Showsight Presents the Whippet

whippet

whippet Q&A

WITH MARY BETH ARTHUR, JOAN GOLDSTEIN, BARBARA HENDERSON, IVA KIMMELMAN, JUDY LOWTHER, RANDY TINCHER, DAVID SAMUELSON & HAROLD “RED” TATRO WITH MARY BETH ARTHUR, JOAN GOLDSTEIN, BARBARA HENDERSON, IVA KIMMELMAN, JUDY LOWTHER, RANDY TINCHER, DAVID SAMUELSON & HAROLD “RED” TATRO

Q&A

the neckline. The neck should merge gradually into the withers, with no suggestion of abruptness. The withers slope slightly downward to a very slight dip and from this point the topline begins to rise and form an arch. The highest point of the arch should not be any higher than the highest point of the withers. The arch should flow gracefully over the loin and into the croup. The croup leads into the tail, which should be long with a gentle sweeping curve. The angle of the pelvis helps to determine the ability to extend the hindquarters behind the body. If the pelvis is steep, the hindquarters are restricted in their backward extension. Topline should be flexible with powerful back musculature to bow and straighten the topline to aid the double suspension gal- lop. Topline should be evaluated on a relaxed dog stand- ing on the ground on its own. JG: The thing that scares most new judges is topline. It is really misunderstood. Please get the Illustrated Standard and study those outlines. Smoothness is the key and I will quote the Standard, “The backline runs smoothly from the withers with a graceful, natural arch, not too accen- tuated, beginning over the loin and carrying through over the croup; the arch is continuous without flatness. A dip behind the shoulder blades, wheel back, flat back or a steep or flat croup should be penalized.” The underline has a definite tuckup. This area is the signature of the breed and the importance cannot be overstated. BH: Topline and balanced movement. IK: I believe judges who really like Whippets try hard to find the best ones presented to them. I think most judges who come from the breed or other Sight hounds do a fine job. It is often very hard for newcomers to understand why some dogs win that shouldn’t, if shown by a famous breeder or a professional handler. Be honest about your dog’s quality as a potential breeding animal and your abil- ity to show that good dog to best advantage. That mat- ters, yet newcomers don’t always get that. In my dream dog show ring, there would be one judge and one han- dler showing all the dogs. Every dog would be presented as needed, the judge would do a verbal critique, wouldn’t know who the owner was and the evaluation would be enjoyed by everyone. JL: I think that new judges, especially those coming from non-Sighthound breeds don’t get the length equation. The standard clearly states that the length should be over the loin, not in the back or in the over angulated rears. Also the slight rise over the loin. The word here is slight, not an exaggerated rise which leads to a dropoff croup. There are very few truly flat backed Whippets. There are some that look flat in comparison, but remember slight rise. If you think it’s too flat, put your hands on it. Feel the rise starting just behind the last rib. DS: I serve as the Judges Education Coordinator for the American Whippet Club and the most asked questions by judges is about our toplines. I encourage all judges to

look at our Illustrated Standard which can be viewed at http://americanWhippetclub.net/sites/default/files/ WhippetIllustratedStandard_0.pdf. HT: The topline and underline. The most asked question of us as mentors is, “Which topline is more correct?” It can be difficult to explain to individuals and most are not tak- ing into account the underline that is required in order for the outline to be of correct type. The deep chest and tuck-up flowing into a smooth bend of pastern to low hocks should complement the curve of a long neck flow- ing smoothly into the withers with a strong back and rise over the loin into a nicely rounded croup. The only sharp angle we have on a Whippet is at the hock joint. RT: There are times judges seem to have difficulty under- standing the silhouette and when to look for it. The most important time to judge the shape is on the move. The Whippet should be able to keep curves top and bottom on the move. There should be no flattening out over the loin. Sometimes we see curve over the loin, but no tuck up in the underline. An exaggerated curve over the top is not ideal. Our illustrated standard has really great drawings that demonstrate the ideal Whippet shape. It always bothers me to see a judge stand back and profile on the table or ramp. All you really do with this exercise is prove who is the better table trainer. 6. Is there anything else you’d like to share about the breed? Please elaborate. MA: Whippets do not have to be judged on the table. They can be judged on the ground. If judged on a table, do not evaluate outline there, just do the hands-on exam only. JG: Size is very important to this breed as we have similar looking breeds taller and smaller than the Whippet. We are fortunate to have a measureable breed. 18"-21", bitches, 19"-22" dogs. More than ½ " either way, to DQ. If you are not sure or feel it is close, do not just put it at the end of the line, measure! If the dog is in, the exhibitor will thank you and put ringside buzz to rest! This brings unintended consequences, good ones. Exhibitors know they can bring you a tall one and if it measures in size will be taken out of the equation when it is judged. I have written a more detailed article on “Judging The Whippet: As a New Breed, Group or BIS Judge.” If you would like to have a copy, contact me, Gold-Dust-Whippet@att.net. BH: I was honored to have been elected to judge the 30th AWC National Specialty show this year. I was thrilled to examine so many correct and beautiful Whippets. This was truly an amazing experience and I feel proud to be a part of this wonderful breed. I personally feel the breed I love is in great hands of today’s owners and breeders. Not only is the Whippet a versatile dog but is a treasured family member. IK: Whippets are sensitive dogs. They need socialization, especially to other dogs from the time their ears open to seven months of age. They need positive experiences

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