The Hovawart Club of Great Britain


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Breed Notes - 17 May 2016
I expect by now you have all read our judge’s report on Crufts. You did need to sit down with a biscuit (at least!) as it was a very thorough, long, detailed report, and a super critique. I would just like to say in response to one of the points Julie highlights… the three colours of our breed…that back in 1986 when I was newly divorced and starting out afresh with John, we sat down and considered exactly what our aims were, in dog terms. I wanted a black and tan dog from the working group I could train, having just given up Rottweilers and my then KC affix. John said he wanted a dog with a long coat, and nothing removed (he was referring to docked tails) and he too left his KC affix behind. So if Hovawarts had only been blonde and black, I would never have wanted one. In fact they are the only long-haired, back and gold working dog yet invented. Over the years, we have had litters with all three colours, and when judging, we have both put up blonds, particularly when Craig and Ann had those two beautiful bitches, and I know John’s first BoB was Julie’s Buster. Our attitude in the ring is that the colour is irrelevant, although of course markings and shading do count. However, at home, it is most important that we can have pleasure in looking at our dogs, and for us, this means black and gold. I hope Julie is not suggesting that anyone should have to have a dog that we like the look of less than we might, just to satisfy some colour balance. This topic did indeed come up at the IHF conference last year, and delegates were reminded that the breed does come in three colours, but we will still be aiming to have black and gold dogs at Pines.

Actually, the question of coat colouring is interesting, because I seem to recall that some other variants, blue for example, have occasionally surfaced, and although the breed Standard is very specific about the subject, I believe that the original thinking behind the outlawing of these odd shadings was that they were associated with ill-health, this theory has been disproved, so maybe a rethink might be considered. You may say that the Standard should be sacrosanct, but that didn’t stop the Germans allowing an extra 3 cms. of height in male dogs when this had become the norm.

Going back to Crufts, there was a moment of disappointment for the French exhibitors when their dog, Gotham, placed second in Open Dog, was not invited to challenge for RBD. Julie has explained her thinking on the matter, but I wonder if it would be a good idea for the KC to make it mandatory that Best of Sex cards are given to the judge on their own, and the RBest of Sex cards kept back by the steward until the Best of Sex has been awarded, and the steward then invites the dog only beaten by the winner in its class to come forward as a right for the second challenge. Justice would then always be seen to be done.

There was a super entry of 10 at the Redditch Show last Saturday, where judge Hazel Fitzgibbon, new to Hovawarts, was very pleased with the temperaments of all the Hovawarts on display. Her BoB was Janice Robinson & Dave Brown’s Zwartbos Moet (Lexie), with Kitty & Mark Hemsworth’s Driftingsky Tousle RBoB. Sadly, we hadn’t entered, but it was nice to see Liz & Lynne’s Torrin (Z.Brighstone of D.) in a catalogue again. Janice tells me that she didn’t get into the ring for the Rare Breed Stakes until 6 o’clock, making it a very long day, but I don’t suppose that stopped her car being a very happy one on the journey home. One strange thing, though, Gina Challoner had entered her Isalynne in Special Yearling as per the schedule, but the catalogue had the class listed as “Junior”….gremlins at work, I think. On the day, she was judged with/against the other entry in a “renamed” class, which she won. It is the SKC Show this Friday, with an entry of 5 for Mrs.Wildman. I hope she finds our breed as agreeable as Hazel did.

Elaine Betts
01 544 318705
This article was posted on: 18-May-16