Ears British and American

The classes without CCs at Paignton were judged by Derek Allsopp (Sandmel Rough Collies). It was yet another BOB for Ch Pemcader Thunderball and he went on to add a G2 place (behind one of Hannah Fawcett’s Border Collies) to his remarkable record, judge Kevin Young.

Derek gave BB to Thunderball’s niece, Karen Newton’s tri Corland Solitaire (two CCs, Nebriowa Skidaddle ex Pemcader Picture Puzzle).

RBD and BP was Lorraine Weedall and Nicola Bogue’s Bronabay Illuminations (Ch Bronabay Cannonball ex Bronabay True Colours) and RBB Lynne Creech’s Zydahayes Red Pippin (Thunderball ex Cottivy Tiny Dancer at Zydahayes).

I believe there were two breed open shows that weekend, the South Wales CC the previous day (judge Anne Petitpierre, Kulla) and the Devon and Cornwall CC (Karen Gilliland, Castleavery Vallhunds), the latter a partnership show following the breed judging at Paignton.

Have had no details from either – I’ve managed to piece together some of the results from various Facebook posts but make no apologies for their incompleteness or any inaccuracies. I always appreciate news of the main winners at such shows from officials or exhibitors, thank you.

Anne gave BOB to Alan and Wendy Rees’ Stadwen Figaro (one CC, Ch Stadwen Spartakus ex Stadwen Prima Donna) and BB to daughter Amanda’s recent Australian import Aus Ch Jopearl First Noelle at Stadwen (Am Ch/Aus Gr Ch Hum’nbird Rock Your Socks ex Aus Ch Jopearl A Little Night Music.

RBB was Teresa Maddox’s Salvenik Summer Rosebud (Redfordhill Magic Moments to Salvenik ex Bertley Autumnal Rose with Salvenik) and she also took BP with Salvenik Scarlet Rose (by the same sire ex Ch Bertley Summer Rose with Salvenik).

At DCWCC, BOB was Solitaire and BD Kim Warner’s tri Meitza Erik The King (one CC, Thunderball ex Meitza Goldust). BP, BPIS and RBB was Dawn Woodey’s Barawood Spirito Libero (Int/It Ch Beaudy ex Barawood Soul Singer), while Hilary and Ray Wyer’s Cottivy Skyfall (Ir Ch Chawton Dream Maker ex Cottivy Maggie May) was RBD.

Returning to the breed Standards, UK versus US, the British version on ears reads as follows: “Pricked, medium-sized, slightly rounded. Line drawn from tip of nose through eye should, if extended, pass through, or close to tip of ear.”

That, along with the three to five foreface-skull proportions, gives a reasonable idea of the ideal shape of the Pembroke head seen from all angles.

As usual the American version is longer: “Erect, firm, and of medium size, tapering slightly to a rounded point. Ears are mobile, and react sensitively to sounds. A line drawn from the nose tip through the eyes to the ear tips, and across, should form an approximate equilateral triangle. Bat ears, small catlike ears, overly large weak ears, hooded ears, ears carried too high or too low, are undesirable. Button, rose or drop ears are very serious faults.”

I think we all agree regarding the equilateral triangle and perhaps that is something that could one day be added to our Standard as it helps us visualise the ideal set of the ears and their size relative to the rest of the head.

I like the bit about the ears being mobile too. I’m sure most of us have owned one of those frustrating dogs whose ears are correctly placed but who are reluctant to use them consistently. I had one once and he would very often show well under judges who didn’t like him, then keep his ears pinned back under judges who might have wanted to put him up – that’s dogs for you!

Of course this is one of the many areas where Pems and Cardis differ significantly and if you are seriously interested in knowing more about the two breeds it is worth comparing their Standards clause by clause.

Next come mouths and the UK wording is that common to most breeds with ‘normal’ bites: “Jaws strong with perfect, regular and complete scissor bite, i.e. upper teeth closely overlapping lower teeth and set square to the jaws. “

The US version is slightly different: “Scissors bite, the inner side of the upper incisors touching the outer side of the lower incisors. Level bite is acceptable. Overshot or undershot bite is a very serious fault.” No mention of ‘complete’ or ‘regular”, a rare example of where our version is the more specific of the two.

So you cannot penalise a level bite if judging in the US, while in Britain you would regard it as a fault – how seriously you would choose to penalise it at our shows is a matter for your own priorities. The theory, I suppose, is that wear on the teeth is a more likely occurrence if the bite is level, though whether that is the case in reality I’m not sure.

SIMON PARSONS

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