Showsight Presents The Black and Tan Coonhound

JUDGING THE

BLACK AND TAN COONHOUND BY ROBERT URBAN

“T heBlackandTanCoon- hound is first and fun- damentally a working dog; a trail and tree hound, capable of withstanding the rigors of winter, the heat of summer, and the dif- ficult terrain over which he is called upon to work.” Thus spoken by the founders of our breed nearly 70 years ago, when our standard was first written and the breed entered into the AKC. As a member of our Judges Education Committee, I stress the first paragraph of our standard from which this sentence is taken—unchanged since 1945—as the foundation upon which the evaluation of the breed should be based on. The old adage of “No Foot, No Horse” has a ring of truth to it here as well, although it is important to recognize that all things are connected and interde- pendent, from the foot to the hip as well as the shoulder blade. The Black and Tan standard refers to gait and soundness on three different occasions and has its own separate sec- tion dedicated to gait. Our breed found- ers recognized the importance this played in both the formation and preservation of the breed, and placed the appropriate value and emphasis on it. Again, quot- ing from paragraph one of our standard: “He immediately impresses one with his ability to cover the ground with powerful rhythmic strides.” Once we have estab- lished the importance that gait, struc- ture, and stamina play in the formation of the ideal Black and Tan, how do we go about selecting those qualities that tend to support those all-important charac- teristics within the somewhat limiting parameters of the show ring? Firstly, we must look at overall condition and bal- ance. The hound should appear fit and in proper condition to do the job for which it was created. Substance is directly con- nected to this, as a hound not carrying the proper degree and quality of bone

Correct Low Reach and Drive

SHOWSIGHT MAGAZINE, OCTOBER 2021 | 221

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