*.*.* FOR THE SHOW RING *.*.*
Click to see ..... A Photographic Grooming Demonstration
The Grooming of the PBGV for the Show Ring sparks many heated discussions between owners, handlers, and dog clubs around the world due to the words written about the coat of the PBGV in the standard used by each country. Following is a copy of what is written in each standard. -
FRANCE - Hair: Harsh but not too long, never silky or woolly. Faults - Hair: Not dense enough, fine hair. Eliminating Faults - Woolly coat. (Notice there is nothing mentioned about how the dog should be prepared for the show ring)
UK - AUSTRALIA - NZ - Rough, long without exaggeration and harsh to the touch, with thick undercoat, never silky or woolly. Shown Untrimmed.
CANADA - Rough, long without exaggeration and harsh to the touch with thick undercoat, never silky or woolly. Hounds should be shown untrimmed.
USA - The coat is rough, long without exaggeration and harsh to the touch, with a thick shorter undercoat. It is never silky or woolly. The eyes are surmounted by long eyebrows, standing forward but not obscuring the eyes. The ears are covered by long hair. The lips are covered by long hair forming a beard and moustache. The tail is well furnished with hair. The overall appearance is casual and tousled. Then they go on to add ---- The natural, casual and tousled appearance of the breed is vitally important. While some neatening is occasionally necessary, he should be shown naturally. Dogs whose coat has been altered by excessive grooming, sculpting, clipping, or by artificial means shall be so severely penalized as to be effectively eliminated from competition.
After reading the above one can see why the PBGV owner is confused as to how to present the PBGV in the ring and why there is so much controversy between different individual interpretation of these standards as to what is the right and wrong way exhibit a PBGV.
All I can say is that after watching PBGV's shown in both France where the conformation of the dog and it's PBGV characteristics are more important to the judge than cosmetics, (grooming doesn't seem to matter, as some dogs are never brushed or washed and even have knots in their coats and others have been so serverely groomed as to have no hair on their ears and heads plucked to almost look like terriers) and in the USA where the wording of the standard has had the effect of confusing and frightening PBGV owners and handlers and judges so much that many dogs are being shown with so much shaggy coat that the judge is hard put to see the dog under it and which often makes the whole shape of the PBGV looks incorrect that I feel what is needed is 'a happy medium'. In other words the PBGV should go into the ring clean, with enough tiding up of the coat to make it's outline and shape clear to the judge without it losing it's natural, casual appearance.
Many European and Scandinavian breeders who show their dogs seem to have found this is a happy medium and it is worth taking a look as some of the websites of kennels from these countries.
As I mentioned the PBGV should be shown clean contrary to some of the old ideas that washing the coat will make is soft. It should also be neatened up to show the outline of the dog, without stripping the coat back to make it look like a terrier. It is a dog that must look casual and tousled, but this can be achieved and still have the dog neatened to look like it should be in the show ring.
There are two people who I have watched work on PBGV's coats to get them ready for the show ring who I admire and have learnt so much from. One of these is Gunnar Nymann from Chouan Kennels in Denmark, the other Jolanda Huisman of du Griffon du Roi Kennels in the Netherlands.
Gunnar has made a wonderful Powerpoint Presentation which was used at the last World Congress, that describes how he prepares a PBGV for the show ring, from a dog who's coat has been left with no work done to it for 12 months. He advocates the work done in this presentation, should be done 6 weeks before showing the dog, to get the tidy but casual appearance needed for show ring. He has kindly let me use the photos from this presentation for me to describe how to achieve this look.
Click to see Gunnar's work ..... A Photographic Grooming Demonstration