“A superb english toy spAniel in its full glory is something quite rAre And wonderful to behold. TRULY, NOTHING COMPARES.”
White markings appearing anywhere on whole-colored dogs exceeding a chest patch about the size of a quarter is described as an extremely serious fault in the Breed Standard. We do not have any breed disqualifications, but surely this wording must mean something important for the conformation ring. Mismarked dogs occur naturally when the whole colors are crossed with broken colors, at times a necessity for carefully managed breeding pro- grams in order to enhance and deepen all of our colors and markings, but they should not be shown and should never win points. From what I have observed in 28 years as a breeder/exhibitor, I think the percentage of quality has remained about the same. The breed goes through periods of highs and lows. I think the whole-color quality is low at this time. Our whole-color population is very small. It will take serious concentration to strengthen the whole-colors. As always, I think there are some very good dogs to be seen in each of the four colors and that knowledgeable judges do seem to recognize and appreci- ate them. A superb English Toy Spaniel in its full glory is something quite rare and wonderful to behold. Truly, nothing compares. JR: Most definitely. Structurally there has been significant improvement. 5. What do you think new judges misunderstand about the breed? FB: I believe that new judges do fine with this breed as long as they emphasize breed type and not soundness/best moving dog. That’s not the essence of this breed. RL: I think there are two main difficulties for new judges of the breed. Firstly, new judges, and even experienced judges, and group judges must remember that the breed is not typically an exuberant show dog by nature. The English Toy Spaniel that runs the fastest and with the most pep is seldom the best example in the ring. Do not be fooled by this! Always ask exhibitors to show their dogs at a jaunty, walking pace, but never while running. My mentors, many of whom are long gone from this life, instructed me long ago that the English Toy Spaniel is never to be shown running. A wagging tail is nice
to see, but do not insist upon this, as with the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. Exhibitors are often working with young, inexperienced dogs and allowances should be made for this, too. Secondly, I think it happens that judges overlook the ideal appearance of a well-balanced dog and focus on one excellent feature or one glaring fault, and so they miss the best dog. Of course, it is a head breed, but the rest of the dog must be considered as well. A lovely head on a terribly constructed dog is never desirable. The balance of all the features of the head must be considered. An exaggerated top-skull is nothing without the balance and fullness of the lower portion of the face. A bulbous skull is ugly and a buried nose is incorrect. A nice, round top skull does not miti- gate a face with drooping cheeks, light eyes, or lack of a nicely curved, broad under jaw. Look for the dog with the best balance of all its parts, with an easy, smooth and steady movement and with the most appealing face and head.
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