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Why we participate in dog shows with Azawakh...

This past weekend, we were honored to show once again at the AKC National Championship presented by Royal Canin in Orlando, Florida. While we didn't win the breed in Azawakh this year as we did last year (and for the record I did not believe that any of my entries should have won BoB), we still came home with rosettes for everyone. Ksenia and Seydou were awarded Select Dog and Bitch respectfully for 5 point GCH majors and Chalas, in her debut in the Specials ring, won an Award of Excellence.

As a result of showing this weekend, I thought it was a great topic to discuss here. For those of us who have lived with Azawakh for any length of time, we know that most aren't comfortable in the show ring. They would much rather be home either chasing their known companions around the back yard or lying in their beds relaxing. Showing still is something that is very different from the breed specific characteristics that are in their DNA.

That said, I believe that if we are intent on educating people to all the things that we know and love about this breed, it is vital that people see correct examples of the breed at AKC shows here in the US (as well as FCI shows around the world). For me, type is everything. Where I differ from some is that I believe type is more than just a dog who looks nice in a stack. Type is also exemplified in correct movement. Balance is key. I also believe that fronts are something in this breed that we need to work on. While you can correct and easty-westy front in the stack, it throws off the front when moving and shows up clearly in a free stack. This is incorrect.

While I also love a nice topline, my definition of a nice topline differs from others. I don't want to see a perfectly level topline. Seeing this means there is less shoulder development leading to bad fronts. For me, a correct topline is straight once you look beyond the withers. You should see a slight dip at the end of the withers as this denotes nice shoulder development. After that, a straight back is correct. Remember, this is a breed that must move over a desert. Pounding and hackney movement is not conducive to that environment. We want a light, effortless movement that gives the impression of floating over the ground, to paraphrase our standard.

The reason I, along with many others, show Azawakh we deem worthy of being exhibited is that we want to ensure judges and the public see correct examples of the breed. There are dogs being shown and who are even top winning dogs that are, unfortunately, not examples of a correct Azawakh. For those of us who have loved and cherished this breed for so many years, this is the impetus that drives us to the show ring. If we are to preserve this breed in the manner as to what it was originally conceived for, it is in my opinion that it will be preserved best when those of us who are adamant about showing correct examples continue to display what is correct in the show ring.

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20 dic 2022

Well said and again congrats for all your efforts

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