The Components of Expression
Variations on a theme

The color pictures on the following three pages represent variations on the essential components of expression, skull shape, eye and ear, and the effect of these variations on the overall expression. These components can change in many subtle ways, of which only a few are shown here. In the final analysis the judge must be able to recognize if all of these components combine in a way that is desirable and, in the ring, which of the resulting expressions is truly the "fairest of them all". While familiarity with the details is of extreme importance to the breeder who must seek to keep or improve specific components, the judge must be able to recognize if the "overall pattern" is correct.

The first option on each page is the original dog who has a very nice expression. The variations on page one deal with ear placement, those on page two illustrate differences in eye shape and color and those on page three show some differences in skull shape.

The first picture shows a natural ear set which illustrates the desirable alertness.

The second ear set shown is ultra high and can be the result of an ear that has been over-assisted to achieve a high set. This can give the dog a somewhat artificial and startled look.

The lower left picture shows an ear that breaks about right but is low set.

The lower right picture demonstrates ears that are low set and break low as well. Though nothing but the ear set and break has been changed in these last two pictures, the head begins to look heavier.