A t a conformation show, we often encounter a dissimilarity of breed type among the entries. Some are small, with heavy bones. Some are large, with fi ne bones. Several are long in body with too much angulation in the rear. Others are short in body with no angula- tion in the front or the rear. Along with these variations in body type come the erosion of the breed’s icon, its head. For many exhibits, dog and bitch head type are incorrect. Th eir heads are narrow in the topskull and the muzzle. A few are too long in the muzzle and possess a shallowness in the under-jaw. We also observe the hyper-type of the Masti ff , and others have no type. Th e distinction of the Rottweiler head has eroded. It is alarming. I discussed the status of head type with another Rottweiler breeder and asked, “Where on the hierarchy of importance do you place head type?” “Head type is not important to me,” she said. “It’s the whole picture that matters. Besides, a head could easily be attained in one or two generations, so why bother?” she added. I was taken aback and realized she con fi rmed her opinion. None of her dogs had correct head type. If asked, judges, breeders, owners, and spectators should have a consensus and equally describe the Rottweiler head with answers founded on the blue- print, the design of the Standard. For many, its description is not universal. Correct head type is uncertain and con fl icting opinions and notions about its architecture abound. It is a signi fi cant problem. How did this occur? Sadly, the geometry of Rottweiler head type is in fl uenced not by the metrics of the Standard, but what is observed in the show-ring, photographs in peri- odicals, Facebook or what an exhibitor owns. Th ese references are misleading. Th e show-ring and other sources can be trendy and unreliable as a marker for what is correct. When a dog or bitch entering the ring that has model head type, spectators, breeders, and judges may not know how to react, they may question if what they see is acceptable or “Out of Standard.” In the eyes of many, incorrect has become correct. Proper Rottweiler head type is rare, and few possess it. Occasionally, it is present in a dog or bitch entered in a show. Once seen, it is inspiring and unforgettable.
BY STEVE WOLFSON
SHOWSIGHT MAGAZINE, MAY 2020 | 185
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