||I have not shown for 10 years or judged for nearly 5. I did not attend any shows in the previous 18 months to this appointment as I did not want any preconceived ideas before I went into the ring.
Firstly as to ring etiquette, you should not under any circumstances put a dog on the table covered in excrement, if your dog has an accident of this sort tell the steward and ask if the judge can be told in order that can leave the ring to clean the dog. Don’t forget that the judge is touching other dogs after yours, mouths etc.
I never showed my bitches in season unless they were all but finished – If you decide to show a bitch in full season then be prepared to clean up after it don’t leave the table covered for the person behind you to stand their bitch in the mess.
Don’t be sarcastic to the judge this is not a good idea, especially doing it to me – I was going to ask a person to move their bitch in another triangle before she moved in a straight line bent down to stop the dog, and looked into its face and was asked in a particular nasty tone “don’t you want her to move up and down then”, I did not ask for the triangle to be rerun!
I know my withholding cards did not go down well, that is to be expected. I felt that the quality of that particular class was so bad that I could not place 1st and 2nd. But, and it is a big but, someone qualified those dogs, this is the most worrying thing for this breed – I know number are down and that sometimes judges only have 3 or 4 in a class, but this does not mean you have to place unworthy dogs, have the courage of your convictions and do not place dogs just because you have cards to give out. It makes people showing these dogs, especially novice exhibitors, think they have something they do not.
As to movement, I cannot understand how some dogs feel right on the table but the movement is so strange, some dogs move and you only see one rear pad as though the dog is lame but on looking from the side view all the legs are moving. Others have legs which move from the knee instead of the hock – this must mean patella problems! So many with close rear action, this shows narrow pelvis and in bitches is definitely not a good thing.
Topknots do not cover bad heads it does not matter the way you put them up, narrow heads are not camouflaged by a topknot, neither is a course head with a topknot hanging over the eyes.
Lastly where are all these great noses coming from, and I don’t mean length it is the size of the nose leather, when you look into a shih tzu face it should be pretty even in dogs a sweet open expression, the face should not be overpowered by a great fat nose! This is not masculine it is ugly there is no excuse for an ugly shih tzu.