Judging A Dog

Judging to the Breed Standard

The aim of anyone aspiring to judge the breed is to judge to the Breed Standard, in the pursuit of the ideal and most typical specimen of the breed.

We all know of course, that it is highly unlikely that you will ever find one single dog that is correct in every point of the Standard. In judging, priorities and compromise will play a part in your decisions.

All dogs, even the best have faults. Your ultimate aim as a judge is to assess the exhibit presented to you and add up its virtues and its faults. Indeed, the object of any good judge is to find the dog that has the most correct points according to the Breed Standard.

It is therefore incumbent upon every judge to know and understand the Breed Standard as approved by The Kennel Club and to judge to it. It is essential to have an understanding of soundness, structure and correct breed type.

Hopefully the Breed Standard will assist you in understanding the essence of true Keeshond breed type, in the pursuit of that perfect specimen.

If you go into the ring with a good knowledge of the Standard and judge with both honesty and integrity, you will have taken the first steps towards recognising it.

Evaluating the points of the Breed Standard – A suggested method

  1. With the dog standing four square.
    • Visually assess the general appearance, overall balance and presentation of the dog. Qualities to look for at this initial assessment include: compactness of body, with length of leg giving a square outline. Good conformation, with a good reach of neck, short back and high set tail. Coat colour, definition of markings and texture.
    • View the dog from the front. Determine that the front legs are straight and that the elbows and feet turn neither in nor out.
    • View the dog from the rear. Determine that the rear pasterns are straight, hocks not inclined to turn either in or out
    • The hock joint should show slight angulation to the foot when viewed from the side.

Approach the dog from the front.

  • Examine the head. The head should appear wedge shaped when viewed from above, hold the ears gently down to the skull to assess this. When viewed from the side, a clearly defined stop should be visible. The ears should be small and well set on the head. The eyes, dark, almond shaped and the essential ‘spectacles’ clearly defined. Check the mouth, ensure that the teeth are clean and healthy, and that there is a correct scissor bite with the top teeth neatly overlapping the lower teeth.
  • Feel the lay of the shoulders and the angulation between the scapula and humerus, to determine that the do is not upright in shoulder. Examine the neck, which should be well arched and strong. The front leg should have good bone and the feet ‘cat like’ with black nails. Check that the pasterns are flexible but strong.
  • Examine the body using both hands and eyes. Feel that the chest is deep and comes down to the elbows. Placing a hand on either side of the rib cage, feel that the ribs are well sprung and that the chest is not narrow. The palm of your hand should be able to touch the brisket comfortably When inserted between the front legs.
  • Check that the back is short, strong, and that the dog is not carrying too much weight.
  • Feel the loins to determine that they are strong and well muscled.
  • If a male, check that both testicles are fully descended.
  • Examine the tail. It should be moderately long, high set and tightly curled over the back with a black tip. The end of the tail should just catch around the fingers when run through the hand.
  • Check that the dog has a wealth of undercoat, which should be pale grey or cream in colour. The outercoat should be harsh, straight and off standing. Any tendency to a curly coat, especially down the centre of the back being incorrect. Check the texture of the coat by running it through your fingers. The front leg should be well feathered and the hindquarters should carry profuse trousers down to the hocks. Ensure that the outercoat is of the correct colour and markings as defined in the Standard.

Check movement

  • To determine that the dog is moving with the correct brisk Keeshond gait, send him away from you in straight line and to return on the same line. This will display both his front and rear movement and allow you to determine if he is moving straight and true in front, and whether he is strong or weak in rear movement. Also if he is displaying any incorrect crab-like action. Move the dog in a triangle in order to see side movement which should be clean, brisk, and straight, without signs of any hackney-like front action excessive reach or drive.

The Breed Standard

Copyright © The Keeshond Club

eXTReMe Tracker