JUDGING THE KEESHOND
By Joanne Reed Photos & Diagrams courtesy of Betsy Winans
s a Keeshond breeder for over forty years, it is extremely frustrating to me that some judges have a hard time judg- ing my breed. In some
triangular in shape pointing upward. If these ears point outward it gives a very incorrect dumb expression. And, even tho, our standard does not say a Keeshond should be “pretty”, I want judges to be able to smile when they look at a correct headpiece. I want my Keeshonds to look, happy, intelligent, and yes, pretty! Th e standard states “distinctive gait” is unique to the breed. Well, in my interpre- tation, knowing that a Keeshond is built very similar to other breeds and doesn’t have anything “unique” in its structure I believe this means its carriage. A Keeshond moves with the same carriage as when standing. Th at means he carries his head erect over the line of his back. Th at also means that he does not drop his head when traveling around the ring at any speed. I also believe that a correctly built Kees- hond can move at any speed. Whether it’s at a walk or a full trot. Most judges and
breeders do not want a Keeshond to race around the ring. Obviously, the faster the dog moves the more of a tendency he has to drop his head. i.e., German Shepherd or most working breeds. Unfortunately the group judges want to see flash and have a dog move faster than it should. But, as
areas I can attribute it to the Keeshond Standard not being as clear as it should be. So, as a breeder, I’m going to try to clarify a few points of the standard to make the breed easier to judge. I’m going to include drawings from the Illustrated Standard, photos of dogs that portray this standard, and some photos of dogs that are incorrect. Th ey say that a picture is worth a thousand words. I am hoping that these illustrations will imprint the correct visual image of my breed. When these lines go downward from the corner of each eye, it presents a sad expression that is undesirable in our breed. We want the ears to be small and
“I want my Keeshonds to look, happy, intelligent, AND YES, PRETTY!”
Figure A This drawing shows a very handsome male with all the qualities that we want to see in a Keeshond head.
Figure B This is a photo of a Keeshond that is as close to the drawing that I could find. Note the soft intelligent expression with fine lines around the eyes that fan out to the bottom edge of the ear. Small erect ears set well on the skull. Figure C This shows a very nice dark head. It is important to note that even though his head is dark in color there should still show signs of the fine lines of the spectacle. Even in the darkest of all heads these lines should be present.
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