Cinofilia-Sud
   
Sergio Blois and

"El Buscador"
Present for Cinofilia Sud

Standard

Usually, each time we go to a dog show, or we are in a meeting with other friends related to the dog world or in any event with our beloved dogs, the word Standard, talk about the Standard or saying the Standard this or that is like expression of the day.

Other phrase that is also quite use is, “my dog has a good conformation for working or field trials but, we hardly get a point in the conformation ring.

I have to confess that I used to think that if a dog was well built as the Standard for that breed asks, that this dog would be able to work, hunt or any other activity that this breed was originally created for.

So, I decided to search around the world searching for opinions and try to find for us other concepts that may help us into a better comprehension, or even better start a Debate.Lets see who can be found connected during this search after Clicking!!!

Look! Carol Hawke is connected and hoping to help us. Carol is a friend of the "El Buscador" a lady with great experience who resides in the United States.
In the photo Carol Hawke with Dr Christine Towner, Breeder from the United Kingdom.

My background in dogs encompasses twenty-five years studying, training, showing, breeding and more recently, judging purebred dogs in the USA. With my husband, Michael, I have bred and exhibited litters of Shetland Sheepdogs, Chow Chows and French Bulldogs and owned individual dogs representing at least a dozen other purebred dog breeds over these years. We have a well regarded reputation in this Sport in America. I have also written for various dog publications since l978. Less known is that we also lived in Panama City, Panama and were active members of the Club Canino De Panama for the year we were stationed there. During that time we also registered our kennel with the FCI, as it remains to this day.

With the gracious and professional help of my personal friend and invaluable Spanish translator, Dr. Braulio Saenz, I will now address your specific questions.. .

 

Carol, some of us are new to this sport others are old and well experienced, but everybody have heard about "The Standard", what is the exact meaning of the word Standard for a breeder?

American Champion 
Sonlit All The Tea in China

Dear Sergio and friends from the "El Buscador of Cinofilia Sud" - I am pleased to respond to your interview questions with my experience and personal understanding of purebred dogs.

A standard according to Websters can be defined as, "something established for use as a rule or basis of comparison in measuring or judging capacity, quantity, content, extent, value, quality, etc." and also, "the type, model or example commonly or generally accepted or adhered to, criterion to set for usages or practices," and lastly, "a level of excellence or attainment regarded as a measure of adequacy."

All three of these applications of the definition apply directly, both intrinsically and in practice, to the precise meaning of the word breed "standard." The usage should be the same for all dog show participants and equally important to exhibitors, judges and even spectators in order to fully comprehend the purpose and functional structure of dog shows

It is when participants ignore or deny the value and practicality of these standards that chaos results.

But, how can I translate that lines and explanations from the written to that ideal dog in my mind?

The image that forms in each breeder's mind as they read the standard evolves with the effort to adhere to those descriptions in actual practice. It is precisely through the breeding effort that the breeder comes to understand how each sentence of the standard fits ideally into the next and why. Breed standards originally represented efforts to describe anomalies in dogs that people took a "fancy" to and wished to preserve

The standard was their effort to describe these changes from the wild canine and to note the series of characteristics that followed those changes. The ideals in type of these "standards" are the fully preserved characteristics that not only appeal to all such fanciers but tend to serve a unique function without loss. When I speak of "loss," I mean loss of health, sound temperament, longevity and functional mobility. It is the ethical responsibility of the breeder to balance the welfare of the dog with the preservation of those unique characteristics.

American Champion 
HB Sonlit Flawless Wallace

Curiously, I have go to different shows and as new to many breeds I could note that if the final cut for the Best of Breed competition with 5 dogs many times I can see in them 5 different types, or are my eyes still not so expertise?

Even experienced judges recognize that any lineup of specials in nearly any breed of purebred dog will present multiple variations of type within that breed. It is the same in the regular classes. There are two factors that immediately come to mind in regards to this situation.

First of all, the only way those five dogs could look more alike than dissimilar would be if they were produced by the same breeder out of the same lines and that breeder would have to be an expert to achieve such a degree of similarity

Best In Specialty Show

and American Champion
Sonlit Imagine The Duke

 Second, every breeder forms a slightly differing version of the breed standard when they read it and in their efforts to adhere to it. It is impossible to escape this conclusion because each of us is created uniquely by God.

We have unique backgrounds, experiences and goals that shape our view of life. These unique perspectives and approaches may well fit within the broader scope of the breed standard even though differing noticeably in their results

 

Importantly, without our unique ability and the freedom to convey these minor differences, dog breeding and showing would become so mundane that it would cease to be a Sport altogether.

 

 

In many standards I read the word "balanced" is it as simple as high x long or there is something else I should learn for that word?

The proportions section of the standard, a recent addition, describes a dog that loosely fits into a square. They want to convey that the dog should be short backed and proportionally square without stating it too dramatically. The standard asks for a 'compact' dog. We can render a dog too short backed and leggy, too long backed with short legs, too long in loin, too short in loin so no roach is possible and any number of ways that lack "balance." Balance is the kinetic state of proportion in which all the dog's physical components fit seamlessly together. According to the description of our breed standard - without any specific characteristic being in excess or lacking so that the dog itself is in excess of type or lacking in quality. Balance of proportions is indicated as "height at withers equals length from withers to onset of tail," but innately includes width of body and bone mass, size of head to body and naturally, leg length vs. brisket depth. All of these factors will determine balance in motion as well. A dog that appears balanced standing but not in motion, is still unbalanced.

Best In Show and

American Champion

Sonlit Golden Rule

 

Is The Standard as important to the breeder like a probably buyer, or as buyer I can relax about reading or searching the proper information of a specific breed?

The emphasis on the breed standard is the primary issue of difference in categorizing breeder and buyer. The standard ever remains to be fulfilled in each detail and therefore, as a whole. The degree of fulfillment determines whether your goal is to merely own a dog that fits the broadest terms of that standard and can be recognized as a dog of that breed or to own one that meets the smallest details of those descriptions as well. The average companion buyer is not seeking perfection of the standard and will be satisfied with a dog that represents its breed and is happy and healthy. The average breeder/exhibitor will not be so easily pacified.

On a personal note, I have had pet buyers request show quality dogs. They state they want the best and insist upon having a top quality dog. This is ridiculous! It would be like me insisting upon owning a high performance racing vehicle in all it's glorious detail simply because I believe it represents "the best." For one thing, I would never understand or appreciate the unique details of such a vehicle and might even kill myself trying to drive it like a regular car. Perhaps I would ruin the car accidentally, not comprehending its function. It is the same with show dogs. They do not belong in the hands of companion buyers who have not proven worthy of appreciating their details and meeting their specific needs. Breeders/exhibitors arrange their lives around addressing the needs of such dogs and they can fully appreciate them and utilize them to their highest degree of function.

.

Best In Show en Especializada 
Campeona Americana 
Sonlit Willa Steele

 

 

 


 

 

While sending a BIG THANK YOU to Carol Hawke for her help, I can see that fortunately Neil is here around and we may continue the chat with him. Neil Birks is French bulldog breeder since 1984, also is allowed to award Challenge Certificates for the breed in his country, and Judge all Breeds to Best in Show at Open Show level in the UK

Neil Birks, Neil Birks is French bulldog breeder since 1984, also is allowed to award Challenge Certificates for the breed in his country, and Judge all Breeds to Best in Show at Open Show level in the UK.

Neil has been Chairman for the Midland and Northern Counties French Bulldog Club from 1990 to 1994

In the phto with Birique Prinzessin, wining one of her Best Puppy In Show placements in UK

The Judge in the photo is Mrs Sue Cooke

 

Neil, we have been talking with Carol about different aspects in the Standard. In your personal experience when you have an assignment, in that specifi moment who do you interprete it, I mean in the real life have you a range of tolerances. How do yuo determine how long is long or how short is short.......?
 

Hi Sergio, I will try to be concise. We have been talking with about different aspects

I think that as we each read the standard relevant to the County/ies, of which ever Breed it may cover, we have a mental picture of what we want to see.

French Bulldogs for me need to look on the Bulldog side and most definitely not Terrier,

The thing about judging is, it's all compromise, because you do not see that picture that is in your mind you may see a frenchie that comes close but there is always a let down, a wish for better front movement, but the rear movement is excellent, and wonderful front movement is let down by poor rear movement, our standard calls for angulations at the stifle, and I have seen dogs standing that have this, but on the move they are poor, but I have seen many frenchies that are virtually straight in stifle that MOVE WITH POWER & DRIVE,

Whilst I have been breeding Frenchies I have had 2 or 3 different types. Consequently when I judge I go for the best of each type, I may be lucky and have most of the type I see as my idea of what a frenchie is, then it is relatively easy.

Yes, I do think that the Standard is widely interpreted, as you say how short is short, or how long is long. As regards tolerance, very much there has to be tolerance, simply because you will not see JUST what you want to see.

There may be a dog that is thought to be excellent, but, if you were to ask 6 Judges what they thought if him you would get some answers that each one considered good, but each one would probably come up with a different negative. For instance there is a male that everything is good, but I have particular dislike for upright shoulders, but this is the fault of this dog, should I not place him 1st, or say there is another dog that is nice but not of his quality, with good shoulders, It would have to be the one that's upright in shoulder, FOR ME. and that’s compromise the way I see it.

In other countries you know that you are looking at Frenchies, but the type is very different


 

I think that this conversation is getting very suggestive, would be interesting to know what people think in other country so far away from the big centers like us. So, welcome Elva Halliday to our first chat, or interview or they way you would like to name this event that “El Buscador” is trying to develop for Cinofilia Sud about “The Standard”

Elva is an English Bulldog breeder from Auckland (New Zealand). She got her first bully in 1957 and then she established her kennel under the prefix of “Brigstock” in 1977. She has 24 Champions bred by where 8 of them are also Australian Champions of records and other 12 from the kennels. Besides Elva, is President of the Auckland Bulldog Club and wanted to tell us that among her goals we can find

a) breed healthy, active bulldogs which conform to the standard

b) educate others about bulldogs and dispel many of the myths regarding them.

c) continue to learn from the experience of others.

 

Elva, we have learned more about the Standard and different points of view with our previous guests. But there is a subject we can not forget. The Health. How does health fits in all this sport of breeding and showing pure breed dogs and the Standard?

 To me, health is paramount in my breed. If one is breeding to the standard, generally, the health issues should be minimal. When breeding to over emphasize the standard this may compromise health in the dog

 In the photo at the left the New Zealand Champion Bithc Brigstock Truppence going Best In Show, at the 2001 Aukland British Bulldog Champion Show

Usually we can hear my dog can win in a trial / working / herding show but not in conformation, is it truth? Are we the exhibitors of conformation shows doing too much cosmetic, perhaps those that are used in works are overdone or more close to the old styles?
 

If the standard is adhered to, the conformation of the dog should be such that it can compete in any arena with correct conditioning, given it has good health. But I would agree that many exhibitors do strive for cosmetic effect and many judges seem to be drawn to this at the expense of a more correctly built dog which could perform its original purpose..

If a dog is not built correctly, it cannot function correctly. It may have health issues or may not have the conditioning to enable it to be competitive in conformation classes. If it is bred correctly to the standard, it should have both good conformation and functional ability.

 

 

 

I believe that we have quite a general aspect of how, why and what a Standard is for, I think It’s time to include in this chat a bit of “Temperament” What do you think? Lets go over the other side of the Atlantic and visit

Damian Galán Kaiser from the Khy Lha Tibetan Terrier linage in Spain, and hear what a young voice have to say about this subject

 

 

Damián told me that he was born in Madrid (Spain) 1979, when he was 13 years old got his first companion puppy girl…….But let it hear from his own words.

Many people consider me a puritan, since
I like put
great emphasis in the Standard. I’m member of the Canine Royal Society in Spain, VDH and for the oldest club from all the Tibetan Breeds, the KTR (International Klub fur Tibetische Rassen)

“....I grown-up with dogs, cats and other animals. At 13 years old got my first own dog, she was a Siberian Husky called Farandula de Lupjak. Unfortunately she passed at a young age due to distemper after a re vaccination process. This event marked my life and influenced in the election of my Biology studies at the University. After a prudential time, my mother and her handler gave me a German Sheepdog “Paola”, even a bit old still healthy and guarding the house.

When I became “adult” my mother let me be her partner and co own her Tibetan Terrier kennel whose name as told before is Khy Lha, that in Tibetan language means “The Dog”.

Between my responsibilities you can find the handling of the dogs in the show ring. I really enjoy it a lot to handle them specially in mid Europe due to the competence we can find there, since in our country there are few representatives for our breed.

I also think that competence when healthy is useful and necessary to surpass ourselves in the breeding sport too.

 

Damián, as you can see we have been talking
with other international personalities about the
Standard and its applications. We’d like to
know your appreciations about the
“temperament”
How much important do you believe it is
for the Standard of any breed?
 
Temperament has an important limiting factor, which is the fact that it is an abstract concept impossible to express quantitatively. This is difficult to express in a few lines and even worse when it is done with a few words, as it happens in some breeds.

One has to take into consideration that even though temperament has a genetic base, the influence exerted by environmental factors is also important. It is not difficult to change the behavior of a dog through training or conditioning, but it is not possible to change the essence of its temperament. That essence is the one that has to be described in the Standard all dogs of the same breed should follow, and it should not be subjected to change.

Do you think that temperament is well explained in the Standards, or are they poor about that respect?

Let us know you feelings...

Examining if this trait is well described in the Standards or not, we may study two breed examples. In Tibetan Terriers it reads: Vivacious, well tempered. This is a faithful companion dog, with many attractive features. It is a sociable, alert, intelligent and courageous dog, never intractable or aggressive. Reserved with strangers.

On the other hand in the Do-Khyi it just says: Reserved and Protective.
In my opinion temperament is well described in the first case and it should be maintained. Even when this refers to dogs belonging to Group 9, it should still be conserved.
In the second case the description is too brief, and it could lend itself to liberal interpretations. These two words apply to the majority of dogs in Group 2.
In the Do-Khyi there are two trains of thought, those that propose the dog should be very aggressive, to the point of being uncontrollable and those who want less aggressive dogs
The first group proposes that this breed should maintain the same temperament that can still be found in specimens still existing in Tibet.
I must mention at this point that this position is not sustainable in the Western World during the XXI century, where we must think that we no longer can practice some dog activities, which are now considered illegal, like dog fights, war dogs, etc.
I believe that the original temperamental traits of this breed have no place in our present societies, while the breed has every right to exist.


 

 

 

Temperament should be mentioned in the Standard, and it must be an important consideration when breeding.

What I believe is that in a conformation show it is very difficult to assess temperament, and that there are other qualities, which are considered more important at that time.

This does not mean that significant temperament flaws should be disregarded or permitted in a dog show.

It would be ideal if breeders could be responsible for temperament selection in their own breeding stock, as this is not an easy proposition, the alternative is to have performance events to which breeding stock can be subjected.

These should, of course, be tailored for each particular breed.

What really happens in these trials is that breeders prepare their dogs to pass them.

As mentioned previously, the Standard mentions only the essence of the breed’s temperament and in the performance events more that that is assed, so the Standard description is insufficient.

These trials take place in nearly all working or utility breeds like the ZTP. In my opinion, temperament is important in all breeds, and the fact that a breed may not be working or utility, does not preclude having temperament into consideration at the time of breeding.

 

 

Your dissertation of the temperament has been well explained and rich, would you like to tell us something more about the breed you breed, the temperament and type are concepts still effective concepts like in previous decades, or you think that have been devaluated or evolved with the sport?

Above all, II must say I breed Tibetan Terriers and my point of view is focused on this breed.
TTs are a recent breed in the Western World. They were discovered in the 20s and in1931 they were accepted by the Kennel Club. In the USA the recognition is much more recent, as the AKC did not recognize it until 1973. The Standards of the three breeding organizations are identical. The FCI has adopted the KC Standard directly, while the AKC has developed a new one, which basically differs from the others by making chocolate an acceptable color, as long as the muzzle remains black. The other two organizations are adamant in not permitting this color. On the other hand the AKC standard is more extreme in reference to size and show preparation. In relation to preparation, it states: Fault--… Sculpturing, scissoring, stripping or shaving are totally contrary to breed type and are serious faults.

While other Standards make no reference to this, the AKC Standards gives 15 to 16 inches as the correct size and faults specimens over 17 and under 14 inches. Others Standards do not have these limitations

 

Because of the understanding, which exists between the different Breed Clubs in the world, any Standard change, no matter how small, must be agreed upon by all. This has contributed to setting a specific type for the breed, preventing some fads from affecting the breeding programs..

To the left Ch. Jana of Lamleh

bornl 19/Nov/1934

bred by Dr Greig

Who ws the first UK Champion

In answer to the question about the uniformity in type and temperament, I must mention that TTs came form three original strains: Lamleh, Lunville and Alt Deutsch.

Lamleh are the original line of the breed founder Dr. Greig. These were the first specimens seen in the West, and the Standards are based on them. The second line to appear were the Lunville and they were founded on the Lamleh. The biggest difference between the two lines is that the former show later maturing. In general these two lines are the more refined ones. The third line also stems from the Lamleh, but having started in central Europe and becoming prevalent in the Scandinavian countries, they developed into dogs showing more substance, bone and coat.

Today the differences between the best specimens of the three lines are minimal. This is due to the fact that some have gain in bone and substance while others have become more refined.

In relation to coat, the pure Lamleh, maturing later, show less coat, but of an enviable quality. Given the fact that quality is the most important trait in the Standard, this does not carry much weight at the time of judging. The AKC Standard is more drastic when it says: When standing on a hard surface an area of light should be seen under the dog. The coat of puppies is shorter, single and often has a softer texture than that of adults. A natural part is often present over the neck and back…

 

Tibetan Terrier photographed in

the Tibet 1994

Close to Barlchar (Lhassa)

With the homogenizing of the three types, the initial arguments among their breeders have disappeared

Multi. Ch. Schanti’s Nimo Lamleh.
2001
 

Instead of evolving, type has been refined. Instead of creating a new type, the best of each type has been selected, arriving to homogenization mentioned above.

If we compare the founding specimens with the present ones their differences are not so substantial. The same will happen when comparing specimens from the West with those living in Tibet. A specimen from Tibet, with proper coat care, could enter a show and not be looked down upon.

Temperament has become milder in relation to the one found originally in Tibet. Today’s specimens are more tractable with strangers. This being a requirement for showing them. Nevertheless, the essence of their temperament is still there.

 

 

Dear friends, listed and members of Cinofilia – Sud.

This has been the first article for the “El Buscador” and would like to thanks to the friends that joined and helped in this inaugural project, that not only helped me to do this article but also helped me in a variety of ways in this sport of breeding and showing pure breed dogs.

I also would like to thanks for sending photos of dogs that where bred or owned by the participants and to Damian Kaiser for the Tibetan Terrier photos from different epochs.

I have to say that it has not been by chance the selection of this subject, as perhaps many of us that started in this sport, read the Standard of the chosen breed as the final step….

The Breed Standard that is applicable in the country we reside, should be our Guide Book. All our guidelines on breeding should be referred to what is described in them.

Often, we commit the big mistake to base our decisions on the personal tastes of other people, only to “move away” of the correct type that the Standard suggests.

One of the most common cases is to use the winner of the weekend or the winner of the town, or just the winner. That specimen could be bigger or taller or shorter or lack proper angulations…..but wins. So very quickly we try to create or show something similar to that winner.

Perhaps there are some breeds that should update, but definitely we won’t attempt to change the Standard so the actual winner can fit better in it. I’m convinced that if we breed headed by the Standard will get many satisfactions, not only today but tomorrow and tomorrow and many days after tomorrow….

Many could disagree or think different to the several opinions spoken in this article and I invite you to express yourself. But in my personal case, I have got a simple but good concept from this chat. Breed to THE STANDARD is not only a requirement, but a BENEFIT as well.

Sergio Blois
El Buscador