ShowSight Presents The Bearded Collie

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and articles on dog-related subjects, including Dog Show Judging: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, Successful Dog Breeding and The Atlas of Dog Breeds of the World . Her awards include Dog Writer Association of America (DWAA) Maxwell, DWAA Hall of Fame, DWAA Best Book, Book of the Month club selection, National League of American Pen Wom- en Best Non-fiction book and a top reference book choice from the National Library Association and 1996 Fido Woman of the Year. She is a Past President of DWAA and has served as officer and on the board of the Bearded Collie Club of Ameri- ca, as well as several dog clubs. Her motto is, “If I can save just one dog, my life will be worthwhile.” 1. What five traits do you look for, in order, when judging Beardies? What do you consider the ulti- mate hallmark of the breed? CA: Form and function. Can they do the job they are sup- posed to do? Structure that conforms to the breed stan- dard. Adherence to the breed standard. Temperament. Natural state of presentation. NB: Expression, balance, free, powerful movement, correct coat and level topline blending into low set tail with a upward swirl at end. IC: When judging I always look at the whole dog, never judg- ing parts or preferences, and I always look at the positive aspects of the dog as opposed to any faults. Temperament is a priority; I look for a stable and self-confident Beardie with no shyness or aggression. A Bearded Collie must be able to move freely and easily on a loose leash; movement must come from good front and rear angulation. The dog should give the impression of simply floating around the ring. The dog should be long and lean, 5:4 ratio, with the length of back coming from the rib cage and not the loin. The head is a distinctive feature of the breed; it should be in proportion to the body, and equal in length from muzzle to stop and stop to occiput. Eye color must tone with the coat giving the dog that soft melting and enquiring expression. It is a medium sized dog; indeed the word “medium” appears throughout our standard. It should have a double coat, but it is the quality of the coat that is more important than the quantity. It is a naturally presented breed! Ultimately, I am looking for a well- constructed Bearded Collie that moves freely with the expression that melts your heart when looking into those beautiful eyes. We have a first class Illustrated Standard; on page 6 is the perfect Bearded Collie. If you have just one of those in your ring, you should be extremely happy. PH: The 4 most critical pieces of breed type in all breeds are: 1) Their ability to do the job for which they were created. 2) Identifiable by their head alone. 3) Identifiable by their silhouette alone. 4) Proper temperament and character of the breed. So all of my judging starts with those 4 pieces of breed type. I think the two most critical hallmarks of Beardies are their temperament and their silhouette as they are different than any other Herding breed.

RH: 1) The correct silhouette, a long, lean body, a strongly- made body. 2) Free, supple, powerful movement. 3) The correct temperament, stable, self confident, showing no signs of aggression. 4) Head in proportion to the body with a broad skull, moderate stop, strong full muzzle and large, soft, affectionate expressive eyes. 5) Double coat with a harsh, flat outer coat and a soft furry undercoat free from wooziness and curl that falls naturally. MME: The proper 1) outline made up with smooth curves and correct proportions. The hallmark of the breed for me is the soft sweet 2) expression found in those soulful eyes. When I gaze into a Beardie’s face I want to see the depth of their soul in those dark eyes. My ideal would have 3) easy, flowing movement. Next, 4) good rib spring that houses the organs correctly with a 5) level topline. CN: I have never been asked to put in order the five traits that l look for when judging a Bearded Collie. In no particular order as l consider them all equally important. Head and expression, shoulder and upper arm angula- tion, ribcage, hind angulation and movement and overall balance. The Bearded Collie movement is really one of the most beautiful things about this breed, a correctly constructed Bearded Collie on the move is something to behold, with long supple strides covering the maximum amount of ground with the minimum of effort. LS: 1) Moving, they should be light and effortless when moving, barely lifting their feet off the ground with no wasted motion. 2) They must have a soft melting expres- sion. 3) They must have a long back and their length is through the rib cage with a short loin, NEVER appearing square. 4) They must have good shoulder layback with a long upper forearm and good bend of stifle to cover ground effortlessly. The ultimate hallmark of the breed is their beautiful, soft expression. CW: Hallmark: Long, lean shaggy dog, though most are more glamorous than shaggy now. HAPPY! Movement, with good reach and drive and stamina. Broad skull, strong muzzle equal in length to skull. Strong level back. 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? CA: I strongly believe we have a standard for a reason. I do not believe in ignoring the standard to suit what we are breeding. If you can’t breed to the standard, then get another breed. There are no perfect dogs/bitches— know what you have and then try to improve on that, we should not breed down, but up for quality. The breed has changed dramatically into long coats trailing on the ground. There is supposed to be daylight under the coat. This is one exaggeration. Grooming has gotten out of hand. The Beardie is supposed to be a natural dog and presented as such. Teasing, straight parts down the back, too much flash (white) where there is not supposed to be white and shorter muzzles are becoming more prevalent.

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