JUDGING THE CHINESE SHAR-PEI
By Grace Fritz
A nyone familiar with Chinese Shar-Pei has undoubtedly noticed great improvements in a number of areas since the breed first appeared in the US approximately forty years ago. First accepted into the Miscellaneous Class in 1988, Chinese Shar-Pei took their spot in the Non-Sporting Group in 1992. In addition to significant improvements in temperament and overall health, conscientious breed- ers have worked to standardize the breed’s size, style, pigmentation and structure.
In the past, exhibitors often heard judges lament that the entries “looked so di ff erent from one another.” To be sure, there can still be quite a bit of variation in the appearance of dogs within a class, but today the di ff er- ences are more likely to be within the ranges found in other breeds – di ff erences in sub- stance, structure and movement. A previous article focused on breed-specific judging in regards to the entire standard. Th is article will focus on evaluating distinctive breed characteristics and will include tips to help judges be more successful interacting with Chinese Shar-Pei.
When a judge looks at our dogs in pro- file, several of the unique breed charac- teristics are on full display. Th e standard starts by describing the general appearance of a Shar-Pei as being “an alert, compact dog of medium size and substance; square in profile, close-coupled; the well-propor- tioned head slightly but not overly large for the body. Th e short, harsh coat, the loose skin covering the head and body, the small ears, the “hippopotamus” muzzle shape and the high set tail impart to the Shar- Pei a unique look peculiar to him alone. Th e loose skin and wrinkles covering the 4 )08 4 *()5 . "(";*/& + "/6"3: t
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