5. What are your “must have” traits in this breed? What shortcomings are you willing to forgive? Besides the traits described in the breed standard, a “must have” for me is balance. I like a well-balanced dog. As for shortcomings I would be willing to forgive, that is a difficult question because a dog is the sum of its parts. I suppose a shortcoming I could forgive would be a slightly tighter tail set than is ideal. 6. While judging, do you see any trends you’d like to see continued or stopped? While I am still a new judge, I very much like the qual- ity of coats I am seeing. I am not sure I would call it a “trend” but I do not like to see Cotons lacking in con- fidence. Breeders also need to be very mindful of the correct Coton topline. 7. What, if any, are the traits breeders should focus on preserving? The Coton de Tulear is supposed to be a sturdy breed. Their history is one of being tough little survivors in the wild requiring agility and intelligence. I hope these traits are preserved by current and future breeders. Traits are easily lost over time if adequate attention is not given to them in stock selection. 8. Has the breed improved from when you started judging? In comparing current Cotons to the dogs from the past couple of decades, I am not sure they are “better” now in the structural sense as I think they are comparable, but there is more consistency of type now than in the past in my opinion. In the 90s, when the breed started being seriously bred and exhibited in the US, very few dogs were American bred; most were European imports. Those few that were American bred were often out of imported parents. Therefore, there were many different types depending on which country or kennel they came from. This inconsistency remained for some generations, a necessary growing pain of a mainly imported breed (to this country). I would say that, overall, type is more consistent now. 9. Are there aspects of the breed not in the standard that you nonetheless take into consideration because breeders consider them important? The breed standard for the Coton de Tulear is extremely detailed so there are very few if any aspects of the breed not covered in the standard. 10. Can Judges Education on this breed be improved? Taking advantage of Judges Education seminars presented by the parent breed club as often as possible is important throughout a judge’s career in my opinion. I would also encourage judges to observe the breed at shows where they are not actually judging the breed, talk to breeders as well as try to get additional hands-on experience at every opportunity. The Coton de Tulear breed is very dis- tinct from other breeds and it is important for judges to strive to preserve its uniqueness through their selection process in the ring.
the coat is poor quality or poorly conditioned. This breed must be unbelievably labor intensive. I am sympathetic but... They must be somewhat longer than tall, with a slightly arched top line over the loin with a tail carried happily over the back when moving but when still, hang- ing with a characteristic J at the tip. Giving that unique outline. Then there is the head proportion. The standard asks for the muzzle to be straight, the stop slight, and the muzzle length in relationship to the skull 5 to 9. I see many 5 to 10, and more concerning even 4 to 10 with deep stops. It is important to keep these proportions sacred so the breed does not morph into heads more like that of the Maltese. As judges we are charged with the responsibility to recognize and reward those fine points. Yes, a beautiful white little dog that is a showman is to be appreciated but not without the cotton coat, slightly arched top line, tail with a J when in repose, black pig- ment and muzzle 5:9. And of course also as defined by the breed standard, that little showman with its “Joie de vivre” expression will warrant reward. KENNETTE TABOR 1. Where do you live? What do you do outside of dogs?
I live in Norfolk, VA. My husband and I enjoy traveling and entertaining. 2. Number of years owning, showing and/or judging dogs? I’ve been in dogs for approximately forty years. During those years I exhibited and bred Samoyeds, Rott- weilers and then began in Cotons de Tulear in 1992. I bred several cham- pions in these breeds and always
handled my own dogs. I put the first championship on a Coton in the US (1994) as well as the world’s first Best in Show on a Coton (1995). The dog that achieved both of these milestones was Cottonkist Macaroon, whom I owned and handled. My kennel name in Cotons was Cottonkist. I bred and/ or owned many BIS and Specialty winning Cotons over the years. I no longer breed but hope to contribute to the breed through judging. I have judged at many AKC matches, rare breed specialties and sweepstakes over the years, including the 2013 USACTC National Specialty at Eukanuba. Last year I was approved as an AKC provi- sional judge for the Coton de Tulear shortly after their acceptance into AKC. 3. Describe your breed in three words: The breed I judge is the Coton de Tulear. I would describe my breed in these 3 words: sweet, affectionate and beautiful. 4. What traits, if any, are becoming exaggerated? No, not at this time.
240 • S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , A UGUST 2015
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