by Patrick Ormos (SC-L 27.3.2003)
In this breed, I have seen the following:
1) short coat: a coat which is double and which lies very close to the body, does not have a lot of length, personally I feel that these dogs always look as if they are in their summer coats, usually has very little furnishings. This coat is correct under the CKC, and I believe the KC, standards. I think it would be faulted under the AKC standard as not being medium in length.
2) a medium length, workmanlike coat with furnishings, a ruff around the neck, good double coat, will have seasonal variations, good harsh texture, usually looks a little bit better with being freshly washed and dried. Sometimes you will see some marcelling down the back if the coat is of very harsh texture. The same coat, but with less harsh texture moving towards soft -- you'll see a lot more curling over the rump, this coat needs to be washed a couple of days before the show to allow it to settle back down.
3) a medium + coat ... the so-called glamour coat ... good texture, though usually a little softer than the harsh textured coat, good double coat, lots of furnishings, can be washed the day before and will settle down -- I also point out that dogs who live in northern climates will develop a much "better" coat in the winter than dogs who live in southern climates. Personally, I would consider all of the above within the normal continuum of the breed. I think the following are faulty.
4) an open coat, usually of softer texture and more length, what defines this coat is the angle of the hairs to the body. You can achieve the same effect by blow drying 3 above and back brushing the coat, this will give you a coat which stands out from the body at almost a 90 degree angle. This is faulty because it doesn't protect the undercoat and the body from weather. It is ironic to see a dog who has a correct coat so over-groomed that it is shown with this incorrect open coat -- e.g. many current Pems.
5) soft, silky coats, which may be of various lengths, though usually longer, these coats must be washed several days ahead of the show in order for them to lie down again, often benefit from various grooming aids in order for them to behave well, again a coat which will not protect well from the elements.
6) fluffs -- please note that I do not believe any of the above qualify as fluffs -- a fluff will usually have a wooly texture to the coat (as differentiated from silky or harsh), fringes behind the ears, and LOTS of furnishings going down the backs of both the front and rear legs, if you must trim the rear pasterns (the hocks) then you need to check the dog's coat. Fluffs come with long, wispy coats, with long undercoats showing through the guard hairs, with both long undercoats and long guard hairs (looks like a very bad sheltie), etc. A true fluff is unmistakeable as anything else. Many people will have never seen one, and will have mistakenly identified the open coat as a fluff. While both are faulty, they are different faults.