That Doesn’t Look Like My Dog
BY DAVID L. ANTHONY continued
“If you truly want to be competitive then you have to present an exhibit that has a high majority of correct features according to the standard. You cannot continue to make excuses for your dog based on your on loose interpretation.”
point have an exhibit that lifts its tail more than typically desirable, almost constantly and defend it bitterly. This is human nature one would surmise. The standard is very specific that it should be LOW when stand- ing or moving slowly. “Oh he’s just a happy boy or that’s not curled over the back so it is acceptable.” Yes, it may be acceptable or tol- erable in certain judge’s eyes but obviously, it detracts from the lovely silhouette that we desire to see in our breed. Is that really what you want the judges to see and appreciate about our breed, or is it more likely you just desire the points towards the dog’s champi- onship because it has many other so-called redeeming qualities in your opinion? That is a discussion that many exhibitors need to have with themselves and has been the focus of more than one heated confab. Please take a look at the photos in this article of two items that are sold specifi- cally as Cardigan memorabilia. You will notice immediately that one has the beau- tiful flowing tail streaming parallel to the ground as our standard calls for while the other item has an upright tail that begs for your attention. Clearly one could eas- ily mistake it for another breed. Remem- ber the football field exercise. Can you say for 100% certainty that this other photo is absolutely a Cardigan? Now let’s go back to the T-shirt dis- cussion. This particular shirt had a lovely
outline of Cardigan on it and truly was a reasonable representation of the breed in general. I pointed this situation out and discussed how this is what judges want to see, as it is exactly as the official standard describes. As I searched for more examples of poorly represented Cardigan items, I was pleasantly surprise to find very few. The les- son here is clear in my opinion. If the major- ity of breed item manufacturers know what a good Cardigan tail set and carriage should look like, then why is it so hard for some of our exhibitors to recognize these correct features. Yes a bitch in season will cause a boy’s tail to go up, yes two Cardigans in verbal disagreement will cause this and so may some other factors, but the bottom line is the handler will have to get this under control, remove the dog from the affecting environment or risk losing that day because of the situation. I think we have all been there at one time or another. Those are dif- ferent situations versus the consistently high tail carriage while in motion or even worse while standing. If you truly want to be com- petitive then you have to present an exhibit that has a high majority of correct features according to the standard. You cannot con- tinue to make excuses for your dog based on your loose interpretation. Our judges need to remember what the standard says and remember a high tail set is a serious fault, not a DQ, but certainly
should play well into one’s decision mak- ing that day. Therefore, if your dog has the proper tail set can it have a high tail carriage too? Most likely not if no outside distrac- tions like those listed previously come into play. Remember it says that the tail is set fairly low on the body line. The keyword here is LOW, not right off the back nor above that line. A simple way to check is to lift the tail above the topline slightly and place your bent thumb right where it leaves the back into the tail. It should fit nicely into a slight dip at that juncture. I would like to credit AKC board member and long- time Cardigan breeder/judge Steve Glad- stone, God rest his soul, for teaching that little trick years ago. If your thumb won’t fit easily into that slightly curved pocket, there is cause for closer inspection. In conclusion, I would ask that some of you stop defending the outline of your dog and start realizing that perhaps it is not as correct as you would like to convince yourself it is. The next time you buy a Car- digan T-shirt, look closely at the outline and ask yourself if your dogs have a simi- lar look. You may find yourself improving your breeding program or perhaps shopping for a new T-shirt in the “irregular bin” at your favorite vendor booth that more closely matches the highflying tail your Cardigan has.
296 • S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , D ECEMBER 2019
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