Showsight Presents The Barbet

PROFILES IN CURLS

The coat is shown in as natural a state as possible; clean and free from mats. The hair is to retain curl. While scis- soring is necessary to keep him neat, excessive sculpting and shaping is to be penalized. Likewise, poorly turned out animals (clipped, matted or unkempt) should be penalized. Animals with sparse hair, bare patches, or the impression of ill health or poor management must not be considered for points. Tightly curled dogs can give the impression of more substance and can appear to be more sculpted. VIEWPOINT As an exhibitor and breed mentor, I’ll offer some opinions that I am arriving at regarding my preferred ring presen- tation. As varied as the curl might be on our dogs, so is the opinion of breeders/exhibitors on trimming. There are those who believe the dogs should never be trimmed, and there are those who are more comfortable with a neater appearance. There is no final authority on this topic, and our standard only addresses excesses in one direction or another. I believe a successful trim “outlines” and reveals the shape of the body, without being extreme. An unsuccessful trim obscures the natural shape of the body. Each animal must be neatened to one degree or another, but the coat must be presented long enough to sufficiently assess its quality. As a newly recognized breed, we bring to competition many novice exhibitors or folks who are new to the breed—some wielding scissors for the first time and some relying upon professional groomers as they aren’t yet sure of their scissor skills. A trained eye is the best grooming tool! Images E, F, and G have again been adjusted to represent variations in profile to help illustrate the words of our AKC Standard. Visualizing the intent of the words helps to train the eye to focus on preparing exhibits that most closely represent the intent of the standard. Make note that this is the same image we used to illustrate a correct profile. The only thing that has changed is the hair. “THE COAT IS SHOWN IN AS NATURAL A STATE AS POSSIBLE; CLEAN AND FREE FROM MATS. THE HAIR IS TO RETAIN CURL. ”

Image G. Obscured Profile Appears More Square Defined Tuck-Up, Angles Straighter Legs Appear Long Muzzle Appears Long, Head Small Tail Appears Short

Image F. Obscured Profile Appears Long and Low “Beer Belly” Underline Shoulder Angle Appears Straight

Image E. Correct Profile Rectangular

Inclined Underline Balanced Angles Long, Low-Set Tail

Legs Appear Shortened Head Appears Smaller

As fellow exhibitors and judges, we must rely upon our standard for direction, train our own eye to see each dog’s virtues and shortfalls, and present the breed (or judge it) to the best of our ability. Images H, I, and J illustrate a healthy variation of coat curl and presentation, while retaining the called-for profile of this rare and fascinating breed.

Image H. An Immature Dog

Image I. A Mature Bitch

Image J. A Veteran Dog

SHOWSIGHT MAGAZINE, JULY 2021 | 285

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