Showsight Presents The Briard

Viewing & Examining The Briard in the Show Ring

BY DENISE SIMENAUER continued

Showing a young puppy with cropped ears which have been glued to “train” the ears to stand.

Showing a cropped eared 17 month old black dog.

The Briard should be approached calmly with assurance and self-confidence on the part of the examiner. The Briard should stand his ground without cringing or menacing the examiner. All judges are expected to check for each of the Briard’s disqualifica- tions. If a Briard does not appear to meet the minimum height requirement for its sex, it is incumbent upon the judge to request a wicket and measure the dog: Disqualification–All dogs or bitches under the minimum size limits. I strongly recommended that the judge wear no jewelry nor ornamentation on the judge’s clothing that could possibly get tangled in the dog’s coat. Over the years, I have seen this happen plenty of times with the dog’s hair getting pulled out or many min- utes spent on detangling the jewelry from the dog’s hair. Neither are pleasant. Bearing in mind that the head is coated, approach from the front so that the dog can see you and be aware of your presence. With the amount of hair on the dog’s head, it is possible that the dog may not see you. I recommend greeting the exhibitor with a “Hello. How are you today” type of greeting. In that way you can be sure that the Briard knows of your presence. Then place one hand under the chin, taking care to not grab the beard. Head planes, proportions, and ear placement and qual- ity are confirmed during this portion of the exam. Brush the hair away from the eyes to check eye color, shape, placement, and

pigmentation. Disqualification–Yellow eyes or spotted eyes. You may then move on to ask the handler to show you the bite and then note the color of the nose. Disqualification–Nose any color other than black. Keep in mind that it is possible that an exhibit may have a dilute gene with a nose that is dark but not black. Sometimes those exhibits may have a lighter eye as well. The Briard nose MUST be black. Now let’s talk about the Briard’s ears. The Briard is not natu- rally born with erect ears. The erect ears that you may see on some Briards have been surgically cropped, and glued together for many months to get them to stand. The Briard is born with pendant ears and unless surgically altered and “trained”, the Briard’s ears will remain a pendant ear. Whether cropped or left natural, there is to be no preference or extra points given for a cropped ear or a natu- ral ear. Although some judges may be accustomed to seeing mostly cropped eared Briards in the U.S. in the past, that trend has been changing with many countries banning the cropping of dog’s ears and some owners, breeders and veterinarians preferring not to do unnecessary surgery on a dog. So today you will see Briard show dogs with both cropped ears and natural ears. As a judge, it is impor- tant to remember that there is NO PREFERENCE to be given to the cropped ear or the natural ear. The judge must acclimate his/ her eye to view the quality of the dog’s head whether with cropped or natural ears being of equal value as long as they follow the

“WHETHER CROPPED OR LEFT NATURAL, there is to be no preference or extra points given for a cropped ear or a natural ear.”

S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , O CTOBER 2019 • 251

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