The following is an attempt to improve communication between the judges of our breed, and the people who show under them. 

1.) Are you an active breeder of German Shepherd Dogs? Do you have a kennel name ? 

      Yes, on a very limited scale. Hickory Hill Kennel (since 1970)

2.) How long have you been in the breed? When and how did you get started? Are you affiliated with any clubs? 

GSDC of Greater Tulsa,
Senior Conformation Judges Association,
 and the American Dog Show Judges

3.) How long have you been judging the breed? 

 3 yrs as an AKC judge

4.) How many times a year do you judge German Shepherds? 

 So far, averages about 10/yr

5.) Over the last 2 years has the number of shows? 


6.) Have you ever judged the National Specialty? If yes, when and what classes ? 

 I should be so lucky, no I haven't had that privilege

7.) Do you judge at both all-breeds and specialties, which do you prefer ? 

I prefer just judging dogs, there is very little in this world as
beautiful as the GSD in motion. I would be glad to judge at either, my assignments have been All Breeds for the most part.

If you indicated a preference for Specialty assignments, would you consider doing German Shepherd Dogs at an all-breed if you were given a large ring, the entry was supported by a specialty club and the show was on the same weekend as a nearby specialty or specialty circuit? Please elaborate.

I can't imagine who would turn that down. I have been fortunate in getting large rings, some of them outside, and found for the most part clubs and superintendents are as considerate as possible to GSD's.

8.) Do you have a color preference? 

My preference is for "good rich pigment" of any allowable color. (I am a little color blind to some shades of blue and purple, but that doesn't seem to be a problem-joke)
a) Would the color of a dog influence your judgment?


b) Do you find it harder to judge solid blacks ?

Why would it be?

9.) What importance do you place on condition of plush versus smooth coat? Please explain. 

I love to get my hands on a beautiful plush coat, but close coated in good condition is very acceptable, they don't move on the hair length.

10.) When judging the dog do you also judge the handler? Please elaborate if possible. 

Only if they do something to distract from the entry, then it not usually a favorable impression. I have a thing about being too heavy handed with youngsters, that will never endear a handler to my heart.

11.) What importance do you place on missing teeth? 

Not important: Fred Schmidtke told me many years ago when I was getting "all upset over a dog with a missing pre molar" , "Get over it. Teeth are for eating, the dog is in great condition, he can eat, and he out moves anything seen here today" The overall package should not be disregarded because of "fault finding" style of judgeing. Look at the dog. If there are two equal movers, then a bad mouth could be a deciding factor.

12.) How do you see bites today? 

 Good overall, but the answer to #11 can still apply here.

13.) How do you see strength of ears? 

Good: overall, they aren't a whole lot different now than they were years ago, and a lot of things influence ears, diet, how early to tape, how to tape, how heavy the ear leather is, etc., they don't move on their ears,
the just need them up. Elegant head set with sculpted ears is priceless, but, how does that change the overall structure and movement of the dog?

14.) Do you feel the GSD's temperament has improved over the past 5 years? 

 Yes; absolutely improved

15.) Do you consider temperament today to be? Please explain. 

 Very good; yes

16.) Do you prefer a dog to be shown on a loose lead? 

Yes; Without question, talented handlers with unbelievable strength in their left arms holding up every dog in every class starts to get a little silly. It compromises the good movers, it is unnecessary. Let the dogs out, frequently they can and will move nicely without handler interference. Stringing up a dog with a short upper arm doesn't really fool judges anyway. 

17.) How would you rate the following in sequence of importance? (On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the highest).

Coming and going  8
Side Gait  10+
Temperament  8
Teeth  8
Coat  9
Pasterns, hocks, feet  9
Pigment  8
Structure  10+
Shoulder and reach  10

Attitude 9

18.) Could you briefly describe your ring procedure, and any changes you may incorporate between a small Vs large class 

Basically like everyone else I guess. I do like for the entry to come in, go around to the far side of the ring to give the dogs time to get settled, I don't really look at them during that time. I just feel like it's good for the dogs.

19.) Do you think there should be an age limit in placing points on a dog (i.e.dogs and bitches under 12 months of age)? 

No. If they are old enough to be entered, they are old enough to win.

20.) If a dog is not exactly to the standard in size, would you prefer slightly larger or smaller? 

There is no disqualification for size in GSD's, but if they are out of the standard limits, I would rather see a large dog and a small bitch.

21.) Do you think on average German Shepherd Dogs are too extreme? 

 No, not at all.

22.) In your opinion should double handling be allowed? 

Double handling? What on earth is that? I am usually so intent on what is going on inside the ring, that what is going on out side is beyond me.

If the outside activity is to the extent it hinders the dog, the exhibitors need to consider their actions and take appropriate steps.

23.) Should all select dogs, in your opinion, be OFA (H&E)? 

That would be wonderful. You need to realize if a dog is unsound, he will in all actuality not be able to hold up to the movement required for Select. Good handling can cover a multitude of sins, but I would be real surprised if it could cover to that extreme.

24.) When making the final selection, does the dog with the most front reach usually win the class? 

The dog with the most correct reach, and equally correct drive, topling, and movement would win. We do not have a silhouette breed, GSD's are a movement breed, they need to be evaluated that way.

25.) Do you feel more emphasis should be put on the total package, and less on movement? 

I thought the "total Package" was the movement, the style, the presence, the "look of eagles".

26.) Do you think the German Shepherd Dog standard should be changed? 

Only to include the phrase we know so well and neglect to put in the standard. FLYING TROT.

27.) Do you think there should be any changes in any of the existing rules concerning dog shows? If so, please elaborate 

I don't think I am qualified to express an opinion on that one.

28.) Is there a dog, whether alive now or not, who to you typifies most closely the "ideal" German Shepherd Dog ? If yes, please explain and give details 

There are so many good ones, the ones that comes to mind first are the "Egotist" dog, and the "Bear" dog. I have always been a sucker for the Mike-Lance-K litter Waldeshruh stuff, it just is classic movement.

29.) Do you feel that in general the quality of the breed in this country is getting better or worse ? Please elaborate 

Many of the structural health problems are decreasing, we have a long way to go, but as long as we stay focused, and keep sight of the fluid movement that is so unique to our breed, we'll keep getting better. Temperaments are significantly better now, there are so many spectacular dogs out now, as a group we are doing right by the breed.

30.) Do you have a pet peeve about anything owners or handlers do concerning the showing of dogs ? 

 Crowding a young dog.

31.) Do you have any suggestions for owners or handlers regarding anything they should ALWAYS do when showing under you ? 

 Have a good time, enjoy the dog,

32.) Do you have any suggestions for owners or handlers regarding anything they should NEVER do when showing under you ?

Don't get rough with any dog, train it, don't force it. These are beautiful intelligent dogs, with a natural suspicion of anything that could pose a threat, work with them, don't fight them. Someone once said "a dumb GSD is smarter that most dogs" I can't imagine not having the relationship of a German shepherd. ing they should NEVER do when showing under you ? 

33.) Do you have any advice for people who are relatively new to showing and/or breeding? 

It isn't easy, but it is very worthwhile, there are a lot of good people out there and a lot of good dogs, get to know them

34.) Is there anything else you would like to say about judging or about the German Shepherd breed today ? If so, please feel free to say it here 

I can't say enough about the German Shepherd dog, but I think I have said enough for now.

35.) Have you ever judged one the of the greats? If so, can you give a rundown of this dog for the people who have not had the privilege to even see it. 

I wish, time will tell if any of the newer ones will become tomorrow's "greats" Your Name:

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