Dommerkommentar Afghanerspesialen 2013

 

Brev fra Dr. Jerry Klein om Afghanerspesialen 2013

  

         Being asked to judge a specialty is always an honor, especially when in your own breed. Being asked to judge in a different country is even more enticing, as it opens up new possibilities: new dogs to find and judge, new environments to see, and the possibilities of learning more of  Afghan Hounds and even of yourself. So it was that excitement that set in when embarking on our Norway trip. I have been lucky to have judged Afghan Hounds now in 9 countries. Within the past year, I have judged them in three. I have to say that the overall quality of my Norway entry was the best. This was especially true in my bitch entry.  Overall, I found heads very good. They varied , of course, but most were balanced muzzle to backskull,  and the side profile planes were in line ( I HATE overly long forefaces and down faces, a trend I have seen too often, becoming more prevalent). The eyes should be placed 50/50 in the skull, facing forward, not on the side of the skull.  Adequate underjaw was in the majority (not true in the U.S).  Backskulls varied. I don't like them  wide or coarse; some were. Eye shapes were also very good, but eye color tended to be lighter than I prefer, even though your  Standard does allow for this. My "Best head/expression"  winner did not have the  darkest eye, but the shape and expression were near ideal. Necks were good and shoulders overall very good. A few had steep shoulders, which again I do not like. As the  American Standard states, and how I was taught : the backline PRACTICALLY LEVEL from the top of the withers to the highest point of the loin. So, when I examine, I place my left hand on the top of the withers and my right on the highest part of the loin.  Both hands should be on approximate level plane. In the U.S. many are not. In Norway, they were much better. This is important for various reasons: 1) It determines structure, 2) it determines balance, and 3) the Standard says so!  Movement was amazingly good in Norway: most were clean on the up and down and balanced from the side. I don't  need extreme in my side movement, but do expect high head and tail carriage on a loose lead, holding their shapes with grace and style. They have to look fast and strong.  A few too many in my Norway entry were longer in loin than I would like. I really want a square look. Coats were of good quality, bites were excellent. Tails also were quite good on the whole. There is always danger in our breed of getting them too long or low in the leg. Too leggy is not good either. Balance is the key. And that is where I found my  Best in Show excelled. Standing and moving, here was a one-piece dog.  Beautiful, strong but refined head, well shaped eye ( maybe change some details in color/third eyelid), molded neck/shoulder,  perfect length of strong back, balanced angulation, properly coated ( texture and pattern).  Ideally, would have like his hip bones to be a bit more prominent. He looked, moved, and acted the part. Other memorable entries: my Veteran male winner, a correct sized cream, in great shape, with a strong level back, balanced , clean movement, proper coat and pattern, and  a lovely head with wise expression ( how is this dog  not a champion yet???). Junior bitches yielded two hopefuls, a black/tan showgirl and a lovely white with great future. It was a close call in tis class. Then came a string of beautiful  blk/tan bitches in my next  few classes, headed by my Intermediate winner. This is a wonderful Afghan Hound bitch: great type, balance, correct coat/pattern, movement. She should get even better with a little time. Also memorable were two black bitches in my Champion class ( sisters it tuned out to be). Both were beautiful, with one stronger in the front movement department. This bitch, which eventually became by Best Bitch in Show, is stunning in look. Beautifully  balanced, chiseled head, with well shaped eye, smooth neck fit into a perfect level back. Great tailset, croup and tail. Outstanding coat and condition. Excellent mover in every direction. In the finale, she didn't give as much as my dog, who literally  flew in and stole the show. 

              I want to thank the Norway Club  for the honor of evaluating your Afghan Hounds, the gracious help and hospitality offered to both myself and my partner, Dan.  A special thanks to Anne for driving us back and forth with a fantastic warmth and kindness. And did I mention the weather???    I also want to make a special mention of the wonderful sportmanship of the exhibitors, and even more impressively, the exciting young  exhibitors that showed their charges so expertly. This is TRULY the future of our breed!"

       Jerry Klein,DVM.