Top Notch Toys June 2017

Some examples of typical Cavalier heads and expression, all demonstrating lovely heads:

A lovely young female head in repose.

A young female alert.

An alert male.

long leathers and silky hair. Cavaliers can “use” their ears when alert, stiffen- ing the leathers and fanning them for- ward to frame the face. This will also raise the ears to a straight line across the topskull. When at ease the ears may relax and make an otherwise correct skull appear rounded. The adage of “Examine them on the table but judge them on the ground” could never be truer. Don’t expect an exhibit to wag on the table, although they may. Use the table to check bites, ear leather, inspect layback of shoul- der and reinforce opinions made from observation on the ground. Approach the dog with a light heart and hand, cradle the head with both hands, gen- tly check the bite, feel the topskull and origin of ear, ear leather and move on to neck and shoulder. One more point, a scissors bite is preferred but a level or slightly undershot bite in a young dog could be overlooked as many correct by 18-24 months and don’t make checking a bite a test of strength. A heavy hand has ruined many a good toy dog. A perfect neck has a slight muscu- lar arch at its crest and is of sufficient length to allow the head to be car- ried proudly. The neck should slope

gracefully into well laidback shoulders. Upright shoulders will promote a steep- er head carriage, a shortened stride and an incorrect gait. There is a growing tendency toward upright shoulders and some shortened upper arms. A well-balanced dog should appear square but is slightly longer than tall. The breed should never appear long and low nor should they be up on leg. Long backs/short legs are becom- ing too common. The chest should be moderately deep and reach the elbows with a slight swell. Cavaliers are short coupled, meaning that there is a short distance from the last rib to the hip or loin. Hindquarters should come down from a good broad pelvis, very slightly sloped to give an attrac- tive tail carriage. Topline is level, end of discussion. The tail is a projection of the spine and should be level with the topline, car- ried between 2 and 4 o’clock, with 3 being ideal. Please be aware that males in particular will posture and flag when excited but drop the tail back to natural when relaxed. Cavaliers come in four lovely flavors; Blenheim with rich chestnut mark- ings on a clear pearly white ground,

In profile, the balance of the dog should be obvious, making an elegant picture from nose to end of tail in one f lowing movement, with proud head carriage and good arch of neck, good reach and making good use of the hindquar ters.

“A WELL-BALANCED DOG SHOULD APPEAR SQUARE BUT IS SLIGHTLY LONGER THAN TALL.”

Coming at you, the front legs should also be straight and true; they should not be out at the elbows or exhibit paddling. This is typical happy Cavalier expression.

T op N otch T oys , J une 2017 • 69

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