The Eyes Have It

BY WILLIAM GIVEN

After more than five decades of owning and living with a variety of different breeds, I find the eyes have become increasingly more important to me. So much of the beauty of a dog is seen in his or her eyes. The eyes are one of the primary features that make a breed what it is. The size, shape and pigmentation contribute to painting a picture of the perfect head study. To truly appreciate a breed you must fully understand the picture of the head and the eyes as described in the breed stan- dard. And, the eyes are quite likely the most important part of a dog’s expression.

William Shakespeare is generally credited with the phrase, “The eyes are the window of the soul.” I think this is often more true of our canine companions than for human kind. Most of us are able to read the eyes of our dog, and we know if he or she is happy or not, content or if he or she has some need.

For me, the look that a dog gives is a very important detail. I can live with many faults in an individual dog, but I find it most difficult to accept terrible eyes or a faulty expression. Expression is so much more than just plain eyes.

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