“The elephant in the room” – my June 2018 Best of Health article

Best of HealthEarlier this month I was invited to make a presentation on Breed Improvement Strategies to the Dog Breeding Reform Group (DBRG). The DBRG is a registered charity that aims to promote humane behaviour towards animals by providing and supporting initiatives to improve dog welfare. It wants to be “a voice for dogs” and was founded by Carol Fowler who now chairs the group. Recently, they were the recipient of the CEVA Animal Welfare Award for Charity Team of the Year 2018.

Several members and trustees were present at the International Dog Health Workshop (IDHW) held in Paris last year, so had already heard my 10-minute version of the Dachshund Breed Council’s improvement journey. Two had also been participants in the IDHW Breed Strategy workshop sessions. This was, therefore, an opportunity for me to talk in more general terms about what a strategy for improvement might include as well as describing our approach in the Dachshunds.

For me, it was also quite timely as our breed is about to meet with the Kennel Club’s Health Team to discuss the development of our Breed Health and Conservation Plan. We’re in the second batch of breeds; the first having included all the BreedWatch Category 1 breeds plus Cavaliers, Otterhounds, English Setters and GSDs. Dr Katy Evans has been leading on this for the KC and it’s a major project which will deliver a fantastic review of available evidence for each breed. I’ve also been working with Dr Brenda Bonnett and others who attended the IDHW to produce some resources on Breed Strategies which will eventually be shared via the IPFD website. I was, therefore, able to include some of that thinking in my presentation to the DBRG.

The language of improvement

There are already a variety of strategy documents produced by KCs around the world, notably the Nordic RAS documents. A strategy for a breed is broader than a plan for addressing a particular health issue. It may include any, or all, of the following: disease, genetic diversity, conformation, temperament and working ability. In my view, a strategy for a breed cannot be taken seriously unless it includes plans for implementation, including: Changing owners’ and breeders’ behaviours; Data collection, analysis and monitoring; Demand-side (buyer) actions.

In general, there are 3 levels which need to be defined in a strategy document:

  • Objectives – the specific improvements that a breed is aiming for (such as reducing the prevalence of particular conditions or increasing genetic diversity)
  • Strategies – the guidance on areas in which action needs to be taken (such as communication with breeders or participation in screening programmes)
  • Plans – the specific actions that will be taken (and by whom) for each of the strategic areas (such as creating educational materials or screening a sample of x dogs)

The danger is that the actions are defined in a way that is too vague for them to be implemented; for example “consider setting-up a DNA bank” or “look into the possibility of running a seminar”.

We published our first Dachshund Breed Strategy in 2013 so an update and publication of a Breed Health and Conservation Plan 5 years on seems like a good revision point. Our Health Committee uses the KC’s Health Strategy Guide which covers 4 elements: Leadership, Planning, Engagement and Improvement.

I didn’t really discuss Leadership much at the DBRG but it is evident that the direction given by our Health Committee in particular and Breed Clubs in general (through our Breed Council) is a significant factor in what we have achieved. Our policy has always been one of actions based on evidence and a determination to be open and collaborative.

Weighing the pig won’t make it fatter

One of the questions raised during the presentation was about data and research: how much is needed before action can be taken? I have previously written about the tactics of the tobacco industry to sponsor ever more research rather than to acknowledge that there was enough evidence that smoking is harmful to health. Similar tactics in the field of canine health improvement (“we need more data”) really just delay the inevitable need for action but, more importantly, result in more dogs being at risk for longer than they should. The well-known quote is “weighing the pig every day won’t make it fatter”.

With Dachshunds, we have more than enough data to tell us what our improvement priorities should be and our Health Committee agrees a current Top 3 plus a Watch List of other issues to be aware of. So, while we have done lots of data collection and analysis (and continue to have an online health and death survey), we invest more time and effort into actions that will lead to improvement.

In my presentation, I spoke about some of our communication, engagement and fundraising activities. Many of these wouldn’t have been possible without social media; we use a combination of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and our websites/blogs. We have 3 Pet Advisors on our Health Committee who spend huge amounts of time providing advice online and sharing links to our website advice pages. We are keen that the Breed Council’s pages are the “Go To” places for the most up-to-date information and advice about the breed.

Exaggerated by definition!

The elephant in the room was the shape of the Dachshund which, by definition, is an exaggerated breed when compared with a “normal” dog. It was great that Rowena Packer was present as she was co-author of a 2013 paperHow Long and Low Can You Go? Effect of Conformation on the Risk of Thoracolumbar Intervertebral Disc Extrusion in Domestic Dogs”. One of the conclusions in this research was that “selection for longer backs and miniaturisation should be discouraged in high-risk breeds to reduce IVDE risk”.

The link between body length and the risk of back disease (IVDD) is by no means clear and we know the causes are multifactorial, involving genetics and lifestyle factors. Some people think changing the Breed Standard will make a significant difference, but change it to what? The FCI Standard calls for a shorter-bodied and longer-legged Dachshund, yet the evidence suggests their prevalence of IVDD is little different to here in the UK. I’m not saying the Breed Standard shouldn’t be changed but it’s not going to lead to major changes in IVDD risk.

Our UK Standard was amended in 2008 to clarify the desired proportions and emphasise ground-clearance. 10 years on and we are still seeing dogs in the show-ring with legs that are far too short, overly-deep chests and long backs that are clearly nowhere near the Breed Standard proportions. These dogs are winning top honours as well so we have clearly failed to change the behaviours of judges and the breeding choices of exhibitors in the direction of less exaggerated dogs. Obviously, judges can only assess the dogs placed in front of them but they are doing us no favours if they don’t mention excessive length or lack of ground clearance in their critiques (assuming they actually know what the Breed Standard requires!).

While the evidence of links between body length, length of leg and IVDD may be uncertain, it is hard to argue that exaggerating the conformation of our breed is good for the dogs. The recent article in Our Dogs about the proposed Animal Welfare Regulations explained how some campaigners believe it could be used to ban the breeding of brachycephalics. This could apply equally to other breeds with exaggerated conformation and a high predisposition to illness. I wonder if it’s time we had a Chondrodystrophic Working Group along the lines of the Brachycephalic one.

Exhibitors (and judges) are a soft target for groups campaigning for improved dog health. We should be leading by example, otherwise, we get everything we deserve from our critics. So, while the conformation of Dachshunds may have been the “elephant in the room” at the recent DBRG meeting, I am pleased that groups such as DBRG are being proactive and challenging us to do better.


“All about Dachshunds” – a Southern Dachshund Association seminar and workshop: 29/9/18

SDA All about Dachs

Champion Opal’s photoshoot

Those of you who have seen Opal at shows will know she was recently awarded her 3rd Challenge Certificate, qualifying her for the title of Champion Hella’s Øzlem at Sunsong (subject to KC confirmation). We’ve spent a couple of days trying to take a decent picture of her so we can put an advert together for the next Our Dogs Annual.

Our thanks to judges Jason Hunt, Sue Hewart-Chambers and Colin Gilanders for Opal’s 3 CCs and a big thank you to Steve Rose who awarded her Best Bitch and Best Puppy at her first show at 6 months.

Ian’s Mini Long Dachshund Critique from Bath Championship Show 2018

Bath Canine Society 2018

Dachshund (Miniature Long-haired)

Judge: Mr I J Seath

I last judged the Mini Longs in 2013 so I was interested to see how the breed has changed since then. Overall, I think the breed has improved as I found more that were of the correct proportions and with good ground clearance. There are still too many that are excessively long with keels that have little ground clearance. Coats were, largely, good and not the fluffy or over-profuse coats that obscure the dog’s outline. My main concern was the number of dogs with rather round and light eyes which spoils the desired expression which is found with dark, oval eyes. A couple of dogs had weepy eyes with tear-staining on their faces. Given the prevalence of distichiasis in this variety of Dachshund, I would hope their owners have submitted these dogs for a clinical eye examination. Body condition was good and, although a few dogs were over the desired maximum weight of 5kg, it is clear that ML breeders can produce dogs of the correct proportions and the ideal weight. All my top-winners excelled in profile movement and showed super front extension and rear drive, while holding good toplines.


BEST OF BREED : BOYLE Miss Z C Zarcrest Black Brewer
Dog CC : BOYLE Miss Z C Zarcrest Black Brewer
Res Dog CC :  BARNSDALE, Mrs C & HAYWARD-BARNSDALE Ms K Chriskims Trail Blazer JW
Bitch CC : HALL Mrs W P & Mr D B Cliffmere Levity
Res Bitch CC :  SAINSBURY Mr & Mrs R M Q Ridgegrove Chocolate Drop at Boscolla
Best Puppy :  JONES, Mr & Mrs S & A & JONES Miss C Cwmdarhian Emoji
Best Veteran :  SAINSBURY Mr & Mrs R M Q Ridgegrove Chocolate Drop at Boscolla

MPD (1 Entries) Abs: 0
1st: BRACE Mrs C G Xemxija Ice Warrior: Very attractive, clear Cream boy of just 6 months. Super pigment and dark eye of correct, almond shape. Masculine head on elegant neck. Very good bone and substance. Could have a bit more layback of shoulder. Tidy underline and ribbing goes well back. Good bend of stifle and moved absolutely parallel going away. A promising puppy.

PD (3 Entries) Abs: 0
1st: JONES, Mr & Mrs S & A & JONES Miss C Cwmdarhian Emoji: This young dark brindle boy excels in movement and out-paced others in the ring. Moves very true in front and parallel going away. Good amount of forechest, tight-fitting elbows. Good bone and tight, bunchy feet. Correct proportions and adequate ground clearance. Holds a good topline in profile. One to watch. Best Puppy.
2nd: HALL Mrs W P & Mr D B Cliffmere Folk Art: 10 month red boy who presents a good overall outline. Not quite the front construction or movement of 1, being slightly looser in elbow. Good masculine head with dark eye and ear-set. Plenty of forechest, but not excessive. Moved parallel going away. Preferred his more compact proportions than 3.
3rd: PHILLIPS Mrs J & Mr P Summerview Yogi Bear

JD (3 Entries) Abs: 0
1st: BOYLE Miss Z C Zarcrest Black Brewer This stunning B/T boy caught my eye from the moment he stepped out round the ring on the first circuit. He is beautifully proportioned with good ground clearance and just the right amount of coat. Masculine head on reachy neck and, being picky, would prefer a more almond-shaped eye. Good amount of forechest and super, tightly-fitting elbows. Lovely topline. Tidy underline and ribbing goes well back. Well let-down quarters. Moved absolutely true both coming towards me and moving away. Excellent front extension and rear drive. A joy to watch him stepping out round the ring. Delighted to award his 2nd CC and BOB today.

2nd: LATHAM-JACKSON Mr P & Mrs A Dolyharp Purcell Of Urishay: Another top-quality boy but not quite the elegance and reach of neck of 1. Masculine head but a little round in eye. Good amount of forechest and tight-fitting elbows. Holds a good topline in profile. Super, parallel movement going away. Preferred his front and more compact proportions to 3.
3rd: HALL Mrs W P & Mr D B Cliffmere Patrick Sway Zee

PGD (5 Entries) Abs: 0
1st: HARRIS, Mr W C & MCLACHLAN Miss L Zarcrest Black Smith: Another handsome B/T boy from this kennel with the correct, balanced proportions and good amount of ground clearance. Again, I’d prefer a more almond-shaped eye. Lovely lay-back of shoulder and length of upper arm. Lovely, true movement coming towards me. Ribbing goes well back. Well-bent stifle and he moves very true going away. Holds a good topline in profile movement.
2nd: MCCARTHY Mrs C Nagshall Port Au Prince JW: Dark cream boy with really good pigment but who was not quite as elegant as 1 and coat is more profuse. He does excel in movement and is absolutely parallel both in front and rear movement, coming and going. Good forward extension. Holds a good topline on the move. His movement placed him over 3.
3rd: PASKINS Mr K S & Mrs S M Dinkidax Sandrayana at Kindeace
Res: HALL, Miss J L & OSBORNE Mr A J Dinkidax Midnite Charmer
VHC: WALLACE Mrs A Willowheath Rebel Rock

LD (6 Entries) Abs: 0
1st: MCCARTHY Mrs C Nagshall Just Lucamac: Very well put-together Cream boy of 20 months. Lovely head proportions with good, dark eye and set-on of ears. Good amount of forechest and well-constructed in front with lay-back of shoulder and tightly-fitting elbows. A little longer in the body and more profuse in coat than I would prefer. Good forward extension in profile movement. Good bend of stifle and hind feet.
2nd: BROOKS Ms L Obdax Lynn’s Badger JW: Handsome 4 year old Silver Dapple boy who is of a more compact (and correct) type than 1. Lovely head with dark eye, and good reach of neck. Good amount of forechest and tight-fitting elbows. Ribbing goes well back. Felt he didn’t hold as good a topline as 1 but nevertheless, a quality boy.
3rd: BROAD Mrs S A Eldmour Sea Lord Of Dinkidudlor
Res: GREEN Mrs W Neertanauf Jack Jones
VHC: HIGGINS Mr P A Ralines Just Jewels

OD (6 Entries) Abs: 0
1st: BARNSDALE, Mrs C & HAYWARD-BARNSDALE Ms K Chriskims Trail Blazer JW: 5 year old shaded red boy who presents a lovely outline and has the correct, 2:1 proportions and good ground clearance. Strong, masculine head. Good feet (unlike many others who were down on their pasterns). Super movement both coming and going. Holds a lovely topline in profile, on the move and really steps out with drive. Reserve Dog CC today and I hope he manages to get that all-important 3rd CC as he is certainly champion quality.
2nd: MCCARTHY Mrs C Nagshall Just Santana JW: Cream boy of longer type and not as elegant as 1. Good, houndy head with dark almond-shaped eye. Super front construction with parallel front movement coming towards me. Holds a good topline on the move.
3rd: WAY Ms S J Sudasam Livin the Dream
Res: GREEN Mrs W Neertanauf Jack Jones
VHC: EARLEY Mrs V A Yelva Mister Brandy Man

VD (2 Entries) Abs: 0
1st: BROAD Mrs S A Neertanuaf Sea Magic Sh.CM JW: Shaded red boy just into Veteran who was presented in beautiful condition with just the right amount of coat. Elegant, reachy neck running into good shoulders and lovely topline which he holds at all times. Correct proportions. Well-made in front, with good forechest and tightly-fitting elbows. Nice tidey underline, not cut-up. Good bend of stifle and moves parallel going away.
2nd: LE PAGE Mrs A Rafthouse Iceman Amongst Thelepees: Shaded red who will be 8 in August. Taller type than one and not as elegant or balanced, overall. Good amount of forechest and ground clearance. Good, parallel movement going away and really showing his pads.

SBD/B (1 Entries) Abs: 0
1st: LE PAGE Mrs A Thelepees Polly Ester: 3-year old B/T girl with the correct proportions and of a good size and not excessively coated. Could do with more reach of neck. Tight-fitting elbows and ribbing goes well back. Tidy, flowing underline. A little close behind moving away.

MPB (6 Entries) Abs: 1
1st: WORSWICK Mrs C Dolyharp Fur Elise: 7 month Cream girl with lovely overall balance and elegance. Super head with dark eye and good pigment. Good amount of forechest, well laid-back shoulder and tight-fitting elbows. Tidy underline and ribbing comes well back. Holds a firm topline in profile. Extended well in front and rear drive in profile movement. Good bone.
2nd: LATHAM-JACKSON Mr P & Mrs A Urishay Heart’n’soul: Slightly more compact (and correct) type than 1 with good amount of ground clearance. Dark eye and good pigment. Well-constructed in front and moved with parallel hind movement, going away. Not quite the confidence of 1.
3rd: BRACE Mrs C G Xemxija Ice Sundae
Res: ALLEN Mr E Penparc Scrumptious
VHC: MCCARTHY Mrs C Nagshall Sukimac

PB (3 Entries) Abs: 1
1st: WHITFIELD-ROBERTS Mr A Dandydayo I Am Moana: 10 month girl with correct proportions and good, overall balance and ground clearance. Eye could be better almond shape. Good shoulder and tight-fitting elbows. Well-angulated behind with good bend of stifle and she looks super driving behind in profile. Very true movement both coming and going away. Correct amount of coat.
2nd: MCCARTHY Mrs C Nagshall Sukimac: Cream girl of just 6 months and with good pigment and dark eye. Correct length:height proportions. Good amount of forechest and tightly-fitting elbows. Lacked ground clearance and lost her topline on the move as well as being close behind moving away. Hopefully she will tighten-up with age.

JB (2 Entries) Abs: 0
A difficult decision in this class with two bitches of very different type..

1st: GEESON Miss E H Abydachs Avada Kedavra: Chocolate and Cream girl of 16 months. Good amount of forechest. Reasonable layback of shoulder and tight-fitting elbows so she moves very true coming towards me. Ribbing comes well back and she has a tidy underline. Slightly longer in body than I would prefer. Holds a good topline in profile movement.
2nd: LATHAM-JACKSON Mr P & Mrs A Criscan Pound Foolish At Urishay: B/T girl with more compact proportions and more ground clearance than 1. A little better in shoulder than 1 and has tight-fitting elbows. Didn’t hold her topline in profile and was moving a little close behind going away from me. Good amount of coat and feathering.

PGB (3 Entries) Abs: 0
1st: KERSLAKE Mrs P Devonwood Steps In Time: Correctly proportioned B/T with a good amount of ground clearance. Very good head proportions but a little round in eye. Well-made in front with good, tightly-fitting elbows. Topline held well on the more, in profile which set her above 2. Good reach in front movement and parallel going away.
2nd: MCCARTHY Mrs C Nagshall Cristobel: Cream girl of longer type than 1. Good head and dark pigment. Well-made in front but not as neat in the elbow as 1. Moved parallel going away.
3rd: LE PAGE Mrs A Thelepees Polly Ester

LB (4 Entries) Abs: 0
1st: BROOKS Ms L Lyndarlea Vienna: Very attractive girl just under 2 years old, who was turned out beautifully with coat in gleaming condition. Well-proportioned head with dark eye on elegant, reachy neck. Good amount of forechest and tight-fitting elbows so she moved very true coming towards me. Ribbing goes well back. Super topline in profile movement.
2nd: ALLEN Mr E Penparc Creme Caramel: Smaller, more compact type than 1 and not looking quite as elegant in overall profile. Front construction is good to go over but looked a little wide coming towards me. Correct, parallel movement going away. Not over-coated. Preferred her balance and ground clearance to 3.
3rd: SAINSBURY Mr & Mrs R M Q Ridgegrove Constance at Boscolla
Res: MCCARTHY Mrs C Nagshall Just Be Lucky

OB (5 Entries) Abs: 1
1st: HALL Mrs W P & Mr D B Cliffmere Levity
A very attractive two and half year-old shaded cream of good size and correct 2:1 proportions. A real eye-catcher. Plenty of ground clearance which was evident as she strode out in the ring with great front extension. Being picky, would prefer more almond-shaped eye. Super topline which she held on the move. Good amount of forechest and tight-fitting elbows. Very neat, tidy underline. Perfectly parallel moving away. Just the right amount of coat and feathering. Happy to award her first CC and I hope she goes on to achieve further success. BOS.

2nd: BROOKS Ms L Hanishan Eezzy Magic Nite At Lyndarlea: Slightly longer-cast than 1 but still a quality, shaded red, bitch. Good amount of forechest and well-made in front. Very tidy underline. With ribbing going well back. Lovely true front movement coming towards me but moving slightly close behind, going away, compared with 1. Holds a good topline in profile movement.
3rd: MCCARTHY Mrs C Nagshall Just So JW
Res: GRAHAM Mrs D A Devoncream Lily Luna At Jadag

VB (4 Entries) Abs: 0
1st: SAINSBURY Mr & Mrs R M Q Ridgegrove Chocolate Drop at Boscolla:
This Chocolate Dapple is only just into Veteran and she is certainly not showing her age. Good reach of neck and well put together in front with tight-fitting elbows which shows in profile extension and when coming towards me. Correct size and good balanced proportion with a good amount of forechest. Tidy underline. Holds a good topline on the move. Parallel hind movement, going away. Not over-coated. Pleased to award her the RBCC (which I also did when I judged her back in 2013).

2nd: GEESON Miss E H Ch Abydachs Absolutely: Slightly longer type than 1, also just into Veteran and a little on the portly side today. She is a joy to watch in profile as she holds a great topline. Well-made in front and ribbing goes well back. True movement coming and going.
3rd: KERSLAKE Mrs P Devonwood Lady Alexandra
Res: GREEN Mrs W Eldmour Electra



Sue’s Smooth Dachshund Critique from Bath Championship Show 2018

BATH CHAMPIONSHIP SHOW  28/5/18 Smooth Dachshunds

Sue - BOB SH Bath 18As usual with this variety of dachshund, the overall level of quality of conformation was very good, and as a consequence movement was also above average with most dogs able to hold their outlines in profile and generally having sound up and back action.  I had some super quality dogs to judge and was spoilt for choice in both line-ups for the CCs. On the downside, there are still some exhibits with nervous temperaments that are reluctant to be handled and display anxiety with the overall surroundings. Also of concern was the dearth of pups in the lower classes.  I only had one bitch pup to judge. This does not bode well for the future of this breed and I do hope there are more youngsters waiting in the wings to make their debut in the coming months.

Minor Puppy Dog – no entries

Puppy Dog (1, 1 abs)

Junior Dog (1)

Hunt’s     Lauralee Huckleberry Finn At Carpaccio

Impressive red of quality with eye-catching outline and everything to like, just needing full maturity now to complete the picture and I predict a very bright future.  Well proportioned masculine head with correct shape dark oval eye. Proud head carriage with good reach of neck which flows smoothly into well-laid shoulders with good return of upper arm and as a consequence displays the correct forechest.  Overall good body shape for age with good spring of rib and flowing underline. Well let down quarters with good bend of stifle complete the picture. Shown in fit, muscled condition and moves out freely in profile covering the ground with ease.  Parallel up and back action. Very close up in the challenge. I liked him a lot. A son of my BOB I see.

Post Graduate Dog (2)

1st    Hughes’ Matzell Matamua At Ivcar

The first of 3 exhibits from the Matzell kennel that I awarded 1st to today and their breeder is to be congratulated on producing a uniform and recognisable type with high-level quality of construction and movement.  This elegant red boy had an attractive head, carried on a lengthy neck. Shoulders were well laid back and his topline was firm and level, never faltering on the move. He has good, balanced angulation in fore and hindquarters and this construction enabled him to move out freely in side gait, and with sound parallel action out and back. I just felt he could have showed a little more enthusiasm on the move today.

2nd    Alton’s Kiersha All That Jazz

Heavier built black and tan, who displayed an attractive head with keen expression, good shoulder placement and forechest, but did move slightly close in front coming towards me with out-turned front feet.  Not quite as level in backline as 1st, but had well angulated quarters and good bone and substance throughout.

Limit Dog (4)

1st    Goffin-Thoroughgood’s Matzell Malizani

I see this elegant red boy is a litter brother to my previous class winner and the two of them are so alike that the same remarks apply.  He has a well-proportioned head with dark eye of correct shape carried proudly on a reachy neck with flows seamlessly into well-laid shoulders.  Overall body shape is excellent with a firm topline maintained at all times in stance and movement, and a sweeping underline to complement. Correctly angulated quarters complete the picture.  He strode out freely in profile, holding his topline firmly and had parallel up and back action. This must have been a super litter, as I also gave 1st in Post Grad bitch to a sister to these 2 boys.

2nd    Higgins’ Meganhol Black Musketeer of Leveliss

Correct size black and tan of different type to 1st.  Overall elegant outline with good ground clearance. Good head with keen expression.  Not quite the shoulder angulation of 1st, but had good body shape and held his outline on the move, striding out freely and with confidence.  

3rd    Jeffreys’ Carpaccio Swan Song At Andax

Open Dog (5, 2 abs)

1st    Armstrong’s Ch Lauralee Nicholas Nickleby

Stunning black and tan who commands attention on entering the ring.  Presented in gleaming condition with glossy coat and firmly muscled body.  This dog excels in movement and powers round the ring with lengthy and effortless, ground-covering stride.  Head is masculine with strong jaw and keen expression. Has correct length of neck and textbook shoulder placement with lengthy upper arm and plenty of forechest.  Firm topline and sweeping underline with good spring of rib. Hindquarters are well angulated and he has good bone and substance throughout. He carries himself proudly on the move and with this high-level quality of conformation is completely sound up and back and holds his lovely outline at all times in profile as a consequence.  He is also proving himself as a sire too, as I see my bitch CC winner, Junior dog and Open bitch winners are all his offspring. One to be very proud of, and like the Matzell kennel, his breeders are also to be congratulated for producing excellent quality exhibits of uniform type and construction. Well deserved CC and Best of Breed.

2nd    Starkey’s Carpaccio Jasper From Hamoura

Black and tan of different type to 1st but equally correct, being smaller and more compact.  I have judged this boy before and admired him since I first saw him make his debut as a raw pup of 6 months.  Everything about this dog is so well balanced and unexaggerated. He has an attractive, masculine head, good reach of neck, well-placed shoulders, firm and level topline held at all times in stance and movement.  Correct body shape with flowing underline and well angulated quarters complete the picture. Everything flowed seamlessly under my hands on the table examination and he didn’t disappoint on the move, having an easy stride in profile with parallel up and back action.  Has good ground clearance and correct 2 to one length to height proportions. That old cliché “unlucky to meet 1st today” applies.  Hence Reserve CC.

3rd    Hone’s Pachego Compare The Market With Oxondachs

Veteran Dog – no entries

Special Beginners’ Dog or Bitch (1)

1st    Hinwood’s Longmel Special Truffle

Correct size, feminine red with elegant outline.  Attractive head with keen expression, good reach of neck, reasonable shoulders, held her topline well on the move and was parallel coming towards me, but not quite so true moving away.  Stepped out freely in profile.

Minor Puppy Bitch (2, 1 abs)

1st    Alton’s Kiersha Secret Star

Very raw black and tan baby who was rather over-awed by the occasion and needs to gain confidence to make the best of herself.  Overall had unexaggerated conformation and held a good outline for her age on the move. Correct size (not too big).

Puppy Bitch – no entries

Junior Bitch (2)

Only 2 in this class, but both of excellent quality and should have bright futures.

1st    Hunt’s Carpaccio Silent Siren

Mischievous dark chocolate and tan who delighted in giving her handler a hard time while trying to get her to stand!  This just added to her charm, as all dachshunds should have great character. She did, however, pull it all together on the move and this is where she excels, covering the ground with a long, powerful stride and looked as if she could go all day.  She has an attractive, feminine head with cheeky expression, good length of neck, well-placed shoulders and good spring of rib and overall body shape. Well let down quarters complete the picture and she also has good bone and substance throughout and a weather-proof coat.  I would perhaps just like a little more ground-clearance. Reserve CC.

2nd    Armstrong’s Lauralee Laugh Out Loud

Of different type to 1st, being slightly longer and not quite as mature, although I see she is the same age as my winner.  Like all the exhibits from this kennel, she excels in forequarter construction, having textbook shoulder placement and length of upper arm, with consequent good forechest.  Holds a firm topline and has well angulated quarters. Underline just a little milky today which slightly spoilt her outline, but this is just temporary. Liked her a lot. Another by Nicholas Nickleby I see.

Post Graduate Bitch (5, 1 abs)

1st     Norton’s Matzell Myrtle

The 3rd of this litter I awarded a 1st to today, and she is a feminine version of her two brothers, having an excellent overall outline which she holds at all times in stance and movement.  Elegant red with attractive feminine head carried proudly on reachy neck which flows seamlessly into well-laid shoulders. Firm, level topline never falters on the move in profile and she covers the ground with long, easy strides with lovely reach in front which I  particularly admired. Is completely true up and back. Quality bitch.

2nd    Hone’s Oxondachs After Eight

Correct size, more compact black and tan of different type to 1st.  Well balanced outline with moderate angulation in fore and hindquarters.  Has a good body shape with firm topline, and good flow of underline to complement.  Good parallel action out and back. I just preferred the shoulder placement of my winner.

3rd    Alton’s Kiersha Morning Star

Limit Bitch (5, 1 abs)

A lovely class of quality exhibits.

1st    Armstrong’s Lauralee To The Manor Born

Beautiful shaded red on top form today and presented in gleaming condition.  Drew my attention immediately on her entrance to the ring with her overall outline and presence.  Is elegant, but also has good bone and substance. Loved her attractive head with dark, oval eye and a hint of a Roman nose.  Has a lengthy neck which flows into her textbook well placed and laid-back shoulders with excellent return of upper arm and has the correct forechest as a result. Firm, level topline, with sweeping underline and well let down quarters. Her excellent conformation translated into powerful and accurate ground-covering action viewed in profile.  She has a long stride with good forward reach and drive from behind and I particularly admired her front action coming towards me. CC and as a daughter of my Best of Breed she matched him perfectly in the final challenge, sharing many of his qualities in a feminine version.  Loved her.

2nd    Jones’ Adnerbs Lexi Get Fizzical

What a delight to see this classy red shown free-standing on a loose lead, which tells me she has a confident temperament.  I particularly admired her correct size and unexaggerated construction with the two to one length to height ratio called for in the breed standard and good ground clearance.  This elegant bitch didn’t disappoint on the table examination where everything fitted and flowed. Has a firm topline and sweeping underline and well angulated quarters. Moved out freely in profile and has good up and back action.  I just preferred the shoulders of my winner today.

3rd    Norton’s Matzell Martha

Open Bitch (6, 1 abs)

Another strong class.

1st    Armstrong’s Lauralee Girl Crush

Another lovely red girl from this consistent kennel.  Built on very similar lines to my previous class winner, but in a slightly larger mould.  Quality all through, with the same attractive well-proportioned head as her kennelmates. Has correctly placed well-laid shoulders and good forechest, strong topline and sweeping underline and well angulated quarters.  Covers the ground with a powerful stride and holds her outline at all times and has good parallel action out and back.

2nd    Hunt’s Lauralee Miss Marple At Carpaccio

Smaller, more compact black and tan who I see is a half-sister to 1st (by my dog CC winner).  Attractive feminine head with keen expression, carried proudly on a good reach of neck. Well placed shoulders and correct forechest and good body shape with lovely spring of rib and oval front viewed head-on.  Flowing underline to complement. Free, active mover in profile, holding her shape well. Just preferred the slightly more let down quarters of my winner today.

3rd    Bennett’s Ch. Shardaroba’s Dream Baby.

SUE SEATH (judge)

%d bloggers like this: