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Full Critique for Leeds 2021
Judge : Mr Mike Gilchrist
This critique reflects the judge's opinion
based on what they saw on the day of the show.
|My thanks go to the Officers and Committee for putting on a lovely show, which must have been a very challenging task in these uncertain times, and to my steward, Bob, for his sterling work. I have purposely delayed submitting this critique as there were issues in the breed which I found to be very disconcerting and in the long run are detrimental to the health of the breed, and wander far from the breed standard as to change the breed significantly. I thought it best to give some time to mull the issues over in the hope they may be less critical in tone, but for me they have not changed in the time which elapsed. It is never pleasant for a judge to have to make some observations which some in the breed will feel to be harsh, but not to do so, in my humble opinion at least, is failing to be totally honest. If today’s entry was truly representative of the state of the breed as it stands, then I seriously wonder what its future is going to be. Starting with heads, the standard clearly states: “Head broad, round, wide between eyes” yet I found several heads which wandered far away from that description. Some were little small, more apple shaped, certainly not broad, and therefore with no width between the eyes. The requirements for eyes to be ’large, dark and round’ was lost, and I was met with small, slightly almond shaped eyes, which gives a very untypical expression. In addition, toplines were very variable some with a slight slope rising, others with a very significant rise from the withers to shoulders. With regards to muzzles, some are far too short and can only but lead to health problems in the future. Unfortunately, as there was no undercover area, the younger males got the worst of the wet grass and drizzle, and I think anyone who knows the first thing about the breed will accept the combination of wet tummies and Shih Tzus, knows it’s not the ideal pairing. It was typical of English weather the by the time I was ready to award the DCC instead of giving permission for exhibitors to that shelter their charges from the drizzle, I was giving them the same, but this time to shelter from the heat of the sun. Overall temperaments were excellent even in the ’lockdown’ youngsters who must have found the experience challenging to that which they have known in their short lifetime. Generally, presentation and coat care was of a very high standard.|