Thank you to SKC for the invitation to judge, and to the exhibitors who entered under me on the day, and for accepting my decisions so graciously.
The entry was mixed and I have a few observations to make.
As a breed specialist I am looking for the breed specific details of the Shih Tzu, soundness is paramount. We need to be mindful that the dogs need to be well constructed and have the framework to support a sturdy dog. Coats do cover a multitude of sins when stacked, but when a dog starts moving it becomes apparent whether they are made correctly or not. My concern with some exhibits was the lack of strength in their rear action, and a front assembly that was not in place to support heavier dogs, and so could not move with an arrogant, smooth flowing movement which is a breed specific detail.
On a positive note, all exhibits were presented and handled well, and the temperaments were superb, many offering their kisses on the table.
Thank you to the officers and committee for the invitation to judge at this show. Tuesday is not the best day for anyone to attend a show, but one so far away from most I do appreciate the exhibitors who took time out to enter and show their dogs under me. My observations are quite positive, most dogs were sturdy, of an excellent type and correct balance and sound. There were a few with narrow jaws and this needs to be watched carefully. The wind did decide to whip up a bit and this put off some youngsters particularly in the early bitch classes. Thank you to my stewards who kept the ring running smoothly.
I would like to thank the officers and committee of the Northern Counties Shih Tzu Club for their warm welcome. I appreciate that it is never ideal for exhibitors to have a replacement judge and I would like to thank everyone who showed on the day. Thank you to my stewards Helen Shaw and Trevor Crossland.