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Full Critique for LKA 2021

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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.

I do like Shih Tzu but they certainly present a judge with more than a few challenges, not least because of the variations in type and size. I was generally pleased with the overall quality of the entry and delighted that I found so many good mouths with six teeth in a straight line on the bottom jaw. In the main, the fundamental construction of the exhibits was pretty good although there were a few instances of swinging fronts and close hind action. Presentation was of a high standard throughout and most exhibits showed well, even the “lockdown puppies”. Virtually no narrow nostrils.

Minor Puppy Dog
1stCh. Tameron Mr Black Is Back8 ½ months b/w lad, build on strong lines and very assured in the ring. He has a typical male head with round skull, good width between his very dark eyes, correct muzzle and firm underjaw. His proportions are good, giving a typical outline with level back, broad chest and short coupling, the tail carried correctly and heavily coated. He moved purposefully if a fraction close behind and was in splendid coat. Best Puppy.
2ndMassarati Arssamandi Astarte Gold At Densown (ImpPR/w boy of just over 7 months and another built on sturdy lines. He has the required breadth and roundness of skull, square muzzle, eyes of good shape and well-placed nose, resulting in a typical breed outlook. He is shorter than the winner but still has a characteristic outline with a broad chest, level back and short well-boned legs. Moved steadily.

Puppy Dog
1stHot Chilli Sweet Addict At DensownA bigger chap coming in to good coat. He is basically built correctly and moved cleanly, showing his rear pads. His head is typical with breadth of skull and strength in the muzzle, the whole carried on a strong neck. The quarters are firm with rounded thighs and strong bone and the overall profile is typical.

Junior Dog
1stCh. Cremefern Trigger A Storm At Symaraju JWFairly mature, pale gold dog who was very balanced and all of a piece although perhaps a touch short. He has well-placed shoulders, straight fore-limbs, a broad chest, firm loin and level topline. His action was free and collected with drive from his strong quarters. The head is pleasing and typical, all parts in harmony and he has the look of arrogance I associate with the Shih Tzu. In good coat.
2ndCh. Matsuba King Of HeartsThis pale cream dog did not catch my eye when the class assembled but he grew on me steadily and is really very typical overall. Coat not at its best just now but he has nothing to hide in the construction department, something which was reflected in his easy, sound movement. His outline is pretty balanced and it will be interesting to see him in full coat. Even now, his silhouette is characteristic and the head very pleasing. Just needs time.

Yearling Dog
1stShihmali Solar FlareSolid gold dog in good coat and firm body condition who moved steadily and briskly. Overall, he is very typical, slightly longer than high and with a level back, sufficient breadth to the chest, ample bone and muscular thighs. Tail might be a tad flat but it did not detract. Pleasing head and expression and arrogant outlook.
2ndBaccibo Truly Madley DeeplyBig, dark red fellow in good coat. As is to be expected, he still needs to fill his frame and seemed at something of an in-between stage just now. Was reluctant to move and gave his handler a bit of a hard time but when he learns to co-operate, he will do better since all the essentials are there, not least a characteristic head and expression.

Post Graduate Dog
1stMayofox MatisseThis is an appealing, typical b/w male, sturdily built and in firm nick. His head is masculine, with round, broad skull, good width between the eyes, correctly-placed ears and large eyes. Could arguably have a mite more width to the muzzle but I am probably nit-picking. His body construction is good with all the necessary attributes and his broad chest, level back and correct height to length proportions guarantee the desired profile. Moved firmly if a little close behind.
2ndCharonnis Vegas High RollerRich gold, very heavily-coated dog. Not in the mood to-day, especially on the move where he never really hit his stride and appeared uneven. Overall, however, he possesses many breed features and is correctly put together with good proportions. Might do better outside on a bright day!

Limit Dog
1stShanitaus ObsessionStrongly built deep gold and white dog. A big bloke but very proportionate and balanced and in no way coarse. His head is very appealing with good skull to muzzle proportions, good breadth to the skull, noticeable but not deep stop and good mouth. His body is firm, the back level, he is a little longer than high and has ample bone, so he looks good in silhouette. Moved purposefully and accurately.
2ndTiziano SerenissimaAn attractive exhibit with good head properties and a characteristic expression. He is correctly constructed with a broad chest, decent shoulders, firm loin and well- rounded hind limbs. Carried his tail well and was in good coat. Not quite so collected on the move to-day.

Open Dog
1stCh. Miracey Zero HourMature dog, all male and not small but very balanced. He drew my eye as soon as I turned round to look at the class for the first time. Virtually every time I looked at him thereafter, he pulled himself together and presented a classic Shih Tzu outline, slightly longer than high and with skull and tail on a level. His head is completely balanced with round skull, square muzzle, large dark eyes and defined underjaw. He has a strong neck with some arch to it, well-placed shoulders, broad chest and a firm backline and his rear end is well muscled with good bone and thick pads to his feet. In excellent coat immaculately presented and showing with a real regal air, although he can be the merest touch close behind if moved at the wrong speed. He was my DCC winner and later BOB. To my delight, he also topped the Utility Group. I bet his owners are glad they gave me the benefit of the doubt!!
2ndCh. Santosha DaybreakRCC. I always find, after judging, that I have been drawn to dogs of this breeding. Very typical, not overdone and nothing in excess. This chap is very balanced, possibly the tiniest bit short but he presents a good outline and says Shih Tzu to me. His head is very pleasing, all of a piece with a good tip-tilted nose, large dark eyes and characteristic outlook. His construction is very good, he has all the essentials of a broad chest, straight front legs, level back, short loin and hard, muscled quarters. In good bloom and moving steadily. Quality exhibit.

Veteran Dog
1stCh. Cremefern Sweet Talkin Guy JW ShCM VWShCM. 9 ½ years red and white dog. Still very fit and active and showing off a very characteristic profile although he is maybe a fraction chunkier than in his youth. Still moves freely and with power and carries a splendid coat. His head is attractive, very balanced and with correct expression and his construction is first rate. Moving freely and overall is still a force to be reckoned with.

Minor Puppy Bitch
1stShihmali Bizzi LizziVery unsettled babe but overall, of a very nice make and type. Her head is very balanced with everything in proportion although I would prefer a slightly darker eye. Still retains a typical expression, nonetheless and even managed a touch of arrogance here and there. She is soundly constructed and has the promise of a good coat but she needs time and experience. Saw enough of her movement to convince me that she was sound but, in the challenge, she was just tired. Promising lass.
2ndCh. Rossvale Little Black DressPretty b/w girl in a small mould but she is sufficiently robust and well-constructed and moved feely and true. Her head is very typical and feminine with large dark eyes, a well-placed nose and square muzzle. Has all the essentials and should come on well. Very much the type I appreciate.

Puppy Bitch
1stDebeaux Say What You SeeSolid black bitch with a cheeky wee white beard. Perhaps a touch up on the leg just now but her profile is still typical and balanced, her back level, the shoulders well-placed, her chest broad and the quarters strong. Attractive head with very dark eyes, good skull to muzzle proportions, the latter being square and wide and correctly set ears. A mite short of coat but this will come. Moved freely. Best Puppy Bitch.
2ndChanikos Tangerine Dream of Shenleyvale JWUnplaced in the previous class but in no way disgraced by that. She is built on robust lines but still retains femininity. She moved feely and with animation and showed herself off. Overall, she is very balanced both in head and body, has a firm, straight back, broad chest and good bone. Useful prospect.

Yearling Bitch
1stCh. Santosha SilhouetteA deep gold and white bitch, very balanced and very Shih Tzu in my eyes. On the debit side, she was a little unsettled and could be a shade darker in eye but beyond that, there is little I would change at this point. So feminine and typy. Lovely balanced head with everything in harmony, first rate construction and a quality coat coming along nicely. Moved with assurance. Really liked her.
2ndCh. Miracey Disco Fever (Ir)A more substantial bitch sporting a beautiful coat, exquisitely prepared. Her head is lovely, very balanced and with everything in proportion. Her chest is wide, there are strong, well-boned limbs under that coat, a firm loin and a level back. Excellent tail-set and swept round the ring with real verve. She will always be there or thereabouts.

Post Graduate Bitch
1stKeola Tailor MaideComposed b/w bitch in beautiful coat and condition. She has a lovely feminine head with a far-seeing expression, very dark eyes, good round skull and proportionate muzzle. Her construction is very good with all parts blending harmoniously, ensuring assured carriage and clean action. She rather did enough and no more, however, but her quality could not be overlooked.
2ndCharonnis Vegas ShowgirlA more closely-coupled dark gold and white bitch, broader in skull but still very characteristic and feminine. Her expression is typical, the eyes dark and round, the bite good and the ear leathers long and well covered in hair. She is well put together, was in firm condition and carried a good coat.

Limit Bitch
1stCh. Marpalyn Phab GoldThe strongest class of the day, albeit with a couple of wintry noses. Full of quality bitches.feminine lady in beautiful gold coat. Not overdone or exaggerated in any way, she just stood there and exuded type. She is completely balanced in head and body and although she began to feel the heat, she moved precisely and strongly here and in the challenge. Her head proportions are excellent with every feature complementing the next, her length to height ratio is spot on and she carries her well-set tail correctly just over her level back. Very satisfying bitch. RCC.
2ndRossvale Forever DreamingAnother high quality bitch of similar type to the winner, just a fraction shorter-coupled and perhaps narrower in skull but very lovely. Her expression is typical of the breed, everything on her head is where it should be, giving good overall balance and she conveyed a sense of presence. Very clean and accurate on the move, holding her topline and using her good quarters to advantage. Liked her very much.
3rdPaliden Golden Future at MayofoxCompleted a trio of very good Shih Tzu ladies.

Open Bitch
1stCh. Tameron Miss Black OpiumThis class of two exhibits was not easy either! This is the third occasion on which I have judged this b/w exhibit and I like her more each time, especially when she is on form. To-day, she was in lovely coat and moving effortlessly, although at speed, she can appear a bit close behind. She is not small but so well balanced and feminine, altogether of beautiful breed type. Her head is most appealing with dark eyes, broad, round skull, square muzzle good bite and correct ears. Her body proportions are excellent and she holds herself so well standing and on the move. Top grade bitch who took the CC, one of many.
2ndDolha’s Step Out in StyleQuality, mature lady who attracts at once for her look of sheer type. I gave her mum a ticket and clearly admire her breeding. To-day, she was not entirely settled or co-operative and stood a trifle hunched at times. She has breed attributes galore, however, not least in her lovely head and eyes and was in grand coat. I was happy to call her back to challenge for the reserve ticket but she did not want to play.

Veteran Bitch
1stShihmali Mums The Word VWAnother tussle between two good bitches. Not as immediately impressive as her more glamorous rival, I finally opted for this bitch’s understated type and balance. She is all of a piece, very typical and unexaggerated with a correct head with broad skull, wide muzzle, well spaced, dark eyes and very good mouth for her 10 1/2 years. She has excellent body proportions, still holds a level back and has strength and power in her quarters. Moved efficiently and true and was in very good coat without any excess. Best Veteran.
2ndCh. Miracey Fruity KissesAt nearly 11, this bitch is in fabulous condition and coat and still moves like a youngster with reach at front and drive behind. She is quite substantial but retains balance in body and carries herself with assurance. While her head is balanced and typical, I found it just a little small and narrow but her overall quality is apparent at a glance. Stood firmly on thick pads which she was still happy to show off as she went away. High quality exhibit.