National Terrier Critique

National Terrier 2009

 

In today’s entry I was rather disappointed to find several exhibits lacking power in the foreface & some also lacking the required well defined stop. Whilst it is good to have femininity in bitches this should not be at the expense of bone & substance. A Glen without powerful hindquarters could not work, &, if the trend continues to produce flashy animals with short backs, atypical toplines, tailsets & lack of stop, the breed will deteriorate into an amalgam of short legged terriers & loss of correct breed type.

 

PD: 1) Jeonty Wannabee Bauer, quality wheaten youngster, up to size. Abundant coat of good texture. Sound construction, correct proportions, good overall balance, well developed hindquarters. Moved soundly with drive. 2) Jeonty Dinky Doughnut smaller littermate of winner & not as mature. Same balance but lack of leg furnishing made him appear longer & lighter in bone which is not the case. Moved & showed well but lacks the muscular development at present.

JD: 1) Romainville Typhoon, big powerful dog with good strong head, would prefer a darker eye. Good overall balance. Did not use hindquarters to advantage on the move.

PGD: 1) Johnny Be Good At Romainville, quality wheaten dog of sound construction, good overall balance. Moved with correct drive. 2)Donvaleset Rebus, quality dog carrying too much coat which detracted from his virtues, hiding his good topline. Well made & moved well engaging his hindquarters. 3) Romainville Bodhran, another quality dog, good proportions but upright tail carriage & hind movement let him down.

LD: 1) Amhard Damson Sauce, powerful blue brindle dog, good bone & substance. Disappointingly earthbound on the move, head down & lacking impulsion behind.

OD: Strongest class of the day. 1) NL, Bel, Ch Jeonty Wannabe Buster, top quality wheaten dog. Sound construction, correct proportions, well balanced. Good textured coat, excellent presentation. His forte is his movement, sound engaging his powerful hindquarters without exaggeration & effortlessly. CC & BOB. 2) Am, Ir, Sw Ch Abberann Conan quality blue powerhouse, lovely broad muzzle, good pigmentation, correct proportions. His topline rises past his loins to a highset tail which I found a typical, and resulted in a lack of engagement with his hindquarters, nevertheless an eye catcher. Res CC. 3) Bel Ch Brockland Brayhead Lad. A tadge short in back for me, good head but expression spoilt by ear carriage. Lacked power in hind movement.

 

PB: 1) Jeonty Wannabe Gemma, quality wheaten pup, good overall balance, sound construction, effortless movement, Best Puppy. 2) Romainville Rags’n’Tatters, another quality lady of sound construction, correct proportions but far more intent on the floor that moving with her head up which spoilt the balance of her movement.

JB: 1) Donvaleset Domino, blue brindle heavyweight with powerful head. Good overall balance, moved well once settled. 2) Amhard Extra Spice feminine youngster at present lacking rib & overall maturity. Would prefer more strength in muzzle & heavier bone.

PGB: 1) Romainville Alley Oop quality feminine bitch, good topline, sound construction, lovely movement fore & aft. Res CC. 2) Donvaleset Brier, wheaten bitch lacking power in muzzle, good overall balance but not as good in topline or hind movement as winner.

LD: Romainville Miss Moneypenny, wheaten quality bitch, good proportions, moved well enough but would like more strength of muzzle & better rise over the loin.

OB: Jeonty Fern Grass, top quality wheaten bitch with all the essentials, correct proportions, sound construction & free movement with drive. CC (her third I am pleased to learn). 2) Ir Ch Abberann Eilish at Kirikee, quality blue brindle heavyweight bitch, well made & balanced. Not as free in movement as winner. 3) Ir Ch Abberann Ennya, wheaten litter sister to the above yet totally different, shorter with level topline & high tailset.

 

Eileen S. Foy (Judge)

27 thoughts on “National Terrier Critique

  1. Hi All,

    I do not normally comment on any comments made by any Judge, I believe that we enter in the knowledge that comments are and will be made in a critique.
    What has prompted me to comment is the coincidence of the comments made about tails & tailsets in recent publications. One in the National Terrier critique and the other a query by Alison (Seal) in the recent Glen Assoc. Magazine. The critique comments were to the effect that highset tails were wrong and Alison’s query was ‘what would the tail look like now that they are not docked?’ Well perhaps the answer is in the Breed Standard. Just because the tail is not docked does not mean that the set is any different to the Standard or that it is carried any differently. Any of us that Judge on a regular basis in Europe have no problem with tails, docked or undocked providing the set and carriage is correct.
    I would like to think that the last thing we want is a similar tailset to the Dandie Dinmont which according to their Standard is “set neither too high nor too low”.

    As you will see by the excerpts below Irish native terriers have common tail sets and carriage.

    Irish Terrier,
    TAIL
    Should be set on rather high, carried gaily

    Kerry Blue
    TAIL
    Thin, well placed and carried erect and gaily.

    Irish Glen of Imaal Terrier,
    TAIL: Docked. Strong at root, well set on and carried gaily.

    Nick.

  2. Nick is absolutly right the Glen tail set is well set on and carried gaily they are not Dandie Dimonts or Skye terriers .The tail set for the Glen is high well done to Nick for pointing this out.

  3. The Soft-Coat was missed off the list “carried gaily but never over the back” So couldn’t “carried gaily” be interpretted as up and wagging, rather than referencing just “how up is up”?

    I’ll send a photo of my “carried gaily”, up but not bolt upright.

  4. Hello joan,

    Sorry I left out the Wheatens (not intentional)

    and yes the same applies:

    TAIL: Well set, not too thick. Carried gaily but never over the back.

    Nick.

  5. Just a thought – from someone not ‘in’ the breed, but with an interest in it.

    The Glen has a different topline to the other Irish breeds. Does this – or should this – affect the tail set, and therefore carriage?

    Sheila

  6. Not sure what you mean by “different topline”.

    From the IKC Standards,

    Glen: Topline: Level.

    Irish Terrier: Back: Should be strong and straight,

    Kerry: Back: Medium length, level

    Wheaten: Back: Strong and level with even top line.

    We seem to have 3 level and a straight.

    What we look for in Ireland is a strong back, neither roached or dippy.
    Nick.

  7. Hi Nick,
    But we are in the UK.

    All judges officiating at KC shows are expected to judge to the KC Standard: “Topline slightly rising to a strong loin.”

    KC Standards for Irish, Kerry and Wheaten are the same as in Ireland.

    Obviously you will know this better than I do, but wasn’t the Irish Standard changed to level from something similar to ‘slightly rising’ a few years ago?

    You can argue that the KC has it wrong, and that our standard should be changed – but that’s a whole different discussion.

    However until then, judges at all UK shows (wherever they come from) ARE expected to judge to the UK standard – so I repeat my question:

    Does the fact that the Glen has a different topline from that of the other Irish breeds affect the carriage of the tail?

    Sheila

  8. The reason we changed the reference to the topline some years ago to level was because because of the no of dogs with roached and dipping toplines, also if there is a lack of rear angulation you can get an exaggerated rise to the rear.

    We do not have a problem with the KC version,ie “Topline slightly rising to a strong loin.” That in it’s self would indicate a straight or level (whichever you prefer) topline.

    The tail set or placement does not change (if the rise as stated in the standard is only “slightly) why should it?

    You quote the KC standard, you should have included the other part which says “Well set on and carried gaily” which is the same as the IKC.

    It would appear the all the standards are similar in relation to the the tail set and carriage.

    Nick.

    P’s. Nick is my real name. (Nicholas)

  9. Hi Nick,
    I’m not sure that I agree with you completely.

    The Parson Russell standard DOES ask for the back to be straight with the loin slightly arched, which is a distinct difference from the Glen’s ‘topline rising slightly to a strong loin’. In turn, my own breed, the Cesky Terrier, looks for a topline that is ‘rising slightly to well-arched loin’ – far closer to the Glen Standard and, bearing in mind that the FCI Standard for the Cesky states that the hips are often higher than the withers, does obviously describe a dog with a sloping topline and, in the case of the Cesky a sloping croup that leads to a low-CARRIED tail (not the same as low-SET).

    Now, as I wrote earlier, whether the KC standard is correct is obviously a moot point, but whether correct or not, that is what the judge should be looking for in the UK. I happen to believe that the KC standard for my own breed is not accurate, as there are several slight, but important, differences between it and the FCI standard – and in my own personal view, the standard that should be adopted for every breed should be the one from the country of origin. Thus, I bow to your interpretation of the correct topline….

    BUT ‘well set on and carried gaily’? This brings us back to the original question. How gay is gay? What looked correct when all the dogs were docked is not necessarily as aesthetically pleasing when the tails are natural. I have judged Parsons all over Europe (where docking was obviously banned much earlier than it was in the UK). At first the tails were simply dreadful – all shapes and sizes, from spitz-like to long and carried at the wierdest angles and everything in between. Over the years Parson breeders seem to have standardised on a tail similar in length and carriage to that of a Border Terrier, although perhaps carried a little higher, so that now even a die-hard traditionalist finds them acceptable.

    I’ve seen far fewer undocked Glens than you have, obviously, but my recollection is that few if any carried their tails upright – most seem to be around 45 degrees from the vertical, or even lower. And going on experience in other breeds, when the tail is carried upright, there is then a tendency for it to curl right over – is that what you would be looking for in a Glen?

    It will take several years and some careful breeding in all breeds that were previously docked to standardise on a tail length and carriage that fills the eye – and the Glen is no different in this respect.

    Thankyou for starting this interesting discussion – which is one that I am sure will be repeated whenever Glen breeders and judges get together for quite a few years to come!

    Sheila
    p.s. Incidentally, that is a very important point about lack of rear angulation affecting the topline.

    p.p.s. Yes, I know that Nick is your real name, Sheila is my real name too.

  10. Hi Sheila,

    Yes I thought that was your real name. Nice that you have an interest in the Glen’s.

    Re your comment “And going on experience in other breeds, when the tail is carried upright, there is then a tendency for it to curl right over – is that what you would be looking for in a Glen?”

    I say it is not what you may or may not like the look of or as you say “fills the eye” You do not change a breed characteristic because of what you may perceive as looking better, remember that the dog always had a long tail with the set and carriage it has now, why should we change anything.
    Nick.

  11. Hi Nick,

    “You do not change a breed characteristic because of what you may perceive as looking better, remember that the dog always had a long tail with the set and carriage it has now, why should we change anything?”

    Yes – I agree 100%. It’s not about changing the breed standard to suit the dogs, but breeding dogs to fit the standard.

    But surely the problem is, in many customarily docked breeds, that no-one really knows what the natural tail looks like? The first generations of undocked dogs, in every breed, have a complete mix of tails. When a breed is docked as short as a Glen, tail carriage is not very important, as a clever handler can make the tailset (and the topline) look correct. Thus breeders have never ‘bred for tails’. Whereas they might consider coats, mouths, ears, fronts and every other aspect of the dog when choosing a mate for their bitch, tails would be pretty far down the line.

    You say, quite rightly, that you do not change a breed characteristic simply because you think that something else looks better.

    What I am trying to say is that there is at present (not surprisingly as it is still very early days) no consistency in the tail carriage of undocked Glens and, it seems, no concensus amongst breeders and exhibitors as to what the correct tail should be.

    Until the breed can agree amongst themselves as to what they should be aiming for, judges are going to be floundering. Does ‘carried gaily’ mean bolt upright and curved over, or even curled spitz fashion? Does it mean raised above the horizontal and wagging happily on the move? It almost certainly doesn’t mean drooping downwards and tucked between the back legs.

    If the Glen SHOULD have a topline/tail set/tail carriage similar to the other Irish terrier breeds, then in my limited experience (I’ve only judged about 100 Glens and that over a twenty year period – rather different to my knowledge of the Parsons when I’ve frequently judged more than that at one show, and even the Cesky where I had assessed the same number in less than five years) very, very few of the Glens in the ring in the UK could truly be said to meet that requirement. Even the dog to whom you gave the CC at Darlington normally carries his (docked) tail at a very attractive 45 degree angle – and if it were undocked that tail would surely not be bolt upright.

    So, once again we come back to the question of ‘how gay is gay’? I see that owners have been requested to submit photographs of tails to this blog, so hopefully we may have a chance to debate this further!

    Best wishes,
    Sheila

  12. Stockczech/Sheila. Are you the Dog World Sheila? If so does your head office keep old copies? A photograph from around March 1972 would be of interest. Donal O’Donoghue (Gracedieu) had an advertisement that featured his two that won all the BOBs in the early 70s. I am sure Liz has the photograph that was taken of the Glen entry at the IKC St. Patrick’s Day show in 1935 by Our Dogs.

    It isn’t a photograph but would the drawing from the Irish Kennel Club produced book on Native Irish Breeds be acceptable? If so I will scan it.

    I appreciate the discussion has moved on but one point confuses me slightly. Nick wrote that the topline was changed to level. As far as I can ascertain there was never a change to level. Pre the 1981 standard there was no mention at all of topline in the Glen of Imaal Terrier Standard of Points.

    • The Irish Native Breed Book Glen illustration is a good idea & I’ve got a 35 St Patrick’s Day picture but it is very grainy. Thanks for two things not previously thought about. Hoping DW have back copies!

  13. First,

    Sheila,
    I am not sure if you were at Darlington but at this moment in time it would not be correct to discuss any dog that I judged there on the day as it would be completely out of context.
    I do not mind discussing our own dogs in relation to this discussion.

    Next,

    Joan,

    Your query re “but one point confuses me slightly. Nick wrote that the topline was changed to level. As far as I can ascertain there was never a change to level. ”

    May I confirm the following,
    At a Special general Meeting held on Wed. 26th. Jan. 2000
    Chaired by Mr. S.O. Sweeney amongst many items the section of the Breed Standard relating to top line was changed to Topline: Level.
    This was ratified by the Irish Kennel Club.
    Nick.

  14. This is to all.

    May I say that the article in the Breed Notes as published in Our Dogs on 1/5/09 had nothing to do with me.

    I do know who wrote the letter but hopefully the person who submitted the article will clarify everything in the next issue.

    It is getting to be a full time job clarifying the notes in both Breed Note publications.
    Nick.
    Nicholas White (Abberann)

  15. Hi Nick,
    Yes I was at Darlington. I appreciate your reticence with regard to discussing a specific dog – you are, of course, quite correct. I did look back throught the archives to find your critique, as I was interested in your comments on the toplines and tails of the dogs you judged that day – but couldn’t find it. Perhaps you could dig it out and post it here? It would be interesting for everybody to read it again in the context of your comments on the National Terrier critique.
    Sheila

  16. Rather belatedly, this was written in response to Nick’s original post:

    Here are the tail clauses – (UK Breed Standards) – for the four native Irish terrier breeds:

    Glen of Imaal
    Undocked: Strong at root. Well set on and carried gaily. In overall balance with rest of the dog.

    Irish
    Undocked: Set on pretty high, carried gaily but not over back or curled. Free of fringe or feather but well covered with rough hair. In overall balance with the rest of the dog. Carriage is such that the tail is not liable to damage during working.

    Kerry Blue
    Undocked: Set on high of moderate length to give an overall balanced appearance. Thick at the base and evenly tapering to tip, straight as possible and carried jauntily. An excessively gay or curled tail undesirable.

    Soft Coated Wheaten
    Undocked: Set on high, carried gaily but never over back, not curled and not too thick. Tip may curve forward in a gentle arc. Length in overall balance with the rest of dog.
    The Glen standard is the only one of the four native Irish terrier breeds that does not describe tail set on as being “high” or “pretty high”.

    The Glen standard is the least “descriptive” of the four native Irish terrier breeds regarding tail carriage. The standards for the other three native Irish terrier breeds describe their interpretation of the term “carried gaily” … and the descriptions all vary slightly!

    For the benefit of breeders and judges, can we not provide a better description of what an undocked Glen tail should look like?

    Some points to consider:

    Is a “well set on” tail (Glen standard) interpreted as being set on “high”?

    Thick or thin? Thick at base, tapering evenly to tip?

    Straight? Curled? Curved like a scimitar / sabre / sickle?

    Carried over back? Curved forward in gentle arc? Carried level with back? Perpendicular? Carried somewhere in-between the last two descriptions?!!

    Length – short / moderate / long?

    Fringed / feathered … or not?

    Something else to take into consideration:

    We have been comparing the four native Irish terrier breeds … but we are not really comparing like with like! The Irish, Kerry Blue and Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers are long-legged … the Glen has short legs and a proportionately longer body.

    Perhaps we should consider the appearance (and standards) of some other coated, short-legged, long-bodied breeds(!):

    Rather short from 20-25 cms (8-10 ins), rather thick at root, getting thicker for about 10 cms (4 ins) and tapering off to a point. Not twisted or curled in any way but with a curve like a scimitar, the tip when excited being in a perpendicular line with root of tail, set neither too high nor too low. When not excited carried gaily a little above body level.

    Of medium length; set on high, strong at base, tapering regularly, well furnished with hair; carried proudly like the blade of a sabre.

    Set on high, thick at the base, tapering to a point, reaching slightly beyond the hock when lowered, carried like a sickle when moving.

    Here is the KC definition of a gay tail:

    Gay Tail The tail carried very high or over dog’s back. Often indicates that the tail carriage is higher than approved in the breed standard. Some standards do ask for tails to be carried gaily e.g. Fox Terrier (Smooth).

    The websites of clubs and breeders in mainland Europe and Scandinavia are worth looking at to find photos of undocked Glens. The Glen Services website has links:

    http://www.glenofimaalterrier.uk.com/findglens.html

  17. Alison

    The breed standard (IKC) states: TAIL: Docked. Strong at root,well set on and carried gaily. A natural tail (undocked) is allowed for in countries where docking is banned by law.

    Your point: “Is a “well set on” tail (Glen standard) interpreted as being set on “high”?

    Yes, in Ireland (country of origin) our terrier Judges would consider a “well set on “tail as “high”

    The tail set of the Glen is normally considered to be at the end of the top line.

    In other terrier breeds the spine can curve down slightly to the rear giving a lower set tail.
    The Staffordshire Bull terrier comes to mind.
    GB Standard
    TAIL : Medium length, low set, tapering to a point and carried rather low. Should not curl much and may be likened to an old-fashioned pump handle.

    They do not specify a gay tail in fact it would be objectionable.

    With a Glen,
    A judge on examination may confirm the tail set as high (correct), the carriage may low (not carried gaily- incorrect)
    this is an indication of the temperament of the dog and will be taken into consideration.
    If the tail set is low other factors will have to be considered, top line, length of spine and shape etc.

    It was noticeable that in the National Terrier critique that there was no mention of any tails carried “gaily” only 3 singled out for “high set tails”
    There was also the comment: “amalgam of short legged terriers & loss of correct breed type.

    The Breed Standard states: HEIGHT AT WITHERS: Dogs 14 inches (35.5cm) is the maximum.
    Bitches: accordingly less.

    Nowhere either in the IKC or the KC standard does it give a lower height.
    Perhaps it is time to start using the measure again at shows to assist Judges to confirm their point of view.
    Over the years one of our main concerns was long legged Glens and it is a shame that they are now been advocated again.

    Just for the record “Homer” is 14inches at the withers and is available for measurement.

    I would have thought that some of the breeders would have joined the discussion. It is the role of the breeders to continue the breed they have taken on, breed true to type and pass on the breed true to type to the future owners and breeders.
    Nick.

  18. Alison

    In relation to my last post I also meant to comment on your comment “For the benefit of breeders and judges, can we not provide a better description of what an undocked Glen tail should look like?

    I say, breeders will be used to long tails as all glens are born with them and they are always in proportion to the rest of the body, some breeders will often leave some undocked and will have a good idea of appearance over time.

    Most Judges are quite good at interpreting breed standards as many will be judging many breeds that they do not have themselves.

    Most judges will be more concerned with the tail set and carriage than the actual length which in fact does not matter. The tails have been undocked in many European countries for some time now and I have yet to hear of any problems with the judges. In Ireland our Judges have no problem with long tails, maybe set and carriage but not length.
    Nick.

  19. Some very interesting points there, Nick!

    “I would have thought that some of the breeders would have joined the discussion. It is the role of the breeders to continue the breed they have taken on, breed true to type and pass on the breed true to type to the future owners and breeders.”

    I have to agree with you – it’s all very well for you and I to debate this matter, with a little input from others, but you don’t live in the UK (and are therefore not breeding to the UK standard) and I don’t even own a Glen.

    “I say, breeders will be used to long tails as all glens are born with them and they are always in proportion to the rest of the body.”

    That I don’t agree with – when I bred Parsons I was always aware that some pups needed more taking off than others, because the tail was longer, but in a new born whelp the tail CARRIAGE is not apparent. And no, in many breeds the tail is NOT in proportion to the body. I have had Parsons identical in body length, where one had a tail that just needed tipping, the other had to be docked by almost a half to end up with the same result.

    Note I wrote tail CARRIAGE, not tail SET. These can be very different. You wrote:

    “A judge on examination may confirm the tail set as high (correct), the carriage may low (not carried gaily- incorrect)
    this is an indication of the temperament of the dog and will be taken into consideration.”

    To a certain extent that is true – but may I be permitted to give you an example from my own breed? The KC Standard of the Cesky Terrier asks for the tail to be “medium set. At rest hangs with tip slightly raised. Carried slightly upwards when dog is moving” In this breed a high CARRIED tail is a fault – although the FCI standard does ask for it to be high-SET, rather than medium as in the KC standard.

    What I am trying to say is that carriage and set are NOT the same – whilst it may well be (and often is) that a low carried tail in a breed that should carry it gaily is a sign of poor temperament, that is not necessarily the case.

    Perhaps a better example would be the Parson Russell. Their standard is, I think particularly good, as it says “Moderately high set, carried well up on the move, may be carried lower when relaxed”. It’s that last phrase I like – when I was first learning about the PRT, more years ago than I care to remember, I was always taught to look for the dog that stood quietly with its tail down, as that would be the good worker – the tail carriage being indicative of the fact that the dog was sensible rather than fiery! Of course that was in pre-KC days, and today’s handlers will stack a dog with its tail held up, rather than allow it to stand naturally. Maybe some Glens are the same? The sensible, calm dogs will drop their tails when relaxing, whilst the feisty guys will keep theirs up at all times.

    “Over the years one of our main concerns was long legged Glens and it is a shame that they are now been advocated again.”

    I have re-read the National Critique, but can’t see that the judge is advocating long legs!

    I do have to agree with Alison – the Glen standard gives a very poor description of the undocked tail. Yes, tail set is the most important – in the early days of the docking ban in Europe I found myself jusging Parsons simply by looking for the correct tailset, and disregarding length, thickness, and to a certain extent carriage as well. But breeders have worked hard, settled on a desired carriage and now most Parsons have similar tails. Some breeds have a long way to go.

    Sheila

  20. Hi Sheila

    I am leaving this discussion now for a couple of reasons.
    The main one is your comment,
    ” I have to agree with you – it’s all very well for you and I to debate this matter, with a little input from others, but you don’t live in the UKthe UK standard) and I don’t even own a Glen.”

    That comment proves my point that you consider that there is a marked difference in the Breed standard of the IKC (country of origion) and KC London. The section of your statement ”
    (and are therefore not breeding to

  21. Hi Sheila

    I am leaving this discussion now for a couple of reasons.
    The main one is your comment,
    ” I have to agree with you – it’s all very well for you and I to debate this matter, with a little input from others, but you don’t live in the UKthe UK standard) and I don’t even own a Glen.”

    That comment proves my point that you consider that there is a marked difference in the Breed standard of the IKC (country of origion) and KC London. The section of your statement ”
    (and are therefore not breeding to the UK standard)

    The logical conclusion to that statement is that the Glens we are showing at present here in Ireland, UK, USA and Sweden are different and not correct.

    It proves once again the attitude of some people who believe that our breed should changed to their liking and to hell with the breed standard.

    How do you think the present exhibitors feel especially those with undocked tails to the comments that in some way their dogs are incorrect.

    Anyway you have had my final comments. Time to walk my “different” Glens here in Wicklow.

    Nick.

    It is very annoying to us here in Ireland

  22. Hi Nick,
    I’m sorry that you feel like that (although going to walk your Glens – however ‘different’ seems like a pretty good idea to me!)

    Your dogs can’t be that different – isn’t Homer the breed record holder here in the UK?

    “How do you think the present exhibitors feel especially those with undocked tails to the comments that in some way their dogs are incorrect.”

    That is a bit of a red herring. How do exhibitors feel if a judge comments that their dog has an incorrect bite or coat or ears? When we take our dogs to a show we are expecting them to be judged against the standard. If they fail in any way, and after all no dog is perfect, we can expect them to be criticised.

    “It proves once again the attitude of some people who believe that our breed should changed to their liking and to hell with the breed standard.”

    I would just re-iterate that in my own personal view, every breed should be judged to the standard of its country of origin. I hold to that with my own dogs which are considered ‘small’ by many in the UK, yet in the Czech Republic are regarded as ‘correct’. A few years ago the creator of our breed commented “This is a Czech breed and those in other countries have no right to change it”.

    Thus I can understand how suggestions that the breed standard of the Glen should be substantially changed would be very annoying to you in Ireland. But is there really any move to go down that route? You have already argued that, although differently worded, the topline clause of the two standards are essentially the same. Here in the UK we have no choice now with respect to docking, therefore it is natural that some consideration should be given to the appearance of the undocked tail. Obviously I’m not party to whatever discussions the breed club had amongst themselves, and with breeders, before the present clause was introduced. I do know that some breeds argued long and hard before settling on an acceptable description. You seem to be saying that it doesn’t matter what the tail does, as long as the set is correct? I don’t think too many would find that helpful – judges will be asking “which is correct?” and the answer “all of them” is somewhat confusing.

    The only change that has been imposed on the breed is, I think, the description of the front legs. I can understand the reluctance to accept any changes there (the change to our standard concerned ‘deepset eyes’ which are not now allowed, even though these are designed to protect the dog when working underground, so the change has actually left the breed less ‘fit for function’ rather than more!). I can also understand, even if I don’t agree with the way they have gone about it, the KC’s belief that breed standards must reflect perceived health issues in order to satisfy their critics..

    Surely the fact is that a good dog will rise to the top – in spite of the judges! And at the end of the day, every exhibitor takes home their own ‘Best Dog’ – even if the judge on the day doesn’t agree!

    Sheila

  23. !t has been a very interesting discussion that certainly says a few things
    1) No wonder judges see things differently from each other
    2) There should be a full and considered discussion as to what the preferred angle of the set on of tail should be and that should then continue into desired carriage now a full tail is compulsory in the UK.

    and just for interest the photographs will be up on Wednesday….

  24. Tails efg are NOT compulsory in the UK i am continuing to dock my dogs ive got a good vet for myself and others who want them to work.I myself am partnering up with an vgf in Eire and will be whelping and registering in Eire after the non needed change to the standard by the English kc.
    Nick is right about changing the standard and the i think the English kc total blanking of the vast majority of glen owners on the front quarters shows thier complete lack of knowledge of the breed.
    I wonder when any of them last went out with a spade and dug to ground .On tails well the breed has had Staffie and lakelands put in in the 1950s and 60s so it will vary but im with Nick on tails.
    On legs i suggest those who want long legs look at Pride of the Valleys,Fearless Dan,Mick the Miller,Wicklow Bride and the immortal Tinahely Lad not a leggy one among them.These were REAL glens and what we should be striving for not leggy straight fronted dogs who couldnt get to ground in a month of sundays.Finally ears it says not full drop will somebody tell the English judges that full drop or prick are wrong the ear set is vital it keeps them out of the way when the glen is drawing the quarry.The Glens is a working dog not a show pooch its a pity people forget that

    • Nice comment to an interesting discussion on tails. Is there someone who has photos of the dogs mentioned above?

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