Showsight Presents the Dachshund





! any judges find the Dachshund di ffi cult to judge. After all, it is a dwarf breed. It comes in two sizes, standard and miniature, which are judged together in all but the open miniature class and there are three distinct coat types. Th is article is intended to help elucidate how to approach judging this breed. Dachshunds are not to be rewarded because they are “cute” or “funny”. Dachshunds were bred to be hunters that flush and track game. Th is is an extremely versatile breed, in fact the only breed that excels in the field, going to ground, retrieving and in tracking. Th ough many breeds excel in one or two of these activities, the Dachshund is the only breed that excels in all four. Although an achon- droplastic (dwarf ) breed, there should be nothing awkward or unbalanced about them. Th ey are, as the standard reminds us,

“clever, lively and courageous to the point of rashness, persevering in above- and below-ground work, with all the senses well developed.” Th is article is based on the American Kennel Club standard. While there are slight di ff erences in international standards, the approach to evaluating the breed should not be di ff erent. !"#$%&#'%(& So, how does one begin the evaluation of the Dachshund? First, by remembering the three L’s: Long, Low to the ground and Level top line . Th e Dachshund’s con- formation allows it to hunt badger below ground without getting stuck or running out of air. When I bring a class into the ring, unless it is an exceedingly large class, or winners or best of variety, I do not want the handlers to stack their dogs, but to first take them around the ring. Th is gives a first impression of the quality of each dog in the class, as structure can best be

seen through movement. It also gives the exhibits and the handlers, for that matter, the opportunity to calm down. Even with singleton classes I will not have the dog put directly on the table without first gaiting around the ring. Th e judge can see balance and how well each exhibit propels itself around the ring. In this first go-around the judge should be able to identify which exhibits are of better quality. When a dog is on the table, I first view it in profile and look for balance. While the standard does not specifically mention it, in a balanced dog, the length from tip of nose to occiput should be the same as the length of the neck and the depth of body. Th e distance from the point of shoulder to the hock should equal about three head- lengths. We want to see a level topline, a prominent forechest and a neck that is long, slightly arched at the nape and that flows gracefully into the shoulders. Th ere should be no suggestion of a right angle

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