Intelligent Choice of the Right Pet Dog (A Case Study)
THE HISTORY OF THE CLUMBER SPANIEL HAS BEEN MARKED BY COLORFUL tales of dukes, escapes across the English Channel from the French Revolution, and fanciful crossbreeding. There is, however, no factual basis for the previously most prevalent story and only speculation about the true origin of the breed. We do hope that in the near future DNA analysis will determine from what canine combinations this wonderful breed has evolved. It is the current thinking that those who actually dealt with and hunted with the dogs in the latter part of the eighteenth and first half of the nineteenth century, such as the gamekeepers, combined dogs whose functions fit their demands.
It is true that the breed name derives from the Duke of Newcastle’s estate at Clumber Park in Nottinghamshire, England. A number of titled families and landed gentry living in that area, known as the Dukeries, hunted with these Clumber Spaniels. Certainly there are records of Clumber breedings between these owners’ dogs. It has been theorized that the duke’s gamekeeper was himself responsible for the development of this breed. It is known that he and his descendants worked in that area for many years with a significant number of hunting spaniels.
Many vintage paintings feature Clumbers in hunting situations. It is interesting to note that the dogs closely resemble today’s, with a little less bone and smaller heads. The color pattern evident in almost all old pictorial records is white and orange, even though early standards and written descriptions mention a preference for lemon.
Clumber Spaniels were first shown in England in 1859. The breed arrived in North America relatively early, entering Canada in 1844 with Lieutenant Venables of Her Majesty’s 97th Regiment, stationed in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The first Clumber Spaniel registered with the American Kennel Club is recorded for 1878, six years before the establishment of the AKC. (The records of dog breeding in the United States existed long before the AKC’s founding, and three volumes of studbooks were accepted by the AKC as the basis for its Stud Book Register, maintained continuously since 1887.)
The Clumber Spaniel is described as dignified, charming, loving, entertaining, inquisitive, affectionate, intelligent, gentle, mischievous, stubborn, determined, self-willed, appealing, and naughty. The Clumber is a loyal dog, good with children and amiable with other animals. His happy personality and perceptive intelligence make him a much-loved member of the family. The hallmark of the breed is his sweet and gentle temperament.
The Clumber thrives on attention. Most Clumbers love to fetch, so they are not difficult to exercise or keep amused. They also like to carry things in their mouths, often picking something off the floor when greeting, all the while dancing a little jig. While Clumbers like nothing better than a walk with their master, they are not the breed of choice for people who wish to run or jog long distances with their pet.
The Clumber Spaniel responds to positive reinforcement and praise. Most Clumbers are readily trained, but harsh training methods are usually ineffective with this sensitive breed.
Some important consideration should be given to shedding and slobbering in the Clumber. You should be aware that males develop luxurious coats on the belly and in front of the rear legs (not to mention the skirt around the rear and the ruff on the chest). Females are often less coated in the chest, but they have abundant skirting and belly hair. They will grow a profuse coat (especially in cold temperatures), and that coat will shed moderately all year round. Also, the correct Clumber has a big head with a broad topskull, well-developed flews, and plenty of lip. That often means many Clumbers slobber and drool, not as much as a Mastiff or Saint Bernard, but certainly more than many other breeds with tighter lips.
Some Clumbers run to meet every visitor, but occasionally you may find them initially reticent with strangers—never shy or aggressive, but dignified. They tend to be poor watchdogs because they generally do not bark at everything. Their friendly, all-accepting personality makes them poor candidates for guarding.
The Clumber is a rather slow worker, moving with a distinctive rolling, comfortable gait that can be maintained at steady trot for a day’s work in the field without exhaustion. He is particularly adaptable for use in heavy cover; he generally hunts mute and is able to come up very close to the game. He is a sure finder and a splendid retriever when trained.
OFFICIAL STANDARD FOR THE CLUMBER SPANIEL
General Appearance—The Clumber Spaniel is a long, low, substantial dog. His heavy brow, deep chest, straight forelegs, powerful hindquarters, massive bone and good feet all give him the power and endurance to move through dense underbrush in pursuit of game. His white coat enables him to be seen by the hunter as he works within gun range. His stature is dignified, his expression pensive, but at the same time he shows great enthusiasm for work and play.
Size, Proportion, Substance—The Clumber is rectangular in shape possessing massive bone structure and has the appearance of great power. The ideal height for dogs is 18 to 20 inches at the withers and for bitches is 17 to 19 inches at the withers. The ideal length to height is 11 to 9 measured from the withers to the base of the tail and from the floor to the withers. Dogs weigh between 70 and 85 pounds and bitches weigh between 55 and 70 pounds.
Head—The head is massive with a marked stop and heavy brow. The top skull is flat with a pronounced occiput. A slight furrow runs between the eyes and up through the center of the skull. The muzzle is broad and deep to facilitate retrieving many species of game. The nose is large, square and colored shades of brown, which include beige, rose and cherry. The flews of the upper jaw are strongly developed and overlap the lower jaw to give a square look when viewed from the side. A scissors bite is preferred. The eyes are dark amber in color, large, soft in expression, and deep set in either a diamond shaped rim or a rim with a “V” on the bottom and a curve on the top. Some haw may show but excessive haw is undesirable. Prominent or round shaped eyes are to be penalized. Excessive tearing or evidence of entropion or ectropion is to be penalized. Ears are broad on top with thick ear leather. The ears are triangular in shape with a rounded lower edge, set low and attached to the skull at approximately eye level.
Neck, Topline, Body—The Clumber should have a long neck with some slackness of throat or presence of dewlap not to be faulted. The neck is strong and muscular, fitting into a well laid back shoulder. The back is straight, firm, long and level. The brisket is deep and the ribs well sprung. The chest is deep and wide. The loin arches slightly. The tail is well feathered and set on just below the line of back; its trimming minimal, serving to tidy the feathering to allow for a natural appearance and outline. The tail is normally carried level with the topline or slightly elevated, never down between the rear legs. The tail may be docked or left natural, both being of equal value. If docked, the tail’s length should be in keeping with the overall proportion of the adult dog. If natural, the tailbone should extend to the point of hock, but should not extend to the ground.
Forequarters—The Clumber shoulder is well laid back. The upper arm is of sufficient length to place the elbow under the highest point of the shoulder. The forelegs are short, straight and heavy in bone, with elbows held close to the body. Pasterns are strong and only slightly sloped. The front feet are large, compact and have thick pads that act as shock absorbers. Removal of dewclaws is optional.
Hindquarters—The thighs are heavily muscled and, when viewed from behind, the rear is round and broad. The stifle shows good functional angulation, and hock to heel is short and perpendicular to the ground. Lack of angulation is objectionable. The rear feet are not as large or as round as on the front feet but compact, with thick pads and are of substantial size.
Coat—The body coat is dense, straight and flat. It is of good weather resistant texture, which is soft to the touch, not harsh. Ears are slightly feathered with straight hair. Feathering on the legs and belly is moderate. The Clumber has a good neck frill and on no condition should his throat be shaved. Evidence of shaving is to be penalized. The hair on the feet should be trimmed neatly to show their natural outline and for utility in the field. The rear legs may be trimmed up to the point of the hock. Tail feathering may be tidied. Trimming of whiskers is optional.
Color and Markings—The Clumber is primarily a white dog with lemon color or orange color markings. Markings are frequently seen on one or both ears and the face. Facial markings include color around one or both eyes, freckling on the muzzle and a spot on top of the head. A head with lemon/orange markings and an all-white head are of equal value. Freckles on the legs and/or a spot near the root of the tail are also frequently seen and acceptable. The body should have as few markings as possible.
Gait—The Clumber moves easily and freely with good reach in front and strong drive from behind, neither crossing over nor elbowing out. The hocks drive in a straight line without rocking or twisting. Because of his wide body and short legs he tends to roll slightly. The proper Clumber roll occurs when the dog, with the correct proportion, reaches forward with the rear leg toward the centerline of travel and rotates the hip downward while the back remains level and straight. The gait is comfortable and can be maintained at a steady trot for a day of work in the field without exhaustion.
Temperament—The Clumber Spaniel is a gentle, loyal and affectionate dog. He possesses an intrinsic desire to please. An intelligent and independent thinker, he displays determination and a strong sense of purpose while at work. A dog of dignity, the Clumber Spaniel may sometimes seem aloof with people unknown to him, but in time he will display his playful and loving nature. The Clumber Spaniel should never be hostile or aggressive; neither is acceptable and should not be condoned.
Approved January 8, 2001
Effective March 28, 2001
THE COCKER SPANIEL IS THE SMALLEST OF THE SPORTING SPANIELS. TRAINABLE, with stamina and intelligence, Cockers have a unique capacity to connect with humans. This deep sensitivity is reflected in their dark eyes, which quickly capture the imagination and hearts of people everywhere.
The breed emerged from a general spaniel population in the late 1800s. Early English dog shows presented them as “Field Spaniels” and subsequently offered classes for “other small breeds of Spaniels,” where “Cocker Spaniels” were then shown.
In 1883, the Ashton show in England included a class for Cocker Spaniels for the first time. This is where the breed founders were exhibited. Soon after, The Kennel Club (England) recognized Cocker Spaniels in their studbooks and, based on weight, distinguished them from other spaniels. Cockers could be any color but could not exceed twenty-five pounds.
During this period Cocker Spaniels were imported to the United States and Canada, and were shown in North America for the first time at Massachusetts in 1875. Since then, the breed has evolved from a longer-backed, shorter-legged dog to one with a shorter back and longer leg. The slightly taller, shorter-backed dog was developed to provide more flexibility in the field.
The Cocker Spaniel is a flushing dog, one that works closely with a hunter. The breed’s function is to find and flush game birds into the air so they can be shot. The dog then finds the fallen bird and gently brings it back to the hunter. Using its nose and compact body, the Cocker probes into brush and grasses too thick for larger spaniels. Cockers are often used to work the edges of woods, but are also fine flushers on savannas. Cocker Spaniels quarter land, using wind and ground scents to find game. As capable swimmers, Cockers will retrieve from the water or cross water and land barriers in order to find and bring back a fallen bird.
The multifaceted Cocker Spaniel is seen performing well in many sports. From the exquisite conformation dog to the fine gundog and competitor in field trials, Cocker Spaniels truly exemplify form following function. They are also good contenders in companion events, and are increasingly seen as therapy dogs at rehabilitation centers, schools, and nursing homes.
From the moment the Cocker Spaniel appeared as a distinct breed, its playful, affectionate personality; soft, silky coat; and large, dark eyes captured hearts. The breed’s intelligent, gentle nature, together with an impish playfulness, continue to enchant and delight people who pause to experience the depth reflected in those wonderful Cocker Spaniel eyes.
OFFICIAL STANDARD FOR THE COCKER SPANIEL
General Appearance—The Cocker Spaniel is the smallest member of the Sporting Group. He has a sturdy, compact body and a cleanly chiseled and refined head, with the overall dog in complete balance and of ideal size. He stands well up at the shoulder on straight forelegs with a topline sloping slightly toward strong, moderately bent, muscular quarters. He is a dog capable of considerable speed, combined with great endurance. Above all, he must be free and merry, sound, well balanced throughout and in action show a keen inclination to work. A dog well balanced in all parts is more desirable than a dog with strongly contrasting good points and faults.
Size, Proportion, Substance—Size—The ideal height at the withers for an adult dog is 15 inches and for an adult bitch, 14 inches. Height may vary one-half inch above or below this ideal. A dog whose height exceeds 151⁄2 inches or a bitch whose height exceeds 141⁄2 inches shall be disqualified. An adult dog whose height is less than 141⁄2 inches and an adult bitch whose height is less than 131⁄2 inches shall be penalized. Height is determined by a line perpendicular to the ground from the top of the shoulder blades, the dog standing naturally with its forelegs and lower hind legs parallel to the line of measurement. Proportion—The measurement from the breast bone to back of thigh is slightly longer than the measurement from the highest point of withers to the ground. The body must be of sufficient length to permit a straight and free stride; the dog never appears long and low.
Head—To attain a well proportioned head, which must be in balance with the rest of the dog, it embodies the following: Expression— The expression is intelligent, alert, soft and appealing. Eyes— Eyeballs are round and full and look directly forward. The shape of the eye rims gives a slightly almond shaped appearance; the eye is not weak or goggled. The color of the iris is dark brown and in general the darker the better. Ears— Lobular, long, of fine leather, well feathered, and placed no higher than a line to the lower part of the eye. Skull—Rounded but not exaggerated with no tendency toward flatness; the eyebrows are clearly defined with a pronounced stop. The bony structure beneath the eyes is well chiseled with no prominence in the cheeks. The muzzle is broad and deep, with square even jaws. To be in correct balance, the distance from the stop to the tip of the nose is one half the distance from the stop up over the crown to the base of the skull. Nose— Of sufficient size to balance the muzzle and foreface, with well developed nostrils typical of a sporting dog. It is black in color in the blacks, black and tans, and black and whites; in other colors it may be brown, liver or black, the darker the better. The color of nose harmonizes with the color of the eye rim. Lips— The upper lip is full and of sufficient depth to cover the lower jaw. Teeth—Teeth strong and sound, not too small and meet in a scissors bite.
Neck, Topline, Body—Neck—The neck is sufficiently long to allow the nose to reach the ground easily, muscular and free from pendulous “throatiness.” It rises strongly from the shoulders and arches slightly as it tapers to join the head. Topline— Sloping slightly toward muscular quarters. Body—The chest is deep, its lowest point no higher than the elbows, its front sufficiently wide for adequate heart and lung space, yet not so wide as to interfere with the straightforward movement of the forelegs. Ribs are deep and well sprung. Back is strong and sloping evenly and slightly downward from the shoulders to the set-on of the docked tail. The docked tail is set on and carried on a line with the topline of the back, or slightly higher; never straight up like a Terrier and never so low as to indicate timidity. When the dog is in motion the tail action is merry.
Forequarters—The shoulders are well laid back forming an angle with the upper arm of approximately 90 degrees, which permits the dog to move his forelegs in an easy manner with forward reach. Shoulders are clean-cut and sloping without protrusion and so set that the upper points of the withers are at an angle which permits a wide spring of rib. When viewed from the side with the forelegs vertical, the elbow is directly below the highest point of the shoulder blade. Forelegs are parallel, straight, strongly boned and muscular and set close to the body well under the scapulae. The pasterns are short and strong. Dewclaws on forelegs may be removed. Feet compact, large, round and firm with horny pads; they turn neither in nor out.
Hindquarters—Hips are wide and quarters well rounded and muscular. When viewed from behind, the hind legs are parallel when in motion and at rest. The hind legs are strongly boned, and muscled with moderate angulation at the stifle and powerful, clearly defined thighs. The stifle is strong and there is no slippage of it in motion or when standing. The hocks are strong and well let down. Dewclaws on hind legs may be removed.
Coat—On the head, short and fine; on the body, medium length, with enough undercoating to give protection. The ears, chest, abdomen and legs are well feathered, but not so excessively as to hide the Cocker Spaniel’s true lines and movement or affect his appearance and function as a moderately coated sporting dog. The texture is most important. The coat is silky, flat or slightly wavy and of a texture which permits easy care. Excessive coat or curly or cottony textured coat shall be severely penalized. Use of electric clippers on the back coat is not desirable. Trimming to enhance the dog’s true lines should be done to appear as natural as possible.
Color and Markings—Black Variety—Solid color black to include black with tan points. The black should be jet; shadings of brown or liver in the coat are not desirable. A small amount of white on the chest and/or throat is allowed; white in any other location shall disqualify.
Any Solid Color Other than Black (ASCOB)—Any solid color other than black, ranging from lightest cream to darkest red, including brown and brown with tan points. The color shall be of a uniform shade, but lighter color of the feathering is permissible. A small amount of white on the chest and/or throat is allowed; white in any other location shall disqualify.
Parti-Color Variety—Two or more solid, well broken colors, one of which must be white; black and white, red and white (the red may range from lightest cream to darkest red), brown and white, and roans, to include any such color combination with tan points. It is preferable that the tan markings be located in the same pattern as for the tan points in the Black and ASCOB varieties. Roans are classified as parti-colors and may be of any of the usual roaning patterns. Primary color which is ninety percent (90%) or more shall disqualify.
Tan Points—The color of the tan may be from the lightest cream to the darkest red and is restricted to ten percent (10%) or less of the color of the specimen; tan markings in excess of that amount shall disqualify. In the case of tan points in the Black or ASCOB variety, the markings shall be located as follows:
A clear tan spot over each eye;
On the sides of the muzzle and on the cheeks;
On the underside of the ears;
On all feet and/or legs;
Under the tail;
On the chest, optional; presence or absence shall not be penalized.
Tan markings which are not readily visible or which amount only to traces, shall be penalized. Tan on the muzzle which extends upward, over and joins shall also be penalized. The absence of tan markings in the Black or ASCOB variety in any of the specified locations in any otherwise tan-pointed dog shall disqualify.
Gait—The Cocker Spaniel, though the smallest of the sporting dogs, possesses a typical sporting dog gait. Prerequisite to good movement is balance between the front and rear assemblies. He drives with strong, powerful rear quarters and is properly constructed in the shoulders and forelegs so that he can reach forward without constriction in a full stride to counterbalance the driving force from the rear. Above all, his gait is coordinated, smooth and effortless. The dog must cover ground with his action; excessive animation should not be mistaken for proper gait.
Temperament—Equable in temperament with no suggestion of timidity.
Height—Males over 151⁄2 inches; females over 14 1⁄2 inches.
ColorandMarkings—The aforementioned colors are the only acceptable colors or combination of colors. Any other colors or combination of colors to disqualify.
Black Variety—White markings except on chest and throat.
Any Solid Color Other than Black Variety—White markings except on chest and throat.Parti-color Variety—Primary color ninety percent (90%) or more.
Tan Points—(1) Tan markings in excess of ten percent (10%); (2) Absence of tan markingsin Black or ASCOB Variety in any of the specified locations in an otherwise tan pointeddog.
Approved May 12, 1992
Effective June 30, 1992
ENGLISH COCKER SPANIEL
ONE OF THE OLDEST KNOWN TYPES OF LAND SPANIELS, THE COCKER SPANIEL descended from the original spaniels of Spain as one of a family of breeds destined to become highly diversified in size, type, coloring, and hunting ability.
Before the seventeenth century, all members of this group were designated merely as spaniels, whether they were large or small, long bodied or short, fast or slow on their feet. Gradually, the marked size difference began to impress those who used these dogs for hunting. Soon, the larger dogs were springing game and the smaller ones were hunting woodcock. The names Springer Spaniel, and Cocker or Woodcock Spaniel, naturally followed. In 1892, The Kennel Club (England) finally recognized them as separate breeds. The larger dog is the English Cocker Spaniel.
The Springers and Cockers described above, both before and after the date of their official separation in England, appeared in the same litters. Size alone was the dividing line between them. They enjoyed the same heritage, the same colorings, the same hunting skill, and much the same general type. Cocker and Springer developed side by side. In fact, Springer inheritance, naturally incorporated in the Cocker, was a fortunate directive for the success of English Cockers, for it enabled them to become one of the finest of the smaller hunting dogs.
Exhaustive research disclosed that during the nineteenth century there were two other lines of Cocker development. One involved the dogs known as Field or Cocker Spaniels. These eventually branched out into Sussex, Field, and Cocker Spaniels, the latter weighing less than twenty-five pounds and usually being black in color. The other line involved spaniels from the House of Marlborough, of which there were two types: a small, round-headed, short-nosed, red-and-white dog and a slightly larger dog with shorter ears and a longer foreface. The Marlborough Cocker eventually became the English Toy Spaniel, but before they emerged as a distinct breed, they were combined with smaller cockers of partial Field Spaniel derivation. From these two lines came a spaniel approximating the size and type fancied by American importers of that time.
The English Cocker Spaniel Club of America was formed June 20, 1936, “to foster the interests of the English Cocker Spaniel.” The English Cocker had already been recognized as a variety of the Cocker Spaniel by action of the AKC Board of Directors on May 12, 1936, but not as a separate breed in its own right. The breed standard from England was adopted here as well. The club’s first specialty show was held in conjunction with the 1937 Morris & Essex Kennel Club show.
The immediate aim of the club was to discourage interbreeding of the English and American varieties, which English Cocker fanciers considered detrimental to the type they sponsored. Separate classes for the English variety were provided at shows. Nevertheless, for some time, interbred English and American Cockers continued to compete side by side with pure English and pure American specimens. In fact, many an American Cocker was entered in the show ring as an English Cocker on the basis of larger size alone. The resulting confusion worked against the best interests of both varieties, but nothing could be done because no one knew which dogs were pure English, which were American, and which were a combination of the two.
Geraldine R. Dodge, then the parent club president, directed that an extensive pedigree search be made of Cockers in England, Canada, and the United States, going back to the beginning of official Cocker history abroad in 1892. This was done to distinguish the pure English lines of descent that were entirely devoid of American Cocker mixtures. In 1941, this information was finally obtained, and the English Cocker Spaniel Club was in a position to advise authoritatively on the problems of selection and breeding.
In 1940, the Canadian Kennel Club recognized the English Cocker Spaniel as a separate breed, as did the American Kennel Club in 1946. But because there was much to be done in order to comply with the provisions laid down for official certification of pedigrees, breed registrations did not appear in the AKC Stud Book under their own heading until January 1947.
OFFICIAL STANDARD FOR THE ENGLISH COCKER SPANIEL
General Appearance—The English Cocker Spaniel is an active, merry sporting dog, standing well up at the withers and compactly built. He is alive with energy; his gait is powerful and frictionless, capable both of covering ground effortlessly and penetrating dense cover to flush and retrieve game. His enthusiasm in the field and the incessant action of his tail while at work indicate how much he enjoys the hunting for which he was bred. His head is especially characteristic. He is, above all, a dog of balance, both standing and moving, without exaggeration in any part, the whole worth more than the sum of its parts.
Size, Proportion, Substance—Size—Height at withers: males 16 to 17 inches; females 15 to 16 inches. Deviations to be penalized. The most desirable weights: males, 28 to 34 pounds; females, 26 to 32 pounds. Proper conformation and substance should be considered more important than weight alone. Proportion—Compactly built and short-coupled, with height at withers slightly greater than the distance from withers to set-on of tail. Substance—The English Cocker is a solidly built dog with as much bone and substance as is possible without becoming cloddy or coarse.
Head—General appearance: strong, yet free from coarseness, softly contoured, without sharp angles. Taken as a whole, the parts combine to produce the expression distinctive of the breed. Expression—Soft, melting, yet dignified, alert, and intelligent. Eyes—The eyes are essential to the desired expression. They are medium in size, full and slightly oval; set wide apart; lids tight. Haws are inconspicuous; may be pigmented or unpigmented. Eye color dark brown, except in livers and liver parti-colors where hazel is permitted, but the darker the hazel the better. Ears—Set low, lying close to the head; leather fine, extending to the nose, well covered with long, silky, straight or slightly wavy hair. Skull—Arched and slightly flattened when seen both from the side and from the front. Viewed in profile, the brow appears not appreciably higher than the back-skull. Viewed from above, the sides of the skull are in planes roughly parallel to those of the muzzle. Stop definite, but moderate, and slightly grooved. Muzzle—Equal in length to skull; well cushioned; only as much narrower than the skull as is consistent with a full eye placement; cleanly chiseled under the eyes. Jaws strong, capable of carrying game. Nostrils wide for proper development of scenting ability; color black, except in livers and parti-colors of that shade where they will be brown; reds and parti-colors of that shade may be brown, but black is preferred. Lips square, but not pendulous or showing prominent flews. Bite—Scissors. A level bite is not preferred. Overshot or undershot to be severely penalized.
Neck, Topline and Body—Neck—Graceful and muscular, arched toward the head and blending cleanly, without throatiness, into sloping shoulders; moderate in length and in balance with the length and height of the dog. Topline—The line of the neck blends into the shoulder and backline in a smooth curve. The backline slopes very slightly toward a gently rounded croup, and is free from sagging or rumpiness. Body— Compact and well-knit, giving the impression of strength without heaviness. Chest deep; not so wide as to interfere with action of forelegs, nor so narrow as to allow the front to appear narrow or pinched. Forechest well developed, prosternum projecting moderately beyond shoulder points. Brisket reaches to the elbow and slopes gradually to a moderate tuck-up. Ribs well sprung and springing gradually to mid-body, tapering to back ribs which are of good depth and extend well back. Back short and strong. Loin short, broad and very slightly arched, but not enough to affect the topline appreciably. Croup gently rounded, without any tendency to fall away sharply. Tail—Docked. Set on to conform to croup. Ideally, the tail is carried horizontally and is in constant motion while the dog is in action. Under excitement, the dog may carry his tail somewhat higher, but not cocked up.
Forequarters—The English Cocker is moderately angulated. Shoulders are sloping, the blade flat and smoothly fitting. Shoulder blade and upper arm are approximately equal in length. Upper arm set well back, joining the shoulder with sufficient angulation to place the elbow beneath the highest point of the shoulder blade when the dog is standing naturally. Forelegs—Straight, with bone nearly uniform in size from elbow to heel; elbows set close to the body; pasterns nearly straight, with some flexibility. Feet—Proportionate in size to the legs, firm, round and catlike; toes arched and tight; pads thick.
Hindquarters—Angulation moderate and, most importantly, in balance with that of the forequarters. Hips relatively broad and well rounded. Upper thighs broad, thick and muscular, providing plenty of propelling power. Second thighs well muscled and approximately equal in length to the upper. Stifle strong and well bent. Hock to pad short. Feet as in front.
Coat—On head, short and fine; of medium length on body; flat or slightly wavy; silky in texture. The English Cocker is well-feathered, but not so profusely as to interfere with field work. Trimming is permitted to remove overabundant hair and to enhance the dog’s true lines. It should be done so as to appear as natural as possible.
Color—Various. Parti-colors are either clearly marked, ticked or roaned, the white appearing in combination with black, liver or shades of red. In parti-colors it is preferable that solid markings be broken on the body and more or less evenly distributed; absence of body markings is acceptable. Solid colors are black, liver or shades of red. White feet on a solid are undesirable; a little white on throat is acceptable; but in neither case do these white markings make the dog a parti-color. Tan markings, clearly defined and of rich shade, may appear in conjunction with black, livers and parti-color combinations of those colors. Black and tans and liver and tans are considered solid colors.
Gait—The English Cocker is capable of hunting in dense cover and upland terrain. His gait is accordingly characterized more by drive and the appearance of power than by great speed. He covers ground effortlessly and with extension both in front and in rear, appropriate to his angulation. In the ring, he carries his head proudly and is able to keep much the same topline while in action as when standing for examination. Going and coming, he moves in a straight line without crabbing or rolling, and with width between both front and rear legs appropriate to his build and gait.
Temperament—The English Cocker is merry and affectionate, of equable disposition, neither sluggish nor hyperactive, a willing worker and a faithful and engaging companion.
Approved October 11, 1988
Effective November 30, 1988
ENGLISH SPRINGER SPANIEL
FOR MANY CENTURIES, SPANIELS HAVE BEEN ORGANIZED IN ART AND LITER-ATURE as a clearly defined type of dog. They were originally used to flush game for the net and the falcon, but the seventeenth-century invention of the wheel-lock firearm forever transformed the English Springer Spaniel into the excellent upland game hunter that remains today.
First recognized as a distinct breed in 1902 by The Kennel Club (England), this is “the gamekeeper’s dog,” whose purpose is to find, flush, and fetch game. Many historic writings tell us that these great dogs worked, and still should work, tirelessly in the field all day and then retire to the easy companionship of family, hearth, and home after a good day’s hunt.
Importation of English Springer Spaniels from England to Canada and the United States began in earnest in the 1920s. The breed became better known after 1924, when the English Springer Spaniel Field Trial Association was formed and field trials were inaugurated. Three years later, the ESSFTA became the breed’s parent club.
In those early days, it was not unusual for Springers to compete successfully in a field trial one day and the show ring the next. (It is to be hoped that such versatility might someday return.) Widely diverging competition goals have succeeded in creating a “field” Springer and a “show” Springer. There is one breed standard, and it describes the ideal conformation and unique traits of all English Springers. Those new to the breed should study the differences in function and appearance that distinguish “field” from “show.”
The English Springer Spaniel Field Trial Association promotes the breed in the field and in hunting tests, obedience trials, agility trials, and conformation competition. As the parent club, it maintains the AKC breed standard, which was most recently updated and approved in 1994. An illustrated standard that presents key aspects of breed history, type, and character has also been published. In 1996 the ESSFTA Foundation was founded as a tax-exempt charity with a separate board of directors. Since then, the foundation has raised significant funds from hundreds of Springer enthusiasts to address breed health and genetic issues. The foundation sponsors and presents educational programs and seminars on breed health and genetic issues. A joint committee of the parent club and the foundation has recently been established to collaborate on maintaining and preserving archival materials and items of importance to the breed’s history.
Many of the English Springer Spaniel’s unique type characteristics have continued unchanged through the centuries. Those characteristics include the breed’s moderate size, substance, and overall balance; its beautifully chiseled and well-proportioned head, with lovely eye and expression; and a structure that supports a hard day’s hunting. True spaniel character is the ideal hardy, efficient upland game hunter and the ideal kind, trusting family dog.
Coat texture is also of a unique type, having a firm topcoat and a protective undercoat. The breed’s familiar colors are white coupled with black or liver. Either of those two colors may have tan points (tricolor). There is no preferred pattern of markings, and ticking is characteristic. Lemon, red, and orange do occur occasionally, but these colors are not preferred and should not place in conformation competition. English Springers have docked tails; a natural tail is considered a conformation fault, though not a disqualification.
Britain is the country of origin, though it is believed that the word spaniel may indicate that the breed had Spanish origins. The English Springer Spaniel Field Trial Association and the ESSFTA Foundation both enjoy a warm friendship and frequent exchanges with their counterparts in Britain, recognizing that common roots have given us this beautiful breed, and common goals will protect and preserve the breed for the future. All English Springer Spaniel enthusiasts, present and future, must thoroughly understand and appreciate the breed’s true purpose as both companion and hunter, a member of the ancient and distinguished family of spaniels.
OFFICIAL STANDARD FOR THE ENGLISH SPRINGER SPANIEL
General Appearance—The English Springer Spaniel is a medium-sized sporting dog, with a compact body and a docked tail. His coat is moderately long, with feathering on his legs, ears, chest and brisket. His pendulous ears, soft gentle expression, sturdy build and friendly wagging tail proclaim him unmistakably a member of the ancient family of Spaniels. He is above all a well-proportioned dog, free from exaggeration, nicely balanced in every part. His carriage is proud and upstanding, body deep, legs strong and muscular, with enough length to carry him with ease. Taken as a whole, the English Springer Spaniel suggests power, endurance and agility. He looks the part of a dog that can go, and keep going, under difficult hunting conditions. At his best, he is endowed with style, symmetry, balance and enthusiasm, and is every inch a sporting dog of distinct spaniel character, combining beauty and utility.
Size, Proportion, Substance—The Springer is built to cover rough ground with agility and reasonable speed. His structure suggests the capacity for endurance. He is to be kept to medium size. Ideal height at the shoulder for dogs is 20 inches; for bitches, it is 19 inches. Those more than one inch under or over the breed ideal are to be faulted. A 20-inch dog, well-proportioned and in good condition, will weigh approximately 50 pounds; a 19-inch bitch will weigh approximately 40 pounds. The length of the body (measured from point of shoulder to point of buttocks) is slightly greater than the height at the withers. The dog too long in body, especially when long in the loin, tires easily and lacks the compact outline characteristic of the breed. A dog too short in body for the length of his legs, a condition which destroys balance and restricts gait, is equally undesirable. A Springer with correct substance appears well-knit and sturdy with good bone, however, he is never coarse or ponderous.
Head—The head is impressive without being heavy. Its beauty lies in a combination of strength and refinement. It is important that its size and proportion be in balance with the rest of the dog. Viewed in profile, the head appears approximately the same length as the neck and blends with the body in substance. The stop, eyebrows and chiseling of the bony structure around the eye sockets contribute to the Springer’s beautiful and characteristic expression, which is alert, kindly and trusting. The eyes, more than any other feature, are the essence of the Springer’s appeal. Correct size, shape, placement and color influence expression and attractiveness. The eyes are of medium size and oval in shape, set rather well-apart and fairly deep in their sockets. The color of the iris harmonizes with the color of the coat, preferably dark hazel in the liver and white dogs and black or deep brown in the black and white dogs. Eye rims are fully pigmented and match the coat in color. Lids are tight with little or no haw showing. Eyes that are small, round or protruding, as well as eyes that are yellow or brassy in color, are highly undesirable. Ears are long and fairly wide, hanging close to the cheeks with no tendency to stand up or out. The ear leather is thin and approximately long enough to reach the tip of the nose. Correct ear set is on a level with the eye and not too far back on the skull. The skull is medium-length and fairly broad, flat on top and slightly rounded at the sides and back. The occiput bone is inconspicuous. As the skull rises from the foreface, it makes a stop, divided by a groove, or fluting, between the eyes. The groove disappears as it reaches the middle of the forehead. The amount of stop is moderate. It must not be a pronounced feature; rather it is a subtle rise where the muzzle joins the upper head. It is emphasized by the groove and by the position and shape of the eyebrows, which are well-developed. The muzzle is approximately the same length as the skull and one half the width of the skull. Viewed in profile, the toplines of the skull and muzzle lie in approximately parallel planes. The nasal bone is straight, with no inclination downward toward the tip of the nose, the latter giving an undesirable downfaced look. Neither is the nasal bone concave, resulting in a “dish-faced” profile; nor convex, giving the dog a Roman nose. The cheeks are flat, and the face is well-chiseled under the eyes. Jaws are of sufficient length to allow the dog to carry game easily: fairly square, lean and strong. The upper lips come down full and rather square to cover the line of the lower jaw, however, the lips are never pendulous or exaggerated. The nose is fully-pigmented, liver or black in color, depending on the color of the coat. The nostrils are well-opened and broad. Teeth are strong, clean, of good size and ideally meet in a close scissors bite. An even bite or one or two incisors slightly out of line are minor faults. Undershot, overshot and wry jaws are serious faults and are to be severely penalized.
Neck, Topline, Body—The neck is moderately long, muscular, clean and slightly arched at the crest. It blends gradually and smoothly into sloping shoulders. The portion of the topline from withers to tail is firm and slopes very gently. The body is short-coupled, strong and compact. The chest is deep, reaching the level of the elbows, with well-developed forechest; however, it is not so wide or round as to interfere with the action of the front legs. Ribs are fairly long, springing gradually to the middle of the body, then tapering as they approach the end of the ribbed section. The underline stays level with the elbows to a slight upcurve at the flank. The back is straight, strong and essentially level. Loins are strong, short and slightly arched. Hips are nicely rounded, blending smoothly into the hind legs. The croup slopes gently to the set of the tail, and tail-set follows the natural line of the croup. The tail is carried horizontally or slightly elevated and displays a characteristic lively, merry action, particularly when the dog is on game. A clamped tail (indicating timidity or undependable temperament) is to be faulted, as is a tail carried at a right angle to the backline in Terrier fashion.
Forequarters—Efficient movement in front calls for proper forequarter assembly. The shoulder blades are flat and fairly close together at the tips, molding smoothly into the contour of the body. Ideally, when measured from the top of the withers to the point of the shoulder to the elbow, the shoulder blade and upper arm are of apparent equal length, forming an angle of nearly 90 degrees; this sets the front legs well under the body and places the elbows directly beneath the tips of the shoulder blades. Elbows lie close to the body. Forelegs are straight with the same degree of size continuing to the foot. Bone is strong, slightly flattened, not too round or too heavy. Pasterns are short, strong and slightly sloping, with no suggestion of weakness. Dewclaws are usually removed. Feet are round or slightly oval. They are compact and well-arched, of medium size with thick pads, and well-feathered between the toes.
Hindquarters—The Springer should be worked and shown in hard, muscular condition with well-developed hips and thighs. His whole rear assembly suggests strength and driving power. Thighs are broad and muscular. Stifle joints are strong. For functional efficiency, the angulation of the hindquarter is never greater than that of the forequarter, and not appreciably less. The hock joints are somewhat rounded, not small and sharp in contour. Rear pasterns are short (about one-third the distance from the hip joint to the foot) and strong, with good bone. When viewed from behind, the rear pasterns are parallel. Dewclaws are usually removed. The feet are the same as in front, except that they are smaller and often more compact.
Coat—The Springer has an outer coat and an undercoat. On the body, the outer coat is of medium length, flat or wavy, and is easily distinguishable from the undercoat, which is short, soft and dense. The quantity of undercoat is affected by climate and season. When in combination, outer coat and undercoat serve to make the dog substantially waterproof, weatherproof and thornproof. On ears, chest, legs and belly the Springer is nicely furnished with a fringe of feathering of moderate length and heaviness. On the head, front of the forelegs, and below the hock joints on the front of the hind legs, the hair is short and fine. The coat has the clean, glossy, “live” appearance indicative of good health. It is legitimate to trim about the head, ears, neck and feet, to remove dead undercoat, and to thin and shorten excess feathering as required to enhance a smart, functional appearance. The tail may be trimmed, or well fringed with wavy feathering. Above all, the appearance should be natural. Overtrimming, especially the body coat, or any chopped, barbered or artificial effect is to be penalized in the show ring, as is excessive feathering that destroys the clean outline desirable in a sporting dog. Correct quality and condition of coat is to take precedence over quantity of coat.
Color—All the following combinations of colors and markings are equally acceptable: (1) Black or liver with white markings or predominantly white with black or liver markings; (2) Blue or liver roan; (3) Tricolor: black and white or liver and white with tan markings, usually found on eyebrows, cheeks, inside of ears and under the tail. Any white portion of the coat may be flecked with ticking. Off colors such as lemon, red or orange are not to place.
Gait—The final test of the Springer’s conformation and soundness is proper movement. Balance is a prerequisite to good movement. The front and rear assemblies must be equivalent in angulation and muscular development for the gait to be smooth and effortless. Shoulders which are well laid-back to permit a long stride are just as essential as the excellent rear quarters that provide driving power. Seen from the side, the Springer exhibits a long, ground-covering stride and carries a firm back, with no tendency to dip, roach or roll from side to side. From the front, the legs swing forward in a free and easy manner. Elbows have free action from the shoulders, and the legs show no tendency to cross or interfere. From behind, the rear legs reach well under the body, following on a line with the forelegs. As speed increases, there is a natural tendency for the legs to converge toward a center line of travel. Movement faults include high-stepping, wasted motion; short, choppy stride; crabbing; and moving with the feet wide, the latter giving roll or swing to the body.
Temperament—The typical Springer is friendly, eager to please, quick to learn and willing to obey. Such traits are conducive to tractability, which is essential for appropriate handler control in the field. In the show ring, he should exhibit poise and attentiveness and permit himself to be examined by the judge without resentment or cringing. Aggression toward people and aggression toward other dogs is not in keeping with sporting dog character and purpose and is not acceptable. Excessive timidity, with due allowance for puppies and novice exhibits, is to be equally penalized.
Summary—In evaluating the English Springer Spaniel, the overall picture is a primary consideration. One should look for type, which includes general appearance and outline, and also for soundness, which includes movement and temperament. Inasmuch as the dog with a smooth easy gait must be reasonably sound and well-balanced, he is to be highly regarded, however, not to the extent of forgiving him for not looking like an English Springer Spaniel. An atypical dog, too short or long in leg length or foreign in head or expression, may move well, but he is not to be preferred over a good all-round specimen that has a minor fault in movement. It must be remembered that the English Springer Spaniel is first and foremost a sporting dog of the Spaniel family, and he must look, behave and move in character.
Approved February 12, 1994
Effective March 31, 1994
THE FIELD SPANIEL, TO PROBABLY GREATER EXTENT THAN ANY VARIETY within the great spaniel group, has been taken over the hurdles of man’s fancy for exaggerations in type, and as a result the breed suffered greatly.
Phineas Bullock of England is credited with perpetuating a dog of tremendous body length and lowness to the ground, which together with phenomenal bone, culminated for a time in a grotesque caricature of a spaniel. Apparently the type was established by repeated crosses of the Welsh Cocker with the Sussex Spaniel. Later, largely through the efforts of Mortimer Smith, the breed was improved—it took on a type that all who like sporting spaniels can really admire.
Considerable difficulty was encountered in establishing the modern Field Spaniel in the United States due to the necessity for introducing Springer and Cocker crosses in order to eliminate the exaggerations, and this, of course, rendered many individuals ineligible for registration with the American Kennel Club. In fact, in the early 1880s when the Cocker was introduced to America and until 1901, the sole distinction between the Cockers and the Field Spaniels for show purposes was one of size—with any over twenty-five pounds designated as a Field, and twenty-five pounds or under as a Cocker.
Usually black in color, the Field Spaniel became a useful and handsome breed, sound, straight in the forelegs, and with a height more nearly in balance to length. When built along these lines, he is a dog possessed of endurance, moderate speed, and agility. He is level-headed and intelligent, and a dog of great perseverance.
OFFICIAL STANDARD FOR THE FIELD SPANIEL
General Appearance—The Field Spaniel is a combination of beauty and utility. It is a well balanced, substantial hunter-companion of medium size, built for activity and endurance in a heavy cover and water. It has a noble carriage; a proud but docile attitude; is sound and free moving. Symmetry, gait, attitude and purpose are more important than any one part.
Size, Proportion, Substance—Balance between these three components is essential. Size—Ideal height for mature adults at the withers is 18 inches for dogs and 17 inches for bitches. A one inch deviation either way is acceptable. Proportion—A well balanced dog, somewhat longer than tall. The ratio of length to height is approximately 7:6. (Length is measured on a level from the foremost point of the shoulder to the rearmost point of the buttocks.) Substance—Solidly built, with moderate bone, and firm smooth muscles.
Head—Conveys the impression of high breeding, character and nobility, and must be in proportion to the size of the dog. Expression—Grave, gentle and intelligent. Eyes—Almond in shape, open and of medium size; set moderately wide and deep. Color: dark hazel to dark brown. The lids are tight and show no haw; rims comparable to nose in color. Ears—Moderately long (reaching the end of the muzzle) and wide. Set on slightly below eye level: pendulous, hanging close to the head; rolled and well feathered. Leather is moderately heavy, supple, and rounded at the tip. Skull—The crown is slightly wider at the back than at the brow and lightly arched laterally; sides and cheeks are straight and clean. The occiput is distinct and rounded. Brows are slightly raised. The stop is moderate, but well defined by the brows. The face is chiseled beneath the eyes. Muzzle—Strong, long and lean, neither snipy nor squarely cut. The nasal bone is straight and slightly divergent from parallel, sloping downward toward the nose from the plane of the top skull. In profile, the lower plane curves gradually from the nose to the throat. Jaws are level. Nose—Large, fleshy and well developed with open nostrils. Set on as an extension of the muzzle. Color: solid: light to dark brown or black as befits the color of the coat. Lips—Close fitting, clean, and sufficiently deep to cover the lower jaw without being pendulous. Bite—Scissors or level, with complete dentition. Scissors preferred.
Neck, Topline, Body—Neck—Long, strong, muscular, slightly arched, clean, and well set into shoulders. Topline—The neck slopes smoothly into the withers; the back is level, well muscled, firm and strong; the croup is short and gently rounded. Body—The prosternum is prominent and well fleshed. The depth of chest is roughly equal to the length of the front leg from elbow to ground. The rib cage is long and extending into a short loin. Ribs are oval, well sprung and curve gently into a firm loin. Loin—Short, strong, and deep, with little or no tuck up. Tail—Set on low, in line with the croup, just below the level of the back with a natural downward inclination. Docked tails preferred, natural tails are allowed. The tail whether docked or natural length should be in balance with the overall dog.
Forequarters—Shoulder blades are oblique and sloping. The upper arm is closed-set; elbows are directly below the withers, and turn neither in nor out. Bone is flat. Forelegs are straight and well boned to the feet. Pasterns are moderately sloping but strong. Dewclaws may be removed. Feet face forward and are large, rounded, and webbed, with strong, well arched relatively tight toes and thick pads.
Hindquarters—Strong and driving; stifles and hocks only moderately bent. Hocks well let down; pasterns relatively short, strong and parallel when viewed from the rear. Hips moderately broad and muscular; upper thigh broad and powerful; second thigh well muscled. Bone corresponds to that of the forelegs. No dewclaws.
Coat—Single; moderately long; flat or slightly wavy; silky; and glossy; dense and water-repellent. Moderate setter-like feathering adorns the chest, underbody, backs of the legs, buttocks, and may also be present on the second thigh and underside of the tail. Pasterns have clean outlines to the ground. There is short, soft hair between the toes. Overabundance of coat, or cottony texture, impractical for field work should be penalized. Trimming is limited to that which enhances the natural appearance of the dog. Amount of coat or absence of coat should not be faulted as much as structural faults.
Color—Black, liver, golden liver or shades thereof, in any intensity (dark or light); either self-colored or bi-colored. Bi-colored dogs must be roaned and/or ticked in white areas. Tan points are acceptable on the aforementioned colors and are the same as any normally tan pointed breed. White is allowed on the throat, chest, and/or brisket, and may be clear, ticked, or roaned on a self color dog.
Gait—The head is carried alertly, neither so high nor so low as to impede motion or stride. There is good forward reach that begins in the shoulder, coupled with strong drive from the rear, giving the characteristic effortless, long, low majestic stride. When viewed from front and/or rear elbows and hocks move parallel. The legs move straight, with slight convergence at increased speed. When moving, the tail is carried inclined slightly downward or level with the back, and with a wagging motion. Tail carried above the back is incorrect. Side movement is straight and clean, without energy wasting motions. Overreaching and single tracking are incorrect. The Field Spaniel should be shown at its own natural speed in an endurance trot, preferably on a loose lead, in order to evaluate its movement.
Temperament—Unusually docile, sensitive, fun-loving, independent and intelligent, with a great affinity for human companionship. They may be somewhat reserved in initial meetings. Any display of shyness, fear, or aggression is to be severely penalized.
Approved September 14, 1998
Effective October 30, 1998
IRISH WATER SPANIEL
THAT THE IRISH WATER SPANIEL IS A DOG OF VERY ANCIENT LINEAGE IS supported by the research made by Alan J. Stern and reported upon in four articles in Pure-Bred Dogs—American Kennel Gazette, January–April 1965.
The articles noted that a Harvard archaeological expedition to Ireland in 1934–36, excavating a lake dwelling of Lagore near Dunshaughlin, unearthed among other dog remains an Irish Water Spaniel–type skull—medium sized, with clearly defined stop and a more pronounced dome—identified to dogs living in the seventh or eighth century A.D. The same type of skull was found in the Lake Districts of Central Europe, dating from later Stone and Bronze ages. Old Roman ruins bear carvings which most resemble the Irish Water Spaniel.
In the late 1100s, before the days of King McCarthy II, dogs found in southern Ireland below the River Shannon were called Shannon Spaniels, Irish Water Spaniels, Rat-Tail Spaniels, or Whip-Tail Spaniels. Ireland’s Sir Robert Cecil is recorded as having sent the King of France an Irish Water Spaniel in 1598. In 1607, Topsell, in his Historie of the four-footed Beastes, tells of the Water Spagnel with his long, rough, curled hair and a tail somewhat bare and naked. Captain Thomas Brown, in the mid-1700s, remarks on the long ears of the Irish Water Spaniel and the crisp, curly texture of the coat.
These evidences indicate that the dog known as the Southern Irish Water Spaniel was well established centuries before the legendary Boatswain (1834–52), the famous sire of many outstanding gundogs and bench champions who is often credited as having been the first of the breed as it is known today. Boatswain (pedigree unknown) was bred by Justin McCarthy.
However disputable the breed’s development before him, in Boatswain’s wake a clear type was bred, exhibited, and accepted by kennel club officialdom. In 1849 he sired Jack, whose name appears in many early pedigrees. The first special class for Irish Water Spaniels was provided in 1859. In 1866, Doctor—a great grandson of Boatswain—won first (Best of Breed) at Birmingham. An oil painting of Rake, bred in 1864 of Boatswain’s bloodlines, shows the contemporary Irish Water Spaniel.
In America, we note that there was an entry of four Irish Water Spaniels at the first Westminster Kennel Club show in 1877. One of these was listed as having been imported from Ireland in 1873.
The Irish Water Spaniel is often called the clown of the spaniel family, possibly due to the unique appearance of a characteristic topknot together with a peak of curly hair between the eyes. He is likewise the tallest of our spaniels. Ordinarily he is loyal to those he knows, but forbidding to strangers. He is a grand water dog, not only because he likes water, but because his coat is naturally water-shedding. For this reason he is used in some parts of the country as a duck retriever, although he is not quite as adaptable for upland work because his coat tends to catch on briers.
OFFICIAL STANDARD FOR THE IRISH WATER SPANIEL
General Appearance—The Irish Water Spaniel presents a picture of a smart, upstanding strongly built sporting dog. Great intelligence is combined with rugged endurance and a bold, dashing eagerness of temperament. Distinguishing characteristics are a topknot of long, loose curls, a body covered with a dense, crisply curled liver colored coat, contrasted by a smooth face and a smooth “rat” tail.
Size, Proportion, Substance—Strongly built and well boned, the Irish Water Spaniel is a dog of medium length, slightly rectangular in appearance. He is well balanced and shows no legginess or coarseness. Dogs 22 to 24 inches, bitches 21 to 23 inches, measured at the highest point of the shoulder. Dogs 55 to 65 pounds, bitches 45 to 58 pounds.
Head—The head is cleanly chiseled, not cheeky, and should not present a short, wedge shaped appearance. The skull is rather large and high in the dome, with a prominent occiput and a gradual stop. The muzzle is square and rather long, with a deep mouth opening and lips fine in texture. The nose large and liver in color. Teeth strong and regular with a scissors or level bite. The hair on the face is short and smooth, except for a beard which grows in a narrow line at the back of the jaw. Topknot—A characteristic of the breed, consists of long, loose curls growing down into a well-defined peak between the eyes and falling like a shawl over the tops of the ears and occiput. Trimming of this breed characteristic in an exaggerated manner is highly objectionable. Eyes—Medium in size, slightly almond shaped with tight eyelids. Eyes are hazel in color, preferably of a dark shade. The expression is keenly alert, intelligent, direct and quizzical. Ears—Long, lobular, set low, with leathers reaching about to the end of the nose when extended forward, and abundantly covered with long curls, extending two or more inches below the tips of the leathers.
Neck, Topline, Body—The neck is long, arching, strong and muscular; smoothly set into cleanly sloping shoulders. Topline—Strong and level, or slightly higher in the rear; never descending, or showing sag or roach. Body—The body is of medium length, slightly rectangular. Chest deep, with brisket extending to the elbows. Ribs well sprung and carried well back. Immediately behind the shoulders ribs are flattened enough to allow free movement of the forelegs, becoming rounder behind. Loin short, wide and muscular. The body should not present a tucked-up appearance.
Forequarters—The entire front gives the impression of strength without heaviness. Shoulders are sloping and clean. Forelegs well boned, muscular, medium in length; with sufficient length of upper arm to ensure efficient reach. Elbows close set. Forefeet are large, thick and somewhat spreading; well clothed with hair both over and between the toes.
Hindquarters—Sound hindquarters are of great importance to provide swimming power and drive. They should be as high or slightly higher than the shoulders, powerful and muscular, with well developed upper and second thighs. Hips wide, stifles moderately bent, hocks low set and moderately bent. Rear angulation is moderate, and balance of front and rear angulation is of paramount importance. Rear feet are large, thick and somewhat spreading; well clothed with hair. Tail should be set on low enough to give a rather rounded appearance to the hindquarters and should be carried nearly level with the back.
Tail—The so-called rat tail is a striking characteristic of the breed. At the root it is thick and covered for two or three inches with short curls. It tapers to a fine point at the end; and from the root curls is covered with short, smooth hair so as to look as if it had been clipped. The tail should not be long enough to reach the hock joint.
Coat—Proper double coat is of vital importance to protect the dog while working. The neck, back, sides, and rear are densely covered with tight, crisp ringlets, with the hair longer underneath the ribs. Forelegs are well covered with abundant curls or waves. The hind legs should also be abundantly covered by hair falling in curls or waves, except that the hair should be short and smooth on the front of the legs below the hocks. The hair on the throat is very short and smooth, forming a V-shaped patch. All curled areas should be clearly defined by curls of sufficient length to form a sharp contrast with the smooth coat on face, throat, tail, and rear legs below the hocks. Fore and hind feet should be well clothed with hair both over and between the toes. Dogs may be shown in natural coat or trimmed. However, no dog should be groomed or trimmed so excessively as to obscure the curl or texture of the coat.
Color—Solid liver. With the exception of graying due to age, white hair or markings objectionable.
Gait—The Irish Water Spaniel moves with a smooth, free, ground covering action that, when viewed from the side, exhibits balanced reach and drive. True and precise coming and going. When walking or standing, the legs are perpendicular to the ground, toeing neither in nor out.
Temperament—Very alert and inquisitive, the Irish Water Spaniel is often reserved with strangers. However, aggressive behavior or excessive shyness should be penalized. A stable temperament is essential in a hunting dog.
The foregoing description is that of the ideal Irish Water Spaniel in hard working condition.Any deviation from the above described dog must be penalized to the extent of the deviation,keeping in mind the importance of the various features toward the basic original purpose of thebreed.
Approved June 12, 1990
Effective August 1, 1990
TWO BOOKS PRINTED IN THE 1850S PROVIDE THE FIRST CLEAR REFERENCE TO the Sussex Spaniel as a distinct breed. One of the two books credited Augustus Elliot Fuller, owner of Rosehill estate in Brightling, Sussex County, England, with breeding the two Sussex whose illustration was used in the book. Twenty years later, writers began embellishing the Fuller connection to the breed. By the 1880s, Rosehill was the proclaimed birthplace of the Sussex Spaniel, and the Fuller legend was born.
This premise was repeated in nearly every book written on dog breeds for the next hundred years. Several details about the Fullers and their Sussex Spaniels, however, contain inaccuracies. Despite the factual errors, the early accounts were written while contemporaries of the Fullers were still living. No account disputes that Sussex Spaniels once resided at Rosehill estate. While the Fullers may not deserve all the credit for the existence of the Sussex Spaniel, there is little doubt that Rosehill estate played a key role in the early days of the breed.
Photographs show that by the 1880s, the Sussex possessed the unmistakable type unique among spaniels. During this decade, the two men who would shepherd the Sussex into the twentieth century came into possession of the breed.
Moses Woolland obtained his first Sussex Spaniel in 1882, twenty-five years after A. E. Fuller’s death. Within a few short years, dogs he bred under the Bridford prefix monopolized the show ring. Woolland was equally successful with his kennel of Field Spaniels. A study of the pedigrees shows that his Fields were mostly of Sussex Spaniel ancestry, and were very similar in type to the Sussex except for color and head properties. These Sussex-bred Fields from the Bridford kennels appear in the lineage of all modern descendants of both breeds.
Campbell Newington began his involvement with the breed in 1887. Capitalizing on the association of the breed with the Fuller estate, Newington chose Rosehill as his kennel name. Through the efforts of Woolland and Campbell, the breed attained a consistency in type and quality that remains unmatched even today. During this time, the first breed standard was written. The low, long, and level outline, the golden-liver color, and the massive head with the short, square muzzle became trademarks of the breed. Woolland’s eventual departure left Newington almost solely in the care of the breed, until J. E. Kerr bred his first litter of Sussex in 1909 at Harviestoun Castle in Scotland. Kerr was a renowned breeder of Shetland ponies and various breeds of livestock. He also had a successful kennel of Cairn Terriers. These two men single-handedly kept the breed alive during the 1910s. The pedigrees from this time show names of dogs either with the Harviestoun or Rosehill prefix.
The years following World War I were perhaps the darkest for the breed. The war had brought about profound changes in British society as well as the hunting practices that once were in vogue on the large estates. The need for a specialized hunting breed was no longer there. What replaced it was the desire for a utilitarian spaniel. Such a spaniel required speed in the field, and speed required a tall spaniel of square proportions. In 1921, after thirty-four years of dedication to the breed, Newington whelped the last Sussex Spaniel carrying the Rosehill name.
The old breed traits proved tenacious, and by the late 1930s good specimens with the hallmark traits of the breed began to replace off-type examples common in the 1920s. Before the Great Depression, the first examples of the breed arrived in the United States. Further imports occurred in the years just before the start of World War II. One of the last Sussex to have made the crossing to America was rescued from a ship torpedoed by a German U-boat. The war nearly sounded the death knell for the breed in the United Kingdom. Of all the British breeds, the Sussex perhaps suffered the most. But for the efforts of Joy Freer, the breed surely would have been lost.
Mrs. Freer’s involvement with the breed spanned an astonishing sixty years. After obtaining her first Sussex Spaniel in 1923, Mrs. Freer established her Four-clover kennels and quickly became a strong competitor at the shows. By 1925, she bred her first champion, whom many considered to be the best example of the breed since the demise of the Bridford kennels. Several other people had become very active in breeding Sussex, and by the outbreak of hostilities the Sussex population had peaked. By the end of 1939, however, the breed’s fortunes quickly changed and breeding activity had virtually ceased in England.
The revival of the breed in America began with three imports in 1969, followed by eleven more Sussex over the next three years. While still considered an extremely rare breed, the threat of extinction no longer exists. The breed in America has gained many longtime supporters interested in all aspects of the sport. Sussex have not only won top awards at the most prestigious dog shows but have also earned titles in all AKC performance events open to sporting dogs. Two characteristics have steadfastly remained with the breed: acute hunting instincts and correct historical type. The breed’s docile nature, cheerful disposition, and overall good health will surely guarantee the Sussex Spaniel a bright future.
OFFICIAL STANDARD FOR THE SUSSEX SPANIEL
General Appearance—The Sussex Spaniel was among the first ten breeds to be recognized and admitted to the Stud Book when the American Kennel Club was formed in 1884, but it has existed as a distinct breed for much longer. As its name implies, it derives its origin from the county of Sussex, England, and it was used there since the eighteenth century as a field dog. During the late 1800s the reputation of the Sussex Spaniel as an excellent hunting companion was well known among the estates surrounding Sussex County. Its short legs, massive build, long body, and habit of giving tongue when on scent made the breed ideally suited to penetrating the dense undergrowth and flushing game within range of the gun. Strength, maneuverability, and desire were essential for this purpose. Although it has never gained great popularity in numbers, the Sussex Spaniel continues today essentially unchanged in character and general appearance from those 19th century sporting dogs.
The Sussex Spaniel presents a long and low, rectangular and rather massive appearance coupled with free movements and nice tail action. The breed has a somber and serious expression. The rich golden liver color is unique to the breed.
Size, Proportion, Substance—Size—The height of the Sussex Spaniel as measured at the withers ranges from 13 to 15 inches. Any deviation from these measurements is a minor fault. The weight of the Sussex Spaniel ranges between 35 and 45 pounds. Proportion—The Sussex Spaniel presents a rectangular outline as the breed is longer in body than it is tall. Substance—The Sussex Spaniel is muscular and rather massive.
Head—Correct head and expression are important features of the breed. Eyes— The eyes are hazel in color, fairly large, soft and languishing, but do not show the haw overmuch. Expression— The Sussex Spaniel has a somber and serious appearance, and its fairly heavy brows produce a frowning expression. Ears—The ears are thick, fairly large, and lobe-shaped and are set moderately low, slightly above the outside corner of the eye. Skull and Muzzle—The skull is moderately long and also wide with an indentation in the middle and with a full stop. The brows are fairly heavy, the occiput is full but not pointed, the whole giving an appearance of heaviness without dullness. The muzzle should be approximately three inches long, broad, and square in profile. The skull as measured from the stop to the occiput is longer than the muzzle. The nostrils are well-developed and liver colored. The lips are somewhat pendulous. Bite—A scissors bite is preferred. Any deviation from a scissors bite is a minor fault.
Neck, Topline, Body—Neck—The neck is rather short, strong, and slightly arched, but does not carry the head much above the level of the back. There should not be much throatiness about the skin. Topline and Body—The whole body is characterized as low and long with a level topline. The chest is round, especially behind the shoulders, and is deep and wide which gives a good girth. The back and loin are long and very muscular both in width and depth. For this development, the back ribs must be deep. Tail—The tail is docked from 5 to 7 inches and set low. When gaiting the Sussex Spaniel exhibits nice tail action, but does not carry the tail above the level of the back.
Forequarters—The shoulders are well laid back and muscular. The upper arm should correspond in length and angle of return to the shoulder blade so that the legs are set well under the dog. The forelegs should be very short, strong, and heavily boned. They may show a slight bow. Both straight and slightly bowed constructions are proper and correct. The pasterns are very short and heavily boned. The feet are large and round with short hair between the toes.
Hindquarters—The hindquarters are full and well-rounded, strong, and heavily boned. They should be parallel with each other and also set wide apart—about as wide as the dog at the shoulders. The hind legs are short from the hock to the ground, heavily boned, and should seem neither shorter than the forelegs nor much bent at the hocks. The hindquarters must correspond in angulation to the forequarters. The hocks should turn neither in nor out. The rear feet are like the front feet.
Coat—The body coat is abundant, flat or slightly waved, with no tendency to curl. The legs are moderately well-feathered, but clean below the hocks. The ears are furnished with soft, wavy hair. The neck has a well-marked frill in the coat. The tail is thickly covered with moderately long feather. No trimming is acceptable except to shape foot feather, or to remove feather between the pads or between the hock and the feet. The feather between the toes must be left in sufficient length to cover the nails.
Color—Rich golden liver is the only acceptable color and is a certain sign of the purity of the breed. Dark liver or puce is a major fault. White on the chest is a minor fault. White on any other part of the body is a major fault.
Gait—The round, deep and wide chest of the Sussex Spaniel coupled with its short legs and long body produce a rolling gait. While its movement is deliberate, the Sussex Spaniel is in no sense clumsy. Gait is powerful and true with perfect coordination between the front and hind legs. The front legs do not paddle, wave, or overlap. The head is held low when gaiting. The breed should be shown on a loose lead so that its natural gait is evident.
Temperament—Despite its somber and serious expression, the breed is friendly and has a cheerful and tractable disposition.
The standard ranks features of the breed into three categories. The most important features of the breed are color and general appearance. The features of secondary importance are the head, ears, back and back ribs, legs, and feet. The features of lesser importance are the eyes, nose, neck, chest and shoulders, tail, and coat. Faults also fall into three categories. Major faults are color that is too light or too dark, white on any part of the body other than the chest, and a curled coat. Serious faults are a narrow head, weak muzzle, the presence of a topknot, and a general appearance that is sour and crouching. Minor faults are light eyes, white on chest, the deviation from proper height ranges, lightness of bone, shortness of body or a body that is flat-sided, and a bite other than scissors. There are no disqualifications in the Sussex Spaniel standard.
Approved April 7, 1992
Effective May 27, 1992
WELSH SPRINGER SPANIEL
THE HISTORY OF THE WELSH SPRINGER SPANIEL BEGINS AS FAR BACK AS 7000 B.C., when the first hunting dogs were employed by man. The likely ancestors of most of today’s domestic hunting dogs, these canines accompanied man on his hunting sojourns on the coastlines of Brittany, Cornwall, Wales, Ireland, and Scotland during the Mesolithic Age.
By approximately 250 B.C., the ancestors of the Welsh Springer had developed into the Agassian hunting dog, belonging to the wild tribes of Roman-occupied Briton. Writings of the time include mention of the dog’s “springing” action while on the hunt. Oppian, a Greek poet of the second century, also described the dog in detail.
During the Renaissance, the Land Spaniel, a Welsh Springer–type dog with red and white markings, was used for retrieving. The dog was used when hunting with the falcon, gun, and bow, as these were all means employed at the time. Tapestries woven during the period show the Land Spaniel as having nearly the same colorings and physical characteristics as today’s Welsh.
In the 1700s, the British masters included the red-and-white spaniel in a number of their oil paintings. According to some experts, the stance, color, and conformation of the dogs depicted in this art are those of the modern Welsh. This spaniel gained some popularity in eighteenth-century England and was a favorite hunting dog of many well-to-do individuals.
By the 1800s, however, the breed had been primarily replaced by liver-and-white or black-and-white spaniels. During this lapse in the breed’s popularity in England, it is thought that the dog was still maintained in the region of South Wales, notably in the Neath Valley.
A trend in selective breeding, spurred by the newly popularized Darwinian theory, eventually brought the red-and-white spaniel back to Victorian England. Emphasis was put on breeding dogs for color and, subsequently, the popularity of the breed grew during this time. The Kennel Club (England) was formed in 1873, and the red-and-white spaniel was shown at the club’s first competition, along with other spaniels. Both the Welsh Springer and the English Springer were judged together since their only differences at the time were in color. The breeds were eventually separated in the classes.
Welsh Springer Spaniels apparently gained popularity in the late 1800s in America, since the American Kennel Club officially recognized them in 1906. The first dog, Faircroft Bob, was registered in 1914, and was soon followed by five others, all in the same year. Between the years of 1926 and 1948, however, there were no Welsh Springers registered by the AKC. Many believe that by the time World War II had ended, no Welsh Springers were alive in the United States. Importing soon changed this situation, and in 1949 eleven dogs were registered with the AKC. The Welsh Springer Spaniel Club of America was formed in 1961.
The Welsh Springer is an excellent water dog, a keen, hardworking dog—no day is too long, no country too rough—and under all circumstances he is a faithful and willing worker for man. He has an excellent nose. He can be used on any kind of game; the well-trained Welshman compares with any gundog. As a companion, the Welsh Springer is a true pal of handy size, larger and stronger than the Cocker, but smaller than the English Springer. He makes a good guard, too, yet is ordinarily gentle with children and other animals.
OFFICIAL STANDARD FOR THE WELSH SPRINGER SPANIEL
General Appearance—The Welsh Springer Spaniel is a dog of distinct variety and ancient origin, who derives his name from his hunting style and not his relationship to other breeds. He is an attractive dog of handy size, exhibiting substance without coarseness. He is compact, not leggy, obviously built for hard work and endurance. The Welsh Springer Spaniel gives the impression of length due to obliquely angled forequarters and well developed hindquarters. Being a hunting dog, he should be shown in hard muscled working condition. His coat should not be so excessive as to hinder his work as an active flushing spaniel, but should be thick enough to protect him from heavy cover and weather.
Size, Proportion, Substance—A dog is ideally 18 to 19 inches in height at the withers and a bitch is 17 to 18 inches at the withers. Any animal above or below the ideal to be proportionately penalized. Weight should be in proportion to height and overall balance. Length of body from the withers to the base of the tail is very slightly greater than the distance from the withers to the ground. This body length may be the same as the height but never shorter, thus preserving the rectangular silhouette of the Welsh Springer Spaniel.
Head—The Welsh Springer Spaniel head is unique and should in no way approximate that of other spaniel breeds. Its overall balance is of primary importance. Head is in proportion to body, never so broad as to appear coarse nor so narrow as to appear racy. The skull is of medium length, slightly domed, with a clearly defined stop. It is well chiseled below the eyes. The top plane of the skull is very slightly divergent from that of the muzzle, but with no tendency toward a down-faced appearance. A short chubby head is most objectionable.
Eyes should be oval in shape, dark to medium brown in color with a soft expression. Preference is for a darker eye though lighter shades of brown are acceptable. Yellow or mean-looking eyes are to be heavily penalized. Medium in size, they are neither prominent, nor sunken, nor do they show haw. Eye rims are tight and dark pigmentation is preferred.
Earsare set on approximately at eye level and hang close to the cheeks. Comparatively small, the leather does not reach to the nose. Gradually narrowing toward the tip, they are shaped somewhat like a vine leaf and are lightly feathered.
The length of the muzzleis approximately equal to, but never longer than that of the skull. It is straight, fairly square, and free from excessive flew. Nostrils are well developed and black or any shade of brown in color. A pink nose is to be severely penalized. A scissors biteis preferred. An undershot jaw is to be severely penalized.
Neck, Topline, Body—The neckis long and slightly arched, clean in throat, and set into long, sloping shoulders. Toplineis level. The loin is slightly arched, muscular, and close-coupled. The croup is very slightly rounded, never steep nor falling off. The topline in combination with proper angulation fore and aft presents a silhouette that appears rectangular. The chestis well developed and muscular with a prominent forechest, the ribs well sprung and the brisket reaching to the elbows. The tailis an extension of the topline. Carriage is nearly horizontal or slightly elevated when the dog is excited. The tail is generally docked and displays a lively action.
Forequarters—The shoulder blade and upper arm are approximately equal in length. The upper arm is set well back, joining the shoulder blade with sufficient angulation to place the elbow beneath the highest point of the shoulder blade when standing. The forearms are of medium length, straight and moderately feathered. The legs are well boned but not to the extent of coarseness. The Welsh Springer Spaniel’s elbows should be close to the body and its pasterns short and slightly sloping. Height to the elbows is approximately equal to the distance from the elbows to the top of the shoulder blades. Dewclaws are generally removed. Feet should be round, tight and well arched with thick pads.
Hindquarters—The hindquarters must be strong, muscular, and well boned, but not coarse. When viewed in profile the thighs should be wide and the second thighs well developed. The angulation of the pelvis and femur corresponds to that of the shoulder and upper arm. Bend of stifle is moderate. The bones from the hocks to the pads are short with a well angulated hock joint. When viewed from the side or rear they are perpendicular to the ground. Rear dewclaws are removed. Feet as in front.
Coat—The coat is naturally straight flat and soft to the touch, never wiry or wavy. It is sufficiently dense to be waterproof, thorn proof, and weatherproof. The back of the forelegs, the hind legs above the hocks, chest and underside of the body are moderately feathered. The ears and tail are lightly feathered. Coat so excessive as to be a hindrance in the field is to be discouraged. Obvious barbering is to be avoided as well.
Color—The color is rich red and white only. Any pattern is acceptable and any white area may be flecked with red ticking.
Gait—The Welsh Springer moves with a smooth, powerful, ground covering action that displays drive from the rear. Viewed from the side, he exhibits a strong forward stride with a reach that does not waste energy. When viewed from the front, the legs should appear to move forward in an effortless manner with no tendency for the feet to cross over or interfere with each other. Viewed from the rear, the hocks should follow on a line with the forelegs, neither too widely nor too closely spaced. As the speed increases the feet tend to converge towards a center line.
Temperament—The Welsh Springer Spaniel is an active dog displaying a loyal and affectionate disposition. Although reserved with strangers, he is not timid, shy nor unfriendly. To this day he remains a devoted family member and hunting companion.
Approved June 13, 1989
Effective August 1, 1989
THE SPINONE ITALIANO IS A VERSATILE HUNTING DOG OF ANCIENT HERITAGE. The name Spinone evolved from Bracco Spinoso (“prickly pointer”) or Bracco Spinone, to simply Spinone in its country of origin. The breed is known as the Italian Spinone in the United Kingdom. Some say the name refers to the coat’s harsh texture, while others say it is derived from the dense, thorny bushes where these hunting dogs excelled.
One of the oldest griffon varieties in existence, the Spinone is descended from an ancient hunting breed originating in Italy’s Piedmont region. Although the exact origin is uncertain, it is believed that the Spinone’s ancestors can be traced to approximately 500 B.C., as attested by Senofonte in his work Cynegetica (On Hunting). Senofonte described a rough, bristly-haired dog, with great physical endurance and exceptional ability for pointing game. Other historical references include a fifteenth-century fresco by Andrea Mantegna in the Ducal Palace at Mantua, depicting a dog that in all probability is a Spinone. References also appear later, in other works by celebrated artists such as Titian and Tiepolo. Literary works from the mid-thirteenth to early fifteenth century indicate that a dog with characteristics of today’s Spinone was held in great esteem for its indefatigable stamina, as well as increasingly tight contact with the owner during a hunt. Modern Spinone history can be divided into two parts: the early 1800s to World War II, and the postwar period until now.
In various regions of Italy in the early nineteenth century there were several groups of dogs with similar characteristics, both in the white-and-orange and brown roan colors, but having different coat textures. Although these dogs were most likely not directly related, they probably had some common origin. In 1828, characteristics of a breed described as a “soft-coated pointer” were detailed in Trattatodella Caccia, a book by Bonoventura Crippa.
The first breed standard was written by the Società Braccofila in 1897. Several subsequent standards appeared. These evolved from numerous sources: canine author Signor Angelo Vecchio (1904); Società Braccofila (again, in 1923); the Italian Kennel Club (1928); the breed club of the period, Società Amici dello Spinone (1936); and Giuseppe Solario (1939). This last standard was revised and approved by Ente Nazionale della Cinofília Italiana (ENCI) in 1944. The most important characteristics of the breed—including head, topline, skin, and coat—were outlined in each of these standards.
During the war, there were few Spinoni available for breeding, and some crossbreeding was done with breeds such as the German Wirehaired Pointer, the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon, and the Bracco Italiano. Fortunately, a small group of serious enthusiasts selectively bred the dogs after the war, retaining the Spinone’s conformation and working ability. La Famiglia dello Spinone was formed in the 1950s and was recognized by ENCI as the Italian national breed club.
In 1931, Dr. Nicola Gigante imported the first known pair of Spinoni in the United States, Bella and Tris. A Spinone Italiano was entered in the Miscellaneous class at the Westminster Kennel Club show in 1932 and 1933, but the breed was not officially accepted into that class until March 1955. It remained there until September 2000, when it became eligible to compete in the Sporting Group. The AKC parent club, the Spinone Club of America, was founded in 1987.
The Spinone’s hunting characteristics have remained consistent through the ages. Suited for work in all climates and all terrain, these are dogs that do not hunt for themselves but for their masters. They are not too fast while searching out game and move with an easy, loose trot geared for endurance. Spinoni are excellent swimmers and model retrievers.
Their harsh coat and very resistant, thick skin protect them in the field, in water, and in freezing temperatures. Coat color can be solid white, white with orange-roan or orange patches, or white with brown-roan or brown patches. No color is preferred over any other. The appearance of the Spinone is that of a large, rugged dog with a unique head and topline. The eyebrows, beard, and mustache protect the face and give the Spinone its distinctive “grouchy” look, while the eyes, described as humanlike, are impossible to resist.
A gentle disposition and docile temperament make them excellent companions for the right family. Tireless in the field, they are affectionate and calm in the house. They can also be clownish, stubborn, and demanding of attention, “talking” to their owners with a variety of growls, moans, and whines. Today, Spinoni are successful as personal hunting or therapy dogs; in competitions, such as hunt tests, obedience, agility, and tracking; and as personal companions. This is a breed that will hunt with you all day in the field or lie on your feet at home, happy as long as they can be with you.
OFFICIAL STANDARD FOR THE SPINONE ITALIANO
General Appearance—Muscular dog with powerful bone. Vigorous and robust, his purpose as hardworking gundog is evident. Naturally sociable, the docile and patient Spinone is resistant to fatigue and is an experienced hunter on any terrain. His hard textured coat is weather resistant. His wiry, dense coat and thick skin enable the Spinone to negotiate underbrush and endure cold water that would severely punish any dog not so naturally armored. He has a remarkable tendency for an extended and fast trotting gait. The Spinone is an excellent retriever by nature.
Size, Proportion, Substance—Height: The height at the withers is 23 to 27 inches for males and 22 to 25 inches for females. Weight: In direct proportion to size and structure of dog. Proportion: His build tends to fit into a square. The length of the body, measured from sternum to point of buttocks, is approximately equal to the height at the withers with tolerance of no more than 1 inch in length compared to height. Substance: The Spinone is a solidly built dog, robust with powerful bone.
Head—Long. The profile of the Spinone is unique to this breed. Expression is of paramount importance to the breed. It should denote intelligence and gentleness. Skull of oval shape, with sides gently sloping. With occipital protuberance well developed, medial-frontal furrow is very pronounced. Muzzle: Square when viewed from the front. Muzzle length is equal to that of backskull. The planes of the skull and muzzle are diverging, downfaced. Its width measured at its midpoint is a third of its length. Stop is barely perceptible. Bridge of the muzzle is preferably slightly Roman, however, straight is not to be faulted. Lips fitting tightly to the jawline. Convergence of planes of the skull and muzzle or a dish-faced muzzle is to be faulted so severely as to eliminate from further competition. Eyes: Must have a soft sweet expression. Ocher (yellowish brown) in color, darker eyes with darker colored dogs, lighter eyes with lighter colored dogs. Large, well opened, set well apart, the eye is almost round, the lids closely fitting the eye, to protect the eye from gathering debris while the dog is hunting, loose eye lids must be faulted. Which is neither protruding nor deep set. Eye rim clearly visible, color will vary with coat color from flesh colored to brown. Disqualification: Walleye. Nose: Bulbous and spongy in appearance with upper edge rounded. Nostrils are large and well opened. In profile, the nose protrudes past the forward line of the lips. (Pigment is flesh colored in white dogs, darker in white and orange dogs, brown in brown or brown roan dogs.) Disqualification: Any pigment other than described or incomplete pigment of the nose. Teeth: Jaw is powerful. Teeth are positioned in a scissors or level bite. Disqualification: Overshot or undershot bite. Ears: Practically triangular shape. Set on a level just below the eye, carried low, with little erectile power. The leather is fine, covered with short, thick hair mixed with a longer sparser hair, which becomes thicker along edges. Length, if measured along the head would extend to tip of nose and no more than 1 inch beyond the tip. The forward edge is adherent to the cheek, not folded, but turned outward; the tip of the ear is slightly rounded.
Neck, Topline, Body—Neck: Strong, thick, and muscular. Clearly defined from the nape, blending in to the shoulders in a harmonious line. The throat is moderate in skin with a double dewlap. Chest: Broad, deep, well muscled and well rounded; extending at least to the elbow. The ribs are well sprung. The distance from ground to the elbow is equal to 1⁄2 the height at the withers. Back: The topline consists of two segments. The first slopes slightly downward in a nearly straight line from the withers to the 11th thoracic vertebrae, approximately 6 inches behind the withers. The second rises gradually and continues into a solid and well-arched loin. The underline is solid and should have minimal tuck up. Croup: Well muscled, long. The hipbones fall away from the spinal column at an angle of about 30 degrees, producing a lightly rounded, well filled-out croup. Tail: Follows the line of the croup, thick at the base, carried horizontally or down; flicking from side to side while moving is preferred. The tail should lack fringes. It is docked to a length of 5 1⁄2 to 8 inches. Tail habitually carried above the level of the back or straight up when working is to be penalized.
Forequarters—Shoulders: Powerful and long, withers not too prominent; forming an angle with the upper arm of approximately 105 degrees. With well-developed muscles, the points of the shoulder blades are not close together. The ideal distance between the shoulder blades is approximately two inches or more. Angulation of shoulder is in balance with angulation in the rear. Forelegs: The forelegs are straight when viewed from the front angle with strong bone and well-developed muscles; elbows set under the withers and close to the body. Pasterns are long, lean and flexible following the vertical line of the forearm. In profile, they are slightly slanted. Feet: Large compact, rounded with well-arched toes, which are close together, covered with short, dense hair, including between the toes. Pads are lean and hard with strong nails curving toward the ground, well pigmented, but never black. Dewclaws may be removed.
Hindquarters—Thighs are strong and well muscled, stifles show good function angulation, lower thigh to be well developed and muscled with good breadth. The hock, with proportion of 1⁄3 the distance from the hip joint to foot being ideal, is strong, lean and perpendicular to the ground. Fault: Cow hocks. Feet: Slightly more oval than the forefoot with the same characteristics. Dewclaws may be removed.
Skin—The skin must be very thick, closely fitting the body. The skin is thinner on the head, throat, groin, under the legs and in the folds of the elbows is soft to the touch. Pigmentation is dependent upon the color or markings of the coat. Disqualification: Any black pigmentation.
Coat—A Spinone must have a correct coat to be of correct type. The ideal coat length is 11⁄2 to 21⁄2 inches on the body, with a tolerance of 1⁄2 inch over or under the ideal length. Head, ears, muzzle and front sides of legs and feet are covered by shorter hair. The hair on the backsides of the legs forms a rough brush, but there are never any fringes. The eyes and lips are framed by stiff hair forming eyebrows, mustache and tufted beard, which combine to save foreface from laceration by briar and bush. The coat is dense, stiff and flat or slightly crimped, but not curly, with an absence of undercoat. The Spinone is exhibited in a natural state. The appearance of the Spinone may not be altered. The dog must present the natural appearance of a functional field dog. Dogs with a long, soft or silky coat, the presence of undercoat, or any deviation of the coat as defined in this as well as excessive grooming—i.e., scissoring, clipping, or setting of pattern—shall be severely penalized as to eliminate them from further competition.
Color—The accepted colors are: solid white; white and orange; orange roan with or without orange markings; white with brown markings; brown roan with or without brown markings. The most desired color of brown is chestnut brown, “monks habit,” however, varying colors of brown are acceptable. Disqualification—Any black in the coat, tan, tri-color in any combination, or any color other than accepted colors.
Gait—The Spinone is first and foremost a functional working gun dog. Its purpose as a versatile hunting dog must be given the utmost consideration. Easy and loose trot geared for endurance. Maximum ground is covered with least amount of effort, which his purpose as a versatile working gun dog demands. Profile of the topline kept throughout the trotting gait, light body roll in mature bitches is characteristic of the breed. While hunting, an extended fast trot with intermittent paces of a gallop allows the Spinone to cover ground quickly and thoroughly. Any characteristics that interfere with the accomplishment of the function of the Spinone shall be considered as a serious fault.
Faults—Any departure from the foregoing points constitutes a fault which when judging must be penalized according to its seriousness and extension.
Any pigment other than described or incomplete pigment of the nose.
Overshot or undershot bite.
Any black pigmentation.
Any black in the coat; tan; tri-color markings in any combination; or any color other than accepted colors.
Approved February 11, 2000
Effective September 28, 2000
THE ORIGIN OF THE VIZSLA, OR HUNGARIAN POINTER, HAS BEEN OBSCURED through the centuries, but it is fair to assume that breed ancestors were hunters and companions for the Magyar hordes that swarmed over Central Europe more than a thousand years ago, finally settling in what became Hungary. Primitive tenth-century stone etchings show a Magyar huntsman with a falcon and a dog resembling the Vizsla. A fourteenth-century manuscript of early Hungarian codes carried a chapter on falconry illustrated with a picture of a dog reasonably identified as a Vizsla. The breed became a favorite of barons and warlords, who either deliberately or accidentally preserved the breed’s purity through the years.
The Vizsla’s continued existence resulted from its innate hunting ability. Before the twentieth century, Hungarian territory included fertile plains surrounded by forested mountains. In the agricultural grasslands, partridge and other game birds were plentiful, as was the Hungarian hare. The forests were home to deer and wild boar. Before the invention of firearms, hunting dogs were used to drive birds into nets and to track game in the forests. In falconry, dogs found and flushed prey for the falcons.
With the advent of firearms, different hunting styles developed. What the huntsman required and selected for was a dog swift of foot yet cautious enough not to alert the quarry. Hunters wanted a close-working companion with a superior nose and generally high-class hunting ability. In short, they developed a dog that combined the duties of the specialists as both pointer and retriever.
The two world wars interfered markedly with what otherwise would have been normal breed progress. The close of World War I found the Vizsla all but extinct, preserved in only a small way by just a few of its firmest friends. The years between the two wars were difficult, but those who loved the breed refused to let it die out. Hungarians who fled before the Russian occupation in 1945 took their dogs with them into Austria, Italy, and Germany. Likewise, there were some Vizslas in Czechoslovakia, Turkey, and southern Russia.
Importation into the United States began in the 1950s. In 1954, the organization that would eventually become the Vizsla Club of America, the AKC parent club, held its first meeting. The breed was admitted to the AKC Stud Book in 1960. Vizslas are active in all AKC competitions open to the breed, including conformation events; hunt tests; obedience, field, and agility trials; and tracking tests. The versatility of the breed is demonstrated by its success in these venues. The Vizsla produced the first AKC Triple Champion, a dog with field, obedience, and conformation championships. The first AKC quintuple champion was a Field Champion, Amateur Field Champion, Obedience Trial Champion, and Agility Trial Champion, as well as a conformation champion and a Master Hunter.
Essentially pointer in type, the Vizsla is a clean, distinguished-looking dog of aristocratic bearing, with a short, smooth coat in a striking golden-rust color. Vizslas are powerfully built, but lithe and well balanced, with a gait that is far-reaching, light-footed, and smooth. The Vizsla is a multipurpose hunting dog, developed for pointing and retrieving fur or feather on land and in water. A robust, enduring hunter, the Vizsla is also a versatile, demonstrative, affectionate, friendly companion who thrives on human attention and activity.
A gentle disposition, eagerness to please, and willingness to learn make the Vizsla exceptionally well suited to serve in many capacities. Vizslas have participated in everything from archaeological excavations to the search at Ground Zero in New York following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. They are used as therapy dogs, guide dogs for the blind, service dogs for the disabled, narcotics- and explosives-detection dogs, and search-and-rescue dogs.
OFFICIAL STANDARD FOR THE VIZSLA
General Appearance—That of a medium-sized short-coated hunting dog of distinguished appearance and bearing. Robust but rather lightly built; the coat is an attractive solid golden rust. This is a dog of power and drive in the field yet a tractable and affectionate companion in the home. It is strongly emphasized that field-conditioned coats, as well as brawny or sinewy muscular condition and honorable scars indicating a working and hunting dog are never to be penalized in this dog. The qualities that make a “dual” dog are always to be appreciated, not deprecated.
Head—Lean and muscular. Skull moderately wide between the ears with a median line down the forehead. Stop between skull and foreface is moderate, not deep. Foreface or muzzle is of equal length or slightly shorter than skull when viewed in profile, should taper gradually from stop to tip of nose. Muzzle square and deep. It must not turn up as in a “dish” face nor should it turn down. Whiskers serve a functional purpose; their removal is permitted but not preferred. Nostrils slightly open. Nose brown. Any other color is faulty. A totally black nose is a disqualification. Ears, thin, silky and proportionately long, with rounded-leather ends, set fairly low and hanging close to cheeks. Jaws are strong with well-developed white teeth meeting in a scissors bite. Eyes medium in size and depth of setting, their surrounding tissue covering the whites. Color of the iris should blend with the color of the coat. Yellow or any other color is faulty. Prominent pop-eyes are faulty. Lower eyelids should neither turn in nor out, since both conditions allow seeds and dust to irritate the eye. Lips cover the jaws completely but are neither loose nor pendulous.
Neck and Body—Neck strong, smooth and muscular, moderately long, arched and devoid of dewlap, broadening nicely into shoulders which are moderately laid back. This is mandatory to maintain balance with the moderately angulated hindquarters. Body is strong and well proportioned. Back short. Withers high and the topline slightly rounded over the loin to the set-on of the tail. Chest moderately broad and deep reaching down to the elbows. Ribs well-sprung; underline exhibiting a slight tuck-up beneath the loin. Tail set just below the level of the croup, thicker at the root and docked one-third off. Ideally, it should reach to the back of the stifle joint and be carried at or near the horizontal. An undocked tail is faulty.
Forequarters—Shoulder blades proportionately long and wide sloping moderately back and fairly close at the top. Forelegs straight and muscular with elbows close. Feet cat-like, round and compact with toes close. Nails brown and short. Pads thick and tough. Dewclaws, if any, to be removed on front and rear feet. Hare feet are faulty.
Hindquarters—Hind legs have well-developed thighs with moderately angulated stifles and hocks in balance with the moderately laid back shoulders. They must be straight as viewed from behind. Too much angulation at the hocks is as faulty as too little. The hocks are let down and parallel to each other.
Coat—Short, smooth, dense and close-lying without woolly undercoat. A distinctly long coat is a disqualification.
Color—Solid golden rust in different shadings. Solid dark mahogany red and pale yellow are faulty. White on the forechest, preferably as small as possible, and white on the toes are permissible. Solid white extending above the toes or white anywhere else on the dogexcept the forechest is a disqualification. When viewing the dog from the front, white markings on the forechest must be confined to an area from the top of the sternum to a point between the elbows when the dog is standing naturally. White extending on the shouldersor neck is a disqualification. White due to aging shall not be faulted. Any noticeable area of black in the coat is a serious fault.
Gait—Far reaching, light footed, graceful and smooth. When moving at a fast trot, a properly built dog single tracks.
Size—The ideal male is 22 to 24 inches at the highest point over the shoulder blades. The ideal female is 21 to 23 inches. Because the Vizsla is meant to be a medium-sized hunter, any dog measuring more than 11⁄2 inches over or under these limits must be disqualified.
Temperament—A natural hunter endowed with a good nose and above-average ability to take training. Lively, gentle-mannered, demonstrably affectionate and sensitive though fearless with a well-developed protective instinct. Shyness, timidity or nervousness should be penalized.
Completely black nose.
Solid white extending above the toes or white anywhere else on the dog except the forechest.White extending on the shoulders or neck.
A distinctly long coat.
Any male over 251⁄2 inches, or under 201⁄2 inches and any female over 241⁄2 inches or under 19 1⁄2 inches at the highest point over the shoulder blades.
Approved December 11, 1995
Effective January 31, 1996
AS HISTORY IS RECKONED, THE WEIMARANER IS A YOUNG DOG, DATING only to the early nineteenth century. The Bloodhound is believed to be among its ancestors, if not in direct line of descent, then certainly in a collateral way. In their breed investigations, historians stopped when they got as far back as the Red Schweisshund, but it is difficult to imagine that any of the several varieties of Schweisshund did not trace to the Bloodhound, which was well established in Europe at the time of the Crusades. Indeed, the red-tan Schweisshund found in the vicinity of Hanover is described as having “many of the characteristics of the Bloodhound.” It was, however, a breed measuring about twenty-one inches at the shoulder, compared with the Bloodhound’s average height of twenty-six inches and the Weimaraner’s top of twenty-seven inches.
The Weimaraner that we know today is the product of selective breeding, of judicious crosses followed by generations of linebreeding to fix type and quality. It came from the same general stock which has produced a number of Germany’s hunting breeds, one of its cousins being the German Shorthaired Pointer. In fact, in its early days, the Weimaraner was known simply as the Weimar Pointer. Since then height and weight have both been increased, but the distinctive coat color, described as silver grizzle or mouse gray, was approximately the same.
Throughout its early career the Weimaraner was sponsored by the sportsmen nobles in the court of Weimar. Long accustomed to many types of hunting, these men determined to meld into one breed all the qualities they had found worthwhile in their forays against the then abundant game of Germany. In short, the dog had to have good scenting ability, speed, courage, and intelligence.
Formerly the Weimaraner had been a big-game dog used on such quarry as wolves, wildcats, deer, mountain lion, and bear. By the time big game in Germany became a rarity, the breed was supported by a club originally started by a few of the men who had drawn up the dog’s specifications. They were amateur sportsmen who desired to breed for sport rather than for profit. Accordingly, it was not easy to purchase a Weimaraner in Germany and practically impossible in any foreign country. One had to become a member of the club before purchasing, while gaining admittance to the club meant that the applicant’s previous record of sportsmanship must assure proper maintenance of the club’s breeding rules. One of these rules demanded that litters resulting from matings deemed unsuitable by a breed survey were not given place in the studbook; another, that specimens, even from approved litters, which did not measure up physically and temperamentally were to be destroyed. Hence there was no chance of a boom in the breed.
America came to know the Weimaraner back in 1929, when an American sportsman and dog breeder, Howard Knight, was made a member of Germany’s Weimaraner Club. Permitted to bring back two specimens, he helped found the club in this country and served as its first president. The club has made every effort to carry out the same principles that mapped the career of the breed in its native land.
It should be mentioned in passing that with the demise of big-game hunting in Germany, the Weimaraner was trained as a bird dog used on various types of game in upland shooting and as a water retriever noted for its soft mouth. Both in Germany and in America, however, the dog has been used more as a personal hunting companion than as a field-trial competitor.
Obedience trials incited the first interest in the breed over here, even before recognition was granted in 1943 by the American Kennel Club. A bitch qualified for her CD in three straight shows in 1941. Later, another specimen went through all the degrees except the tracking test before reaching his tenth month. Curiously enough, the Weimaraner has seen more actual competition of various kinds in America than it did in all its decades in Germany.
As for temperament, this dog is not happy when relegated to the kennel. He is accustomed to being a member of the family and accepts the responsibilities which that entails.
OFFICIAL STANDARD FOR THE WEIMARANER
General Appearance—A medium-sized gray dog, with fine aristocratic features. He should present a picture of grace, speed, stamina, alertness and balance. Above all, the dog’s conformation must indicate the ability to work with great speed and endurance in the field.
Height—Height at the withers: dogs, 25 to 27 inches; bitches, 23 to 25 inches. One inch over or under the specified height of each sex is allowable but should be penalized. Dogs measuring less than 24 inches or more than 28 inches and bitches measuring less than 22 inches or more than 26 inches shall be disqualified.
Head—Moderately long and aristocratic, with moderate stop and slight median line extending back over the forehead. Rather prominent occipital bone and trumpets well set back, beginning at the back of the eye sockets. Measurement from tip of nose to stop equals that from stop to occipital bone. The flews should be straight, delicate at the nostrils. Skin drawn tightly. Neck clean-cut and moderately long. Expression kind, keen and intelligent. Ears—Long and lobular, slightly folded and set high. The ear when drawn snugly alongside the jaw should end approximately 2 inches from the point of the nose. Eyes—In shades of light amber, gray or blue-gray, set well enough apart to indicate good disposition and intelligence. When dilated under excitement the eyes may appear almost black. Teeth—Well set, strong and even; well-developed and proportionate to jaw with correct scissors bite, the upper teeth protruding slightly over the lower teeth but not more than 1⁄16 of an inch. Complete dentition is greatly to be desired. Nose—Gray. Lipsand Gums—Pinkish flesh shades.
Body—The back should be moderate in length, set in a straight line, strong, and should slope slightly from the withers. The chest should be well developed and deep with shoulders well laid back. Ribs well sprung and long. Abdomen firmly held; moderately tucked-up flank. The brisket should extend to the elbow.
Coat and Color—Short, smooth and sleek, solid color, in shades of mouse-gray to silver-gray, usually blending to lighter shades on the head and ears. A small white marking on the chest is permitted, but should be penalized on any other portion of the body. White spots resulting from injury should not be penalized. A distinctly long coat is a disqualification. A distinctly blue or black coat is a disqualification.
Forelegs—Straight and strong, with the measurement from the elbow to the ground approximately equaling the distance from the elbow to the top of the withers.
Hindquarters—Well-angulated stifles and straight hocks. Musculation well developed.
Feet—Firm and compact, webbed, toes well arched, pads closed and thick, nails short and gray or amber in color. Dewclaws—Should be removed.
Tail—Docked. At maturity it should measure approximately 6 inches with a tendency to be light rather than heavy and should be carried in a manner expressing confidence and sound temperament. A non-docked tail shall be penalized.
Gait—The gait should be effortless and should indicate smooth coordination. When seen from the rear, the hind feet should be parallel to the front feet. When viewed from the side, the topline should remain strong and level.
Temperament—The temperament should be friendly, fearless, alert and obedient.
Minor Faults—Tail too short or too long. Pink nose.
Major Faults—Doggy bitches. Bitchy dogs. Improper muscular condition. Badly affected teeth. More than four teeth missing. Back too long or too short. Faulty coat. Neck too short, thick or throaty. Low-set tail. Elbows in or out. Feet east and west. Poor gait. Poor feet. Cowhocks. Faulty backs, either roached or sway. Badly overshot, or undershot bite. Snipy muzzle. Short ears.
Very Serious Faults—White, other than a spot on the chest. Eyes other than gray, blue-gray or light amber. Black mottled mouth. Non-docked tail. Dogs exhibiting strong fear, shyness or extreme nervousness.
Deviation in height of more than one inch from standard either way.
A distinctly long coat. A distinctly blue or black coat.
Approved December 14, 1971
WIREHAIRED POINTING GRIFFON
THE ORIGIN OF THE WIREHAIRED POINTING GRIFFON CAME IN THE GREAT period of biological awakening—the last quarter of the nineteenth century. Just a few years before, Gregor Mendel had published the account of his experiments on inheritance and the youth of Western Europe were anxious to try their skill at breeding.
Thus it was that E. K. Korthals, the son of a wealthy banker at Schooten, near Haarlem, in Holland, began to assemble the dogs from which he was to establish a new sporting breed. His first purchase, in 1874, was Mouche, described as a griffon bitch, about seven years old, gray and brown. It is said of her that she was equally excellent in the woods or in the open.
Korthals acquired five other dogs during the next three years—Janus, Hector, Satan, Junon, and Banco. Janus had woolly hair, Junon was shorthaired, and the others were rough coated.
The first breeding of importance was that of Huzaar, son of the rough-coated Mouche and the woolly coated Janus, to the shorthaired bitch Junon. From this mating came Trouvee, a bitch with a harder coat than any of the others. Trouvee then was bred to Banco, and she whelped Moustache I, Querida, and Lina—three specimens from which, it is agreed, spring the best line in the breed.
Although the origin of the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon is undoubtedly Dutch, it is regarded principally as a French breed, for it was in France that the major portion of the development took place. If any single factor can be credited with the spread of interest in the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon, or Korthals Griffon as it is known in France, it was the traveling done by the young breeder during the years he spent as the advance agent of a French nobleman, the Duke of Penthievre. Korthals never forgot his hobby, and whenever he found congenial company he extolled the virtues of the new breed. Admitting that it was a deliberate, even slow worker, his enthusiasm over its keen nose and its ability to point and retrieve game was infectious.
Korthals moved from Holland to Biebesheim, Germany, and resumed his breeding activities. In replenishing his stock, his first new brood matron in Germany was Donna, purchased in 1879. She was of the boulet type, which meant that her coat was rather long. Donna was mated twice to Moustache I, and left two daughters, Augot and Clairette, both of which showed the characteristics desired. Six years later, Korthals affected a lease for the bitch Vesta, and the breeding from her provided another successful line. Vesta had rough hair, and all her descendants were typical species that carried the right sort of coat.
While there remains some doubt as to the various crosses in the background of the dogs known as the “Korthals patriarchs,” it has been suggested by a wide number of authorities that they carried setter, spaniel, and Otterhound blood. It is known that certain specimens, described in Livre des Origines du Griffon a poil dur, as true griffons, trace their ancestry back to the ancient breed called the griffon hound; and it also is known that at least one cross with a pointer—no doubt the German Shorthair—was effected.
Korthals was a man of wide acquaintance among the sporting fraternity of Europe, and invariably he was present at any major field activity connected with dogs. Later he followed the benched shows closely, seeking to popularize the type of griffon—for there had been dogs called griffons for several centuries—that he had originated.
The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon was exhibited in England shortly after it was developed, and it attracted considerable attention. Still, classes were not provided until some years later, the first record of these being at the Barn Elms show in 1888. The breed came across the Atlantic twelve years later. The first specimen registered by the American Kennel Club was Zolette, 6773, by Guerre, ex Tambour. The registration appears as a Russian Setter (Griffon) in Vol. 4, published in 1887. The sire, Guerre, was a grandson of Donna. So began the American fancy.
The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon is particularly adapted for swampy country, where its harsh coat is a great protection. It also is a strong swimmer and serves as an excellent water retriever, though adherents of the breed claim it can be trained and entered to any game.
OFFICIAL STANDARD FOR THE WIREHAIRED POINTING GRIFFON
General Appearance—Medium sized, with a noble, square-shaped head, strong of limb, bred to cover all terrain encountered by the walking hunter. Movement showing an easy catlike gracefulness. Excels equally as a pointer in the field, or a retriever in the water. Coat is hard and coarse, never curly or woolly, with a thick undercoat of fine hair, giving an unkempt appearance. His easy trainability, devotion to family, and friendly temperament endear him to all. The nickname of “supreme gundog” is well earned.
Size, Proportion, Substance—Size—22 to 24 inches for males, 20 to 22 inches for females. Correct size is important. Oversize to be severely penalized. Proportion— Slightly longer than tall, in a ratio of 10 to 9. Height from withers to ground; length from point of shoulder to point of buttocks. The Griffon must not evolve towards a square conformation. Substancemedium, reflecting his work as an all-terrain hunting dog.
Head—The headis to be in proportion to the overall dog. The skullis of medium width with equal length from nose to stop and from stop to occiput. The skull is slightly rounded on top, but from the side the muzzleand head are square. The stop and occiput are only slightly pronounced. The required abundant mustache and eyebrows contribute to the friendly expression. The eyes are large and well open, more rounded than elliptical. They have an alert, friendly, and intelligent expression. Eye color ranges in all shades of yellow and brown. Haws should not show nor should there be protruding eyes. The ears should be of medium size, lying flat and close to the head, set high, at the height of the eye line. Nose—Well open nostrils are essential. Nose color is always brown. Any other color is a disqualification. Bitescissors. Overshot or undershot bite is a serious fault.
Neck, Topline, Body—Neckrather long, slightly arched, no dewlap. Topline— The back is strong and firm, descending in a gentle slope from the slightly higher withers to the base of the tail. Body–Chest—The chest must descend to the level of the elbow, with a moderate spring of rib. The chest must neither be too wide nor too narrow, but of medium width to allow freedom of movement. The loinis strong and well developed, being of medium length. The croup and rump are stoutly made with adequate length to favor speed. The tailextends from the back in a continuation of the topline. It may be carried straight or raised slightly. It is docked by one-third to one-half length.
Forequarters—Shouldersare long, with good angulation, and well laid back. The forelegs are straight and vertical from the front and set well under the shoulder from the side. Pasterns are slightly sloping. Dewclaws should be removed. Feetare round, firm, with tightly closed webbed toes. Pads are thick.
Hindquarters—The thighs are long and well muscled. Angulation in balance with the front. The legs are vertical with the hocks turning neither in nor out. The stifle and hock joints are strong and well angulated. Feet as in front.
Coat—The coat is one of the distinguishing features of the breed. It is a double coat. The outer coat is medium length, straight and wiry, never curly or woolly. The harsh texture provides protection in rough cover. The obligatory undercoat consists of a fine, thick down, which provides insulation as well as water resistance. The undercoat is more or less abundant, depending upon the season, climate, and hormone cycle of the dog. It is usually lighter in color. The head is furnished with a prominent mustache and eyebrows. These required features are extensions of the undercoat, which gives the Griffon a somewhat untidy appearance. The hair covering the ears is fairly short and soft, mixed with longer harsh hair from the coat. The overall feel is much less wiry than the body. The legs, both front and rear, are covered with denser, shorter, and less coarse hair. The coat on the tail is the same as the body; any type of plume is prohibited. The breed should be exhibited in full body coat, not stripped short in pattern. Trimming and stripping are only allowed around the ears, top of head, cheeks and feet.
Color—Preferably steel gray with brown markings, frequently chestnut brown, or roan, white and brown; white and orange also acceptable. A uniformly brown coat, all white coat, or white and orange are less desirable. A black coat disqualifies.
Gait—Although close working, the Griffon should cover ground in an efficient, tireless manner. He is a medium-speed dog with perfect coordination between front and rear legs. At a trot, both front and rear legs tend to converge toward the center line of gravity. He shows good extension both front and rear. Viewed from the side, the topline is firm and parallel to the line of motion. A smooth, powerful ground-covering ability can be seen.
Temperament—The Griffon has a quick and intelligent mind and is easily trained. He is outgoing, shows a tremendous willingness to please and is trustworthy. He makes an excellent family dog as well as a meticulous hunting companion.