Showsight Presents the Norwich Terrier

JUDGING THE NORWICH TERRIER: A BREEDER’S PERSPECTIVE

by JANE R. SCHUBART

From Illustrated Guide to the Standard of Norwich Terriers. The Norwich Club of America, © 2013. Used with permission.

M y perspective of judg- ing Norwich Terriers is that of a breeder. I’m not an AKC licensed judge. From inside the ring, my experi- ence is limited to judging two Norwich sweepstakes and a couple of matches. Just enough to appreciate how difficult judging can be. That said, from outside the ring I’ve spent hundreds of hours judging Norwich. Through the lens of a breeder, I view the purpose of dog shows as being to facilitate evaluation of future breeding stock. Whether inside or outside the ring, my approach is to evaluate the over- all dog first. I make my “first cut” on type. I’m looking for a hardy little hunt terrier who appears capable of dis- patching small vermin. He is fearless and never shy. Although the smallest of the terriers, Norwich should have

substance—never fine-boned or toyish. He is a sturdy dog in a small package and surprisingly heavy when lifted. First, I like to watch a Norwich moving. He should cover the ground efficiently. His neck should be of suf- ficient length and not stuffy, blending into well laid back shoulders to enable good reach. His height is achieved from depth of body, not length of leg. His body is short coupled, with good spring of ribs and just a little distance from the last rib to the tail. His should have short strong hocks and sufficient angulation to propel him forward with his topline remaining level. In keeping with his working origin, the Norwich tail is medium-docked and of sufficient length to grasp. It is set high at 12 o’clock. All the pieces should fit together to give a pleasing picture of a small sturdy, spir- ited dog who moves with confidence

and purpose. He should not appear long-cast or too stuffy. Heads are important for correct breed type. The wedge-shaped muzzle is strong and slightly tapering. The Norwich standard says a “slightly foxy expression”. That doesn’t mean a fox- shaped muzzle. Rather, it means that his expression is alert, keen and inter- ested. The skull is broad and slightly domed. His eyes are dark and a medium oval size. Round eyes look toyish and spoil the expression. His small prick ears should be set well apart and not too high on his head. He has a pro- nounced stop, and his muzzle is neither too long nor too short. The proportion of the head is approximately two-fifths muzzle and three-fifths back skull. The standard says, “Tight-lipped with large teeth. A scissor bite.” It is silent about missing teeth.

S how S ight M agazine , J une 2018 • 281

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