untrimmed dog which is called essential in our standard vs the trimmed one that can fool you on the proportions of the dog. Learn what the appearance of 50 ⁄ 50 chest to leg means. It does not mean 50 % leg to 50 % chest. The hair on the underside makes this appear that way, but on a solid hunting dog the leg is closer to 55 % while chest is 45 % which is 11 ¼ in leg on a 20 ½ inch male. RR: For judges: our type tends to vary and our numbers are low. So at shows if you have an entry you may see three- four littermates that look alike and one or two that look nothing like them. Know your standard those one or two that look different might actually be the correct ones. Also, in addition to what I mentioned above, our rears are supposed to single track and hips should be as broad as chest and well-muscled. There are a lots of narrow rears that almost double track instead of single tracking. Those rears would not be able to hunt in harsh terrain for miles and miles. Don’t be fooled be the restricted moving dogs whose handlers move them as fast as their legs will go. KR: To a new breeder: do the research and purchase the best bitch you can find. Then rely on the mentorship of whomever you think. Start with your bitch’s breeder. If you are interested enough you’ll succeed. Pick everyone’s brain—it helps. For the Judge: you all read the standard. Remember this is a big game hunter in its’ country of origin. After you’ve found what you like, or not, in the lineup, good clean movement is a must, as well as, ease of gait. The animal you feel can do the job and not wear out or break down, is the one that should be picked. 8. Anything else you’d like to share—something you’ve learned as a breeder, exhibitor or judge or a par- ticular point you’d like to make? GH: I realized a long time dream: I was able to hunt with Elkhounds in Norway and Sweden. I always tried to breed for hunting type in my years of breeding. Finally, I got to see hunting type in action. The most important thing I learned was how much the Elkhounds enjoy hunting and how expert they are. However, it is most obvious that the job of hunting requires the dogs to have sound hips and excellent structure to endure the countless hours of physical activity required to keep up. EH: Go to each show not to win but to learn. Spend time talking with people in other breeds about breeding, structure and the problems/solutions they are continually working on. We review what we have learned on the way home from each show and its amazing the knowl- edge that can be found. People at dog shows are a wealth of information. If you go to the show not worrying about
winning, the wins you do get will be much more pleasurable and the losses less painful. You cannot expect to win all the time, but you can learn more than imagined. RR: There has been a debate discussion for 30+ years about grooming of the breed. Standard says they should be shown natural. In reality, 90 % of the dogs being shown are groomed in some way. Fifty-sixty percent of those probably look more or less natural nothing looks artificial or made up. Just clean and tidy. Then 20 % more have a bit more done. A bit more trimming a few more prod- ucts. The last 10 % have way too much done to them, whether it’s sculpting with scissors so they look more like Bichons, a short-legged dog with absolutely no belly hair so they look like they have legs. Two-three layers of cholesterol and chalk on legs to give appearance of substance and, yes, those legs will feel sticky and gooey if judges felt them, or ears and a muzzle so jet black and not tri-colored as they should be that Revlon had something to do with it. KR: Make the right choices as a breeder. This is a wonderful breed; try to conform to the standard as much as possi- ble. As an exhibitor, have fun. The Norwegian Elkhound clubs are the some of the nicest people I’ve met and have made several lifelong friends because of my dogs. 9. And for a bit of humor, what’s the funniest thing that you ever experienced at a dog show? GH: My daughter, Bridgette, showed dogs with me for years. At her first show, a Norwegian Elkhound specialty at age six, the judge asked Bridgette to show her the dogs’ bite. Bridgette misunderstood and showed the judge her own bite. The crowd was must appreciative and gave Bridgette and veteran bitch, Rose, a standing ovation. EH: One of my experiences at a dog show was at the Cincin- nati National Specialty in 2002 when my eight-month-old puppy bitch, GCH Somerri Diamond’s Sapphire, grabbed my tie on the down and back in the puppy Sweepstakes under long-time breeder Vikki Lawton and simply did not want to let go the whole time. The audience was greatly amused that this would happen to a breeder judge and never let me forget same! She did go on to win the Sweeps and produce ten Champions. RR: One of the most funny and horrifying things—one of my first shows and I had a eight-month-old boy. Judge was judging in a chair due to her health. We’re doing the exam and he sticks his head under her dress and put his head all the way up to her underpants. This was only like my 3rd or 4th dog show. I’m mortified and want to die. The judge, bless her soul, just says, ‘Oh my, he’s a fresh young man,” and just laughed it off.
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