Viewing & Examining The Briard in the Show Ring
BY DENISE SIMENAUER continued
Showing a six month old natural eared tawny.
Showing a mature natural eared dog.
standard. The standard is specific for the natural ear as well as the cropped ear. For all Briard’s ears– the ears should be attached high, have thick leather and be firm at the base. Low-set ears cause the head to appear to be too arched. For the natural eared Bri- ards– the length of the natural ear should be equal to or slightly less than one-half the length of the head, always straight and covered with long hair. The natural ear must not lie flat against the head and, when alert, the ears are lifted slightly, giving a square look to the top of the skull. For cropped eared Briards– the ears when cropped should be carried upright and parallel, emphasizing the parallel lines of the head; when alert, they should face forward, well open with long hair falling over the open- ing. The cropped ear should be long, broad at the base, tapering gradually to a rounded tip. After examining the dog’s head, you may then go on to check for disqualifying white on the chest: Disqualification–white spot on chest exceeding one inch in diameter. Turn your body so that you face the same direction as the dog is facing and place your right hand on the left side of the dog’s head as you lean forward to lift the coat on the dog’s chest. That means that you will be looking down
at the chest to see if a white spot is pres- ent. If a white spot is there, it should be no larger than the size of a quarter at the skin. Bear in mind that you are looking for white (as white as a white sheet of paper), not a light cream color which is permissible. While examining for the white spot, keep your hand on the head of the dog to make sure that the dog does not bring his head close to you. Do make sure the dog’s head is controlled by the handler. It is NOT rec- ommended that you use your right hand to control the dog’s head from the dog’s right side as that would necessitate you reaching your arm over the dog’s neck as well as con- trolling the head from the right side which would be hard to do without taking control of the beard as well as leaning on the dog’s neck. It is recommended that you follow good judging practice as directed by the AKC to avoid placing yourself at risk. Proceed with the examination as with any other breed. Remember to check for coat quality as you examine the body. To examine for length of tail, continue from your exam of the loin and croup, gen- tly place your hand at the base of the tail, then run it down to the bony tip of the tail,
verifying that it is uncut. Disqualification– tail non-existent or cut. You may then bring the tail over to the hock, taking care not to pull, stretch, or force the crook of the tail open to make your determination of length. One of the Hallmarks of the Briard are the dewclaws which ideally serve as addi- tional functioning toes. You must be able to confirm that there are two dewclaws on each rear leg and to look for the ideal. Dis- qualification–less than two dewclaws on each rear leg. When reaching down to check for dewclaws, do not use the dog’s hindquarters to support yourself, nor should you stoop down or kneel on the ground. To facilitate the examination of the dewclaws, place your hand at ground level at the inside of each rear foot and move it upward. Bear in mind that two dewclaws are required on each rear leg, placed low on the leg, giving a wide base to the foot. Flipping your fingers back and forth to feel for two nails is NOT a check of dewclaws. Remember that you are checking for two additional DIGITS, not two additional nails. Occasionally the nail may break off completely. The dog shall not be penalized for the missing nail so long as the digit itself is present. Also, you are looking
Incorrect Tail Carriage
Incorrect Tail-No Crochet
Incorrect Tail Carriage
252 • S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , O CTOBER 2019
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