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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Doggies!!!!

[f-ing blogger ... it still screws up photos! and you don't find out about it until after you publish things up ... ugggh, thought they fixed this bug!
You've got to be f-ing me ... now there are mistakes in the page just because I editted it? what the F? ]

Those who know me well know - I am totally addicted to the Westminster Dog show.  I usually record it every year, watch the live broadcast, watch the recast, then watch what I recorded ... and second guess the judges.

I have my favorites amongst the dogs that I watch (breeds that is) ... and I hardly remember the judges from year to year -- I'm more interested in the dogs' forms ... and what the handlers do.
-------------
Observations:
Toy Group:
that poor poodle, it just did not show well.  The handler just didn't seem to be 'in the game' he held the lead too tight and the hip puffs seemed too close to the mane for me ... and its really to bad ... although, I was not completely satisfied with the butt end of the dog.  I like to see a less 'bubble butt' on poodles, more angular, muscular, and I think the mane went too far onto its back - it should have ended just a little bit earlier ... I actually got the feeling that they handler was using the coat to hide a fault.

I'm very partial to poodles ... grew up with miniature poodles .... grew up hearing the horror stories from the shows my folks attended.... like the two guys who got into a bitch-fight across the ring [sounds like there was some personal-business between the two] .... there was the show where the woman cried 'rape' because her bitch [who was in season] was mounted by a dog while waiting to enter the ring - there were also allegations that it was a set up to keep that dog out of the ring ... then there was the bubble gum incident that I got to witness first hand - while waiting to enter the poodle specialty obedience ring, there was a bunch of yelling and stewards were rushing to the grooming area - a handler was just going nuts! she was accusing the person next to her of throwing or pressing a wad of gum into her dog's fur on the ear - if you know poodles, its very tough to scissor in a fault on the ears ... while there is a lot of fur there, the amount that would be needed to remove a wad of gum was impossible to fix.

Pugs - my daughter and her boyfriend always talk about getting one of these later in life ... a friendly friend of ours son owns one ... I don't like them at all.  nuff said.

Brussels Griffon: I love these dogs' faces ... they look like little gargoyles - if I got one, that would be its name! but they are just too small for me ... but I bet they would make great mousers with those little feet, they should be able to walk on the smallest of ledges like a cat ... but then, with the puff to their coat it might not work so well.

Chihuahuas: don't care for the breed - no matter the coat ... grew up with a neighbor that had them, thought they were just mean!  They have tennis balls for heads and the eyes are too 'buggy' for me.  If you own one - put the damned thing down and let it walk for itself!  On the show side of things - I don't know how the smooth coated Chihuahua got as far as it did - its tail was WAY TOO fluffy for a smooth coat, it like a trimmed down long-hair's tail in my opinion.  The tail shouldn't have fur longer than the overall coat if you as me -- and that poor thing, the handler was pulling up way too much on that leash (the poor things feet kept getting pulled off the ground).

Chinese Crested: you might know this as the hairless ones that look like they had a really bad experience at the barbers ... I was glad to see the full coated version this time - it looks a lot less 'freaky' ... it actually looks like a tiny afghan hound without the beard.

Havanese: I know absolutely nothing about this breed other than the fact that it was the breed that our Newfie's breeder were going into.  He (husband) was doing the Newfs, she (wife) was doing the Havies ... from the talk with the Newf breeder, he thought they were a waste of fur.

Thin legged breeds (Italian Greyhounds, Manchesters, MinPins): they scare me when they get down off the table and start walking around - I'm always waiting for the horrid thing to happen, when one of those twigs they have for legs gives way.  I know that their bones are so thin that a single misstep on the stairs can break a leg, and the bones are so thin that, like a horse, they can not be easily set.  The breeders need to start breeding for some density for those bones - while it will make a thicker leg, it would be better for the dogs in the long run (look at the toy fox terrier legs, still thin but it has some muscle for shock absorption)
MinPin: What a terrible carriage in the back - he looked like a bulldog from behind.

Maltese: my brother and his (now) ex-wife used to raise and show these.  I am impressed by how white the dog was in the show ... they 'yellow' so easily.  Any impurity in the wash water will turn them yellow, the wrong shampoo will give them a yellow cast, and tear stains - OMG - they are impossible to avoid and once there they are hard as heck to get rid of! This dog impressed me on coat standards alone.

Pekingese: (group winner) what a dustbunny of a dog! just spray a bit of floor polish on it and let it go to shine up your wood floors! for you Trekkers out there - they are the Tribbles of the dog world ... but they don't exactly trill, their noses are too pushed in for me.

Pomeranians: this particular one reminded me of wool batting used to spin yarn ... the coat looked nice and dense and had a lovely color - that was a lovely copper color.  And you have to love the twirling - just like a 4 yr girl in her first formal dress ... so cute ... but not for me.

Shih Tzu: what a wonderful top-knot! the top knot on a Tzu is very tough to do, get it wrong and you've lost the show - this one had a nearly perfect knot up there, I loved the way he used the knot to pull up the black from the eyes extending that color in perfect lines - a wonderful job!

Hound Group -
Saluki: I thought this dog looked too 'thick' to me ... perhaps I just think of them as being such a slight dog that it just threw me. Of course I thought it should have been white instead of the buff that this dog was.

Scottish Deerhound: (winner of group) had the best looking face, I have to tell you! When he walked that Scottish moustache was shown to its best - it was like it knew it was going to take the group ... wonderful dog.

Irish Wolfhound: our neighbors loved these dogs ... we had a teacher at Obedience school that had them ... they are very gentle for the most part, but they will guard their homes.  I liked the coloring on this dog, but I thought the handler was a bit too excited for the ring so the dog didn't show to its best advantage. It should have been in the top 3.

Basset Hound: I don't recall seeing a Basset with wrinkles on its knees before! It reminded me of the old panty hose commercials
I thought it was rather cute that they told the joke about how the best time for Basset sight was right after it stops running, at least until the wrinkles roll forward - it was such a great image. 

Plott - can we not come up with a better name for a breed?  It sound like it either just lays around, or that your describing the droppings left behind.  Poor thing ... but that said, it looked like a very happy dog! I loved its ears.

Red Bull Coon Hound - new to Westminster this year ... it is a lovely deep, old copper color.  but the poor thing looked a tad scared, it wasn't watching the handler well enough, the head was on a swivel.  Too bad too, I think it would have showed so much better. Lovely dog .... but I would actually like to have seen it no darker than the typical Irish Setter - but then I've seen them taking on a more 'brownish' cast to them as well ... I like them copper red, myself.

Beagles - both (13 & 15inch) had the furriest tails I've seen in a long time, full plumage.  I like them with less fur on the tail myself.  They stacked well, but I would like, just once, to have a judge pull out all the 'beagle-like' breeds out for placing ...

wouldn't you just once love to see both beagles, the harrier, the American & English Foxhounds all pulled together? Then a person can get a good look at all the differences ... like how the American Foxhound is more lean, the English more chesty, the Harrier more leggy in ratio, and the Beagles more angular ... you know what I mean?
I've got a group in the terrier section I'd like to see do this too - but that's not until tonight's showing.

Dachsund, Wired Haired: I think these are the cutest of the three varieties, but I prefer the merle colored more than the copper that made it last night. 

Norwegian Elkhound - well other than the fact that to my ears they pronounce it wrong ... I thought the dog had to much of a side gait.  But I loved its smile!  I would like to have seen it place better, maybe in 2nd instead of third (but I'm sorry, that Deerhound really showed well).  We used to train with a man that had Elkhounds - he said they were miss named, and that they were more of a Norwegian Terrier (stubborn) and he didn't recommend it for anyone who didn't have a LOT of patience. 

Non-Sporting Group
(which I recall as the Non-Working group):
There are several breeds in this group which I think are miss grouped ... basically they didn't think they belonged in any of the original groups so they got thrown into this group and never got taken back out.

This judge seemed to favor the smaller dogs - even though he pulled a couple of the larger dogs out, his final cut was only dogs knee height or below. Giving it to the Shar Pei (I didn't like its gait or the limited amount of wrinkles)
American Eskimo: this should go under 'working class' in my mind.  They are herders/pullers of light loads ... but I think they were put in here because like the toy poodle, the papillon, and the schipperke they were used mostly for circuses.
I loved this dog's eyes - the corner of them extended lovely around to the just under the ears without having that 'tear stained' look about them.  but I thought the corners of the lips looked too much like the Joker of Batman fame.  It also seemed to turn out its left hind leg quite a bit - it could have been the camera angle, but it looked like a fault to me.

Bichon Frise: I don't get these dogs - just buy yourself a poodle and cut it into pantaloons.  They remind me so much of a poodle that I just can't see them as being anything but posers in furrier suits.  And I can't stand seeing that dark little butt hole when they walk away. yuk.

Boston Terrier: why the heck hasn't this dog been moved over into the Terrier group? someone has dropped the ball on this one - it should be judged with others of its own type.

Bulldog: my brother & his kids love these ugly looking things .... I know they have a following f their own, but they just look horrid to me.  Although I have to say the one that made it to the 'group' competition had a good look to him - very bulldog-ish.  the short stout legs, the barrelled chest, the thick head ... although, I would like to have seen less ribs and a bit more meat between the ribcage and the hips - I thought it looked too thin in that particular area, had it been a female I think it would never had been able to carry a litter, although from the side it doesn't look quite so bad.

Chow Chow: this is another dog I think should be put into the terrier group, it is the 'chinese terrier' if you ask me - they have a very terrier attitude towards things.  Interesting, if not sad, story about the handler losing a gaggle of chows to a kennel fire - something like 18 of them died during a freak explosion while she was out of town.

Dalmation: the neighbor across the street used to have some of these.  One was deaf, both were avid escape artists - she was forever hunting the neighborhood for them.  Then there was the poor kitchen - Dals should not be left to their own devises too long during the day, and they felt she didn't get home quick enough for their liking, so they tore up her floor tiling one day.  Yes she kept the dogs ... but they were never looked at the same again.  My understanding was that at least one of them, Jester, was a rescue dog ... gee I wonder why?
the Handler did a wonderful job at keeping the dog interested and naturally stacked - although it didn't like to stay still too well.  when the handler moved to the side to see what the judge saw the dog moved its feet taking it out of stack ... but a nice straight gait and very alert!

Lhasa Apso: might as well rename these Pushme-Pullyou's ... you have to wonder about how many faults are hidden under all that fur. 

LoChen: okay I don't know much about these dogs - but they look like a hairless Chinese Crested whose mane got out of hand ... not so sure they are really a different breed.  I think AKC needs to look into that.

Poodles: I love poodles, but I'm very critical of them ... and their handlers.

Miniature: okay love the black ... of course just once I would love to see a silver make it up there, but I grew up with blacks so that's okay too ... This particular dog seemed a little 'flat footed' in the hind legs, they should walk on the pads of the toes (or at least give that appearance) and this one seemed to walk on the full padding, very heavy footed in my opinion.  nice gait but the handler seemed to crowd it a bit too much on the turns, he stiffled the dog!  but a BEAUTIFUL natural stack! hind legs at a perfect angle (okay maybe just a tad farther back would have been good, but it was wonderful) ... front legs straight and perpendicular to the ground.  head up ... and then the handler had to go and make the dog move, not once but TWICE while the judge was looking ...
if I didn't know better, I'd swear this guy was trying to throw the competition.
My poodle, Trouble, would have had to been shown as a "Standard" size because he was 15 1/2" tall, he was what breeders called a "Conchie" ... a dog who's parents were one size but the off spring another.


Standard: I love the standard poodle - there is just so much there to work with ... but they take a lot of work, because there is just so much there to work with.  If I owned one - it would be in the English Saddle clip because it has the body length to pull it off ... and if anything should happen during a show (see above) the clip can always be modified into the regular Continental clip. 
It is a clip that I think doesn't get enough credit.
When I had poodles I was always afraid to do the trimming on the feet & face because I feared really doing damage - but with the new 'trimmer' feature on the back of most electric shavers now, I think I could do it instead of using those big clumsy trimmers.  And I could use the dremel to trim those nails.
But that hair - keeping that coat up would be my down fall, I just know it would be.
This is one dog that I would love to see in a black or chocolate ... or perhaps event he new Red color (like a deep apricot) ... but you seem to always see them in white like the one in the show ... I just can't stand white poodles, they look wrong somehow.  This standard had a silver/rose skin, very nice ... a tad more spackled then I would have liked it to have been though.  I would like to have seen a better separation between the mane and the hip puffs, but that is just minor.  I did like the puff on its tail ... so often you see them looking more like a "flag" than a puff, so the handler did a great job at achieving the symmetry the style called for.  The legs looked nice and muscular ... but the toes spread out a bit much for me - perhaps it is just the way Standards are being they are so much heavier than Miniatures.  I loved the face on this dog - very regal ... I would love to have seen the evenness of the skin coloring from the face over the rest of the dog, but that's just me.
the handler seemed to be going faster than the dog wanted to, the leash a tad taught for my liking, but at least not to the point of pulling the dog off the ground.  A lovely straight gait, but a bit of a hop instead of a smooth turn - handler error - Not the best stacker though ... sounds like this dog has been in the business for 9mos ... that's nearly a lifetime for the show ring ... but at least she is a champion (you have to be to make it this far).

Shiba Ino: should be put into the "Sporting Group" in my opinion ... while they are small, they were bred for hunting!  they are supposed to be really good mousers ... I've never worked with one or anyone who had one.  but they look wonderful ... I'm betting they are very stubborn.

Tibetian Terrier: another dog in the wrong group ... hello, it needs to be moved to the Terriers group.  You might recognize it as the breed used in the remake of "Shaggy DA" with Tim Allen.  They are only a few years old (in AKC standards) ... lots and lots of shedding hair.  I know very little of the standard for the breed - but I love the looks.

Herding Breed:

Australia Cattle dog: Interesting, usually you see these in the Blue only - it was nice to see it in the other color, red.  don't like the breed, but the handler did a great job at keeping the leash very loose and letting the dog do the work.  Another dog with a puffier tail than I think it should have - the fur needed to be smoothed down more in my opinion.

Austrailan Shephard: nice gait! lovely dog, even if I don't like the breed.  another really good handler.

Bearded Collie: (group winner - I can't believe it) this dog suffered from the handler.  the hairs around the mouth looked dirty - like it wasn't washed after it ate - they reminded me of the whiskers of a cat fish ... when the handler readjusted the collar the dog seemed to give him a look that said "forget it pal" ... the leash wasn't held with any consistency so it would go limp, switch sides of the head, and then tighten up throwing the dog's head out of place.  But it did do a lovely natural stack.  I loved how the tail & fur flowed - I have to give the handler credit for that much.

Belgiums: there are three distinct breeds here, but wanted to put them all under this main heading since they have similar body structures ... what makes them separate breeds is the fact that when you breed two of the same type together, you get off spring that result the same .. unlike Labradors where if you breed two blacks, you can still get goldens in the resulting litters ... more on this later.

Malinios- loved the look of this dog.  lovely coloring with a very 'german shephard' face - that is the black muzzle fading into the brown forehead and then back into black ears. It had a lovely even body line.  If you love German Shephard's but hate the lope (like I do) this might be the breed for you ... I might have to put this on my list of 'maybe somedays' along with the Scottie/Westie (have to get the pair), the Standard Poodle, and Komondor [really I know I will be going back to Huskies, but its nice to think about it].  This dog was shown by a Junior Handler still in high school --- WOW, how wonderful that she made it into the center ring! usually the Jr. handlers only make it into their own competition, so this was great to see.  The dog seemed a little apprehensive but alert and showed very well.

Sheepdog - these are the ones with the full black coat, the ones you see being used as police dogs in Europe. it looked a little shorter than the other two Belgiums, and she seemed very out of sorts - keeping a closer eye on the audience than the handler ... too bad too.

Tervuren - (2nd place) I don't usually like the ones that make it in the ring for this breed - probably because I thought Fritz had such perfect coloring (too bad we never bred him) ... but this dog is lovely ... beautiful black mask, lovely red on the back and not too much fawn on the bottom ... for being a male though, I would like to have seen a little darker coloring on the back. But the dog worked wonderfully!

Bouvier des Flanders - usually I love the Schnauzer looking breeds, I just do, but the Bouvier is not one of them.  Perhaps it was the day I saw one grab a Sheltie and toss it into the air like a rag doll that has colored my opinion of them.  The dog was not a regular to our dog club, they were a drop in because of some issue the dog had at a local show ... and in the middle of an OffLeash Figure 8 exercise the dog just took out after this sheltie for no reason.  I do not like the breed.

Briards: I love the look of a Briard, especially the young brown ones.  They look like big teddy bears!  The one in the show was trimmed perfectly ... I wish it hadn't broke its gait during its parade, but it showed very nice.

Collie:

Rough - Though this dog was shown in the blue color, people know it best as the Lassie dog. Too bad though, I thought this dog had too scissor of an action of its front legs - that is having them criss cross the body while walking, it looked like it was trying to knock its wrists together. It might look cute, but to me its bad form.
Smooth - shown in the black/white color this is a lovely dog ... at least until it moved - then it looked pidgeon toed. the front feet seem to turn inward while walking while in the back the feet seemed to turn outward from each other. Not sure how this wasn't caught in the breed ring.
German Shephard Dog - okay, normally I don't put the 'dog' on there, but that is its official name now - if you ask me, its redundant ... after all you aren't going to have a German Shephard horse at the dog show ... its stupid naming.  BUT about this particular dog ... nice mask, nice coloring, although it seemed a bit skittish around the hide side during the inspection.  The dog broke its stride during its parade, but that's only a minor thing.  But I just don't like the low lope in the back side.  I had heard about 20 yrs ago that they were trying to breed that out in hopes of diminishing the occurrence of hip dyspepsia in the breed, but this dog doesn't look like the breeders got the message - but that's a personal thing.

Icelandic Sheepdog - A new breed! I love that face! such bright, but dark eyes.  I would say you'd have to call this dog "Hagrid" because of the way his eyes are described in the book series.  what wonderful movement too - feet nice and straight, walking almost on the toes ... you could definitely see this working the herds close to the water line where precision footing is needed. And even though the tail is carried high over the back - you can't see the butt hole, I very much appreciate that.

Norwegian Buhund: these are relatively new ... there used to be a breeder of the FSS not that far from us, but we never went to see them, they have since moved.  It reminds me too much of a Sckipperke for my tastes though.  The dog seemed to waddle from side to side.

Old English Sheepdog:  I love this dog .. I wanted one when I was growing up.  I love the way the head was groomed on this dog - but once again we have a handler that forgot the details and left last nights supper in the fur around the mouth.  Nice gait. but a dirty face. too bad - that will count against it.

Polish Lowland Sheepdog: it looks like a small Old English ... but look - the face is dirty again too!  What is with that? Unlike the OES, when the dog walks, the fur tends to fly away from in front of its eyes so it can actually see (actually that's a joke, OES see just fine even with all the fur).  This dog had a very nice gait ... but the judge didn't seem to give it much attention.

Shetland Sheepdog: I really don't like these dogs - I think they are way to skittish to do what they were bred for ... I haven't met one yet that will come up to greet you.  I also think they are over bred. this one is pretty much basic, but there seemed to be a crook in its tail ... not what I'd like to see.

Swedish Vallhund: I don't know a lot about these dogs, but they interest me.  its like a shephard/corgi cross.  its hard to imagine them herding anything really - after all, who could take them seriously?

==================
not shown during this part, but mentioned in the show:

Leonberger: This dog looks like the product of breeding our Newfie, Addy, with my dad's Tervurn, Fritz.  It has a very square head, with a long lovely mahogany coat that is puffy like a collie's, but fawn on the underside of the dog.  it looks like a lovely dog - I would love to own one ... but I'm guessing that not only would they 'blow' like a Newfie, they probably shed year round like the Tervurn. 
Belgium Tervuren
+
Newfoundland (black)
=

Leonberger

Okay - this isn't what they did ... its just what it reminds me of.
AKC does NOT allow cross breeds into their 'ranks', there is a lot of background foundation that needs to take place.

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