Showsight Presents the Schipperke

age in the Veteran dog (7 years) is permissible, but should be faulted in younger specimens. Th e coat should be abundant and straight. Coats may take on a reddish cast during the shedding period, which usually occurs twice a year (spring and fall) or in many breeders’ experiences—about two weeks after they’ve been entered in a show! Pattern can still be seen even when the dog is out of coat. Silky coats, body coats over 3" or very short harsh coats are equally incorrect! Trimming of the Schipperke’s coat is not allowed! In recent years, there has been a fashion of trimming the underline of the dog (sometimes done to “neaten the underline” and sometimes done to create the illusion of longer leg on a short- legged dog), trimming or stripping out the coat on the rear to “create” a sloping topline and/or the illusion of a square dog out of a dog that is long in body, and stripping or trimming away the culottes. If a Schipperke adult is walking away from the judge and the coat appears to be grey, the judge may want to check to see if that coat has been trimmed. Th e outer coat or guard hair should always cover the undercoat—one would have to lift the guard hairs to see this undercoat. In a letter recently sent to all AKC Judges via the Standard it states, “ Th e Board of Directors of the Schipperke Club of Amer- ica is concerned by the current trend or ‘fashion’ toward trimming and/or stripping being seen in the show ring. Our standard’s section titled TRIMMING states: ‘As the Schipperke is a natural breed, only trimming of the whiskers and the hair between the pads of the feet is optional. ANY OTHER TRIMMING MUST NOT BE DONE.’ Th e Schipperke coat pattern and texture are intrinsic characteristics of our breed. Trim- ming and/or stripping will alter both. A cor- rect, quality coat should be bred, not ‘styled,’ in hopes of achieving the win. It is essential that the breed standard, in its entirety, be adhered to when judging the Schipperke.” Th ere is a misunderstanding among some judges and those who are wanting to apply to judge Schips as to what a “flu ff ” is. Th ere are some photos published on the SCA Website in our JEC presentation that are very helpful in illustrating this. A Note about the Tail While it is understood judges have a choice, the Schipperke Club of America

prefers that a Schipperke with a tail to be considered a serious deviation from the standard and prioritize and penalize it accordingly. Th e standard says, “ Th e Schipperke is an agile, active watchdog and hunter of vermin. In appearance he is a small, thickset, cobby, black, tailless dog, with a fox-like face. Th e croup is broad and well-rounded with a tail that is docked. No tail is visually discernible.” Any deviation from the ideal described in the standard should be penalized to the extent of the deviation. Th e docked tail is an essential breed characteristic. Head & Eyes When considering the Schipperke head and expression, the expression is question- ing, mischievous, impudent and alert, but never mean or wild. Th e well-proportioned head, accompanied by the correct eyes and ears will give the dog the proper Schipperke expression. Th e skull is of medium width, narrowing toward the muzzle. Seen in profile with the ears laid back, the skull is slightly rounded. Th e upper jaw is moder- ately filled in under the eyes, so that, when viewed from above, the head forms a wedge, tapering smoothly from the back of the skull to the tip of the nose. Th e stop is definite but not prominent. Th e length of the muzzle is slightly less than the length of the skull. Th e skull is slightly rounded when viewed from the side. Th e ideal eyes are small, oval rather than round, dark brown, and placed for- ward on the head. Th e eyes should never be prominent or bulging, but will sometimes take on a more rounded appearance when the Schipperke is excited or nervous. Th e ears are small, triangular, placed high on the head, and, when at attention, very erect. Th e following are less than ideal: Th e ear itself should not tip backwards or forward, the tips should not point inward or outward, belled ears, or long and thin ears. Th e bite must be scissors or level. Both the scissor or level bite are EQUALY acceptable! Any deviation is to be severely penalized. Body & Movement In evaluating the Schipperke’s structure when viewed from the front, the elbows remain close to the body. Th e legs form a straight line from the shoulders through the elbows to the toes, with the feet point- ing straight ahead. From the rear, the legs

should form a straight line from the hip to the hocks to the pads, with the feet point- ing straight ahead. Th e key to the rest of the dog and the overall appearance of the Schipperke is balance! Th e standard calls for the front to be placed well underneath the dog, the shoulders to be well laid back and a slight bend to the pasterns when viewed from the side. Th e rear should APPEAR slightly lighter than the front but is well muscled and in balance with the front. Extreme rear angulation to be penalized. Suggested height is 11-13 inches for dogs and 10-12 inches for bitches. Quality always takes precedence over size! Faults common to all breeds are just as undesirable in the Schip- perke, even though they are not mentioned in the standard! Proper Schipperke movement is a smooth, well-coordinated and graceful trot (basically double tracking at a mod- erate speed), with a tendency to gradu- ally converge toward the center of balance beneath the dog as speed increases. When viewed from the side, the front and rear must be in perfect balance with good reach in front and drive in the rear. With good reach in the front, the leg should extend to the front of the nose. When driving from the rear you should see the pad of the rear foot. In motion, the Schipperke’s topline remains level or slightly sloping downward from the shoulders to the rump. Structural faults with toplines will usually be revealed when the dog is moving. Th e Schipperke should “hold the silhouette” while gaiting. When judging the Schipperke, the down and back is just as important, if not more important than side gait since double tracking is such an important requirement in the breed standard. Do not necessarily reward speed—a Schip with correct reach and drive has it at a nice, easy trot. It is best to allow the handler to move his dog at the speed that is best for that particular dog. Disqualifications Our breed standard only has two dis- qualifications: Drop ear or ears, and any color other than a natural black. Schipperkes excel in many venues, whether it be obedience, agility, rally, tracking, search and rescue, therapy work. Th ey truly are very versatile little dogs! S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , F EBRUARY 2014 • 211

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