Showsight Presents The Russell Terrier

AP: Russells are sturdy, with sufficient bone and muscle (not overdone, yet not weak); hocks are upright, close to the ground; tail set (up there); shoulder and hindquarter body widths the same; strong, not long neck; and, its flat skull has a prominent stop with a muzzle shorter than back skull. MU: This is a sturdy, bold, fearless, alert, confident working Terrier. 7. Are there any traits in this breed you fear are becoming exaggerated? CC: The size and shape of the chest, not oval and below the elbow, unspannable and coarseness of bone. GD: I don’t know that “exaggerated” is quite the right word to describe what some breeders and judges fear about the breed today. First of all, there is a disconnect between what the standard requires and what we often see in the ring. Whereas puppies generally meet the “50%” criteria (depth of body equal to distance from elbow to ground), once the dog “bodies up” we see depth of chest drop to below the elbow. When we add this factor to a tendency for shorter leg length, the correct outline is lost. Cer- tainly the battle with Mother Nature to hold onto longer length of leg is a common one in many breeds today. AH: Not a tall dog and unfortunately I’m seeing some Parson-type leg length. I don’t like that. The heads have pretty much maintained the fullness and fill required, but every now and then I get a snippy head and lack of underjaw. You have to cut the girls some slack. AP: Not really, but depending on one’s opinion—and in my opinion—coat sculpturing has not been excessive, as I had anticipated it would be. MU: Yes. The majority of Russells being shown today need to exhibit the measurements previously described. When these measurements are lost or overlooked, the Russell Terrier silhouette is too low to the ground and too short on leg. Thus, the horizontally rectangular silhouette is gone. 8. Do you think the dogs you see in this breed are better now than they were when you first started judging? Why or why not? CC: While there are now more exhibits in the ring, the quality is inconsistent compared to when I first started judging this breed. GD: When I first started judging, this was not a recognized breed. If you mean to ask if I think they are better since first allowed to complete in 2010, I do feel a greater effort is being made to meet the standard with regard to body depth and leg length. The same holds true with the effort to produce a darker eye. AH: The first big winning dog that I saw was the male that Allison Sunderman showed. He was such a fine

GD: The Russell Terrier is longer that tall. If it is slightly longer than tall measuring from withers to root of tail, then it follows that when the front assembly with its dis- cernible sternum and amount of dog beyond the tail are added to the equation, we see a well-defined rectangular dog. Of prime importance is that the chest be no more or less than 50% of the height. AH: I literally hate the word “slightly”—what that means to me could be one thing, and to you something else. This is sort of a rectangle shaped breed. They are longer than tall (definitely NOT Dachshund proportions), without having any dwarfishness or crooked legs. They give a picture of a smooth outline—tail up, head to match and jaunty, cock-of-the-walk attitude. The chest to the ground and back up to the level topline is equal and 50/50. Again, we’re talking a pleasingly balanced dog. AP: Their profile is rectangular, but only slightly so. It’s certainly not square, but it’s only slightly longer than tall, allowing it to be compact. The distances from the withers to the elbow and the elbow to the ground should be identical. The brisket should not fall below the elbow, which too frequently is not the case. MU: The Russell is longer than tall. This measurement is from the point of shoulder to the point of buttock. Do remember there is a sternum in front of the shoulder paint. Vertically the measurement is from the withers to the ground. This measurement must be 50-50. In this breed the brisket (depth of body) should be the same as the foreleg from elbow to ground. These measurements are critical. 6. Describe the general build of the Russell Terrier. CC: Lightly built, yet balanced with smooth muscle transi- tions, able to traverse narrow tunnels underground. GD: Small, sturdy, athletic, workmanlike, lithe. AH: This breed is of a length to allow for expansion in the loins so that he may get the job done. He is not so long as to be all body, but a pleasing leg length to length of rib and loin. They are a sturdy breed—rather a surprising heft when you pick up an adult, but they also offer grace and stylishness. Strong and medium bones provide the propulsion required to work. “This is a sTurdy, bold, fearless, alerT, confidenT WORKING TERRIER.”

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