Finnish Lapphund Breed Magazine - Showsight

Th e expression is created by the gentle lines of the head and correct dark almond- shaped eyes. Th e correct soft expression can only be seen when the eye color is as dark as possible for the coat color and a piercing eye caused by incorrect pale eyes and/or round eyes should be penalized. Yes a brown-pigmented dog will never have as dark an eye as a black-pigmented dog, but they should still be brown, not yellow. Correctly placed medium-sized ears also add to the softness of the expression, they should be set wide on the head, too close and they give too harsh an expression. Th e ears can be fully erect or semi-erect, and even one of each! Th ere is no preference— but drop ears like that of a Leonberger should be penalized. Th e body proportions are just o ff square, with the length being about 10% longer than height at withers (measured from point of shoulder to point of buttock). When considering height, it is important to note that the depth of the body should not be lower than the level of the elbow, as a breed designed to cover heavy snow covered ground the legs must give su ffi - cient ground coverage or the breed would soon tire in deep snow. Th e neck should be medium length and angulation should be moderate and balanced—a combination of both gives a more relaxed head carriage

and we should not be looking for upright animals with ears directly in line with bones of front legs. Th e rib cage is long and well sprung. From a firm straight back you move to a short croup, we do not require the slope of the normal herding breeds, such would give a less defined rump, and a Lapphund has a broad muscular bottom! Moving to the tail (which is very char- acteristic of the breed and something that many judges misunderstand), it should be high set and heavily plumed with long hair, it is not tightly curled, but lies over back or loin in attractive plume. Some dogs have a “J” hook at the end, but any kinks down the length of the tail should be faulted. On the move the tail should be carried over back or loin, but when relaxed and standing the tail may hang behind the dog more like a herding breed and less like Spitz. When standing, this relaxed tail should never be penalized. It is a feature of this gentle-natured breed, but if the dog fails to carry its tail higher on the move, then this is a fault and is likely to highlight poor tail set or nervous character. When assessing movement, you should expect an e ff ortless gait with a good length of stride—a short front reach indicates short upper arm. As with many pastoral breeds, as the breed increases in pace you will see convergence of the legs both com-

ing and going. One important thing to note is the breed naturally tends to gallop in preference to a trot and many will pace, so judges may need to show patience when getting them moving in the ring as they may not trot to demand! Th e double coat of the breed serves a big purpose: protecting from the extreme cold in its country of origin, a thick soft under- coat to insulate and the harsh longer outer coat to be weatherproof. Th e coat should not be so abundant that the outline of the dog cannot be seen. Soft, curly or wavy coats are incorrect. Th e color variation within the breed is one of the aspects that attracts many to the breed, but it is important that judges do not add inappropriate weighting when deciding their winners based on color or markings. Th e color of the breed is unimportant as long as the color is acceptable. Under FCI rules, a saddle, brindle or parti-color dog would be unacceptable and recently they added that dilute colours (i.e. blues) are undesir- able. For other color, all that is required is that there is a main color and other colors may appear on head, neck, chest, underside of the body, on legs and tail. As you can see, there is no emphasis on any color pattern and judges must avoid being biased towards highly-marked dogs, (i.e. large patterns on the face in preference to a darker dog that


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