Showsight Presents The American Eskimo Dog

aOeriEan esϱiOo Fo͖ WiTh BarBara BEynon, hELEn dorranCE, arLEnE grimEs, KEKE Kahn & LUis sosa q&a

LS: Size, color and erect triangular ears, with black points on the head. Correct body proportions, compact with good bone, level back and good coat with correct pattern. 3. Have you seen any real difference between the three sizes—toys, miniatures and standards? BB: Obviously, when a breed is miniaturized certain aspects will change. For example, the muzzle length tends to shorten. But every size of American Eskimo Dogs has correct members—whether a judge will see at least one in each size depends on the size of the entry and where the show is located. Some parts of the country tend to have more Eskies of one size. While it may seem like a challenge to judge a 19-inch Eskie and a 9-inch Eskie in the same class, I have not heard any judge complain about judging Best of Breed at a Poodle specialty when all three Varieties are in the ring at the same time. HD: Not really. Sometimes I’ll see a clunky standard or a light-boned toy but in general, they are all the same dog. AG: Yes, I have noticed differences between the three sizes. I see way more breed qualities in the standard size than I do in either of the other two sizes. Miniatures and toys are generally longer backed for their height and tend to be sickle hocked. I think that the toys are also prone to have the problems brought on as a function of miniaturiz- ing, as the different parts don’t reduce in size to the same degree. This peculiarity is good reason that we don’t see as many good toys as we do the larger sizes. In the past, I have rewarded the miniature Eskie over an equally excel- lent standard-sized dog because I know it is more difficult to breed the small dog. LS: Coming from Miniature Dachshunds, I’ve always felt it is more difficult to breed a good smaller dog than a good larger one. I believe this is true also in Eskies, with the overall quality in standards often being better than Minis or Toys. When I find a Mini or Toy of equal quality to the Standard, I try to reward it, but try to judge each size independently as required by the standard. I have placed all 3 sizes in the Non-Sporting Group. 4. Are there any traits in this breed you fear are becoming exaggerated? BB: Yes, the emphasis on coat, both its abundance and whiteness. Here in Texas, we fight the heat most of the year, so many of our Eskies are not always in abundant coat. The standard says that all things being equal, the Eskie with the whitest coat is to be rewarded. However, I have never seen two truly equal Eskies, but I have seen many judges reward the whiter Eskie when it was not the

most correct exhibit in the ring. Judges must first evaluate the dog under the coat. HD: I sometimes think breeders are putting so much empha- sis on single tracking that it is becoming exaggerated. The faster the AED goes, the more their legs converge toward the center line. That doesn’t mean they should actually be single tracking while barely out of a walk. AG: The only exaggeration that I have seen was some years back. I thought the dogs were too heavy boned and more closely resembled a Samoyed. I’ve not seen it since. LS: I believe the breed is, at times, a bit too square. 5. 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? BB: I believe that the overall quality of the breed has improved. Good Eskies have always been in the ring, but the number of really nice Eskies being shown has increased. I judged both the 2005 National and the 2014 National. The overall quality in all sizes has vastly improved over the intervening nine years. HD: I think the rears are definitely better. I think the heads are getting better and there are fewer narrow or pointed muzzles. Also the bone is more consistent across all three sizes. When I first started judging it seemed like some of the AEDs (of all sizes) were a little spindly. AG: Today’s AKC Champions are much better than those when the breed was first recognized. There is much more consistency of breed type with fewer flaws. KK: In my opinion, through the years the breeders have not worked on making this breed a beautiful Nordic Spitz breed, but making it resemble a Samoyed—it is too much and not correct. LS: I have not judged Eskies long enough to have seen a definitive change, I think there is more of a regional difference in quality, with dogs in certain parts of the country being better than others. Being from the South, I often judge dogs that are out of coat and it’s often challenging to evaluate these dogs equally with well- coated dogs from colder areas. 6. What do you think new judges misunderstand about the breed? BB: I don’t see as many new judges being confused about the breed as a few years ago—perhaps that is due to the improvement in overall quality in the breed. How- ever, the AED remains a low-entry breed. Some judges, particularly new judges who do not have the number of assignments as more senior judges, may go for a year

“good EsKiEs havE aLWays BEEn in ThE ring, BUT ThE nUmBEr of rEaLLy niCE EsKiEs BEing shoWn has inCrEasEd.”

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