Danish & Swedish Farmdogs Club Championship Show
Best Progeny Group No & Se Ch Navarras Prima on the left with her four offspring.
These charming little dogs probably have their origin in the Pinscher breeds and the British white terriers that Jack Russell and Fox Terriers also originate from. There are many paintings and photographs of these farmdogs from the 1800s to early 1900s although from paintings from the 1400s you can see dogs that are similar to todays Farmdogs.
Several examinations were carried out in Denmark and Sweden and the breed was found to exist in good numbers on farms in both countries and because both countries thought they had the right to have the origin as their own it was agreed to have both countries name and so the Dansk/Svensk Gårdshund” came into being.
It was good that the name Skåne Terrier disappeared as this is not a terrier breed but more similar to Pinscher breeds and if the head, front angulation or legginess gives the idea of a terrier then it is definitely not the type that is wanted. This breed must be rustic, stocky, strong and fairly compact, the neck looks short because it should be strong and a very strong body with well-developed long ribcage and a little wide in front, the croup is slightly rounded and the tail not to be high set and can be long or born with either a very short bob tail or up to 3 or 4 cms., the tail is to be carried straight out or up but not over the back. The head appears a little small to the body and for best expression a shorter muzzle than skull and a definite stop is needed.
Ears are placed so that either the rose ear or tipped ear is at the top of the skull or only a fraction above the skull. The coat is very short and hard and the colour should be dominantly white with black, fawn, red or liver patches with or without tan markings and the ideal size is 34-37 cms. for males and females 32-35 cms. This is a bred that develops slowly and males are not usually fully developed before three years of age.
I passed my exams for the Danish/Swedish Farmdogs in 1990 and I have always been fascinated by these rather unglamorous sturdy little dogs but when I first started to be interested in this breed the type variation was huge and temperament was not generally good, not aggressive but very wary of strangers and to make matters worse all dogs must be measured at all shows which often made the judging process very slow! Now 25 years on I had the great honour and pleasure to judge the club show Degeberga in one of its countries of origin. There were 60 puppies and males entered on Saturday and 54 females on Sunday and this gave me lots of time to write long detailed critiques on every dog and also gave me time to study and enjoy the bred in detail.
I was overjoyed that the temperaments were now quite wonderful with just one young male a little shy and a young female a little overwhelmed but with a little extra time I could judge both of them satisfactorily. Type was much more uniform and the overall quality was very high with some very exciting youngsters coming along. Movement was generally very pleasing with just a few either too wide or loose in front. All the dogs were in excellent muscular condition and most had very strong toplines. The main problems I found were that many lacked the correct stop to give the ideal expression.
There were quite a lot that were too heavily marked but I consider this more a cosmetic fault at the moment although it was written in each critique. Size was generally very good although some females were on the bigger size. One thing that did amaze me were the Veteran (over 8 years of age) classes where the dogs were from 10 to over 14 years of age and still all were very fit and moving very well for their age.
It was also a lovely experience to have a lot of dogs entered from Denmark and Norway and be able to compare them against the Swedish dogs. Measuring is not now compulsory but I measured many of interest for myself and especially those that have not developed fully in body as they tend to look taller than what they actually are. The Swedish club is so lucky to have such a great committee of hard workers who are devoted to their breed. The showground was really excellent and the weather was perfect after all the rain we had been having. My BOB/BISS came from the Junior female class and I just loved her when she entered the ring and thinking “hope her mouth is ok? which it thankfully was, she has so much type and a very sound construction and even her white, liver and tan colouring was most attractive, lovely expression, she has a natural long tail and she moved so well but it took her a little time to get her tail up but she was fine with me on the table.
This beauty came from Denmark and her name is “Little Denmark´s Ignite Me Ida” owned and bred by Helene Pedersen Riisgaard (Gaard means Farm in Danish) My BOS was the super typey lemon/fawn and white Nordic Ch. Stallbackas Rekorderlige Rune, owned and bred by Ann Christine Hulting from Sweden, he has a really strong body and neck and with a natural short tail, shows all the time and at a little over 3 years of age is coming in to his best. He is also a very good mover but in the final I gave it to the young female who had just a little more hind action.
I would like to share some photos from the show so those that are unfamiliar with the breed can see how they look as this breed is still rare outside of the Nordic countries.