Brittany Breed Magazine - Showsight

exaggerations to a minimum. When you must have a dog that can be expected to work in the field all day, “Form Follows Function” and any traits that are contrary to that principle quickly are eliminated. BGS: 1) Again, movement. Most handlers move a Brittany too fast. The Brittany would never run that fast in a field. 2) Feathering is becoming too exaggerated! 8. Do you think the dogs you see in this breed are better now than they were when you first started judging? Why or why not? HNE: When I first started in Brittanys, many had too long of coats on their bodies. Feathering on the rear was also a bit much. Grooming for show required blanketing the coats to make it lie flat and trimming a lot of the feathers. I soon started to select for dogs with shorter coats that naturally laid flat on the body and had less feathering on the legs and I am seeing this for the most part in the ring today. I really don’t like some of the grooming on the fronts that is being performed today. JF: I don’t see this. The Brittany today is very much like the Brittanys that we hunted with in my youth. Again I think having a very specific purpose that has been maintained through the years has kept the breed consistent. KK: I feel, through the years, they have become a bigger boned breed but that can be a problem for them due to their size measurements. However, overall, this is a very satisfactory breed to judge and breed. BGS: Since I am still a “newbie” judge compared to many others, I think that Brittanys are shown in better condi- tion now than when I started a few years ago. 9. What do you think new judges misunderstand about the breed? HNE: Because the Brittany is a square dog, at a fast trot, the rear leg reaches to or beyond the front. This requires the dog to place the rear leg to the inside or outside of the corresponding front. The rear on one side will be to the outside and the opposite rear will be on the inside of the corresponding front. They also do not converge so much that the front and rear limbs form a “V” when viewing from the front or rear. JF: Too many judges, especially from those outside of a back- ground in Sporting Dogs get hung-up on details and place too much emphasis on individual breed characteristics that are not necessarily the most important for a hunting dog. Tending to judge on what they see standing instead

of what they see moving. If you find a typey dog, you have found a Brittany. BGS: It’s not just new judges; it’s also breeders, owners, and handlers who equate speed as being correct movement! 10. Is there anything else you’d like to share about the breed? HNE: Because the color pattern of most specimens is piebald (some will have blankets, especially liver and whites),

“AgAin i thinK hAving A very SPECIFIC PURPOSE thAt hAs been MAintAined through the yeArs HAS KEPT THE BREED CONSISTENT.”

don’t let the spots confuse your judgment of the top line, tail set or length of body. Try to view in your mind this breed without any color patterns. When judging tri-color Brittanys, these are liver and white specimens with orange markings. Make sure the orange markings are where they are stated in the standard. A mismarked tri-color Brittany should not be rewarded. JF: Never forget the function of the dog—it must have sound, efficient movement. Judge as if you are going to take your winner out bird hunting after you make your selection. As

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