JUDGING THE POINTER WITH THE SAME CONSCIENTIOUS EVALUATION AS A BREEDER A s breeders, we get to gaze for hours trying to weigh pluses and minuses of each of our Pointers. You, as a judge, have a two-minute period... and with good education, you may still find it difficult to filter through those pluses and minuses in two minutes. Where must you start? BY SUSAN BLECKLEY
“START WITH THE FIRST PARAGRAPH OF THE STANDARD!” General Appearance: The Pointer is bred primarily for sport afield; he should unmistakably look and act the part. The ideal specimen gives the immediate impression of compact power and agile grace; the head noble, proudly carried; the expression intelligent and alert; the muscular body bespeaking both staying power and dash. Here is an animal whose every movement shows him to be a wide-awake, hard-driving hunting dog possessing stamina, courage, and the desire to go. And in his expression are the loyalty and devotion of a true friend of man. Gait: Smooth, frictionless, with a powerful hindquarters' drive. The head should be carried high, the nostrils wide, the tail moving from side to side rhythmically with the pace, giving the impression of a well-balanced, strongly-built hunting dog capable of top speed combined with great stamina. Hackney gait must be faulted. Balance and Size: Balance and over-all symmetry are more important in the Pointer than size. A smooth, balanced dog is to be more desired than a dog with strongly contrasting good points and faults. Hound or Terrier characteristics are most undesirable. Because a Sporting dog must have both endurance and power, great variations in size are undesirable, the desirable height and weight being within the following limits: Dogs: Height – 23 to 26 inches Weight – 44 to 65 pounds Under Gait: The Pointer gives the impression of a well-balanced and strongly built hunting dog. Under Balance and Size: It again refers to balance and over-all symmetry. Height – 25 to 28 inches Weight – 55 to 75 pounds Bitches:
ABOUT THE AUTHOR In the 1960s, Susan Bleckley’s passion was her Morgan horse and she was first introduced to purebred dogs in 1971. Her first AKC champion was a Doberman Pinscher. The year 1973 brought Susan her first Pointer, Champion Truewithem Barnstormer, and a National Specialty winner, Truewithem Abercrombie. In the years that followed, along with Pointers, she finished Basset Hounds, Miniature Schnauzers, and Whippets. In 1978, Susan moved to California, handling Weimaraners, German Shorthairs, Borzoi, Whippets, Bull Terriers and, of course, Pointers, which included the lovely Best in Show winning Ch. Cumbrian Black Pearl. Although she currently shows Papillons and Pomeranians, Susan’s passion for Sporting Dogs still runs deep. She has served as Show Chair for the Southern California Sporting Dog club since its first show in 2012. The total entry in January 2022 was 700 Sporting Dogs. Susan has served in most positions for the American Pointer Club and she’s a 52-year member. She served as Judges Education Chair for over 10 years and she is also a member of the APC Standing Field Committee.
THIS IS A TEST... OUTLINE IS IMPORTANT... IDENTIFY THE POINTER?
Above are four different Pointing breeds. (All images are taken directly from the AKC Breed Standards, colored black, and with tails changed.)
THE OUTLINE ABOVE - HOUND TOPLINE AND UNDERLINE
156 | SHOWSIGHT MAGAZINE, JUNE 2022
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