Cardigan Welsh Corgi Breed Magazine - Showsight

Q&A cardigan welsh corgi and the forefeet point straight ahead. From a specialty perspective, if you can’t find really top class Pem head type you are useless. The Cardigan is not as advanced today as the Pem, it is a much harder breed to perfect, but it doesn’t help that a large percentage of judges do a terrible job with them. You must have a vision, you must understand what we are working to achieve and identify and reward those attributes. The Cardigan ideally is a very beautiful animal and if you can’t get anything else right, going for balance (not dwarfyness) and knowing proportions and basic construction will at least put your decisions in a defensible light. I know many judges hate judging the breed, but serving up bad decisions certainly doesn’t further the cause. True Cardigan temperament is not Pembroke tempera- ment. The Cardigan should be a calm, relaxed dog, not a baiting maniac. That might be a show dog but it’s not really breed type temperament and rewarding it over true breed virtues does a disservice to the breed. If they are best presented stack, let them be stacked. If you saw the ears up when you wanted to examine expression don’t look for the dog to be baiting every time you look down the line. 4. What shortcomings are you most willing to forgive? What faults do you find hard to overlook? Superficial faults should be forgiven. You must use the intelligence you have and the dog knowledge you have to make worthwhile decisions. Our breed standard very minutely draws out a perfect Cardigan. I can tell you that does not exist. It is too heavy on superficial faults. I couldn’t care less about markings, almost no white anywhere or white ears—those are superficialities. If you obsess about low tail carriage you will be rewarded by having dogs that are tail trained. Expecting a 12-inch field working dog to carry his tail below the level of his topline is a nonsensical superficiality. Focusing on huge ears is absurd, those are feeding areas for flies. The front is slightly out-turned and far more are much too out turned than are too straight. A crooked front is an unsound front. With all that said, what any judge of any breed should be doing is to look for strength of virtue. As I say, I’m happiest when my winners have the greatest and most breed strengths, not the fewest faults. That’s idiotic judging and I see it far too often. 5. How has the breed changed since you became involved with it? Do you see any trends you think are moving the breed in the wrong direction? Any traits becoming exaggerated? The breed is improving, slowly. Movement is more open, rears are pushing through better, the silhouette is being held better as the dog moves. I feel the breed could easily move the wrong direction at any point in time, but there are enough in the breed who know true breed type that keep it fairly well in the middle ground. There are specif-

ic big winners I don’t agree with but that is true in every breed. It amazes how few really good heads I see. You know, the Cardigan breed standard and Pembroke breed standard regarding head are not all that far apart. Study them both. Then ask yourself why the best Pems have gorgeous heads and many of our top winning Cardigans have heads that make your eyes water. It escapes me. 6. Is there anything Cardigan handlers do you wish they would not? Handlers are going to do what judges are going to reward. The things that bother me somewhat in this breed are the faking that can go on. Although long coat is caused by a simple recessive gene that we can geneti- cally test for, long coat is severely penalized so we have dogs who are being scissored because they are geneti- cally fluffs. Judges focus on tail carriage because I think it makes them feel like they have special breed knowl- edge, so we have tails that are fixed. Our breed standard faults a split blaze where one eye might be completely surrounded by white so we have people who color their heads. We have recessive reds that usually do not have pitch-black pigment so handlers color their pigment. This isn’t endemic but it’s not all that rare either. These are also things the judge usually cannot determine. I do think some handlers move their dogs too fast and I simply won’t reward that in the ring, but we do have some dogs that can move very fast, so you have to know the difference. This is very much a type breed and I feel our judges do not have the kind of depth of knowledge of all the breed features that I would expect someone who accepts a judging assignment should have. 7. Name a dog not currently being shown that exempli- fies your ideal type. In the American ring, I would say it would be Ch Dav- enitch Shiloh Luca. She was a wonderfully elegant yet substantial bitch, very well made and very sound. She had a wonderful, very typey silhouette with a lovely front. She was just excellence and honesty. I will also

Ch Davenitch Shiloh Luca

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