More on fronts, angles and landmarks

From the November 2018 Issue of ShowSight. Click to subscribe.

Picture inserts The first picture shows us dropping the head to find the tip of the scapula. When we raise the head we lose our mark in the muscle of the neck so we have to find it on the side of the neck. The third picture shows the placement of the scapula, which is very straight. The last picture shows the placement of the humerus, which is almost horizontal. Obviously the elbow is not positioned directly under the withers as it should be for this breed. We call this type of front a “rotated” front. Questions or comments? Please don’t hesitate to ask.

I had an interesting conversation with a friend a while ago and was asked to write this post—I thought it was a great idea!

What feature of your breed is perfectly summed up by a word or term to explain what you are looking for?

They shared, “An American Cocker Spaniel puppy should have a ‘peanut-shaped’ head—when I read that term it was like a lightning bolt of understanding what was looked for.”

The first one to come to my mind was a “marshmallow” shaped foot for the Cardigan Corgi—I love that! It just sticks in my head.

So….what can you think of for your breed?



A Scottie should have a a carrot-shaped tail.

Beagles are big for their inches—amen to that! 

French Bulldog—pear shaped. Broad at shoulder narrowing towards loin.


I’ve heard of English Cocker movement described as “bustling”. They totally do!

The “Samoyed smile”.

The Doberman, “the look of eagles”.

Tongue colour of the Chow should be the colour of the outside of an unwashed blueberry.

Square on square on square with large round pools of oil for eyes—Boston.

I’ve never heard of peanut shaped for a Cocker head, but I have heard people say “figure 8”. I suppose a peanut looks like an eight.

You don’t see it as much today because too many are trimming the back end flat on Poms but the Pom should look like a circle. Saw one go Best in Show in the 80s and a boy at ringside said “If that dog was any rounder it’d look like a ball!”

Pointer—“compact power and agile grace” and “smooth all over”.

“Elegant,” for a Poodle, any size.

For me the word “elegant” should describe the Italian Greyhound.

Airedales used to be known as “broom heads”.

Beagle—rough and tumble little hound.

Australian Shepherd “unusual agility”

Saluki—grace and symmetry (nothing about exaggerated elegance).

Aussie, almond shaped eye.

Scotties, big dog in a small package.

Skye—LLL: long, low, level.

Labrador “meltìng eye expression” (No exaggeration).

Clumber Spaniel—long and low, grape leaf ears. Orange or lemon color on white.

Golden Retriever—A symmetrical, powerful, active dog, sound and well put together.


Tibetan Terrier—resolute expression, profusely coated “little people”.

Boxer—eyes lemon shaped.

Wistful—Scottish Deerhound.

GSDs—maximum amount of ground covered with minimum amount of steps.

For Whippets—one word—curves!

Skye Terrier—Low, Long, Level, Lank.

Airedale—A king, moderate (Not a black and tan WFT), brick head.

Newfoundland one word, “sweet”.

Chinese Shar-Pei—regal, compact, square.

Wirehaired Pointing Griffon—Movement with ‘easy catlike gracefulness’ and substance medium 
reflects his work as an all terrain hunting dog.

“Cat-like gracefulness” is one of my favorite points of the standard for our breed because despite being hearty and biddable, as well as rough and tumble, they should be light on their feet and remind one of catlike ease.

The Keeshond standard has several, from “fox-like face and head with small pointed ears”, “lion-like mane”, “richly plumed tail, well curled over his back” and the description of “spectacles” are some examples.

Moderate is mentioned in the Aussie breed standard constantly.

Dalmatian—Spots are round and well-defined, the more distinct the better. They vary from the size of a dime to the size of a half-dollar.

Tibetan Terrier—beautiful movement with body balance.

Boxer head is block on block.

Ibizan—deer like elegance!

Poodle—Doberman in drag.


Standard Wirehaired Dachshund—Oval Front.

“Moderate, average, medium” for the Siberian Husky.

Pembroke—decidedly rectangular.

WHAM. Wrinkle head and mass. Neapolitan Mastiff.

Azawakh—a vertical rectangle and Gazelle!

Collie—the head is inclined to lightness.

When I think of Siberian Huskies the first word that comes to mind when viewing their movement is: Nimble. I think that accurately describes a Siberian in motion. For Australian Shepherds in motion I think: Equilateral Trapezoid.

PWDS—“impression of strength, spirit and soundness”.

ESS—sturdy sound from field to ring

Irish setters are “most beautiful of all breeds”.

Samoyed—if it’s round, it’s wrong… Eyes, feet, coat, outline.

Pekingese—“One-hand” in theory you should be able to pick up a Pekingese with one hand between the front legs and supporting the chest. The dog should be perfectly balanced in your hand. Do not try this at home!

Animated snowdrift—Great Pyrenees.

Unmistakable elegance—Borzoi.

Pug—multum in parvo. A lot of dog in a little package.

A Mini Schnauzer’s croup should be wide and flat enough to carry a wine glass.

Welsh Terrier—head shaped like a brick.

Staff Bull—A series of squares. A square muzzle on a square skull. Square front.

Brussels Griffon—A circle on a square.

Just had a friend give a great description for a TT—4 x 4’s.

Chihuahua—apple head.

Irish Terrier—Rectangular. The body should be moderately long—neither too long nor too short. The short back, so coveted and so appealing in the Fox Terrier, is not characteristic of the Irish; it is objectionable.

Impression of substance and stamina in a small space. Pembroke Welsh Corgi.

Westie—no small amount of self esteem.

I am enjoying the comments very much! One more on Skye Terriers: strength and elegance.

I thank all the fanciers for their responses and I always welcome input. Write to me c/o, subject line M. Scott.

Thought for the month: Your Circle should want to see you win. Your Circle should clap loudly when you have good news. If not…get a new circle. 


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