I was honoured to be invited to judge our lovely breed and I didn’t take my task lightly. I was extremely pleased with my large entry and thank all those that entered under me.
I found a slight improvement from the last time I judged but there is still a long way to go. I felt fronts and elbows were improved and there was less white of eye. Size is still varied and hind movement really needs working on. So many moved close behind despite having ample width in front and sufficient ribcage, which I found really strange. A large number lacked the typical rear drive and a lack of hind angulation was very apparent.
On the plus side, I found many really beautiful heads and large, dark melting eyes, which are a “must” for me. Saying this, there were still some small eyes, several almond shaped rather than round and a few showing white which is an absolute “no-no” for me as it completely ruins and hardens the expression. I found a handful of short ribcages with consequent long loins which was worrying. Coat texture is more important than abundance and length in my opinion. I felt that perhaps too much attention was being paid to length as many were lacking in muscle tone, presumably from lack of exercise, free running and good, hard roadwork.
I trust the above illustrates my priorities for the breed. I was looking for a small, short legged, heavy, well boned dog with no exaggeration. I like well sprung ribs, a moderate length of neck flowing into well laid shoulders, good angulation and typical, free flowing movement.
Some classes were hotly contested and my first three could change places on another day. Sadly, several good dogs had to leave cardless
Frankly, I found the breed to be in a mess! Where has the oriental expression gone that should be so typical of this breed? I found so many down-nosed dogs giving a totally alien expression. Fronts were a concern too. Many were much too narrow and I was barely able to get two fingers between the front legs. Deep chest seem to be a thing of the past and short, narrow ribcages were common. I am not a mouth fanatic but many dogs had missing incisors, which gave a narrow jaw and many were too undershot. Having said this, I did find some very typical dogs but they were a minority. THis should be a sturdy robust breed. Many would have looked more at home in the toy group.