The FCI have released BASIC STATEMENT FOR SHOW JUDGES-DOGS FIT FOR THEIR ORIGINAL FUNCTION and it makes interesting reading with one or two things being certain eyebrow raisers. The thing though that is of interest to many exhibitors comes under Abundant Coat and Grooming/Presentation of the Dog: It is increasingly common that breeds, standing as well as moving, are presented in the ring on a upstraight and neck-tight leash. This does not promote the welfare of the dog, and moreover it inhibits correct movement and makes natural and breed specific movement impossible to be achieved. A dog should be shown on a loose leash in a natural way with a correct and breed specific movement. Pulling the dog up at the neck and/or tail is prohibited.
Lets ask the first million dollar question here; how does loose leash in a natural way equate with some of the guarding breeds that have to have a very tight hold kept on them to stop them acting in their natural way? How does loose leash in a natural way work in a ring of terriers? How does loose leash in a natural way work in a ring of dominate males in any breed?
The second million dollar question is natural and breed specific movement. How many judges actually know what breed specific movement is and could recognise it in the unnatural arena of the exhibition ring?