ShowSight Presents The Bearded Collie

melting expression—it should never be severe. Although judges are better today understanding that all four colors are acceptable. I still see some who only put up certain colors, which is not correct. 6. Is there anything else you’d like to share about the breed? CA: I have seen judges excuse tri-color dogs (tan points like Dobes or Rotties) thinking the brown, which has faded to cream up the back legs is dirty or white instead of correct. Expression has to be soft and eye color should match the darkness of the coat. You rarely see really dark eyes in Beardies. A judge must think rectangles when judging the Beardie, there is nothing that is square about this breed. IC: Having recently judged over 100 Beardies in Seattle, Washington, I was thrilled with the quality overall. I believe our younger generation of breeders is doing a good job and this will hopefully ensure for some time to come that the Bearded Collie remains a wonderful free- spirited canine that is a devoted family member. LR: Because of their joy for life, Bearded Collies are always fun to judge. A judge has to be aware that there can be a lot of jumping for joy before they settle down and gait. For me, without that zest for life, it’s not a Beardie. LS: Bearded Collies are a wonderful happy breed—a joy to live with and they just want to please. 7. And, for a bit of humor: what’s the funniest thing you’ve ever experienced at a dog show? CA: A new judge (and former handler) asked me, his stew- ard, to hand out 3x5 index cards to all the handlers in the ring (and there were many as it was a Boxer ring) giving directions how to do a triangle, in pictures. Everyone had a good laugh as this was his first assignment. IC: Many years ago, I was traveling overnight with friends to a show in Manchester, England and had a young male puppy sleeping on the seat beside me. In the early hours I awoke to a very damp seat and pants. Needless to say, I was wearing my show clothes. We stopped at a service station where my female friend offered me the only available change of clothing she possessed—bright pink jogging pants! I went to the washroom to change and the look on the faces of the truck drivers as I stood and washed out my show pants, was a sight to behold. The worst part was that we arrived at the show late and I had to show this male puppy in the first class of the day, thus I had to show in the pink pants! To my horror the dog won its class and the judge, on handing me the red first prize card said, “Sorry, the card doesn’t quite match your pants sir!”


at the National a few years back and it was filled with quality.

LS: Yes—there is more consistency of breed type today and fronts have improved in some lines, but I still see far too many steep shoulders and short upper forearms. 5. What do you think new judges misunderstand about the breed? CA: Length of the dogs. They are the longest of the dogs in the Herding Group (not taking short-legged dogs into consideration). Judges should be putting up longer dogs than squarer dogs if in doubt. IC: Beardies were originally herding and droving dogs that needed to be hardy, strong and agile and able to work effortlessly all day. One really needs to watch a Beardie herding sheep to truly appreciate the breed. Judges, old and new, are typically swayed by coat. A recent experi- ence where I was ring stewarding showed me that. I had judged all the dogs that were being shown that day so I knew the exhibits well; the judge commented to me that BOB went to the dog with the best coat—the worst dog in the ring on that day! Beardies also do not need to be run at the speed of light, we need judges to understand that fastest dog is not necessarily the best—speed kills! LR: With any long-coated breed, I think a new judge can be distracted by the coat. It is important to have a balanced dog. Plus the Beardie body is longer than it is high, so watching for the proper proportion is important. LS: Judges need to understand that the Bearded Collie is a long breed. The length of the back, according to the Breed Standard, is from the ribcage with a short loin. Judges should also reward dogs that are light and supple in movement covering ground—not stilted and choppy due to steep shoulders and croups. They should never appear square! The Bearded Collie has a soft,

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