Showsight Presents The Papillon

THOUGHTS ON JUDGING PAPILLONS by CHARLOTTE CLEM MCGOWAN

W hat is it about Papillons that makes a really good example of the breed? First, judges need to view the breed as a “fancy” breed that is a sound breed. I use the word “fancy” to say that the Papillon has exaggerated type points. In Europe, the breed is called Epagneul Nain Continental , or Continental Toy Spaniel. Th ere are two varieties: Papillon (erect ear) and Phalene (drop ear) and in Europe they are shown as separate variet- ies. Th e exception is the UK where both varieties are shown together. Th is is also true in the US and Canada. Any sporting judge will immediately think of soundness as a necessary ingredient for a spaniel. Any toy judge will think of a toy as a fancy little companion with a delightful tempera- ment. Th e best judge will put both notions together when judging the Papillon. What are the fancy type points and how should they be prioritized? In this question is the art of judging the Papil- lon! Another good question is what points are most di ffi cult to breed and retain? As a breeder judge, I am always considering the question on the breeding side and judges may wish to consider this as well. Hardest to breed: on this list come perfect head and ears, proper coat and basic sound structure—fronts, rears and

toplines. Another constant breeding issue is length of leg. Short-legged Papillons can be genetically persistent. Th e correct outline can be illusive. Th e proper build, which is never coarse but dainty and ele- gant while not fragile or spindly can at times be di ffi cult to breed. Temperament must always be kept in mind. Papillons should be smart, friendly, happy gregari- ous dogs. Th ey should never snap, bite or slink around the ring with tails down. EARS Consider ears. Papillon ears are large whether the ear is erect or drop. Ear shape is broad at the base and very ROUND at the tips. Th en comes ear set. Th ink of the Monarch butterfly. Th ink of the wing set. Th at’s what we want. Th is breed is Papillon (butterfly) or Phalene (dropped wing night moth) and whether we are talking butterflies or moths, we are looking for the proper set of ears at 45 degrees o ff the skull. Now comes fringe. Breeders are fond of the double-fringed ear with fringe on the inside and outside of the ear. Clear red and whites tend to have less fringe than other colors. Th e ear size and fringing help create the butterfly look. However, given a choice between correct huge ears of the right set and shape that are lightly

fringed and a small pointed ear with tons of fringe, go for the huge ear with the correct set. Th e last thing we want: small pointed, fringeless ears. Low set ears are also unwanted. HEAD Now to head shape. Th e head, when correct, is a lovely thing to behold. Th e standard starts out clearly stating the head is small. Th is would be small in pro- portion to the size of the dog. Th e head is never coarse. Th e muzzle is ⅓ and the skull is ⅔ of the head length. Th e stop is well defined. Th e muzzle is finer than the skull and tapers gracefully. Eyes are set in low and are sparkling, nearly black and round. As a breeder, the most undesirable head is one with a long, coarse muzzle and a sliding stop. I find it amusing that this most awful fault in the head, the lack of stop, is referred to by some breeders as a “sheltie head!” As a judge, be aware of stop. Be aware of head proportion: ⅓ muzzle to ⅔ skull. Th e eyes are dark, round and set on line with the stop. Light eyes are ugly. Eye rim pigment is black. BODY & COAT Other fancy points should be on your radar screen. Tailset should be high, with

“THINK OF THE MONARCH BUTTERFLY. THINK OF THE WING SET. THAT’S WHAT WE WANT.”

174 • S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , M AY 2015

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