Showsight Presents The Keeshond

HOW TO JUDGE A KEESHOND

the rear. The pelvis, upper thigh and lower thigh should all be the same length, and attached to hocks well let down and perpendic- ular to the ground. The hocks should not extend past the point of the pelvic bone. The tail should be tight and directly over the back. The tail should not fall to either side, it should be placed directly over the back and curl at the end. The end of the tail is black tipped. (In all the years that I’ve judged and had Keeshond, I’ve never found one that wasn’t black tipped.) Donut tails and tea cup tails are not desired. Keeshond do not like their tails uncurled. So, if you wish to check the tip, please do it carefully. When the tail is uncurled you will see a nest. This is an indication that the tail is tightly curled. After the dog is examined on the ramp, allow the handler to present the dog on a free stack. Now is the time to judge attitude and showmanship. Allow the handler to show the expression and ear placement of the dog. Then, have them move out and back on a loose lead. A Keeshond should move straight and sharp. They should not paddle, pound, or have a hackney gait. They will con- verge slightly with speed. The Keeshond should not be allowed to move at an accelerated speed. A nice slow trot is desired. Have the dog free stack, again seeing the head piece with ears erect; and stacking properly with legs under the dog, not extended behind the tail. Legs are straight seen from any angle. Then have the dog go around the ring to the end of the line. I like to see a Keeshond hold its carriage when moving around the ring; head above the back topline, not dropping and not below the backline. You want to see a smooth gait, not bouncing or pounding. I’ve told many that if you doubt the movement, observe the coat. If you see the coat swishing and bouncing, something is not correct in the structure of the dog. Trimming! Our standard states that trimming is not permissible and should be severely penalized. However, we are allowed to trim whiskers, front and rear feet, hocks and pasterns. Slight trimming around the anus for cleanliness is permissible. This is where it gets ticklish! I would estimate that every dog in the ring is trimmed to some degree. This was put in our standard when breeders and

is a mixture of silver and gray and should be profuse. Tail and pants are silver. Observation of chalking and dyeing the coat should be done at this time. Approach from the front to observe the head and front-end assembly. The head should be examined first. You want to see a nice wedge shape and a good stop. Please feel for that stop as some Kees- hond have an abundance of hair and it could hide the lack of the stop. You want a nice dark brown to black almond shaped eye with proper spectacles. “Spectacles are the Hallmark of our breed.” Spec- tacles are a fine, black line around the orbital area that extends from the corner of the eye which then flares up to the outside of the ear. Some handlers get carried away with markers. Please check to see that the spectacle lines aren’t enhanced. Ears should be triangular in shape and set well on the head with the tips extending upward. Ears are black and should not be trimmed. Next, check the bite. You want to see a scissors bite. You have the option of checking the bite now or after you have entirely gone over the dog. Regardless, the Keeshond should have a scissors bite. They should also have a black muzzle with dark pigmentation on lips and gums. Sometimes with age, you will see white on the muzzle. Check to make sure that there is pigmentation under the hairs. White muzzles could indicate mismarks. Pure black muzzles could indicate color enhancement. Next, check for the posternum. It should be obvious, but not protruding. You want to see sufficient width between the legs that is in balance with the dog. Check the amount of bone. This should be in balance with the dog. All legs should be straight seen from any angle. Walk around the side of the dog and place your hand on the withers. Find the width of the withers to determine if it is sufficient. Follow your hand down to the point of shoulder and from there to the elbow joint. You should feel that the elbows are close to the well rounded rib cage. The length of the shoulder, upper arm and elbow to ground should all be the same. Elbows should be directly below the withers. From there, feel the backbone and loin area. A Keeshond should have a short loin and, ideally, the topline should slope slightly to

182 | SHOWSIGHT MAGAZINE, AUGUST 2020

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