Showsight Presents The Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen

‘Tousled!’ Group of males

and well developed. The ears are of medium length and should only come to the end of the nose when measured. It should be noted that the ears may at first appear correct on a dog with a too long foreface but are in fact also too long. The eyes are large, oval shaped, dark showing no white or haw—this gives for a lovely soft and warm expres- sion. This is a feature that is being lost with a preponderance of small, Terrier type eyes. We have already mentioned the structure and proportions of the breed. Two areas are worth further clarifi- cation. The PBGV’s front is relatively straight with just a small amount of crook and the feet do not turn out. The front angulation should be matched by the rear. The PBGV does not have a ‘wrap around’ front like a Basset or a Dachshund. This accounts for its easy free movement. Secondly the topline is level with muscling over the loin and very little tuck up. The tail is a feature of the breed and the make and shape is as important as in a Labrador or Pointer. It is of medium length (should just reach the hock joint but not beyond). It is thick at the base and then tapers regularly. It is carried proudly like the blade of a saber. The coat of the PBGV is a vital fea- ture—after all it is mentioned in the breed’s name—‘Griffon’. He is double coated with a harsh outer jacket. Some degree of tidying up is permitted but not so much as to detract from the breeds ‘tousled’ and casual appearance. If the PBGV was out hunting he would self trim in the undergrowth but would still look like a PBGV. If he looks like

the many years of showing. I do hope and think many judges are continuing to educate themselves on the breeds they judge and take the time to learn the changes in the standard. When I first started in the breed most PBGVs were owner handled but that has changed and many are professionally handled now. I will say it is very hard depending on your location to even find points in PBGVs in order to finish them and then you have to compete against professional handlers, who definitely show their dogs better than us aver- age owner handlers. It can get very dis- couraging at times when you know you have a good dog but can’t seem to beat the professional for the points. I truly appreciate the judges who have the knowledge and look past the possible mistakes we make in showing our dogs. We don’t always get a perfect stack but they should still be able to recognize a good dog. The dog should not have to be a perfect cookie cutter who is never able to move a leg while standing or have a hair out of place. They are a hap- py hound and not always agreeable to what we want them to do and I appreci- ate that personality trait. What I feel is vitally important in judging the PBGV that seems to be over- looked as of late is proper movement. A PBGV should have good reach and drive but the handler should not have to run with the dog like it is a sporting breed in order to show movement. Both ends should be equal when moving and fluid. Free and easy movement should be shown at a normal pace and not look like they are racing around the ring. The movement of a PBGV should be more

some other breed in the show ring (and we see many looks!) then the trimming is out of order. It should be noted that there is no preferred color for a PBGV, dark or light. However there should be some visible white, bi colors like black and tan are not favored. Finally how should our little hunting hound move? The standard says ‘free at all speeds’. He is agile with good reach, front legs straight and the rear legs driving and parallel. Above all his gait should be efficient—many PBGVS are rewarded in the show ring for incorrect ‘busy’ movement that looks flashy but would tire a dog out working. Please enjoy judging our happy breed. If they sense you do this they will turn on the charm! SUSANNAH COOPER ON OWNER/HANDLING & JUDGING I was asked to write an article of what I feel judges should focus on when judging PBGV’s and what they are doing right and what I feel might need work. I will do my best as an owner handler to express what I feel and what I have heard from other exhibitors. I have been showing PBGVs since 1998 and over the years the breed and standard has changed and I do feel for the better. When I started showing the PBGV was longer than tall, lower to the ground and heavier. Now I feel they have become more able to do the job they were bred for as they are to be slightly longer than tall and are getting more leg under them. When it comes to judging PBGVs I have experienced good and bad over

288 • S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , D ECEMBER 2017

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