Gilberts' K-9 Seminars News & Review
Copyright (c) 2004-2009 Gilberts' K-9 Seminars
The above Article is Copyrighted (c) 2004-2008 Gilberts' K-9 Seminars.
Permission to reprint can be obtained from Gilberts' K-9 Seminars -
By E. M. Gilbert Jr.

This proposal is to improve judging and to improve breed type. The tools are available, but present AKC rules forbid their use. The tools are the wicket and the scales.

Many breeds are suffering due to the inability of judges to accurately determine breed height and weight unless it is a disqualification. Yet many Standards provide the height and weight limits and include a statement that certain limits are serious faults. Yet without measuring a judge does not truly know if an entry is over or under the height or weight limit called out in the Standard. Judging should not be based on guess work. A judge should be able to use a wicket and/or scale to make an intelligent decision in regard to an entry that the judge has a question as to its height or weight.

Refer to the table 1 for Sporting breed Standards that specifically discuss height and/or weight limitations that should be penalized. A judge should be able to measure and/or weigh these breeds to accurately make a determination if a penalty is in order - this will remove the "to the end of the line syndrome."

Height and weight DQ’s are also listed in the table.

Similar tables can be made for the other six groups and miscellaneous. They are not included due to length of the Newsletter.

A listing was provided for all AKC breed Standards where height limitations are listed that are not a DQ in the September 2009 Newsletter.

The tools – wicket and scales - are there at the show, let the judge use them.

Table 1. Sporting Breed Standards that specifically discuss Height and/or Weight limitations that should be penalized. Also includes Height and/or weight DQ Breeds.


Height – Any Brittany measuring under 17 ½ inches or over 20 ½ inches shall be disqualified from dog show competition.

Weight-- Should weigh between 30 and 40 pounds.


Because a sporting dog must have both endurance and power, great variations in size are undesirable, the desirable height and weight being within the following limits:

Height -- 25-28 inches
Weight -- 55-75 pounds

Height -- 23-26 inches
Weight -- 44-65 pounds

German Shorthaired Pointer

The dog is neither unduly small or conspicuously large.

Size--height of dogs, measured at the withers, 23 to 25 inches. Height of bitches, measured at the withers, 21 to 23 inches. Deviations of one inch above or below the described heights are to be severely penalized.  Weight of dogs 55 to 70 pounds. Weight of bitches 45 to 60 pounds.

German Wirehaired Pointer

The height of males should be from 24 to 26 inches at the withers. Bitches are smaller but not under 22 inches. To insure the working quality of the breed is maintained, dogs that are either over or under the specified height must be severely penalized

Chesapeake Bay Retriever

Height--Males should measure 23 to 26 inches; females should measure 21 to 24 inches. Oversized or undersized animals are to be severely penalized.

Weight--Males should weigh 65 to 80 pounds; females should weigh 55 to 70 pounds.

Flat-Coated Retriever

Size--Individuals varying more than an inch either way from the preferred height should be considered not practical for the types of work for which the Flat-Coat was developed. Preferred height is 23 to 24½; inches at the withers for dogs, 22 to 23½ inches for bitches.

Golden Retriever

Males 23-24 inches in height at withers; females 21 ½  – 22 ½ inches. Dogs of up to one inch above or below standard size should be proportionately penalized. Deviation in height of more than one inch from the Standard shall disqualify... Weight for dogs 65-75 pounds; bitches 55-65 pounds.

Labrador Retriever

Size--The height at the withers for a dog is 22½ to 24½ inches; for a bitch is 21½ to 23½ inches. Any variance greater than ½ inch above or below these heights is a disqualification. Approximate weight of dogs and bitches in working condition: dogs 65 to 80 pounds; bitches 55 to 70 pounds.
The minimum height ranges set forth in the paragraph above shall not apply to dogs or bitches under twelve months of age.

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever

Size: Height at the withers - males, 18-21 inches. The ideal is 19 inches. Females, 17-20 inches. The ideal is 18 inches. Bone: is medium. Weight is in proportion to height and bone of the dog.

English Setter

Dogs about 25 inches; bitches about 24 inches.

Gordon Setter

Size--Shoulder height for males, 24 to 27 inches; females, 23 to 26 inches. Weight for males, 55 to 80 pounds; females, 45 to 70 pounds. Animals that appear to be over or under the prescribed weight limits are to be judged on the basis of conformation and condition. Extremely thin or fat dogs are discouraged on the basis that under or overweight hampers the true working ability of the Gordon Setter.

Irish Red and White Setter

Dogs are 24.5 - 26 inches tall; bitches are 22.5 - 24 inches tall.

Any departure from the foregoing standard is considered a fault and the seriousness of the fault is in exact proportion to its degree.

Irish Setter

There is no disqualification as to size. The make and fit of all parts and their overall balance in the animal are rated more important. 27 inches at the withers and a show weight of about 70 pounds is considered ideal for the dog; the bitch 25 inches, 60 pounds. Variance beyond an inch up or down is to be discouraged.

American Water Spaniel

15 to 18 inches for either sex. Males weighing 30-45 lbs. Females weighing 25-40 lbs. Females tend to be slightly smaller than the males. There is no preference for size within the given range of either sex providing correct proportion, good substance and balance is maintained.

Clumber Spaniel

The ideal height for dogs is 18 to 20 inches at the withers and for bitches is 17 to 19 inches at the withers… Dogs weigh between 70 and 85 pounds and bitches weigh between 55 and 70 pounds.

Cocker Spaniel

Size-- The ideal height at the withers for an adult dog is 15 inches and for an adult bitch, 14 inches. Height may vary one-half inch above or below this ideal. A dog whose height exceeds 15½ inches or a bitch whose height exceeds 14½ inches shall be disqualified. An adult dog whose height is less than 14½ inches and an adult bitch whose height is less than 13½ inches shall be penalized. Height is determined by a line perpendicular to the ground from the top of the shoulder blades, the dog standing naturally with its forelegs and lower hind legs parallel to the line of measurement.

English Cocker Spaniel

Size-Height at withers: males 16 to 17 inches; females 15 to 16 inches. Deviations to be penalized.

The most desirable weights: males, 28 to 34 pounds; females, 26 to 32 pounds. Proper conformation and substance should be considered more important than weight alone.

English Springer Spaniel

He is to be kept to medium size. Ideal height at the shoulder for dogs is 20 inches; for bitches, it is 19 inches. Those more than one inch under or over the breed ideal are to be faulted. A 20 inch dog, well-proportioned and in good condition, will weigh approximately 50 pounds; a 19 inch bitch will weigh approximately 40 pounds.

Field Spaniel

Size--Ideal height for mature adults at the withers is 18 inches for dogs and 17 inches for bitches. A one inch deviation either way is acceptable.

Irish Water Spaniel

Dogs 22 to 24 inches, bitches 21 to 23 inches, measured at the highest point of the shoulder. Dogs 55 to 65 pounds, bitches 45 to 58 pounds.

Sussex Spaniel

Size--The height of the Sussex Spaniel as measured at the withers ranges from 13 to 15 inches. Any deviation from these measurements is a minor fault.

The weight of the Sussex Spaniel ranges between 35 and 45 pounds.

Welsh Springer Spaniel

A dog is ideally 18-19 inches in height at the withers and a bitch is 17-18 inches at the withers. Any animal above or below the ideal to be proportionately penalized. Weight should be in proportion to height and overall balance.

Spinone Italiano

Height: The height at the withers is 23 to 27 inches for males and 22 to 25 inches for females.

Weight: In direct proportion to size and structure of dog.


The ideal male is 22 to 24 inches at the highest point over the shoulder blades. The ideal female is 21 to 23 inches. Because the Vizsla is meant to be a medium-sized hunter, any dog measuring more than 1 ½ inches over or under these limits must be disqualified.

Disqualifications - Any male over 25 ½ inches, or under 20 ½ inches and any female over 24 ½ inches or under 19 ½ inches at the highest point over the shoulder blades


Height at the withers: dogs, 25 to 27 inches; bitches, 23 to 25 inches. One inch over or under the specified height of each sex is allowable but should be penalized. Dogs measuring less than 24 inches or more than 28 inches and bitches measuring less than 22 inches or more than 26 inches shall be disqualified.

Wirehaired Pointing Griffon

Size--22 to 24 inches for males, 20 to 22 inches for females. Correct size is important. Oversize to be severely penalized.