The standard says, “Croup falling only slightly to base of tail.” This clearly means that the croup falls off “only slightly to base of tail.” The tail, therefore, should not come off level with the back. As he stands there, the picture of what you believe to be a good Pointer, you become concerned about his topline. It isn’t level. Well, good! It isn’t supposed to be. If it were, he couldn’t do the job he was bred to do. The standard says, “… slight rise from croup to top of shoulders. Loin of moderate length, powerful and slightly arched.” This “slightly arched” gives him his powerful drive and the ability to do his work effortlessly for hours on end. So, now we have a moderate-sized dog that is compact—all over—and has an atti- tude! Now we pray that when he moves, he is basically sound coming, going, and on the go-around, and doesn’t pick his front feet up too high, i.e., hackney. The standard says, “A good Pointer cannot be a bad color.” This does not mean that he can be purple!!! He can be liver and white, black and white, orange and white or lemon and white, with associated points to match—black noses and eye rims on the blacks and oranges, self-colored on the livers and lemons. He can even be solid-colored of any of the four colors listed previously. The quality of solid-colored Pointers has improved greatly over the past years. Though still not seen frequently, there are some very good ones on the horizon. Do not be afraid to award them, though please do it based on the standard and not their color. Most of the oldest books now available warn frequently about tri-colored Pointers carrying “too much of the Foxhound blood.” You may see one on occasion, and I handle it by quietly excusing them from the ring and writing in my judge’s book, “Excused. Color not addressed in standard.” Again, ears too long, tails too long. Now, look at his feet. This is a working dog with oval feet, not round, and with well-arched toes allowing him to work all kinds of ground effortlessly. So, now what do we have? We have a moderately-sized dog that comes into your ring with his head held rather arrogantly. Your first impression is head, tail, and atti- tude. Next, he appears balanced, is in fit condition, and of the correct size. We know now that the standard says he can’t be a bad color; and he is one that is acceptable. Always look at a Pointer from all sides—coloring or patching can easily deceive and, for some reason, his “off-side” is often more pleasing to the eye. He moves around your ring with power and grace. His tail, we hope, will lash somewhat from side to side as he moves soundly on four good legs. When he stops, he looks at you with a soft, trust- ing expression. Lucky you… you’ve just judged a good Pointer. The others just won’t measure up. Enjoy.
SHOWSIGHT MAGAZINE, SPRING EDITION | 281
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