JUDGING THE KEESHOND MANDATORY USE OF RAMP FOR KEESHONDEN
On September 1, 2020, the use of the ramp for judging the Keeshond will no longer be optional, but man- datory for examination. The Keeshond Club of America is asking that the ramp be used for examination only. The ramp should not be used for the assessment of the silhouette. The silhouette is best judged from a dis- tance (i.e. from across the ring), when the dog is on the ground standing naturally.
your job as a judge is to severely penalize a trimmed dog when it is obvious it has been trimmed. I contend that if judges would penalize each dog that they knew was trimmed, the trimming would stop. To me, that means no WD/WB, BOB, BOS, any/all Group Placements and certainly not BIS! If the other Keeshonden are truly inferior specimens, it is your prerogative to withhold awards. Oh, they’ll all squawk, pout and stamp their feet, but if those who persist in thumbing their noses at their standards would run into judges with fortitude, all this gilding of the lilies would eventually come to a halt. I do this not as an old fuddy-duddy purist (silly me!) but for those who come into the breed, actually read the standard and are dumbfounded when an obviously trimmed dog wins. They do one of two things: (a) Try to learn how to trim as well as those with many decades of experience or (b) leave dog shows and consequently never become breeders. This is a serious issue, so please take it seriously. The average age of Keeshond competitors are well north of 50. We are running off our newcomers because they’re told it doesn’t matter or whatever. Where will the Keeshond be if we have no breeders when those of us who are into our Golden Years croak? The Keeshond is a Spitz breed. The muzzle is of medium length and when viewed from above the entire head is wedge-shaped. “Medium length” means muz- zle and backskull are nearly equal in length with a definite stop. A handsome head is one where the muzzle is approximately 90% as long as the backskull. There are many who insist on super short muzzles. These cute little teddy bear guys finish in a heartbeat from the Puppy Classes, but with too short a muzzle and, as their age goes forward, their eyes become rounder and rounder rather than almond shaped and set obliquely. As in nearly all breeds, dark eyes are required. Dark pigmenta- tion on nose, eye rims and pads of feet are a must as well. The true hallmark of our breed may now be shared with a few other breeds (besides the Pekingese) since the rush of new-to-me breeds have appeared on the horizon. These are the spectacles. Believe it or not, and with further study of the Keeshond Standard, spectacles are not the light around the eyes which can be trimmed in or appear naturally. The spectacles are actually formed by a cowlick of sorts. The black-tipped hairs come up from the muzzle and down from the head and meet at the outside corner of each eye. Ideal spectacles go up toward the outer corner of the ear. It forms the best expression as they truly look like a dog wearing glasses once their dark eyebrows and dark muzzle complete the picture. They’re charming and remain the defining distinction of our breed, and it’s a very serious fault to lack these dark lines. Are spectacles on very dark-faced dogs? Believe it or not, they’re there; you’ve just got to get up close and personal. “Temperament is of primary importance.” These are fun, fabulous family pets and somewhat silly. Their only job is to be an alarm-giving watchdog. They’ll bark, but the burglar can come in; toss a Kees a cookie and she’ll happily show the bad guy the way to the family jewels. Some people buy a dog for their kids, I had a kid for my dogs; seriously—sort of. FINAL HANDY TIP #3: When judging a large entry of any breed, especially at independent or National Specialties, pull those dogs that you like from each group of 10-12 dogs that comes in. I once witnessed a famous all-breed judge take his first group of male specials and efficiently pull four dogs. Sad to say, all 12 just happened to be the ones he should be concentrating on. His second group of 12 was bleak; his third group was dismal. It’s always easier to zone in and narrow down from a bunch of good ones than a bunch that’s mediocre. I truly hope this helps you and if you find a perfect one, give me a call. I’m still searching; have gotten and seen some nearly perfect, but not quite. It’s a great breed and if you learn to love it half as much as we do, you’ll enjoy your assignments.
the dog’s body, rather than give the appearance of an appendage. Curl #1 is that which lifts it way over the back. Curl #2 goes under, and curl #3 does another loop. The answer is: Curls #2 and #3 are correct as long as it’s lying close to the back and forming part of the silhouette. A blob stick- ing up isn’t what we’re trying to achieve. A dog’s tail set enhanced by trimming should be severely penalized. Do not try to uncurl a tail as some of the 3 (or even 4) curled tails cannot be uncurled. If you want to, lift the whole tail up from the base. If you must, look for the black tip on the end of it, but I doubt any of us cares if it’s there or not. Just being honest. I’ve seen a Kajil- lion Kees of all sorts of coloration and the stupid black tip is there on all of them. Yet, sometimes, the black tip sneaks itself out from the final curl
when we least want it to do so. SMALL, POINTED EARS
“Small, pointed ears” is a little bit of a misno- mer. Again, the ears appear small on a male in full coat. To determine if the ear size is correct, gently fold the ear down to see if it meets the outside corner of the eye. Large ears are not desired and too small ears can be somewhat peculiar looking when barely peeking out of the ruff of a dog. “Lion-like ruff—more profuse in the male,” we’ve already discussed, right? TROUSERS “Trousers” used to mean just that—lengthy hair that we used to love to watch swaying in the breeze when they were gaited or if the wind blew just so. That was then and now very uncommon to see proper trousers on a Keeshond. Here comes the dreaded “T” word! As many judges are aware, almost every breed is being beautified by skilled or not-so-skilled grooming methods. If one whacks off the trousers, trims under the tail, trims belly hair and trims the top of the tail just so, the dog will appear high- er in leg and shorter in body than they, in fact, are. There are many skilled ex-handlers and now judges who appreciate the effort to present the dog in the best possible way—groomed to perfec- tion. However, [remember] words like “natural” and sentences like, “The Keeshond is to be shown in a natural state with trimming permissible only on feet, pasterns, hocks and, if desired, whiskers. Trimming other than as described is to be severe- ly penalized.” The really excellent trimmers and/ or groomers can get the same result with diligent grooming and the correct coat as those who trim. You do not have time to inspect every hair. We are not the only breed that calls for natural pre- sentation and—though grooming is admirable—
SHOWSIGHT MAGAZINE, AUGUST 2020 | 199
Powered by FlippingBook