41: A Pomeranian Breed Essence: The Genuine Fox-like Expression
Our cover picture is one of the old time greats in Pomeranian history, Eng Ch Hadleigh Shining Star. His appearance captures the breed essence requiring a genuine fox-like expression that is fast disappearing in today’s poms…perhaps, in favor of the more chowey heads……or perhaps it will be more accurate to call them teddy bear heads.
Traditionally, a fox-like expression is a MUST for a Pomeranian headpiece. Associated with this fox-like expression are the following features: small erect ears, dark almond shaped eyes, straight, short, fine wedged shaped muzzle with a good stop. I am glad to say, that the KC Pomeranian Breed standard has kept this essence intact in their breed standard. The APC, over the various breed standard changes, has eroded this definition by rephrased descriptions which are not quite the same as the traditional words being used; ie, the expression may be referred to as a fox-like, To form a wedge, visualize a line from the tip of the nose ascending through the center of the eyes and the tip of the ears, etc.
A new proposed standard is underway for AKC approval and APC membership approval. In my opinion, it further erodes the essence of the fox-like expression. The adjective fine has been deleted from the description of the muzzle and adds broad at the base of the muzzle. The expression continues to be: may be referred to as fox-like. This proposed change is self contradictory because a chowey face contradicts the desired fox-like expression. Accordingly, if the fox-like expression is to be preserved, then the word “fine” to describe muzzle should be maintained and the description “broad at the base” of the muzzle should be deleted. On the other hand, if it is the intention of the APC board to change the look of the Pomeranian to a chowey look, then they should remove the words “fox-like expression” replacing it with chowey expression and keep the rest unchanged; or they may prefer the words teddy bear expression. This will make the standard less contradictory and more understandable to the reader. However, if it is their intention to choose the second alternative, does this mean that all those great dogs of yesteryears as pictured below are no longer within the new standard and are now considered passé?
My stint in Pomeranians go back as early as 1977. Since then, I could say, that I have seen mostly all the best Pomeranians in the world. To me, Hadleigh Pomeranians best exemplifies that fox-like expression in their dogs. These are Pomeranians go as early as 40-50 years back. I have the good fortune of meeting Gladys Dyke of the famous Hadleigh kennels in the late70s or early 80s when I bought my first Hadleigh pom in England. Then, there were the later Japanese Hadleighs. I suppose, my fascination for this bloodline was because of my earlier exposure after which, it would be very difficult to find something that had a more beautiful head. It is for this reason why I have stayed with this bloodline, improving on it by infusing American Pomeranians for better bodies and coat.
My Italian friend, Gloria, earlier commented to me that the Hadleigh faces were angry looking to which I replied…Are these pictures angry looking?
Pictured above are:
First Row: (Left to right) Eng Ch Hadleigh Little Aristocrat, Eng Ch My Cherrie of Rosebert, Eng Ch lady Fair of Hadleigh
Second Row: Eng Ch Derronill Maxamillion, Ph Ch Hadleigh Courier(owned by Canton Pomeranians), Jap Ch Hadleigh Superstar
Third Row: Jap Ch Hadleigh Superman, Jap Ch Hadleigh Fisherman, Eng Ch Hadleigh Fisherman Dream
… the small erect ears(ears that are always up rather than usually down and up only when on alert,
… the black almond shaped eyes with black eye-rims around the eyes rather than dark in color
… short, fine, straight wedged shaped muzzle…a V-shaped muzzle which is short and which has a
narrow base(rather than the proposed wide base). The snippey and lippiness of muzzle occurs when
this kind of muzzle is not short enough.…
the pronounced stop is very important because this gives the correct expression in the Pomeranian head.
Having connected this Hadleigh discussion with the breed standard fox-like expression, I would like to now comment on why the so called angry look. I suppose, this angry look could be attributed to the dark eyebrows that are oftentimes present in Hadleigh Pomeranians. I think it is rather charming and reminds of me of Vivien Leigh as Scarlett O Hara in Gone with the Wind. She is pictured below with a head shot of Jap Ch Hadleigh Superman.
When I was showing my favorite Ph HOF Am Tha Ch Canton Bravestar in Thailand, someone commented
that he wanted to see a sweeter face. I sort of resented this comment and retorted back that the face was pretty enough. This remark haunted me for months and I have to admit that I have seen prettier faces in Hadleigh. Hence, my later acquisitions from Taiwan of bitches going back tightly on Jap Ch Hadleigh Superman.
Pictured above are: First Column Left to Right: My homebered Bravestar, My Acquisitions Herold and Amaler; Second Column: Acquisitions Bomb, Holda, Klothild.
Bravestar is not really that Hadleigh looking but rather a middle ground between a Hadleigh and the beautiful American Pomeranians. I suppose, many will say, that my Bravestar is better and prettier this other dogs pictured and described as Hadleigh. Overall, I really agree with that but I want to fix those concentrated faces of shorter wedged shaped faces which I am gradually losing with the incorporation of the American lines. I am very happy with this decision because now, I have on the ground a 7 month old puppy by Bravestar and Klothild called Canton Genghis Khan. He is all that I have hoped for in going to the trouble of these acquisitions. I have more puppies on the ground combining the Hadleighs and Superman in my breeding and this combination will certainly do well because my foundation is basically Hadleigh.
I want to share the picture of Yap Star Sapphire of Madono
which my brother Benjamin and I imported from Japan about 30 years ago. He was and remain to be my ideal look for a Pomeranian puppy. He was silver grey and a direct son of Eng Ch Hadleigh Shining Star. In the picture, about 3 inches of coat has been trimmed off to give him shape and his legs were equally trimmed. In Japan, they prefer, the heavy trimming of leg coat which I used to do myself but I am learning to do this less….there you are, he is Hadleigh too!
In my next blog, I will be talking about the chowey and/or the teddy bear look. As explained in my earlier Blog 22, my Canton Pomeranians distantly go back to them too. Recently, I have embarked to this line through my partnership with Virginia Dimmick of Pufpride Pomeranians. Trying to get the best of both worlds….
Hopefully, this discussion will clear up the concept in our minds the difference in their look and from there, apply this knowledge to one’s breeding program.
February 8, 2010