Shih Tzu Breed Magazine - Showsight

BACKLINE: Also called the top line, from the neck to the base of tail, including withers, back, loin and croup. The Standard states that the body is very compact, a little longer, with a level top line and with the height at the shoulders the same as the rump. It also emphasizes that a well-balanced outline is very important and is obtained by having the ideal length of neck; the ideal length of a straight level top line as well as the ideal length of leg. This overall harmonious effect, where every part fits properly, give one the desired well bal- anced SHIH TZU. The Standard does not describe the Shih Tzu as being a square dog with body height and body length of equal proportions. Additionally, it is equally obvious that a Shih Tzu with no neck, short legs, and too short a back can never achieve the balance required by the standard. 3. TYPE: A distinguishing symbolic mark that sets apart one dog from another. The Shih Tzu Chrysanthemum head, proud bearing and distinctively arrogant carriage. 4. SOUNDNESS: From the Shih Tzu Standard I quote: "The Shih Tzu must be subject to the same requirements of soundness and structure prescribed for all breeds, and penalized to the extent of the deviation." 5. SHOWMANSHIP: A well trained Shih Tzu that is in sync with the handler, is a sight to see. I like a dog that by actions says “Look at me I am here” 2. How important is grooming? Do you feel that the top knot gone too far? Firstly, grooming is very important, a Shih Tzu should be presented spotless clean. With the use of too much coat dressing you cannot feel the texture. Secondly, the topknot should be in proportion to the size of the head. When they are overdone and you look across the ring for balance. The entire balance of the dog is not in balance because the overdone topknot changes the entire picture of the dog. 3. What head characteristics are most important to breed type? The head is broad, wide between the eyes in balance with the dogs overall size. Eyes are large, round and not almond shaped. Placed well apart with a warm, sweet, wide-eye, friendly and trusting expression. The head is set on a sufficient length of neck to have a natural high head carriage. 4. Describe ideal Shih Tzu movement and its impor- tance in judging. Movement is very important, when the legs of a dog are too long, or too short the movement is stilled with no drive in the rear. It will also have very little kick up to show the pads. I like a good strong rear action with the pads in plain view at all times. When a Shih Tzu has substance, is compact, with good bone and carries the proper weight for its size. It will have proper movement. You will see a driving rear with the pads showing. 5. Are there any unforgivable faults in the Shih Tzu breed?

I cannot forgive a small head. The head is so much the main breed type of the dog. When the head is small everything that is associated with the head does not fit what the Standard calls for. 6. What, if anything, do you feel non-breeder judges get wrong about the breed? I think most Non Breeder Judges do recognize a proper and good Shih Tzu. However I have seen them pass over a excellent moving dog for a Flashy one with poor sub- stance, long legs and terrible movement. 7. What do handlers do in presentation that you wish they would not? Please do not run or walk so fast in my ring that I cannot see the dogs four feet on the ground. It spoils the entire picture of the Shih Tzu. A lot less hair spray in the top- knot so my fingers do not get stuck while I am trying to feel the size of the head. 8. What traits do you see popping up these days that are going in the wrong direction? What is getting better ? Many of the dogs are too small, they lack body, bone and are way too short back, and I have seen several new dogs that are very long in back. When a dog is too short or too long, they cannot move properly. The movement of a Shih Tzu is very unique and without the proper move- ment it spoils the entire dog. Breeders need to watch coat and texture. Coats are being shown that are thin and without undercoat. I think the entries are getting better, and I have seen several beautiful puppies recently that should have a wonderful future in the ring. 9. What previously campaigned Havanese come close to your ideal? Please explain. In 2006 I was at a show in New Jersey, showing my Yorkshire Terriers. After showing I stayed and watched other breeds. As the Shih Tzu were shown I noticed a young male puppy. He was so perfect in his presentation I could not take my eyes off of him. Everything about him was outstanding, his balance, his ring presence and when he moved it was excellent. His head and expression was excellent, He was well groomed and in great coat for such a young dog. That day he was Winners Dog for a four point Major. That puppy was Multiple Group & Spe- cialty Best In Show Winner and 2009 Number One Shih Tzu: Ch. Krissy’s Dream Lover, known as “Cody”; Owned By: L. Sara Lawrence and Rebecca Lawrence; Shown by: Jennifer Miller-Farias I Judged Cody only once in 2009, with Best of Breed and a Group Two. However I did follow his career and watch him time after time and in my opinion always felt he was a perfect example of the Shih Tzu Breed. 10. How does the breed in North America compare to other parts of the world? I have Judged the breed in many foreign countries and I would have to say size would be the main difference. Much more body and bone and a larger frame. In conversations with the breeders after judging they want the larger head, very dark round eyes with

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