Showsight Presents The Cardigan Welsh Corgi

chest and many other features so your hands-on examination will solidify what your eyes have shown you. Step back fifteen or so feet, drink it in, look at the substance and then approach from a wide berth to the front with a pleas- ant “hello” so that both dog and handler feel welcomed. As you approach, you evaluate for a proper front assembly (a hallmark of this breed) and begin the hands-on exam. We are not going to get into the exact hands-on procedure but a cou- ple of points need to be discussed in order to refresh and educate some. When examining the bite, please think about what the Cardigan standard says: Teeth strong and regular. Scissors bite preferred; i.e., inner side of upper inci- sors fitting closely over outer side of low- er incisors. Overshot, undershot or wry bite are serious faults. Nowhere does it state full dentition and therefore asking exhibitors to crank open the mouth so you can impress someone with your lack of knowledge of the breed serves no purpose. Some judges with back- grounds of some kind in dentistry etc., have stated that to look for a true wry bite, you need to see all the back teeth as well. This would be a very rare occa- sion and a seemly unnecessary tactic,

for the most part. We won’t debate that here but if you suspect a problem as you perform the bite exam and want to see the side teeth by lifting the gums, feel free to do so. Obviously, the AKC and exhibitors are wanting to have handlers show the bite and not the judge, so take that into consideration. Be aware that the dog may not be accustom to such an activity and may react accordingly (move about), this should not be held against the dog. The action of opening the mouth, as done with breeds like the German Shepherd, is unacceptable in Cardigans. So now, you are prepared to see the dog on the ground. Obviously the best place to evaluate the expression of the dog once they have completed a down back to access those characteristics. When a judge immediately asks for a small circle, Cardigan exhibitors gen- erally feel the judge isn’t giving proper credence to the movement of the breed. Yes, Cardigans can move with nice reach and drive and no, a small circle doesn’t allow for the breed to open up and truly show you what it can do. And while on that note, let’s mention the judge that insists you only walk with your dog. Now winning the race around the ring in a sprint isn’t correct for the

breed, but merely going for a walk, most assuredly, will not allow for the dog to display the following as described in the standard. “Gait: Free and smooth. Effortless. Viewed from the side, fore- legs should reach well forward when moving at a trot, without much lift, in unison with driving action of hind legs. The correct shoulder assembly and well fitted elbows allow for a long free stride in front. Viewed from the front, legs do not move in exact parallel planes but incline slightly inward to compensate for shortness of leg and width of chest. Hind legs, when trotting, should reach well under body, move on a line with the forelegs, with the hocks turning nei- ther in nor out and in one continuous motion drive powerfully behind, well beyond the set of the tail. Feet must travel parallel to the line of motion with no tendency to swing out, cross over or interfere with each other. Short chop- py movement, rolling or high-stepping gait, close or overly wide coming or going, are incorrect. This is a herding dog which must have the agility, free- dom of movement and endurance to do the work for which he was devel- oped.” That last sentence is extremely important to remember. Write it down a hundred times, tattoo it on your wrist, C ONT ’ D ON PAGE 259

254 • S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , O CTOBER 2017

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