JUDGING THE NORWICH TERRIER: A BREEDER’S PERSPECTIVE by JANE R. SCHUBART M y perspective of judging Norwich Terriers is that of a breeder. I’m not an AKC licensed judge. From inside
the ring my experience is limited to judg- ing two Norwich sweepstakes and a cou- ple of matches. Just enough to appreciate how di ffi cult judging can be. Th at said, from outside the ring I’ve spent hundreds of hours judging Norwich. Th rough the lens of a breeder, I view the purpose of dog shows as being to facilitate evaluation of future breeding stock. Whether inside or outside the ring, my approach is to evaluate the overall dog first. I make my “first cut” on type. I’m looking for a hardy little hunt ter- rier who appears capable of dispatching small vermin. He is fearless and never shy. Although the smallest of the terriers, Norwich should have substance—never fine-boned or toy-ish. He is a sturdy dog in a small package and surprisingly heavy when lifted. First, I like to watch a Norwich mov- ing. He should cover the ground e ffi - ciently. His neck should be of su ffi cient length and not stu ff y, blending into well laid back shoulders to enable good reach. His height is achieved from depth of body, not length of leg. His body is short coupled, with good spring of ribs and just a little distance from the last rib to the tail. His should have short strong hocks and su ffi cient angulation to propel him forward with his topline remaining level. In keeping with his working ori- gin, the Norwich tail is medium-docked and of su ffi cient length to grasp. It is set high at 12 o’clock. All the pieces should fit together to give a pleasing picture of a small sturdy, spirited dog who moves with confidence and purpose. He should not appear long-cast or too stu ff y. Heads are important for correct breed type. Th e wedge-shaped muzzle is strong and slightly tapering. Th e Norwich stan- dard says a “slightly foxy expression”.
From “Illustrated Guide to the Standard of Norwich Terriers” The Norwich Club of America, © 2013. Used with permission.
Th at doesn’t mean a fox-shaped muzzle. Rather, it means that his expression is alert, keen and interested. Th e skull is broad and slightly domed. His eyes are dark and a medium oval size. Round eyes look toy-ish and spoil the expression. His small prick ears should be set well apart and not too high on his head. He has a pronounced stop and his muzzle is neither too long nor too short. Th e proportion of the head is approximately two-fifths muzzle and three-fifths backskull. Th e standard says, “Tight-lipped with large teeth. A scissor bite.” It is silent about missing teeth. Having first evaluated the side view, I watch him coming and going to evaluate
soundness. Going away, he should neither move too close nor too wide. His elbows should not stick out coming towards you and he should not paddle. Ideally, his hind legs follow in the track of the front legs, converging slightly with speed, but some Norwich move a bit wide in front due to their full rib spring and short legs. I don’t mind this if the movement is true. At this point, I have a sense of the dog’s virtues and weak points. Now, I will exam- ine him more closely on the table, looking at details. His front legs are suppose to be straight and must be felt. Clever grooming can cover up crooked legs. His toes may turn out just slightly, however, his feet are
164 • S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , M AY 2015
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