Showsight Presents the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier

with a booklet still considered an exam- ple of a best practice. Wheaten enthu- siasts and judges alike stand to learn everything they need to know about what distinguishes a Wheaten Terrier from other breeds if they would but study this illustrated standard and use the information objectively. 1990 also marked the beginning of the importation of Irish dogs, followed by European dogs, the latter primar- ily of Irish descent. The objective of most breeders was to water down the intense gene pool that was producing illnesses that were killing off noticeable numbers of the breed. But we soon found that the imported dogs brought with them other issues. The FCI stan- dard is not the same as the AKC stan- dard and health testing was not carried forth in Ireland or in parts of Europe as it was in the US. Some imported dogs were also carrying genes for black or grey coloring that had been eliminated years before here. THE PROBLEM The 2017 Best of Breed rings at the Delaware Valley Specialty held with Bucks County Kennel Club and at the SCWTCA specialty held with the Mont- gomery County Kennel Club Show cer- tainly showed improvement from 1973 and some succeeding as well, but there are some obvious issues. • Long bodies! Some argue that they are short on leg, but I am seeing long rib cages and long top lines. • Black faces, beards and ears... neither standard calls for these and in fact, color should be clear by two years of age. • Tails are everywhere...too long, too short, gay, or low-set • Ears hang low and wiggle to and fro, (kidding), but expression does mat- ter. After all, Wheatens are Terriers! • Broad skulls, coarseness • Coats looking wooly—some of those may just be poor scissoring or improper thinning. There are some lovely Irish coats in the ring as well as some lovely American coats that haven’t been blown stick straight. Presentation is a problem that isn’t going to be improved by better breeding practices. Actually a better dog under the coat would help. It would be great if exhibitors understood the meaning of two words, moderation and blending. Breeders and exhibitors would benefit

Ch Abby’s Dhu of Waterford

Postage Dhu O’ Waterford owned by Marjorie Shoemaker led the way, win- ning the dog points three of the first four shows to become the first breed champion. By 1990 the special’s ring at Montgomery was a totally different story due to the breeding and groom- ing influence of one great dog, Ch Gleanngay Holliday, and by the expert trimming and handling directed by his breeder, Gay Sherman (Dunlap), and executed by Penny Belviso. Those who didn’t breed to him trimmed their dogs

to look like him and those who couldn’t trim, hired handlers who either could, or thought they could. We were excited that at last we were developing breed type. 1990 marked another important milestone in breed history. As president of the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier Club of America, I suggested that the Board authorize the development of an Illus- trated Standard and that Gay Dunlap chair the project. She and illustrator, Jody Sylvester, made the club proud

CH Bryr Rose Symbol of Paris

S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , F EBRUARY 2018 • 281

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