Showsight Presents The Bloodhound

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them around the ring. Those folks don’t realize that a loose-lead breed like the Bloodhound does not look good going fast. SP: Bloodhounds are not an easy breed to show. Young dogs especially have a mind of their own and are often not sufficiently trained for the show ring. In order to fairly and objectively evaluate entries, it’s important to be able to clearly see down-and-back and side gait. Also, handlers often move their dogs too fast; Bloodhounds are not built for speed, but for endurance, and I prefer to see them gaited at an easy, relaxed trot—not racing around the ring like a sporting breed! JW: Advice especially for new Bloodhound judges and new Bloodhound handlers: 1) For reemphasis sake, the standard does NOT say, “the bigger the better”. It adds “provided character and quality are also combined”. Same applies to weight. 2) Although loose skin is one of the hallmarks of the breed, this is not a loose skin/wrinkle contest and keep in mind this is normally more prevalent on the dog than the bitch. 3) If an entry tends to insist

on dropping its head toward the ground it is exhibit- ing its instinct of being able to track and should not be penalized for doing so. Also, for new handlers it presents a better picture to the judge to see an exhibit with a lowered head than to see a handler going around the ring continually jerking on the lead in order to raise the head. 4) New judges: this is not the easiest breed to exhibit... be understanding. 4. Anything else you’d like to add? CM: This breed is a well-kept secret. They are not for every- body, but those of us who have let them into our hearts are immensely richer for it. JW: I want to commend the Bloodhound breeders for pre- serving the original purpose of the breed: tracking. This has remained instinctive with the breed over the years. Unfortunately, many breeds cannot claim this. 5. And, for a bit of humor: What’s the funniest thing you’ve ever experienced at a dog show? CM: Of course, it was the flying goober, about 8 inches long and thick like a slug, tumbling through the air and land- ing on the back of the unsuspecting judge’s “big hair”, then laying there to fascinate a ring full of exhibitors. We dared not look at each other! JW: Funniest as seen in the ring… several years ago I had an exhibitor (forgotten the breed) that was a true outdoors- man. He had pans and other items strapped to his Daniel Boone outfit. He made a lot of noise (clanking, etc.) when moving his dogs. Funny as it was, I was told afterwards this was the true outdoorsman. The audience certainly enjoyed it. “THIS BREED IS A WELL-KEPT SECRET. They Are noT for everyBody, BuT Those of us who hAve leT Them InTo our heArTs Are Immensely rIcher for IT.”

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