VIEWING & EXAMINING THE BRIARD IN THE SHOW RING
BY DENISE SIMENAUER
J udging the Briard is a fun and rewarding experience. Some Briards (especially the juveniles) may be over-exuberant in the ring. Some love to get the crowd laughing and will act like clowns. The more you laugh, the more that they are clowns! Many are reserved and stoic and many enjoy showing off and catching the judge’s and crowd’s attention. All are loved by the Briard fancy! When you judge the Briard, we hope that you enjoy our breed and that you make the exhibitor enjoy showing to you. As a judge it is imperative that you know the way to exam- ine a Briard in the ring. While we all may understand judging a generic dog, a Briard has many features and hallmarks which need to be given special attention. If you are an exhibitor, it is good to know how the judge will proceed when examining your dog and what the judge is looking for. Now let’s get on to the judging. Once your class has been brought into the ring, back up to get a profile view of the exhib- its. While viewing the Briard in profile, you can get a good look of many qualities you may further wish to examine. First quickly look for dogs or bitches that may be undersize for which there is a disqualification. Then go on to proportion (In males the length of the body, measured from the point of the shoulder to the point of the buttock, is equal to or slightly more than his height at the withers. The female may be a little longer) . So basically you are looking for a square dog with the judge’s eye accommodating
for the dog’s additional hair in front of the point of shoulder and behind the point of buttock. You may then quickly look for length and position of neck (The neck is in the shape of a trun- cated cone, clearing the shoulders well. It is strongly muscled and has good length.) Take a look at the position of head (The head joins the neck in a right angle and is held proudly alert) . Please do note this does NOT mean that the neck is held at a 90 degree angle to the body. The Briard should not have a ewe neck. The neck is erect but the head to the neck juncture is where you will see the 90 degree angle. Quickly go on to look for length of head (The correct length of a good head, measured from the occiput to the tip of the nose, is about forty percent (40%) of the height of the dog at the withers) and topline (The Briard is constructed with a very slight incline, downward from the prominent withers to the back which is straight, to the broad loin and the croup which is slightly inclined. The croup is well muscled and slightly sloped to give a well-rounded finish. The topline is strong, never swayed nor roached.) Over the years, I have seen some judges that have done a wonderful job of examining the Briard in the show ring. On the other hand, there have been some times that I was concerned for the judge as well as the dog when the Briard was examined. Here are some tips that combine my experiences and thoughts along with the recommendations of the Briard Club of America Breed Education Committee.
250 • S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , O CTOBER 2019
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