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Full Critique for Scottish KC (August) 2019

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Judge : Mrs Jan Meyer
This critique reflects the judge's opinion
based on what they saw on the day of the show.

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 – one, that I ’colour-judge’ 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 it’s colour!) and two, and rather disturbingly, that my CC winner ’was a done deal’. 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 ’full sail’ this vision cannot be achieved with flat tails and I found few with the desired ’tea-pot handle’ Although mostly presentation was excellent, a long abundant coat is not enough. On placing a dog on the table, one’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.

Minor Puppy Dog
1stEthelsmead Storm Warning For BishbowB/W full of fun at just 8 months; happy and playful, lovely head with the darkest of eyes, well placed nose, great dentition and width of jaw – good rib, sturdy little body, level topline, carrying tail nicely over his back creating a balanced outline on the move - plenty of time to settle and mature into a stylish little showman (BP)

Puppy Dog
1stJardhu Lord Of Fire And IceG/W 9.5 months; good shape and size, broad head with well-set darks eyes and width of muzzle, strong body and good rib, moved well showing pads and maintaining a level topline

Junior Dog
3rdBishopspark Red JasperG/W 14.5 months; unfortunately, very unhappy on the day and unable to relax, consequently it was difficult to significantly assess a rigid body without upsetting and traumatising him further – something had clearly spooked him and in the hope that perhaps moving him would help, he still didn’t settle and his tail remained firmly down

Post Graduate Dog
1stWarathwaite King Int North De JardhuYoung masculine G/W male with a lovely happy nature; good strong head, jaw and dentition with expressive dark eyes and well placed nose, compact sturdy body with good spring of rib – moved well, maintaining a balanced outline, with strong hindquarters showing full pads
2ndRossvale Fun In The Sun at KimevanSolid gold/black mask presented in superb condition with coat of good texture, attractive head with dark ’sleepy’ eyes and good dentition; good bone and sturdy body, moved well but difficult to assess his topline as he appeared to be doing that amorous boy thing they sometimes do at a certain age!
VHCBishopspark Red JasperG/W 14.5 months; unfortunately, very unhappy on the day and unable to relax, consequently it was difficult to significantly assess a rigid body without upsetting and traumatising him further – something had clearly spooked him and in the hope that perhaps moving him would help, he still didn’t settle and his tail remained firmly down

Limit Dog
1stChaela RalphishImpressive 2 year old B/W, balanced outline and nicely presently – attractive masculine head with expressive dark eyes and good stop; nice neck/shoulder placement, sturdy and sound, good bone/rib and lovely level topline – balanced and steady on the move with good front and rear action, nice extension and drive and showing full pad (RDCC)
2ndKimevan Cast A SpellA second solid gold from this exhibitor, beautifully presented in full coat of good texture – masculine head with lovely large dark eyes, although I felt they displayed a little anxiety/ or perhaps the topknot was maybe too tight; nevertheless, good body/ bone, shape/ outline – moved well with drive maintaining topline

Open Dog
1stCh. Art Made Gene Kelly (Imp Swe)Super 3.5 year old G/W champion of outstanding quality. So much to like about this handsome boy, presented to perfection – excellent head and large expressive dark eyes; well-built throughout with good bone and rib – moved well, with good extension front and rear and lovely drive; very eye-catching (DCC)

Veteran Dog
1stCh. Cremefern Sweet Talkin Guy JW ShCMImpressive G/W veteran with an adorable aloof expression with dark eyes and well placed nose. Well-bodied with ample bone and good rib; nice angulation with good front and rear action, tail set on high and balanced outline - a lovely temperament, good coat condition and presentation - looking flashy on the move, showing full pads

Minor Puppy Bitch
1stThaisu New Rose8 month solid gold – still very much a baby and coming into a coat of good texture; nice head with dark eyes and sweet expression – good body and bone for her age, just needs time and will surely mature nicely; moved with confidence

Junior Bitch
1stIsishouse Miss GoodnightG/W only days out of puppy and, given time, face furnishings and coat will come along; slightly smaller in size but good overall shape and balance – correct tailset and held a level topline on the move
2ndTejayse Beautiful TraumaG/W coming into nice coat with good finish and presentation; feminine head/ expression with good nose placement, lovely dark eyes and excellent dentition – preferred tailset and rear action of my No.1 (BSB)
3rdCremefern Dancin In The DarkThis lovely B/W had been spooked earlier and was giving her owner a very difficult time; unfortunately, attempting to assess her simply added to her anxiety but she had a sweet expression with lovely large dark eyes and great pigment – on a better day, I am thinking she is likely to do well

Beginners Bitch
1stTejayse Beautiful TraumaG/W coming into nice coat with good finish and presentation; feminine head/ expression with good nose placement, lovely dark eyes and excellent dentition – preferred tailset and rear action of my No.1 (BSB)

Post Graduate Bitch
1stIsishouse Miss SeverineSolid Black stood alone – have since realised the litter sister of my first in Junior and therefore just out of puppy too. Didn’t take to the table but was happy for me to assess her from the ground; warm expressive face with lovely dark eyes and good dentition. Pleasant overall shape and balance and coat of good texture developing nicely. Moved well with good rear action showing full pads

Limit Bitch
1stCh. Bishbow Summer BreezeLovely girls with my one and two each having their individual attributes and no doubt, more often than not, changing places on other occasions; expect both to be not too far from gaining their titles. B/W with well-shaped head, large dark glistening eyes, good nose placement and arrogant expression. Nice neck into well laid shoulders with good rib and bone. Once settled, she moved well with rear drive showing full pads and maintaining a balanced outline and correct tailset (RBCC)
2ndCh. Zeeva Reflections JWG/W finer in build but everything fittingly petite and perfectly placed. Lovely head with melting dark eyes and a beautiful feminine expression; nice neck/shoulders into a balanced body with a good topline and tailset – moved well with good angulation and excellent presentation

Open Bitch
1stCh. Tameron Miss Black OpiumWhat an absolute delight to have the opportunity to examine this quality exhibit. Not sure that I can add anything that hasn’t already been said about this instantly eye-catching, stunning B/W girl. Presented to perfection in full coat, super proportions in height/length, exquisite head with beautiful dark eyes, correct nose placement and arrogant but warm expression. Lovely neck into good shoulders, ample bone and correct spring of rib; balanced outline with good topline and tailset, all held as she moved around the ring with a proud carriage, super action, confidence and drive (BCC and BOB)

Veteran Bitch
1stCh. Thaisu She RocksG/W near on 11 years - super condition for her age and presented to perfection- a credit to her owner. Good bone and body, excellent balance and tailset all held perfectly on the move; lovely to see her beautiful expression, warm eyes and great dentition (BV)
2ndShihmali Mum’s The Word VWG/W 8 years in good condition; pleasant head and expressive dark eyes - well-bodied in good coat, nice balanced outline but not as happy on the move today