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Breed Priorities – The Pomeranian

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242 – September, 2017

by Nikki Riggsbee

This series began in 2004, the product of what I wanted to know when learning a new breed: what is most important, what de- fines the breed. I began with breeds that were easy: easy to out- line since they had short coats and photographed stacked in profile; easy to survey because they had a great many breeder-judges to invite to participate. Eventually, I included breeds with somewhat longer coats, but still defined outlines. Then I progressed to breeds with fewer breeder-judges, so parent club breed mentors were added to those to survey. In due course, longer coated breeds were surveyed. Then there was, and is, the challenge of finding photos of dogs to outline in profile of breeds whose show photos have the dogs facing the camera.

I considered doing the Pomeranian years ago and tried outlining a typical show photo from a magazine. The result resembled a cotton ball with a beak. So I went on to other breeds. Last year, I was encour- aged to try Poms again and have been able to find photos in profile to outline. By including more lines to indicate coat, especially on the tail, the outlines now resembled Poms more than cotton balls. But it is still a challenge to look at the outline on such a full-coated breed and know what one is seeing.

Pomeranians have been an interesting breed for me to learn since they seem to have very definite breed defining features. The phrase “A square in a circle” captures the concept. I expected the survey to confirm what my mentors had taught me were the most impor- tant characteristics.

We found thirty-five breeder-judges and mentors to invite to take the survey. Twenty-one accepted the invitation. Thirteen completed surveys have been received. The participating experts have averaged over thirty-seven years in the breed and over eleven years judging them. More than half have judged their national specialty, and most have judged other Pomeranian specialties.

Click here to read the complete article
242 – September, 2017

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