Showsight Presents The Keeshond

HOW TO JUDGE A KEESHOND

Rula - six months old, female

Tug - seven months old, male

handlers were trimming; totally sculpting their dogs. We didn’t want that. This is a natural breed and we want them to be shown in a natu- ral state. Tidying in areas might be visible, but should not be obvi- ous. However, if you look at a Keeshond and every hair is in place and you see a perfect outline, more often than not, that dog has been overly trimmed and you should take that into consideration and judge accordingly. Remember, there is no perfect dog! However, please don’t penalize the dog when the handler is at fault. With regards to coat coloring, a Keeshond is dramatically colored and is basically silver and black. You want to see clear coloring with no smuttiness. Clean feet are desired. Penciling is acceptable on the feet. Note that a Keeshond puppy at six months of age probably won’t have any coloring in yet. You might see one that is completely beige with some black guard hairs protruding from its back. This is normal for this age. However, you want to see a black muzzle, spectacles, and black tipped ears to some degree at this age. This coloring increases with age and should be in around nine months of age. I have seen dozens of judges go to their Breed Standard when confronted with a dog of this age to see what to do with this puppy. Unfortunately, this is not covered extensively in our standard and causes some confusion for judges new to our breed. Coat texture should be straight, harsh, standing well out from a thick, downy undercoat. Coat texture is of paramount importance. Silky coats will feel extremely soft to the touch and will not stand out from the body. Wavy and curly coats are very incorrect. If the coat parts down the middle of the back it can mean that the dog lacks proper coat texture or the dog is out of coat. When examining the coat, don’t be afraid to get into that coat and feel the dog’s texture and struc- ture. A Keeshond coat should bounce back into shape with one shake. Coat length: As mentioned, a six-month-old puppy will not have its full adult coat in. This will come as the dog ages. A male Keeshond will typically have more coat than our bitches. They should be pre- sented with a full neck ruff, profuse pants and tail. Keeshond bitches typically have less coat and a tightly fitted coat. They should not be penalized for this. However, you will also see bitches having as much coat as their counterparts which is perfectly acceptable and should be applauded. Bitches lose their coat when they come in season so, at times, they will be what is referred to as “out of coat.” However, when

you compare an adult male to an adult female, a male should definitely portray a masculine look and a bitch should portray a feminine one. There should be no questions of deciding which sex they are when looking at one or the other. In closing, when you have picked your Best of Breed, I hope you have chosen a dog that free stacks properly, has a beautiful, dramatically marked coat, lovely silhouette, correct spectacles, a beautiful headpiece, and a dog that travels around the ring with his head up moving with grace. A word to the wise: Please do not talk to our Keeshond when they are on the ramp. They think that this gives them the right to wiggle and move out of their stack and possibly lick you. So, if you do, get ready for that kiss. Another suggestion...Keeshonds aren’t robots and we do not expect them to stand with ears up all the time in the ring. Once you’ve seen proper ear placement, go on to other important points. I hope that this gives you some idea on how to judge a Kees- hond. I also hope that you will learn to love this breed like I do. Happy judging. For any questions or further information please contact me or check my website at windriftkeeshond.com

184 | SHOWSIGHT MAGAZINE, AUGUST 2020

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