Showsight Presents The Black and Tan Coonhound

JUDGING THE BLACK AND TAN COONHOUND

“OUR STANDARD CALLS FOR A ‘MUSCULAR, SLOPING, MEDIUM LENGTH’ NECK FLOWING INTO ‘POWERFULLY CONSTRUCTED SHOULDERS.’”

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This all paints a picture that’s pret- ty easy to understand and apply, right? Assuming the judge has a proper working knowledge of canine gait and structure, one would hope so. This brings us to the next, more elusive, portion of understand- ing the Black and Tan Coonhound: Type. Head and overall expression define breed type in many breeds, as does the body outline. Both of these are most help- ful in learning to identify the correct Black and Tan. The head is a unique feature of the B&T. And although it is immediately recognizable as a scenthound and apparent kin to both the Bloodhound and Basset, chiefly through the ears and ear set, there are key differences that make it unique. Starting with the ears, the B&T gives up nothing to either of the aforementioned breeds in this regard. Low set (at eye level or lower) well back on the head, hanging in graceful folds and naturally extending well past the tip of the nose. (Author’s italics.) Along with this, we want to see flews that are well developed with a typical hound appearance. So far, so good... Changing up the game a bit, we conversely do not want to see “excessive wrinkle,” and the skin should be “devoid of folds.” On top of that,

will not have the substance upon which muscle may form, attach, and develop to its optimal advantage. Secondly, we look at how the pieces form together to create a whole. Our standard calls for a “muscu- lar, sloping, medium length” neck flowing into “powerfully constructed shoulders.” “Forelegs are straight… pasterns strong and erect.” “Feet are compact, with well knuckled, strongly arched toes and thick, strong pads.” Moving on to the hind- quarters, we want “Quarters well boned and muscled. From hip to hock, long and sinewy, hock to pad, short and strong.” “Stifles and hocks are well bent… When standing on a level surface, the hind feet are set back from under the body and the leg from pad to hock is at right angles to the ground.” Putting all of these descrip- tive terms into play, we move on to address gait, which states: “When viewed from the side, the stride of the Black and Tan is easy and graceful, with plenty of reach in front and drive behind.” Descriptive terms used in evaluating movement coming and going include “effortless, soundness, converge, balance and stamina.” While doing all of this, the head and tail carriage is “proud and alert; the topline remains level.”

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“THE HEAD IS A UNIQUE FEATURE OF THE B&T...”

222 | SHOWSIGHT MAGAZINE, OCTOBER 2021

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