|Ruotsissa järjestettiin helmikuussa tuomarikonferenssi kaikille basset roduille. Tuomarikouluttajana basset houndeille toimi rodun kasvattaja ja ulkomuototuomari Paula Sunebring. Koulutukseen osallistui noin 35 tuomaria, joista muutama oli rodun spesialisti, muutama kaikkien rotujen tuomari ja suurin osa 6-ryhmän tuomareita.
Koulutuksen tarkoituksena oli informoida tuomareita rodun ongelmista, jotta he voisivat arvostelussaan kiinnittää niihin erityishuomiota. Basset hound on viime aikoina ollut liioiteltuine piirteineen näkyvästi esillä
tiedotusvälineissä (esim. meilläkin äskettäin esitetyssä BBC:n dokumentissa 'Sairaaksi jalostettu koira'), joiden mukaan kasvattajat kasvattavat liioiteltuja koiria, koska juuri ne menestyvät näyttelyissä. Tästä syystä myös tuomarit ovat saaneet huonon maineen.
Koulutuksessa käytiin lävitse rodun historiaa ja paneuduttiin rodun liioiteltuihin piirteisiin mm. kuvamateriaalia hyväksi käyttäen. Rodun erityispiirteet herättivät paljon keskustelua ja koulutus vietiin
lävitse hyvässä hengessä. Koulutus antoi ruotsalaisille tuomareille erinomaiset taustatiedot siitä millainen on ihanteellinen terverakenteinen basset hound: kuinka paljon nahkaa on hyväksyttävää olla,
millaisia silmiä voidaan pitää terveinä ja mikä on ihanteellinen korvien pituus, samoin kuin millainen maavara on riittävä.
Jos haluat lukea Paula Sunebringin kirjoittaman englanninkielisen koosteen (joka on julkaistu 'Basset Hound kasvattajien forumilla'), avaa tämän tiedote kokonaisuudessaan.
Tässä raportti kyseisestä tilaisuudesta
The Swedish Basset Club conference 7th of February 2009.
(written by Paula Sunebring)
This conference was held for all the judges in Sweden who judges some of or all the six Basset-breeds.
In general the main thing is to keep the judges updated with the different happenings in each breed. The breed clubs informs about what are going in the breed like eventually problems and what they want the judges to keep an extra eye on. This is very good since the breeders can’t alone improve or change different tendencies in a breed. They need to have judges who also encourage or penalize the same things as the breed club has indicated. If the breeding and judging goes hand in hand then things can be improved or changed quite quickly. This is the idea and when it works then it’s really a benefit for the breed.
Of course the “big issue” was the Basset Hound since this breed has been “on the wall” both in the television and news magazines as one of the exaggerated and unhealthy breeds. The main reason has supposed to be because breeders breed those kinds of basset hounds since this is what will win at shows. So in the end the judges have the same bad reputation among the public as the breeders.
Since I (Paula) as both judge and breeder was the one who held the “speech” about the basset hound then I had prepared myself for a very “lively” discussion. I had spent lot of time (and nights) to think about how to present our breed in a way where I could at the same time “defence” the breed-type and still meet up the new demands about soundness and less exaggeration.
I started up with a short historical retrospect of the basset hound since from where it began in early days and where we are today. This is something what many judges who are not in or close to the breed has any knowledge about and the only way to learn this is to inform.
I showed photos from each decade to let the judges see how the breed has changed as well improved through the years. Also to create the understanding why its still is so many different types in our breed and to see how the earlier impact was from the in crossed beagle, bloodhound and basset artesian normand. From this “platform” I thought they would be more prepared to understand why breeders have worked very hard with certain breed-details as the length of ears and legs as well the amount of loose skin.
I think the worse thing we can do is to deny that there are some basset hounds who are truly over done and exaggerated, this will only give the impression that we are totally “home-blind”. In my opinion it’s better to have a straight and open discussion about what is too much and also where to put the limit when it’s too much. This kind of discussion is nearly impossible to have only verbal since all have in their mind a “picture” of what is too much. So to be able to assure that all talked about the same “image” I had chosen to show on a big wide-screen photos of a wide range of types who also had different amount of loose skin. All the photos has been numbered to be sure that we talked about the same dog. The “cavalcade” started up with bassets that where quite “dry” with nearly no loose skin and ended up with basset hounds with extremely lot of loose skin. Thereby it was very easy for everyone to see how the amount of loose skin change the type and outline for the breed. We could also easily see on what “places” the skin could be exaggerated and where it improved the breed-type.
From my inner scenery where I thought it should be a without nuances discussion about the exaggeration of skin it was instead a very constructive discussion about it. I also believed that the judges should point out quite dry “sound and healthy” basset hounds lacking in breed type as the new “ideal” basset hound.
So I was gladly surprised to hear and see that all the judges more or less turned down the very dry and a bit high-legged type of basset hounds. They all said that was not a real basset hound. Instead they choose a basset hound who was both typical as well had enough loose skin as the “under limit” of amount of skin. Then there was a wide range of basset hounds with different types and amount of skin in between before they put up a “upper limit” of where they thought it started to be so to say “too much”. In this way I think we all could obviously see and understand what not enough is and what is too much.
Of course I know that judges will always judge different but in the end I think it’s good to try to unite judges in the understanding of the breed also to show the breed clubs mention.
The same procedure was done showing many photos of different shape of eyes and eventually eye problems. Also to show how the eye and shape influence the expression if the eyes are for example round. But most important was to teach judges to recognize what is a healthy contra an unhealthy eye and to understand that an eye isn’t automatically unhealthy if you can see a bit of the haw. They need to look at the eye-condition as well they look on the skin-condition.
We could agree that the basset hound-eye shouldn’t be the same as on a beagle or a basset artesian normand. The basset hound eye is more open but whiteout exaggeration.
When it came to the length of ears then the judges had in their mind the showed basset hounds from earlier decades and we all agreed we don’t want to go back to that. Therefore it was easy to realize that to short ears will ruin one of the “trade-mark” of the basset hound as well we don’t need to have the ears reaching to the elbows.
I ended up the discussions with a bunch of living bassets that was showed in different types and amount of skin but still all of them with excellent type.
To sum up the day then the conclusion was that the ear length really doesn’t bothered the judges, they all had the opinion that to short or exaggerated length was not desirable.
When it came to the amount of skin then no one liked the kind of basset hound we all breeders fears would be the new “ideal”. All judges liked basset hounds which we all think it’s absolutely enough “typy”. Those basset hounds that were truly exaggerated and with extremely lot of loose skin without any kind of “ground-clearance” was immediately refused as good represents for the breed.
The thing what bothered the judges most was unhealthy and to open eyes. So in this matter I think at least the Swedish judges will be very observant. None of them would like to see round eyes or eyes what’s so tight that it doesn’t had the true “basset-look”. In the end I think it’s a benefit for the breed if we all try to improve the eyes since we have to admit there are eyes that are not desirable. This is also the first thing people outside of the breed generally comments; should the eyes be so red and hanging? It really doesn’t gives an sound appearance when you look at a basset hound with to open and red eyes which in top of that are very wet.
And to end this I will add some of my personal viewings in all the issues.
My love for the breed doesn’t depend in some inches here or there in ear length. Not either that I need to improve the eyes to avoid to open ones. The amount of loose skin has always in my opinion been when it’s balanced and spread all over whiteout exaggeration. (Yes, I know I have bred basset hounds that are exaggerated, but it has not ever been my goal or ideal.)
As I see it then it was a very constructive conference where all the judges truly wanted to be a part of the possibility to improve the breed where it’s needed, especially when the “guide-lines” came from the breed-club. I think this is the way to handle changes and tendencies so it will be for the benefit of the breed we all love and want to continue with.
Paula and the Swede Sun-bassets