Manchester Terrier Breed Magazine - Showsight


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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