|Scottish KC (August) 2019 ||Date : 24th August 2019|
||My thanks to the officers and committee of the Scottish Kennel Club for their kind invitation to judge Shih Tzus at their championship show and to my steward for her support. As I always say, I believe every dog has its day and, at another show, under a different judge, I have no doubt that the placings may change; consequently, I wish to thank the exhibitors for the sporting way in which they accepted my decisions.
It is some years since I last judged our beautiful breed and, since accepting the appointment, much has changed in my own life and that of my family so, it was with some trepidation but overall excitement that, supported by my husband Jonathan we made our way to Edinburgh on the train from London on the August Bank Holiday weekend, coinciding with the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo and the Edinburgh Festival Fringe!
I am aware that, in general, entries are dropping and knew that I would be making the long journey North for an entry that was below the most recent average. Since, if I am to believe the rumours that abound, this was perhaps due to two possible explanations â€“ one, that I â€™colour-judgeâ€™ and have a preference for Black and White (which is a ridiculous assumption, as I sit here looking at my two very dear remaining Shih Tzus, one black and white and one gold/brindle and white and, as with any judge, I access the dog for its breed qualities on the day and not itâ€™s colour!) and two, and rather disturbingly, that my CC winner â€™was a done dealâ€™.
Nevertheless, wishing to move on from the above, my overall impression on the day was that the quality was mixed with a variance in breed type and size. There are those that are too tall and too narrow, too close behind and sluggish on the move. Sadly, some lacked rear drive, clear pads and an arrogant, balanced carriage. There is nothing more beautiful than a Shih Tzu in â€™full sailâ€™ this vision cannot be achieved with flat tails and I found few with the desired â€™tea-pot handleâ€™
Although mostly presentation was excellent, a long abundant coat is not enough. On placing a dog on the table, oneâ€™s first impression can so easily change and simply being striking from afar will not win the class. Some felt my judging took longer than necessary, but I found myself searching for what I call the true Shih Tzu expression with beautifully warm large dark round expressive eyes placed well apart. Yes, I found good strong broad heads but many eyes were too small, resulting in the nose (sadly rarely tip-tilted) being the prominent feature and so hardening what should for me be a soft and endearing expression.
My main winners on the day were well-balanced impressive Shih Tzus with that extra little something special. I was delighted with my BOB and thrilled to hear that she again went on to Group 2 and less than two months later surpassed this by winning her first Utility Group and, in so doing, promoting our precious breed so positively.