Showsight Presents The Bloodhound

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zI PAIne & jerry m. wATso n

“I Try noT To evAluATe eAch enTry In Terms of order of Preference of TrAITs (I.e. “fronT-end judge”, “reAr-end judge”, eTc.), BUT TO EVALUATE EACH ENTRY IN TOTAL.”

CM: Traits I look for: 1) picture of a typey, deep-bodied hound, combining strength and athleticism. 2) Move- ment that is balanced and true, without wasted energy. 3) A foot with short, well-knuckled toes and full padding beneath. 4) A moderately long neck that flows smoothly into well-laid-back shoulders. 5) A beautiful headpiece to top it all off. The ultimate hallmark of the breed, for me, is the soul that is evident in the eyes. This is like porn— hard to describe, but you’ll know it when you see it! SP: 1) Shape, bone and substance; overall type (i.e. does it have the overall look of a Bloodhound?) 2) Head: expres- sion, eye shape and depth, ear set, thin and loose skin, matching head planes and equal back skull and foreface length, etc. This is a head breed. 3) Correct elastic swing- ing and free movement; our breed should be built for endurance and the ability to travel long distances easily and without tiring. Length of body is important to this, as well as balanced moderate front and rear angles. 4) Details such as good, strong, tight feet, tail set and car- riage (not too curled over the back), length of neck, crest and smooth transition into shoulders, etc. 5) As much as can be determined in the ring, sweet and gentle tempera- ment with no sharpness, fearfulness or aggression toward humans or other dogs. All 5 of these traits are of equal importance. I’m looking for the dogs that most closely typify the standard and display correct soundness and temperament. JW: I try not to evaluate each entry in terms of order of preference of traits (i.e. “front-end judge”, “rear-end judge”, etc.), but to evaluate each entry in total. It should present a picture of (per standard) power and stand over more ground as compared to most other hound breeds. The skin is extremely loose resulting in wrinkles, especially noticeable on the head. All other factors being equal, the greater height is preferable if character and quality are also combined. The same is applicable for weights. Important and one of the hallmarks of the breed: wonderful temperament with humans and other dogs. A distinguished-looking head, narrow in proportion to its length with low-set ears. The feet very tight (not

splayed). The gait a combination of front end reach and rear drive.

2. How has the breed changed since you became involved with it? Do you see any trends you think are moving the breed in the wrong direction? Any traits becoming exaggerated? CM: Overall, the breed has become more standardized. Rarely now do we see a ring full of Bloodhounds that look like many different breeds (a Ridgeback here, then a Redbone, then…). Our breeders have come so far in that regard. I see much better shoulders in general, although some breeders still have a ways to go there. Rears were good for a while but I think we need to pay more atten- tion to all the wasted motion back there. Many fronts are too far forward on the dog. The one trend I don’t like is an increase in size: too heavy, too long, too tall. This is impressive in the show ring but contrary to what is needed in a working hound. SP: Rears and temperaments have improved. Correct fronts and bone/substance are being lost. We see more straight fronts without sufficient bone, prosternum and keel than we used to. Some of our hounds are getting very far removed from the correct size and substance on both ends of the spectrum. JW: The breed has improved in rear movement. When I started showing it was notable to see a Bloodhound that had true rear end movement rather than stiffness and being cow hocked. Although I have not judged a large entry lately, two or three years ago I was one of the judges at the National Specialty for Top 20 Competition and saw too many with splayed front feet. This is totally incorrect as no Bloodhound could endure hours of track- ing with splayed front feet and/or being down in the pasterns. 3. Is there anything Bloodhound handlers do you wish they would not? CM: I wish all handlers would move their hounds at an appropriate pace rather than trying to impress by racing

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