My post on Facebook about dark heads and open mouth did eventually get some sensible replies. It is true that Mike Sibley had to re do his GSD pencil drawing as it was felt the first of the dog with a dark head with his mouth open did not appeal to the general public. It was replaced with the second drawing of a dog with a soft expression and his mouth closed. I still have the first on my wall and have had it since I was a teenager.
If we are taking photos of the dogs for publicising in magazines or on social media within the show scene then we always want photos with the mouth open .. in stance or head shots. It does complement the head for the mouth to be open.
This is a lovely headshot of Ross taken by Bethan at a show last Summer. I absolutely love it! Which takes me on to "Eyes." So what do we aim for in eyes? Well the breed standard is clear "Medium-sized, almond-shaped, never protruding. Dark brown preferred, lighter shade permissible, provided expression good and general harmony of head not destroyed. Expression lively, intelligent and self-assured."
Steve always says Ross' eyes are too small, they are smaller than my own lines eyes but they are correctly coloured and shaped and I find them quite soulful myself!
So for me the eyes should be as dark as possible, but I guess light eyes on a light face are not much of a problem. In my opinion light eyes on a dark face are very distracting though. I'll use my own dogs, or close breeding as examples.
Nico in the first photo has a very dark head, but dark eyes and a melting expression. Nico was mated to a bitch years ago with light eyes and some of his progeny have his dark head and the bitches light eyes. Not only is that in my opinion a fault it's also extremely distracting. But of course this dog is a much loved pet so his owners don't give a hoot! Ziva (Pictured with baby Ross) and Loki have the lightest eyes here. Loki has inherited them from his mum but god knows where Ziva got her's from as both her parents have dark eyes! Though if you look, Ziva's eyes match the colour of the surround and therefore for me it is not distracting!
To be fair most of these have dark eyes, and even without a breed standard that is to my preference, but I would not discount a nice animal from a breeding program because they had light eyes. After all we do have much bigger problems to concern us with this breed than light eyes!
Kaiah and Asha with their dark eyes - and Loki's eyes are just a little lighter!