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Full Critique for Darlington 2017

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Judge : Mr Ian Millar
This critique reflects the judge's opinion
based on what they saw on the day of the show.

Thank you for a good Friday entry of 67 dogs. I would not want to comment on the breed as a whole based on this entry, but I was gratified to find that it contained greater uniformity in type and size than on the last occasion I judged the breed. I was particularly pleased to find that my bitch line-up was, at least in my opinion, very even in size and type. I found no major failings, although mouths remain a challenge, and all the exhibits were presented in good coat and condition. I did not encounter any small or pinched nostrils. Several dogs did not appreciate the thick, damp grass in the outside ring.

Minor Puppy Dog
1stSuzitzu Lord Kalum of BlackgangshiI shall ignore the spelling of the Scottish name! An 8 months old gold dog who is obviously still immature and who needs to tighten up all round on the move, as you would expect. He presents a characteristic outline, sturdy and balanced and covered in a puppy coat of good quality. His head is pleasing with well-placed nose, dark eyes, a round skull and broadish muzzle. His overall construction is on sound lines and with time he should develop well.
2ndLyndatzu Joie De VivreA slightly bigger, stronger 7 months pup, more collected on the move but slightly lighter in eye. Has lovely head properties, with balanced proportions, a typical expression and well-placed nose. He, too, is built on fundamentally correct lines and has the promise of a good coat.

Junior Dog
1stKeytor The Jazz SingerA very appealing 15 months r/w dog who draws the eye with his typical outline and shock-headed appearance. He is correctly put together with a broad chest, well ribbed up, good shoulder lay, ample bone, level back and high set tail. His quarters are firm and strong and this contributed to his free, purposeful action. His head and expression are most typical, the skull round and broad, the muzzle square with a definite chin, the eyes round and dark. In good coat for his age. Very promising young man. Pleased to award him the top spot in the Yearling Stakes later and also the RCC here, his second I understand. I gave his dad the certificate the last time I judged it seems.
2ndShalehan YasheronA dog carrying a little more coat, nicely presented. His head is pleasing and balanced with good skull to muzzle ratio although the latter could be a fraction wider. The eyes are large and round but I would like them a shade darker. None of this detracts from his entirely characteristic expression, however, and he is a typical Shih Tzu constructed on correct lines and moving with assurance, carrying his tail well.

Yearling Dog
1stCh. Art Made Gene Kelly (Imp Swe)Very satisfying g/w exhibit, sturdy and firm throughout and demonstrating a very typical profile. He is low to ground, a little longer from his withers to the root of his tail, has a deep, wide chest with ample ribbing, a level back, correct tea-pot handle tail, muscular hind legs ending in round, well-padded feet and powerful thighs. His head is all of a piece with all the essentials and his dark eyes and tilted nose ensure a characteristically disdainful expression. Coat not yet at its best but promising and I thought him good value for the CC, his first.
2ndAlchez Emperor KuzcoA slightly longer cast black dog built on finer lines but still exuding quality. His head is most attractive, balanced and proportionate with particularly good, dark eyes and turned up nose. He has a decent lay of shoulder, some arch to the neck, tight elbows, a level back and rounded thighs. On the move, he had a little less rear drive than 1 but still showed his full pad and was sound. Coat was beautifully presented and overall, I thought him a typical Shih Tzu. Was happy to call him back to challenge for RCC

Post Graduate Dog
1stSantosha Cool Hand LukeTwo good dogs of slightly varying type. And he was cool, doing just enough and no more! He scored with the initial impression of his outline, slightly longer than high, broad, round skull balanced with his tail and a level back. His head is very satisfying, very together with everything in harmony, the round, dark eyes and tip-tilted nose giving him a haughty outlook. He is soundly constructed and carries a full coat, dense and thick. He moved soundly but reluctantly and just managed to hold off
2ndMagsyor Es Eden Lais at BlackgangshiA quality black dog, just a mite longer cast and not always concentrating on the move. His overall appearance is entirely typical, nonetheless, and his head has all the essentials, especially the large, dark eyes, turned up nose and neat, high-set ears. He was in good bloom and his coat was presented to best advantage.

Limit Dog
1stNiallsday For Your Eyes Only at TrottyveckA class with more of a mixture of types and with some variation on the movement theme. A gold dog carrying almost too much coat but presented in masterly fashion and presenting no impediment to his steady, clean action. His general outline is typical, the head carried on a strong neck flowing in to well laid shoulders, the chest deep with sufficient ribbing, elbows held tightly, the loin firm and the tail bang on top and carried forward to just touch the back. He has the necessary width of skull, round, dark eyes, short, square muzzle and characteristic nose giving an autocratic expression. Good dog.
2ndCh. Honeyshuchun God of ThunderA fractionally more compact dog who was a tad unsettled on the dense grass but whose movement appeared fundamentally sound. He is possessed of a quality headpiece with a round skull with some width between the eyes, a square, short muzzle with wide nostrils, a noticeable chin and high set ears. His back is level and strong, the quarters firm and his feet are round and well-padded.

Open Dog
1stCh. Cremefern Sweet Talkin Guy JW ShCMA dog of clear quality, immaculately presented in lovely coat which highlighted his typical breed outline. His head is very balanced with all the essentials but I would have liked an expression which was less sweet and more
2ndCarlita Surrender To DreamA chunkier, strong headed dog not perhaps in best bloom but a very typical male nevertheless. His head is all male but is in proportion, skull to muzzle, he has large, dark eyes, a good nose and high set ears, all contributing to a characteristic outlook. His construction is basically sound and he stood on thick, round pads which he showed as he moved steadily. Coat in good order.

Minor Puppy Bitch
1stLyndatzu Enchantment at TzusweetA challenging class of sweet babies, many still to settle on the move. This little black bitch grew on me by the moment. She is only just over 7 months and was a bit all over the place but in essence she moved soundly, a tribute to her fundamentally correct construction. Her head is very attractive and feminine but still has sufficient breadth to the skull, a short, square muzzle, large, dark eyes and well-set ears. At this stage, she is naturally still babyish but her overall body proportions are good and her outline balanced. Has lots of time in which to finish well.
2ndRossvale Simply DeliciousA g/w bitch of just over 6 months. She has an appealing head with round dark eyes, with sufficient width between them, good nose placement and high set ears, producing the required slightly aloof expression, the whole package carried on a strong neck, showing some arch. Arguably, she is a mite low on the leg just now but she is very young and has more growing to do. Otherwise, her outline is typical, she seems to be put together on the right lines and although uncollected on the move, will undoubtedly settle. Has the promise of a decent coat.

Puppy Bitch
1stShorestar Hocus Pocus JWA scrumptious little black madam who still needs to come together a little but who is well constructed and looks very characteristic in outline. Her head is lovely with dark, expressive eyes, a decidedly retroussé nose, short, flat muzzle and well-carried ears, so that she manages to look aristocratic and mischievous at the same time. She still has to develop some width in chest but her frame is sound and typical and if she keeps on as she is, she should present a very pleasing picture when mature. Her coat gleamed with condition and although a mite unruly on the move, she went well. Best Puppy, her fourth such win I was informed.
2ndCarlita Time to Samba JWAnother good pup, a fraction more compact and robust but still with a balanced silhouette. She was pretty steady and true on the move and showed willingly. Her back is level (virtually all toplines were good today), she has ample bone, sufficient depth to her chest at this stage, decent spring of rib and rounded thighs, the back legs straight from the rear view. Pretty head with desired expression.

Junior Bitch
1stWarathwaite Pure As Snow. A r/w bitch with a pleasing head. Her skull is broad enough, with width between the eyes and is in harmony with her muzzle giving a balanced whole. The eyes could possibly be a touch darker but lose none of their appeal and given her correct nose placement, she retains a characteristic outlook. She is sound in body, well put together front and rear and she carries her tail well, moving with precision when settled. Coat was in good nick, well presented.
2ndChotahkees Dark Angel at RossvaleA good moving b/w bitch who is, I suspect, at a slightly in-between stage, especially in coat. Her head furnishings were a touch sparse to-day but coat, while an important characteristic in many breeds, is the icing on the gingerbread. This bitch is very sound and typical with or without coat. I was tempted to describe her as honest but I would not want to damn with faint praise. She is a good example of the breed and there is nothing that time will not remedy.

Yearling Bitch
1stDolha’s Step Out in StyleA solid gold bitch with a good breed outline. Her overall structure is sound with the essentials of a wide chest, decent lay of shoulder, firm topline, full ribbing, strong loin and good quarters. Her head is feminine and together, all of a piece, with lovely round eyes, a good mouth and square muzzle. She moved out firmly. Not in full coat but presented to advantage. Apparently, her mother was my BOB last time I judged.
2ndPaliden Golden Future at MayofoxThere is at least one in every entry who frustrates you and here she was! On the first go-round, she moved cleanly and smoothly but then decided that the damp grass was not to her liking and flicked her back left leg. Her patella’s are firm, she just decided that damp grass was not her thing! She caught my eye on my first appraisal of the class, given her good outline and pretty head properties and she was in spanking hard condition. A quality, typical bitch who just made up her mind that the surface was not for her. Saw her moving soundly on the concrete path later! Frustrating!

Post Graduate Bitch
1stRossvale Xquisite Model at SannivekA deep gold and white bitch in decent coat, well presented. Her head is very attractive with breadth to the skull, short muzzle, nice tip-tilted nose and dark but not particularly large eyes but still with a true expression. Her body proportions are good, the back level and the rear assembly is strong and firm. Can throw her front a touch if moved too quickly but is basically sound with some depth to the chest and well-boned legs. Typical bitch
2ndPaliden Take That to EklandA slightly longer cast bitch with quite a wealth of coat, well displayed. Her head is pleasing with an arrogant outlook, good nose placement and large eyes that could be just a touch darker but lose nothing in expression. She holds a firm topline, has a wide chest, adequate ribbing, firm thighs and good round feet. Moved with assurance.

Limit Bitch
1stLyndatzu Jai MaliA class of typical bitches but all with plusses and minuses. Quite a chunky bitch with a good head and expression, if a trifle sweet for me, dark eyes and correct ears. Her body proportions were good, giving a characteristic outline with well boned legs, good spring of rib, robust quarters and high tail set. She was in good coat and moved efficiently. A useful bitch.
2ndThaisu Desperate Housewife for KimevanA slightly finer bitch, a fraction light in body but still with the constructional necessities of a wide chest, firm elbows, decent spring of rib, tight loin and strong quarters. She carried herself well and moved easily with her tail held correctly. Her head is pleasing with a good dark eye and tilted nose, giving a typical aspect. Another in fine coat.

Open Bitch
1stCh. Rossvale Secret ObsessionA g/w bitch in full coat. I loved her head and expression, although if I was being hyper-critical, perhaps her eye could be a smidgen darker but I am being finicky. Her expression is pure Shih Tzu and the proportions of her head, its complete balance and her tip-tilted nose convey much of what says Shih Tzu to me. She is correctly put together, presents a typical outline of the breed and is sturdy while still retaining femininity. I thought she was a lovely specimen who moved smoothly and easily demonstrating controlled power and efficiency. CC and BOB, her fifth in the last two months or so, I believe.
2ndCh. Tameron Miss Black OpiumAn impressive b/w bitch, slightly longer and taller than the winner but completely balanced with elegant head carriage and assured, sweeping movement. She was in beautiful coat, presented with skill and this set off her good construction and body shape. Her head is very typical with large dark eyes, correct nose, well placed and high set ears giving that mildly superior look. A top-quality exhibit whom I was happy to consider for RCC.

Veteran Bitch
1stCh. Thaisu She RocksOne of the very few dogs I recognised. I had not seen her for a long time but she still looks beautiful, a classic Shih Tzu bitch in superb g/w coat. At almost 9, she has lost none of her breed qualities and has a balanced head, liquid dark eyes and a decidedly superior expression. Her construction is first rate with a firm front assembly and strong thighs which guaranteed, clean, smooth movement. A close run for the CC but had to settle for reserve in the final run-off.
2ndAlchez Ching LanA seven-and-a-half-year-old in good fettle. A typical bitch with a slightly smaller head but very balanced, with good dark eyes, high set ears and good expression. Her body proportions are also good, her head and tail in balance, the back level, the hindquarters showing rounded thighs, ample bone and round feet. Coat presented well. She moved steadily and firmly.