The card which Shih Tzu judge Mrs Maule posted on Facebook

THE CRUFTS judge for Shih Tzus, PAT MAULE (Daltricia), has faced a backlash from overseas exhibitors after a post she made on the ‘Shih Tzu Show Critiques & Results UK’ Facebook group regarding judging at the show.

Mrs Maule decided to post a note to exhibitors stating she would not judge dogs with ‘bows’ or any other ‘adornments’.

The instruction, which appeared to be printed on a piece of card, read: “Judging will be in accordance with your ring number/catalogue order.

“Bows and/or any other adornments will not be permitted in the ring. Plain elastic band holding the topknot only please.”

The judge told DOG WORLD that since she had posted the notice she had been “harassed” by a number of overseas exhibitors who were “hell bent on being nasty”.

The topknot is acceptable in some foreign countries but not in the UK.

However, Mrs Maule’s directive seems to be in accordance with the Kennel Club which in November 2016 changed the breed’s Standard to include a deterrent to showing dogs with bows in their topknots.

The wording reads: “It is strongly recommended that the hair on head is tied up without adornment.”

The first-time Crufts judge said she had only posted the note to help visitors from abroad who may not be aware of the situation regarding bows and topknots at UK shows.

Mrs Maule said she was appalled at the comments she had been subject to online and that her ability to judge had been questioned.

“I’ve been called a cr*p judge because supposedly I’m unable to judge under a bow.

“I’ve awarded CCs for 26 years and have more experience in the breed than most.

“In America the bow is used to hide faults from the judge and it’s something we don’t want here in the UK.”

Mrs Maule said that she believed that UK-bred Shih Tzus were some of the best specimens of the breed in the world. She said she was thrilled with her entry of 214 and was looking forward to her day at the show.