Showsight Presents The Papillon

JUDGING THE PAPILLON

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By Sharon Newcomb

he hallmark of the Papil- lon breed is, of course, the large, rounded, set at “forty-five degrees when alert”, ears that remind you of the wings of the

butterfly. Notice the instruction, forty-five degrees when alert. In repose, the ears may be lower. We are starting to see ears set too high on the head. Th ey should never be higher than forty-five degrees. Judges seem to be OK to use the higher ear sets but will ignore an otherwise nice dog if he dares to relax his ears below forty-five degrees. Sev- eral years ago the general consensus was that the ears couldn’t be too big. One of our most respected judges, Edd Bivin, said they can be too big and we didn’t agree. He was right. Recently I have rethought that as I have seen two dogs that have ears so large they almost look like cartoons.

“I have seen two dogs that have ears so large THEY ALMOST LOOK LIKE CARTOONS.”

to move. Th e standard calls for “free, quick, easy, graceful, not paddled-footed, or sti ff in hip movements.” Th is breed does not ask for a “well laid back shoulder”. Only laid back for freedom of movement. Th is is not a ‘reach and drive’ breed. Th e use of the word “quick” is not about the dog moving fast. Quick is used to tell you that the stroke of the foot stays on the ground a very short time. QUICK is the timing of the foot hitting the ground and leaving the ground. It makes for a shorter stride and almost moves on top of the ground like a bug skimming across the water. Th e standard says, “ Th e head is small, the muzzle is fine, abruptly thinner than

the head. Th e proportions of muzzle to back skull is ⅓ muzzle to ⅔ backskull.” We are seeing more and more dogs with big heads and thick long muzzles that lack the correct proportions. If you have a prop- er head and muzzle you really don’t even have to shave the whiskers. We have people literally shaving the whole head with a ten blade to try to reduce the size. We also have people shaving the hair on the front of the legs and the feet trying to reduce the size of the bone. Tails are another thing that is evidently not understood. Th e standard clearly calls for “well-arched over the back.” We have many dogs being shown with “snap” tails,

One of the questions that I am often asked is, “How much is too much bone?” Th e standard says, “fine boned” four times. It is not about too much bone, it is the shape of the bone. It says “hare footed”, which lets us know the shape of the bone. Bladed bone goes with hare footed. You never see round bone with a hare foot. So, if the foot is the right shape, then you have the lighter, fine bone. Th e lighter, fine-boned, hare-footed dog gives us a clue as to how the dog is going

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