This is Dolly that he is referring to if anyone is interested..Nibbler, definitively, has a classic "baby-doll" head - notice, specifically, the extreme spacing between the eyes.
Sparkle, on the other hand is very close, but not classic or prototypical of my definition. I would place Sparkle more in the same style as my "Dolly". They both would be called "baby-dolls" by many (top flight) breeders but they don't quite completely make the jump to my definition - very close but not quite. And, to continue, that is what we strive for - very very close to "baby-doll" but NOT quite so extreme (like Nibbler) that they appear almost "cat-like" in expression. I have to agree with you though, those "extreme" heads are some of the most beautiful heads one will EVER see on a Maltese (in the classic "beauty pageant" way to look at it).
By the way, "extreme head" is also another standard terminology among breeders to describe "baby-doll". It is not derogatory, but descriptive.
Jay did hit the nail on the head - show breeders are much more likely to use the term "extreme" when referring to a classic "baby-doll" head , where a "pet salesman" is more likely to use "baby-doll" so that they can evoke a response from their audience (you).
As it was also said in this thread, and it is most important here to remember this, a photograph may/may not provide a truly accurate representation of any given dog. All the poofing provided in a topknot, in such a way as to elevate the bow well above the top of the head may give an appearance of a deep stop with a high domey head when, in fact, you are only seeing hair. This is just one illustration, and artistic grooming (using hair teasing techniques to pull hair from one area and place it in another, topknot shape and size and placement, backbrushing on the legs to make them appear straighter, etc.) is a COMPLETELY different topic.
Anyway, the good judges "smash" the topknots down on top of the head to better see and feel head shape, trace the contours of the body and legs with their hands, and will even take the dog away from an exhibitor on the table and re-stack them themselves to prevent the exhibitor from artificially setting the dog up in an unnatural position just to hide a "flaw".
But, back on-topic, everyone needs to look at Charmypoo's Nibbler. That IS definitively a "baby-doll" head - no doubt ! Again, I do think that this is completely wrong according to our standard - but the head is just one aspect of judging. The dog's overall balance (body parts in proper proportion to each other); soundness (strong solid legs and joints at proper angles, proper layback of shoulder providing an erect proud head carriage and a beautiful front leg extention when gaiting); strong pigmentation; and a silk coat are ALL equally, if not more, important to me (as a breeder) than head shape. Morover, I consider temperament to be even more importatnt than ANY single physical characteristic.
It is the ENTIRE dog, taken as a whole, that is to be judged against the standard. If a judge simply judges on single "faults" as opposed to focusing on the "big picture" then their judging will lack consistency and send the wrong signals to the breeders that show to them. I have seen judges that publicly despise "extreme" heads
give top awards to Maltese with "baby-doll" expression, not because the head is pretty, but because the overall dog taken as a whole still "blew away" the field of competition. We all judge from "outside the ring", but in the end only the judge inside the ring actually physically examined the dogs structure.
In the end, everything is relative. Or, if they are winning, I just hope it is one of my dogs "relatives" . . . . lol
[/QUOTE]Originally posted by Kallie/Catcher's Mom@May 20 2005, 05:52 PM
When I went to Divine's site to see the photo I looked around and see that they have a retiree, four years old and spayed for adoption to the right home. They say she is very shy and needs someone familiar with the breed. I'm even tempted but I better not.... But Kallie is shy and I bet they would get along....