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
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
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
Good overall, but the answer to #11 can still apply here.
13.) How do you see strength
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+
Pasterns, hocks, feet 9
Shoulder and reach 10
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
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
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
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
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"