JUDGING THE ENGLISH SETTER
A lean, arched neck should lead into well laid- back shoulders. Front and back assembly must match if this dog is to be well-balanced and good angulation front and back is ideal, but often lack- ing. Abrupt, steep shoulders create a pounding movement that is far from effortless. The same can be said for short upper arms. I find this to be a common problem in most Sporting dogs. I am thrilled when I find a correctly assembled front and rear and as a fellow Setter judge just com- mented to me, “If you find that run to the table and throw them every ribbon you have!” A chest with fill in the front and depth to the elbow will provide the lung room needed for a dog who is hunting hard all day. Ribs should be well-sprung, but not barreled. The ribs need to be carried back with a short loin for the efficiency of movement. This correct assembly should result in an oval look when viewed from the top. A wide thigh is a plus. Our standard does not give any height to length measurements, but balance is key—too short or too long in body will distort just as legs too short or long. I need to caution you not to dwell on pieces and parts, but judge the whole dog. Yet, the summation of the pieces and parts are what makes the dog. Might I mention again that it is impor- tant to reward animals with correct assembly. We ask for medium bone, good feet essential for hunting, and nice short hocks that will propel him with ease. Tails are extensions of the spine and should be straight off the back and lively. They should be long enough to only reach the hock and taper from the set. This does not mean a flag flying in the breeze nor a tail pointing to the head. Incorrect tails have become the norm. If the croup is correct it would be almost impossible to have an incorrect tail carriage. Look at the dogs in the accompanied pictures—those tails could not be elevated. If the dog is well-balanced, he will move with ease, effortlessly, with good reach and drive, down and back, and around. Coming and going should show good flexion of the hocks with no weaving or crossing of legs or feet. From the side it is essential that the back be quiet and firm indicating balance fore and aft. Movement is a test of the construc- tion. Remember we are not to select the best mov- er, but the best type who moves well. The ES is a single-coated dog with a straight to slightly wavy coat. He should exhibit a top-coat of some length which protects the body in the field and feathering in all the usual places. It is permis- sible to use a clipper on the face, top of the ears and under the neck down to the point of chest, but never on the back. Soft, wooly coat is incorrect as is excessive length which is not in keeping with the purpose of the ES. This is basically a hunting dog and emphasis is on such. If you have a choice of two equal dogs, I would not let exquisite groom- ing or length of coat make my decision; but rather his suitability to get the job done. The ES is basi- cally a white dog with ticking in various degree of orange (brown), blue (black), lemon, liver and
If the dog is well-balanced, he will move with ease, e ff ortlessly, with good reach and drive, down and back, and around.
The author with CH. OLawdy’s Time Out of Hemlock Lane at the AKC Centennial Show under breeder judge Warren Brewbaker.
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210 | SHOWSIGHT MAGAZINE, JUNE 2020
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