Showsight Presents the Tibetan Spaniel

Q&A

1. Where do you live? What do you do outside of dogs? We live in San Antonio, TX. I am USAF Retired. I dabble in photography and enjoy travel. 2. Number of years owning, showing and/or judging dogs? All my life. Murrel and I began showing and breeding as a team in 1965, I’ve been a Judge for 38 years. 3. Describe your breed in three words: Smooth Fox Terriers: intelligent, clean and devoted. 4. What traits, if any, are becoming exaggerated? For Tibetan Spaniels, body length. “Slightly longer than tall” is becoming longer than tall in too many cases. Over grooming—mainly by handlers, not breeders. 5. What are your “must have” traits in this breed? What shortcomings are you willing to forgive? Head traits and expression are high on the list, as is condition, coat, topline, tail carriage, gait and temperament. When you ask about shortcomings, you must be aware that judging dogs is a study in compromise. You must forgive in nearly every class. What you forgive is dependent upon the exhibits present. 6. While judging, do you see any trends you’d like to see continued or stopped? Trends to continue: breeders trying to improve with every litter. Also, having fun. To stop: People who call themselves handlers try- ing to talk unprepared owners into paying them to show dogs that should be home on the couch. 7. What, if any, are the traits breeders should focus on preserving? Having been there, I am sure that breeders worry about many things. Head, eyes, ears, structure, body length, topline, tail carriage, coat and tem- perament need to be high on the list. Come to think of it, what’s not to worry about when you are breeding dogs? 8. Has the breed improved from when you started judging? Not all, but as a general rule I believe coats are improved. It may be that breeders are paying more attention, as well as exhibitors conditioning better. 9. Are there aspects of the breed not in the standard that you nonetheless take into consideration because breeders consider them important? No. 10. Can Judges Education on this breed be improved? I have been very active in Judges Education for more than 30 years, locally and nationally, and have very strong views on the subject. National clubs must put responsible people on their Judges

Education Committees and not just members who like to see their name on the letterhead. Until all clubs do this, we will have hit and miss educational programs. LINDA FOILES 1. Where do you live? What do you do outside of dogs? I live in a rural community outside Washington, DC in Northern Virginia. Outside of dogs I have spent the last 37 years teaching elementary school grades pre-K through 1 and the last 13 years as a reading specialist for K-5. I recently retired. 2. Number of years owning, showing and/or judging dogs? My family began showing dogs when I was 9 years old and settled on Great Pyrenees as their breed after a year or so. When I was 13 years old, I purchased my first Sheltie and that began my personal love affair with the show ring and purebred dogs. I became involved with Tibbies before they were recognized by AKC through a Sheltie friend. She imported a parti color dog from England and I never looked back. My foundation bitch was a daughter of his that I bought about a year or so later. I enjoy many breeds of dogs and have raised and shown successfully, Silky Terriers and currently, Papillons as well. I began judging in, I believe, 1989 and presently judge 5 breeds—Tib- bies being one of them. I have judged the TSCA National Specialty two times plus judged the breed in Australia and in May 2016 I have the honor of judging the breed in Scotland. 3. Describe your breed in three words: Moderate, loving and independent! 4. What traits, if any, are becoming exaggerated? Large head size, wrinkle and body length. 5. What are your “must have” traits in this breed? What shortcomings are you willing to forgive? Must have traits: head appears small for the body, substance and bone. Free from wrinkle; coat that does not obscure the outline. If I need to, I can forgive longer in body. This plagues this breed. I can also forgive a taller dog if body proportions are correct with beautiful type and head qualities. 6. While judging, do you see any trends you’d like to see continued or stopped? In some areas the breed is losing bone and sub- stance. They are not a toy-like breed. They must also have a strong sternum—something we are not always seeing as well. Toplines need to be dead level with no tail being draped to the shoulder blades. The tail should lay on the back or drape to the side. You should see topline when viewed from the side.

296 • S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , A UGUST 2015

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