss all 4 of those great judges. GN: I don’t think there is a “funniest” event. I am always amused by the puppy antics, the fun and gags between exhibitors and friends and the pure joy of the sport. That said, yes the rumor is true that I split my pants showing an Afghan for my wife years ago and I did show Sight- hounds to a few of my favorite judges dressed in a white rabbit outfit at an Easter Show or two.

dogs way too fast. The winner is not the dog that makes it around the ring in the quickest time but rather I prefer seeing the dog moving in a balanced and efficient man- ner. The smooth and efficient entry with the best breed type is the one I try to reward. 4. Do you think the dogs you see in this breed are better now than they were when you first started judging? Why or why not? JG: They are definitely better now than when they first start- ed coming in to the country. Many of the first imports had very sloppy fronts and questionable temperaments. Those involved with the breed have made huge strides in improving those aspects. EL: I had the pleasure to meet and judge the breed before AKC Group recognition. I’d say overall type is well set in the breed as a whole. I don’t expect to see any change in that. The entries I’ve seen this past year in regular com- petition showed better training and behavior in the ring than the early entries I saw or judged. GN: I do not believe that the AKC Judge is the most quali- fied to answer this question. The breeders and the Parent Club are the ones with the knowledge and experience to answer this question. AKC Judges only reward (or try to reward) the best examples of the breed on any given day. The quality of those winners are dependent on what is bred and exhibited on a given day. 5. Should a Cirneco look like a miniature Pharaoh Hound? If not, what are the major differences? JG: Although the resemblance is hard to deny, they really aren’t a miniature version of the Pharaoh Hound. Aside from size, the Pharaoh is slightly longer than tall, where the Cirneco should be square. The ear set and carriage should be higher on the Cirneco as well. EL: Oh no! At first glance Cirneco ears are higher set than Pharaoh Hound ears. The described head shape is narrower and the muzzle (foreface) is shorter in proportion to the total head length. Peering over a fence (without help of scale) the desired Cirneco head and Pharaoh head are different in these ways. Cirneco’s are square in profile, Pharaoh’s are slightly rectangular. Also, Pharaoh Hound gait is not described as “Springy”. GN: To some, they may appear like miniature Pharaoh Hounds. I personally do not believe this to be true. Both on the coursing field and the conformation ring, they are different. As with “similar” breeds, it is not “major differences” that separate the breeds but rather multiple smaller and important differences that are important. Just as there are many small differences between and Ibizan and Pharaoh besides just color, the same subtle differ- ences are there between the Cirneco and the Pharaoh besides just size.

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