JUDGING THE MINIATURE SCHNAUZER A Breeder’s Viewpoint By Beverly Verna Part Terrier- Part Working Dog T hroughout the years I have given seminars to prospective judges and have talked privately to many judges regarding my breed. Most tell me withers to the point of the tail, but from the sternum to the butt, slightly behind the tail. So, his body is built more like his cousin, the working dog, however it is shorter in back. (Try to look at the under- line of a dog to help determine length of back.) It is these first descriptions of general Type and proportion that are most impor- tant and can be seen in the first line-up of the dogs. Type and proportion are of the utmost importance and is the first aspect of the dog to be judged, all else is secondary.
that it is a hard breed to judge, or at least harder than they had expected. I have been told that it is the description of a Minia- ture Schnauzer being part Terrier and part Working dog that confuses them the most. I hope this article will help in pointing out some of those major di ff erences. I would also like to point out areas of hair that can fool the eye and how to look at outlines di ff erently. I did not cover all the points in the Miniature Schnauzer Standard, only those that I feel need addressing at this time and for the sake of this article. For the purposes of this article, the Wire Fox Terrier shall be the example of “Terrier Type”. I realize that there are many Terrier breeds with completely di ff erent proportions and movement styles, however I do believe that the Wire Fox Terrier is what most people and the authors of our Breed Standard, think exemplifies the word “Terrier”. And of course the “Working Type” breed will be our cous- in, the Standard Schnauzer. Th e Miniature Schnauzer is part Work- ing and part Terrier in their type, move- ment and temperament. Th e first paragraph in our Standard states that the Miniature Schnauzer is robust and nearly square in proportion. Robust as in sturdily built, like the Work- ing Dog, deep chested with well sprung ribs, well muscled thighs and ample bone not at all “fine” in any respect. Not long in loin, but more square, “ Th e height at the withers is almost equal to the length of the body—of importance here is that the length of body is measured not from the
HEAD Shaped like a shoe box, rectangular, not square, with flat planes and a slight stop, a muzzle at least as long as the skull-like a Terrier, but, like the Working Dog, it should be strong and never fine. EYES Small, dark, almond shaped with a piercing look-like a Terrier. NECK Of general Terrier Type: Well arched, which means that it must be long enough to achieve that arch. Please do not be fooled by clever grooming in this area. It has become increasingly popular to hide a short or ewe neck with a mound of hair that is longer at the neck to shoulder tran- sition area than it is at the top of the neck and back. Th is trick makes the neck look longer and the back look shorter, so check that area for thicker longer hair. FOREQUARTERS More like the Working Dog: straight and strong with good bone HINDQUARTERS A bit of both types: they should be well muscled, like the Working Dog, however they should be wide in stance and well angulated, more in the style of the Terrier
Note how extra hair can change the overall look of the topline and proportion of the dog. In judging neck, look at the amount of space between the throat and shoulder assembly, that space and the shape of that space will tell you if the dog has the correct neck and set on. Also look at the thickness of the neck.
MOVEMENT Movement should be judged in two components, the first being the test of ‘soundness’, which to me is coming and going. Coming, straight forward with elbows close to the body, neither too close not too far apart, like the Working Dog. Going, hind legs straight, hocks lifting, with air to be seen between them, never
218 • S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , J ULY 2014
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