Dommer: Tony Redmond
50 stilte hunder
It was indeed a tremendous honour to be invited to judge at the Irish Wolfhound Club of Norway Championship show on June 20th at Gol.
The task of judging was even more enjoyable because it was evident, most breeders in Norway take seriously the business of looking after the breed standard of this ancient and noblest of breeds.
I have to say I was impressed with the majority of dogs shown and as is the cse in Ireland your females in general possessed more quality than the males.
I think my ringside critiques were explanatory enough to portray my full impression of your dogs. Type was very evident, with good strong heads, necks, length of body, harsh coats and good condition.
To be critical, toplines were rather straight. A number of hounds fell away with a line commencing at the withers and ending below the croup. Your main problem as I see it, is straight front quaters, mostly short upper arm. I observed and handled a few hounds whose straight fronts can be attributed to very upright scapulas, this in turn threw the whole front assembly terribly forward.
Your hounds were shown in good hard condition which proves they are healthy and well exercised. I did mention in a few critiques that road work would improve a number of your hounds. What I meant was a young hound will benefit from walking on the road by building muscle and aldo tightening up sloppy and erratic movement.
The Irish Wolfhound if properly constructed, has a graceful, elegant head and neckline. We all adopt our own style of showing, however I thought some exhibitors would improve the stance and the outline of their dog by allowing them to stand more naturally in the ring. Some exhibitors I found did not allow their dogs stand on their own merits but insisted on bending the necklines in a manner which distorted the whole shape and outline.
I hope some people will gain from this observation and examine perhaps on video what I mean by this remark. The reason I feel strongly about this is that the same exhibitors have very good stock but in my opinion did not assist the dogs by showing them in this manner.
I saw very pleasing heads with dark eyes, well placed ears, lovely temperament (both human and canine), excellent harsh coats, free and easy movement. My lasting opinion of Norwegian and some Swedish breeding is of quality so do keep up the hard work, because it is hard work to maintain the standard.
Finally many thanks for the good time afforded to my wife «Ger» and I. Your beautiful engraved Norwegian glass vase adornes our dining room table. This was our first trip to Norway, and it far surpassed our expectations, the beauty and variety of your landscapes and the friendly and hospitable attitude of all your club members will remain with us a long time. Many thanks also to my ring stewards, writing secretary and charming and knowledgeable apprentice Else Martens.
You have a hard working and dedicated Irish Wolfhound Committee, and I hope you appreciate and cherish them.
Slan leat! A Cara.