Let’s Talk Breed Education!
JUDGING THE MANCHESTER TERRIER By Rodney Herner
I would like to give you an insight into what goes through a judge’s mind as you walk into the ring with a Manchester Terrier. Th e judge is required to compare your exhibit to the description of the Standard of Perfection that was put together by the National club. Th e closer the dog comes to this description, the bet- ter the chance for winning. Th e judge’s first view of your dog as it enters the ring is the overall outline. All breeds have a distinct outline, or silhou- ette, which should be readily recognized as an important breed characteristic. Judges’ first impressions are formed when that outline is viewed. Th ese impressions can be lasting. Th e outline of the Manchester Terrier should appear to be sleek, but sturdily con- structed, with adequate bone density that is not overdone, so that an appearance of elegance is portrayed. Th e outline should not appear to be that of a square breed, but rather one that should measure a greater distance from point of shoulder to ischium than from the highest point of the withers to the ground. Th e head should be rather long, well filled, and with a strong underjaw. Ears should appear to be erect, cropped, or button, depending on the variety of the Manchester. Th e chest should reach to the elbows with a curving arch reaching to the abdo- men, giving a graceful, elegant look to the outline. Th e front legs, which should appear to be the same length elbow to ground as is the distance from elbow to withers, should be set well under the dog with adequate bone. Th e rear legs should be carried well back with muscular upper and lower thighs equal in length. Th e stifle should appear well turned and hocks are well let down. Feet should be examined on the table. Th e line from the neck to the tail should also be graceful with the slightly arched neck blending smoothly into sloping shoul- ders. Th e topline, should show a slight rise over the loin. Th e rise should be above the
lumbar vertebrae. If the rise is over the thoracic vertebrae, it is too far forward and would be considered a roached topline. Th e topline ends with a slightly sloping croup that flows into the tail set. Th e tail should be carried in a slight upward curve, but not over the back. Th ese are the features that go into cre- ating that “Manchester Terrier Silhouette” the judge is looking for, even before the first step is taken. Once that first step is taken, the dog’s movement will validate the correct or incorrect angulation and musculature of the entry. What is needed to achieve correct Man- chester Terrier gait? Th e standard calls for gait that is free and e ff ortless. Several things are required to attain this. First and foremost, gait your dog on a loose lead. Don’t string the dog up, trying to correct a gait fault. Th is never results in free movement. In order to get good reach of the fore- quarters without an incorrect hackney or goosestep gate, the shoulder blade (scap- ula) and upper arm (humerus) must be equal in length. With the shoulders well laid back, ideal angulation of these bones would put the elbow directly under the withers. When the humerus is shorter than the scapula, a condition that is pres- ent in many breeds today, the front stride is shortened and the swing of the upper arm is restricted resulting in shorter steps. Likewise, in the rear, inadequate angu- lation (bend of stifle) would prevent the strong driving power needed to match the front reach. During movement, the judge will also look for head carriage that is up and out, the slight rise over the loin must be evident, and the tail should be carried in a slight upward curve, but never over the back. So, before the dog even gets on the table, all of the above have already been noted. Some judges prefer to place the dog on the table first thing. I feel it is much better to let the dog loosen up a bit before the table examination. A true outline of the dog is not always apparent on the table. I never judge toplines on the table.
Exactly what breed features are the judge’s eyes and hands searching for dur- ing the table examination? As the dog is set up on the table, the judge should be a distance away taking a profile look. He/she will be looking for a slightly longer than tall silhouette. Th e judge will also check to see if the distance from withers to elbow and elbow to ground is equal. Th e table view of these points is more accurate at an outdoor show, as grass length can obscure the true proportions. From this profile view, the judge can determine whether or not the Toy or Stan- dard is within the size range called for in the standard. If any entry appears to be oversized, the judge will call for a scale and weigh the exhibit. If the Toy is over 12 lbs., the judge will excuse the exhibit and mark his/her book weighed out/excused. Th is is not a disqualification for the “oversized Toy” could be entered as a Standard in the future. If the Standard weighs over 22 lbs., the judge will mark his/her book disquali- fied “weighed out”. Next the judge will approach the dog from the front and check to see that the front is not too wide and that the shoulders appear well laid back. A convex or bulging line, seen from the front would indicate loaded shoulders. Th e dog’s chest should be well coated. Judges will fault a thin or sparse coat on the chest. Bone density, which should be adequate, but not coarse, will be noted from this view. Straight front legs with upright pasterns and a tight cat foot, with the two middle toes being lon- ger, can be checked next. Examination of the head comes next. Th e judge should approach the head with an outstretched hand, palm up, o ff ering a gentle, non-menacing gesture. From a frontal view, the judge is looking for dark almond-shaped eyes, a flat skull that is not too wide, and a well filled muzzle with strong underjaw, giving a blunted wedge appearance to the head. Th e bite is checked next and, as the standard states, either a level or scissor bite is correct. Although our standard calls for full dentition, I would advise all judges not to pry open the jaw and count teeth, as you
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would for a Doberman. A simple raising of the lips to check the bite and to check for pre-molars will su ffi ce. I do not penal- ize a missing pre-molar or two, but I do think that any missing incisors are a much more serious fault. Th e full front grouping of teeth are an integral part of the grabbing and holding of vermin, which is the breed’s primary function. Manchesters use their ears as a major indicator of their mood; therefore, we can- not expect to always see the true ears shape and carriage on the table. Of course, the judge will note that the Toys ears must be naturally erect and set well up on the head. Any other ear on the Toy disquali- fies. Th e Standard’s ears are naturally erect, button, or cropped, with no preference among them. Th e last check point for the head should be done from the side. Equal length of skull and muzzle with a slight stop and parallel lines of both should be found. Th e judge should now move to the side and run a hand down over the neck, check- ing for a nice arch that blends smoothly into well laid back shoulders. Any abrupt angle here would indicate a steep shoulder angle, which could adversely a ff ect the appearance of neck length and, of course, will certainly a ff ect the front movement, as mentioned. Th e coat should be short, dense, glossy, but not soft. We check to see that the forelegs are well under the brisket. Next, the length of the shoulder blade and the upper arm should be measured. Th is can be accom- plished by placing one finger (right hand) on the highest point of the shoulder blade and one finger each (left hand) on the point of shoulder and the elbow. Th ese two bones should be equal in length. Next, both hands will be gently smoothed over the ribs, checking to find a good spring of ribs that flatten in the lower end. At this point, elbows should be checked for tightness to the chest. Th e ribs should extend well back. A well arched tuck up should be evident starting at the deep brisket. Although the breed should be slightly longer than tall, the length should never be in the loin. Th e standard calls for a topline that rises slightly over the loin. Th is is a feature that, I believe, is best judged on the floor. Tail set and length can be checked now. Th e judge should check for a sloping croup. We don’t want to see a Fox Terrier tail set high on a level croup. Th e tail, which should be well coated, is
now checked for length. Th e tip should not go beyond the hocks. Tail carriage should be judged on the floor. Stifles are now checked for adequate angulation. From the rear, the judge now checks for well muscled thighs and well let down hocks that turn neither in nor out. Th ighs should also be well coated. Rear feet should also be cat like, but the middle toes are not longer as are the front toes. As there is a lengthy section on color in our standard, correct color and markings must be checked by the judge. Th is is cer- tainly best done during the table examina- tion. All of the tan markings should be a rich mahogany tan. All markings should be well defined with no bleeding of black into tan. Any color other than black and tan disqualifies. Th e judge will check for the following markings: t Head: A small tan spot over each eye and on each check. Th e muzzle is tanned to the nose. Tan extends under the throat, ending in the shape of the letter “V”. t Chest: Tan spots, called “rosettes” on each side of the chest, above the front legs. t Front Legs: Black “thumbprint” patch on the front at the pastern. A distinct island of black is best. Black “pencil mark” lines run on the top of each toe. t Rear Legs: Black “pencil marks” as in front. Tan running up inside to stifle joint. t Rear: Tan under tail and on the vent. t Th e judge must know that white on any part of the coat is a serious fault and becomes a DQ if the white forms a patch of ½ " or more. All of the above features are checked by the judge during the table examination. It must be done quickly, as the judge is expected to complete the total judging of each dog in no more than two and one half minutes. We judges strive to be expedient, while all encompassing. After the table examination it’s back on the ground with a final trot around the ring to confirm what our hands and eyes have found. Manchesters are not a Terrier that should be sparred. Th ey should, however, be alert and keenly aware of their sur- roundings. Th ey may be brought out into the center of the ring to re-kindle aware- ness, but they will not go into sparring
mode. Remember that Manchesters are discerning. Don’t expect them to jump up and give you a big greeting on the down and back movement. Th ey will instead give you a serious visual examination upon their return.
BIO Rodney Herner lives in Bechtelsville, PA. He has been an AKC approved judge since 1993. He currently is approved to judge all Toy Breeds and Toy Group, all Ter- rier Breeds and Terrier Group and 11 Non-
Sporting breeds and Best in Show. His original breed is Toy Manchester Terriers. Rodney bred his first champion in 1958. Since then, he has finished over 60 champions under the kennel name Renreh, including many Toy Group, Best in Show, and National Specialty Winners. Ch. Ren- reh Lorelei of Charmaron, bred by Rodney and owned by Charles A.T. O’Neill and Mari-Beth O’Neill, remains the only Toy Manchester to have won the Toy Group at Westminster. She was also a multi-Best in Show winner. Rodney served the American Manchester Terrier Club as President and is currently the Judges Education Chairman for the AMTC. He served as President of the Delaware Val- ley Toy Dog Fanciers Association and cur- rently holds a position on the Board of Direc- tors and serve as Show Chairman. He is also a member of Morris and Essex Kennel Club where he serves on the show committee and is editor of the Morris and Essex Newsletter . Rodney is also a member of the American Dog Show Judges Inc. and the Dog Judges Association of America. After ceasing breeding and showing eight years ago, Rodney now devotes his time to judging and attending Nationals and breed seminars. He lives with his wife of 43 years, Marilyn, and kids (besides their 37-yr.-old son, who does not live at home) including two Toy Manchester Terriers, a Doberman Pin- scher and a Smooth Fox Terrier. Although he has managed to stick to short-haired breeds at home, as a professional dog groomer of almost 50 years, he has a long background of working with all types of dog coats. Rodney can be contacted via email at email@example.com.
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LIFE WITH MANCHESTERS
L ike a lot of older breeds, histories di ff er on the ori- gin and evolution of the Manchester. It’s (prob- ably) safe for me to say that they are generally considered one of the foundation breeds behind many modern Terriers. We know they did originate in England. Th ey are rec- ognizable in paintings from the 1700s as a small, smooth-coated, black and tan terrier. It seems likely they were used in the develop- ment of Dobermans. Beyond that, opinions di ff er greatly and since I am not quite old enough to have witnessed any of the above, I will stop here. Like most Terriers, they started out as hunters of vermin. Probably first on farms, later in towns and, finally, in homes. Th ey are still great hunters and that prey drive allows them to do well in everything from EarthDog and Barn Hunts to Agility and Coursing. We even have some who have completed Tracking titles with no trouble. Obedience and Rally are also on the Man- chester menu of THINGS I CAN DO WELL. I am looking forward to seeing one do a Freestyle dance routine with his owner at our 2013 National Specialty in September. With the right partner they can pretty much do anything you want them to. Keeping laps and feet warm are other specialties. In America, the breed is divided into two varieties: Toys and Standards. Toys must be under twelve pounds, Standards between twelve and twenty-two pounds. Our written Standard calls for Toys to be a diminutive version of the Standard Manchester but they must have a natu- rally upright ear. Th e Standard dogs may have a naturally upright ear, a button ear or a cropped ear. In this country, most are cropped. I believe America is the only country where the two are not considered separate breeds. I was asked to mention why people would buy a Manchester and why I love having them. I had to stop and think about
By Jerri Hobbs
both these questions. Th e very first Man- chester I ever met (a Standard) impressed me with her beauty, fierce loyalty to her owner, her regal mien and her determina- tion to check on my infant son every time she heard him cry. I believe she would have taken him home to raise if she’d been able. I’d never met a dog like her before and I never forgot her. Th at was 1967 and I got my first Man- chester (a Toy) in 1982. During the inter- vening years, we had become involved in showing Saints in Obedience and Breed so I’d had some opportunity to see Manches- ters at shows. I was flabbergasted when I saw several at a local show and learned that a woman I knew slightly had decided to ‘get into’ the breed. She called me the first time she had a litter, we got our first bitch and have had them ever since. Skeeter got her name because my not over enthused hus- band insisted the pups were “smaller than the skeeters”. I loved that she marched into the house, looked around and immediately started arranging things to suit herself. My skep- tical husband was first on her list. It may have taken her half an hour to make him understand that his life had not been com- plete till she got there. I loved that she was not afraid of the Saints. Not stupid about it either – if she wasn’t up on a couch or a lap she was always close to hidey hole and we did our part by making sure there were no unsupervised visits ’til the Saints realized she was actually a dog. I loved the way she approached the cats – very, very respect- fully. I expect ours were not the first cats she had known. I loved that she was quick to learn the rules, easy to house train and didn’t hold
grudges. I loved that wiping her down with a damp towel, keeping her toenails back and her teeth clean was all the grooming needed to keep us both happy. Th irty some years later, I still love all those things about the breed. Nobody is perfect. Manchesters are Terriers. Maxwell Riddle described Terri- ers as being born with more Original Sin than other dogs. Th ey are quick to use all that intelligence to manipulate their own- ers. It can be very hard to convince new owners that the lovely, dewy eyed, tiny puppy asleep in their lap is dreaming of world domination but, believe me; it is never far from their mind. Owners must be every bit as smart and just as stubborn as their dog is or they end up living their own lives around what the dog wants – and wondering how it happened. Why would someone want to buy one? Th ey are striking animals. Th e combina- tion of size and elegance makes them eye catchers. Th eir size makes them attrac- tive to people living a modern lifestyle. It is nice to have a dog athletic enough to go running with you and small enough to pick up and carry as it grows up and can match your distance. Th ey are playful in and out of the house and will quickly learn your likes and dislikes. Th ey are gen- erally healthy and the puppy you buy for your kid when he starts to school is often around to see him o ff to college. Th en they will be there to comfort you. Manchesters are dogs that demand a lot of their owners in the way of attention and training but they give it all back in love, empathy and fun. After all these years of living with them, I find it hard to figure out why anyone wouldn’t want one.
I STILL LOVE ALL THOSE THINGS ABOUT THE BREED.” “Thirty some years later,
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