Afghan Hound Times
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GOING OVER THE AFGHAN HOUND
(Notes by Steve Tillotson, taken at a lecture given in 1986 by Margaret Niblock, Khanabad Afghans, UK)
The following page has been compiled from notes I took at a "Judge In" when the late Margaret Niblock was giving a lecture to trainee judges in 1986 . I have a couple of gaps because one of my dogs chewed the notes, but even so, trusting my reporting is reasonably accurate, its interesting to reflect back on Margarets words.
Margaret started by explaining the changes in the "revised standard", issued by the KC in 1986. General appearance is new as did not appear in the old standard. The words strength and dignity, speed and power (gait in old standard) are new.
Expression - "Keen Fierceness", Margaret stated it is up to the judge, does this mean temprement or eye expression? Margaret penalizes fierceness in the ring. The shape of skull and eye make up the expression.
Head - Length of skull and foreface should be roughly equal. nice dome. Ears set in line with eyes. Slight stop. Chisseling - bones and blood vessels on nose, breed characteristics
Eyes - triangular or oval, pointing up to side bones, wedge shape skull. Eye colour not so important as long as its not yellow.
Weak underjaw? Its power in the jaw/muscle. Post war dogs were boxy. A receding chin with lack of bone is bad. Look for tapered muzzle
Teeth - level mouth = level teeth? not as good as scissor. Teeth judged primarily on front bite.
Neck -Afghan's neck is incredibly slender (9 bones in vertebrae). Should be able to slide hand down neck.
Forequarters - shoulders long and sloping. Handle as many dogs as you can Margaret stated, its the only way you'll every learn. Look at photos in her book. Bone shallow at top but muscled as you go down to upper arm joint.
Forelegs - straight and well boned. (Note - At the time Margaret gave this lecture, the KC had issued revisions to the standard. Bill Hall, breed columnist for "Dog World" mounted a vociforous campaign to have the proposed revision revoked. The offending revision related to forelegs being straight with shoulder when viewed from the front. In November 1987 the KC wrote back to Bill Hall stating that the offending words "viewed from the front" will be removed on the next revision.Well done to Bill Hall). Margaret commented on the day that the KC (offending) description could not be correct because of the bulge in the ribcage behind the shoulder.
Body - level back. Sway back very bad. Arch in back was ok, not now. People pull back legs to far back which drags top line down.
Fall away from hip bones to point of buttock. Get finger in between elbow and bottom of rib, pointed rib. 13 ribs, square, muscular loin. Well ribbed back - if loin is long its because ribs are to close together.
Fallaway gives the agility. Other hounds have less fallaway. Tail set about two thirds down between hip bones and point of buttock. Ring or doughnut tail ok.
Stifles well bent. Hind pasterns upright. Sickle hock is when the hocks are not straight, in line with legs. Hock points should be low set
Movement - faster it moves, it will move closer behind - so move it at right pace.
Coat - not wooly coats - keep stripped with stripping comb.
Top Knot - is a thing of the past apart from old fashioned type (Bell Murray)
Colour - no colour bar
Margaret commented that USA Afghans were not as heavy and could give UK Afghans a lot.
Margaret then took the group onto actual dogs for "hands on" to explore the points covered by her lecture. I hope and trust that this is an accurate report on Margarets lecture and whilst not comprehensive will give an insight on Margarets approach to going over an Afghan Hound..
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