|BEST DOG||Wyrleybears Peter Pan for Bearhugs JW||Mrs J A Woodhall|
|RES BEST DOG||Ch Albanywater Sea Dancer at Davistell ShCM||Miss S Baxter & Mr D Morris|
|BEST PUPPY DOG||Sandbears on the Money||Mrs S Blake|
|BEST VETERAN DOG||Ch Albanywater Sea Dancer at Davistell ShCM||Miss S Baxter & Mr D Morris|
|BEST BLACK DOG||Wyrleybears Peter Pan for Bearhugs JW||Mrs J A Woodhall|
|BEST LANDSEER DOG||Dirty Dancing De L'iliade et L'odyssee||Mr G & Mrs P Leech|
|BEST BROWN DOG||Zentaur Land of Confusion at Fieldbears||Mrs C M Schofield|
|BEST BITCH||Ch Hilaiwana Cancrimo||Mr P Angelides|
|RES BEST BITCH||Sandbears Hawiian Hot Stuff to Sheenmarie||Mrs S M Pallett|
|BEST PUPPY BITCH||Disoranto Juliana Blue at Darkpeak||Mr A G & Mrs K J Farrar|
|BEST VETERAN BITCH||Ch Swanpool Tiamo Pasticcino JW||Ms D E Sarson & Miss J E Watts|
|BEST BLACK BITCH||Ch Hilaiwana Cancrimo||Mr P Angelides|
|BEST BROWN BITCH||Ch Newgradens Llori Nanya JW ShCM||Ms D Ball|
CLASS RESULTS & CRITIQUES
It is special to be asked to judge a breed club show for your own breed and I am very grateful to the Committee for the invitation and to all of the exhibitors who gave me a super entry in numbers and in terms of quality, including several Champions both established and newly made-up. I was delighted with my final lineups and while I had little hesitation in choosing my Best of each Sex, it was a tough and very close decision for the Reserves and the Best Puppy. My thanks also goes to John Lloyd and John Evans who stewarded for me keeping me organized and things moving along and to the entire show team of the Northern Newfoundland Club who work hard to make these shows such a success.
Since this was a breed club show perhaps I could make a few observations; The Kennel Club Breed Standard for Newfoundlands is remarkably vague in certain respects, especially when compared to many other breeds. For example, skull proportions for muzzle: top skull are NOT specified, eye shape is NOT specified, just that they should be relatively small, ear shape is NOT specified, again just that they should be small, body proportions are NOT specified (unlike many breeds where height to length ratios are given) and perhaps most significantly heights for dogs and bitches are expressed as AVERAGES which by definition means some may be lower and some higher. This combines to allow a wide variety in types all of which could be construed as correct under the Breed Standard. Judges (and breeders!) have little choice but to fall back on their personal preferences and what they believe to be right for the breed. Despite the historic nature of the breed, whose written Standard has changed very little over many years, I believe there is an argument to be made for more clarity in the Standard.
With the above in mind, I look for a powerful animal with the strength and construction to do the work they were purposed for and the gentleness of nature which so attracts me to the breed. If you have never experienced being towed through the water behind a well made and well muscled Newfoundland, it is an experience I would highly recommend, you’ll never forget it. You can feel the force in the eddys coming back through the water on every paw stroke and it gives you an appreciation of the power which I hope to see evident in movement in the show ring.
I believe the breed has seen a general improvement in recent years, as is evidenced by the breed’s increasingly regular appearances at or towards the top in the Group competitions. I think that is thanks in part to the breeders and exhibitors who have gone to the trouble and expense of importing dogs and in the process widened the gene pool. There was quality in numbers in the young dogs and bitches coming through and the competition for top honours in the next few years is going to be fascinating. The loose eyes which were becoming prevalent and had the breed on the KC Health Watch List seem to have largely disappeared … whether that is because those dogs are not shown or because of selective breeding I can’t say, but I hope it is the latter.
I have three general concerns for the breed. First, that forechests are not always as well developed as I would like to see. If I put my hands across the forward points of the shoulders and then have to go feeling for the prosternum I’m worried. The prosternum is such an important attachment area for the muscles, its size and position has a huge impact on the front end power and movement. Second, I expect to see convergence towards a centerline when the dogs move, which affects the foot placement, but there is a world of difference between slight toe-ing in (which the Breed Standard says is acceptable … but doesn’t say is desirable) when in motion and the elbowy/wristy front movement which seems more common than I would like to see. Forelimbs coming through clean and straight should be the thing to aim for. Have someone take a low angle video of you moving your dog directly towards the camera then play it back in slow motion and you will have a better idea of what the judge is seeing when the dog is coming towards. Finally, not all of the ears could be described as “small” so something to watch out for in the future in selecting show/breeding animals.
In conclusion may I congratulate the exhibitors on presenting me with dogs that had super temperaments, were kindly handled, beautifully prepared and in great condition, you do justice to your dogs and they are a credit to you.