Showsight Presents The Pumi

Judging Updates on the Pumi

BY CHRIS LEVY continued

IN SUMMARY It’s been an interesting experience being the Judges Education Chair for a new breed. With inexperienced judges and inexperi- enced exhibitors, incorrect information and priorities abound. But it will get better as the judges see more and more Pumik being shown and get a feel for this great breed.

BRINDLE We have discovered that the Pumi also has a gene for brindle. This is considered a color pattern and is a disqualification. A brindle will have both black/gray and fawn coloring (see photo). TOPLINE The FCI standard does not address the topline specifically, and so the AKC stan- dard doesn’t either. The only reference is “Withers pronounced and forming the highest point of the body”, but in reality the back itself is level with a very slight curve at the loin, ending in a high tailset. When standing and especially moving, the with- ers should remain at a higher level than the backline. Many of the dogs being rewarded do not have high withers. The Pumi is groomed with a slope in the topline from the withers to the root of tail. That is the style that has been given us from Europe. The judge must feel the topline when going over the dog, finding the high withers and level backline, but expect the silhouette when viewing the outline from a distance to have a sloping topline (note the moving silhouettes above). TABLE VS RAMP Both judges and exhibitors have ques- tioned the club’s decision to have the Pumi judged on the table. At the time that deci- sion was made, the ramp was not really an option. In Europe, both the floor and the table are used at the judge’s discretion. The club decided to have the Pumi a table breed for two reasons, 1) the Puli, its first cousin,

is examined on the table, and 2) the Pumi is reserved with strangers and doesn’t like a stranger coming down at them for an examination, where they are just fine with strangers while on a table. At some point in the future, we may re-examine the option to have the breed on the ramp. COMMENTS FROM EXHIBITORS I asked Pumi exhibitors on Facebook what they would like to judges to know from their experience at showing in the regular classes since July 1, 2016. Below are some of their comments: • If judges would just learn the standard, I would be happy! • There are too many dogs with short legs. • Shades of gray or shades of fawn on a dog are acceptable. • The bite and sides of the mouth should be checked. • Emphasize proper coat preparation and correct gait. • A puppy’s coat is soft to touch. • A judge may think a Pumi is oversized but is actually is perfect height accord- ing to Standard. Please measure if in doubt! Be sure to go back and read the breed standard that applies to these comments. Some new exhibitors were concerned about the judge checking their standard in the ring, but they were assured that we would prefer the judges do this to make sure they’ve correctly remembered what’s in the standard.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Chris is the Judges Education Chair for the Hungarian Pumi Club of America in addition to being its Vice President. She’s had Pumik for 20 years, importing a number of dogs from Hungary and the Scandinavian countries. She and her husband, Tom, have accumulated 6 World Winner titles, 2 European Winner titles, BOS at the Hungarian Pumi Klub Show with a homebred, FCI Working Certificate (Herding), and AKC herding titles, in addition to nose work and obedience. Since the breed was recognized July 2016, there have been 25 AKC champion Pumik bred and/or owned by them, including the Best of Breed winner at the first AKC National Specialty. Chris judges the Terrier and Non-Sporting Groups and about half the Sporting Group. She was the first adjunct judge for the Pumi.

S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , O CTOBER 2019 • 285

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