Showsight Presents the Whippet

an AKC approved judge for over 15 years. I am most proud of the contribution Tripletime dogs have made to other Whip- pet breeders programs.

They are the athlete of the canine world and I cannot tolerate any soft, marshmallow dogs. Everything about them should denote speed and power and yet be elegant without being coarse. I also want a nice correct Whip- pet head as the headpiece is also a feature of type. Think about it—would you accept a Whippet head on a Borzoi or a Borzoi head on a Whippet? A correct head has a nice broad backskull between the ears, strong jaw on a paral- lel plane with the top skull and large, forward looking eyes. I do not like the ones that are severely down-faced with narrow heads and obliquely set eyes—that is not correct type. Lastly, a trait that I think that is hard to find anymore is the low daisy-clipping reach of the front. Too often we see dogs with short upper arms and no reach or moving from the elbow with a goose stepping action. RT: While judging any breed, I first look for breed type. This means they must have the proper silhouette with gentle curves top and bottom and a head that says Whippet. We can have variations in styles, but these key determi- nations of type must be present. Secondly, there must be long, flat, hard muscle. This muscle helps the athlete maintain the required elegance, think dancer not weight lifter. Finally, Whippet movement should be flexible, long and low. A Whippet should not appear to work to get from one side of the ring to the other. In other words, the effortless movement of a true athlete should be rewarded. 3. Are there any traits in this breed you fear are becoming exaggerated? MA: Over angulated hindquarters and excessive reach and drive. Whippets are a galloping breed, not a trotting. BH: In my opinion I am seeing exaggerated rear over angula- tion which is not balance. The Whippet should have balanced reach and drive, not TRAD (tremendous reach and drive). IK: Too much white! Breeders need to really work on breed- ing away from the piebald gene, high white. There are proven links to deafness and china blue eyes, a breed disqualification. There are inexpensive one time tests available to breeders for the S locus (and other fascinat- ing color tests) and they need to use them. I speak from my own hands on experience, not conjecture. JL: We’ve gone through a period when Whippets were being shown with very exaggerated rears. It made for wide open side gait, looked real pretty going around the ring, but not so pretty going away from you. Dogs with too much rear hurt themselves when running. DS: Exaggerated might not be the right word here, but our toplines are all over the place. If you look at a ring of Whippets, you will see a wide variety of toplines. The topline is one of the most important features of the Whippet and must be correct for it to function properly. Whippets are a breed that must be able to do a double suspension gallop and the topline is essential to that function. We have a lot of conversations about keeping outline on the move, but this is neither a rigid topline or a flat topline but more of a flexible topline. The Whippet should maintain a flexible rise over the loin standing and moving.

1. Describe the breed in three words. MA: Athlete, swift and elegant BH: Elegant, versatile Sighthound. IK: Athletic, sensitive and beautiful. JL: Elegant, fast and typey/balanced. DS: Athlete, muscular and elegant.

HT: Smooth, curvy athlete RT: Elegant, athletic and fast.

2. What are your “must have” traits in this breed? MA: All curves in outline should be gentle and smooth. Suffi- cient length of body and loin required. Curve of under- line essential—brisket extends back from the elbow, then curves upward to the tuck up. Forelegs fall beneath the withers in profile so the front assembly is set somewhat under the body. Adequate bend of pastern is important. Must have broad and muscular hindquarters and a low, effortless side gait that is balanced and symmetrical in reach and drive. On the down and back, legs that con- verge toward the center but don’t single track. Soundness in coming and going are important. Must be fit and well- muscled with large, dark eyes and stable temperament. BH: Balance, substance and style. IK: Athletic ability with a strong desire to chase combined with a balanced, shapely outline. This attractive unique dog will also have a correct head with adequate back skull and large, dark eyes. If you can’t tell it is a Whip- pet from looking at its head and outline from a distance, the dog lacks breed character. A well-made Whippet will have soundness coming and going, converging just slightly and easy, balanced side gait that is not extreme. This is a galloping breed; they are not a moving fence like a GSD. In my dream dog show ring, the dogs would be running around at a fast gallop to show how well made they are. You can see flaws in a Whippet when they are running full out that you can only guess at when standing or trotting. JL: Correct structure and muscle condition. If they have that everything else just falls into place. I do like a nice head. I like to be able to look at a head and not have to question whether it’s a dog or bitch. But if it comes to a choice between structure/movement and head, structure wins. DS: From the general appearance of our standard—symme- try of outline, muscular development and powerful gait are the main considerations. I don’t think we can empha- size this statement enough in our standard. HT: The traits I think that define type and are an abso- lute must are the S-curves of both the topline and the underline. Those curves must be Whippet-y as there is difference in the S-curves of the Greyhound and Italian Greyhounds. The slight rise is over the loin and the loin begins where the last rib is attached. It should not be too far back which gives the high in the rear look when moved around the ring. The Whippet has a distinct out- line which is the essence of type. A Whippet also must be in fit muscular condition that is smooth and not bulky.

294 • S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , J UNE 2018

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