Showsight Presents The Parson Russell Terrier

Fig. 6: Proportions of Idea Grooming

Fig. 7: Overgroom and Long Beard

behind. Young Parsons are not used to being turned crosswise on the table, and it is a much more familiar sensation for them to simply be moved to the rear of the table. It is also easier for the exhibitor to manage this maneuver. When spanning, please know what the correct depth of chest is for your hands, as depth of chest is not always seen, but is easily felt. Someone with smaller hands is going to have thumbs and fingers that clearly do not meet, and someone with long fingers or large hands is going to have hands and fingers that overlap. So mind your gap! To give you an idea of what size of chest is correct you can use a regular DVD and wrap your fingers around it. If your fingers do not meet when wrapping them around the DVD, then look at the

size of the gap between your fingers and that is approximately the same gap that you should have when spanning a Parson with a correctly sized chest. For a person with large hands and or very long fingers, your fingers are likely to overlap around the DVD with no gap. Keep in mind that you cannot properly span a Parson with- out lifting the front feet o ff the exam table, as your hands need to fit under the dog’s front legs and feel the very smallest part of the chest. Th e second reason for spanning is flexibility. We want that chest to have some spring to it; if you span the chest, and feel absolutely no give or spring to it, then that is just as wrong for the breed as a chest that is very large. A dog with a larger yet very flexible chest can still do the work, but a dog with a rigid, hard, or incorrectly shaped chest—no matter what the diameter—cannot do the work well. (See figure 5.) Despite the wording in our standard, I still see Parsons that are excessively groomed. Most of the Parsons I see that are over groomed are not with breeder- owner handlers. If you look at a Parson and it completely reminds you of another Terrier breed, then the dog either has poor breed type, has been excessively groomed, or both. Th e legs should not be flu ff ed and sprayed, the coat should be in a truly natural appearance, harsh and showing no

evidence of scissoring or clipping. Sculpted furnishings are to be severely penalized (See figures 6 and 7.) Th ough there can still be some variation in breed type in Parsons, when you look at a Parson that has large round eyes (how- ever adorable that may be), heavy cheeks, or a very coarse and exaggerated head, then the breed type is wrong. Our breed will be greatly helped in achieving better consistency with educated judges that are knowledgeable in the correct breed type. As a breeder judge, I would much rather reward excellent breed type and adequate movement, than poor breed type and a large side gait. Correct movement for a Parson is to be ground covering and tire- less—any exaggerated movements either in the front or the rear take away e ffi ciency in covering many miles out in the field for a day of hunting. While I have touched on several specif- ics in detail, judges still need to know the breed standard and judge the whole dog— not just the parts and pieces of the dog. Be sure to reward the virtues of the dog and penalize those faults to the extent that they depart from the standard. Never judge a Parson on cuteness, as I am very sure that the word ‘cute’ cannot be found anywhere in our breed standard; besides, breeders will respect you more for rewarding cor- rect breed type than cuteness.

Fig. 5: Span DVD with Gap

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