|The following is an attempt to improve
communication between the judges of our breed, and the people who show
1. Are you an active breeder of German
Do you have a kennel name ?
2. How long have you been in the breed?
Approximately 39 years.
When and how did you get started?
Our first GS, acquired in 1960, was a pet which we trained in obedience.
Attained a CD while learning about the confirmation part of the sport.
Joined the GSDC of Greater Washington, D.C.
Are you affiliated with any clubs ?
Yes. GSDC of Greater Washington, D.C., GSDCA, and Carroll Kennel
Club in Westminister, MD.
3. How long have you been judging the
4. How many times a year do you judge
3 or 4
5. Over the last 2 years has the number
About the same
6. Have you ever judged the National Specialty?
If yes, when and what classes ?
7. Do you prefer:
a) do you judge at both all-breeds and specialties ?
b) would you judge at both all breeds and specialties
c) please elaborate on and explain your answers to 7, 7a and
I prefer Specialties because the entries are generally deeper in quality,
the ring size is more conducive to observing gait and there is a more sportsmanlike
attitude among the exhibitors. Because of the pressures of rings
immediately adjacent to each other, and the sensitivities of other exhibitors,
all breed shows are generally much more austere.
d) 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
It has always been my feeling that if specialty judges are not willing
to judge at all breed shows, then those shows will be judged by someone
who is not as knowledgeable of our breed and will result in something
8. Do you have a color preference?
Black and Tan
Black and Red
Black and tan and black and red
* No preference
a) Would the color of a dog influence your judgment?
No (within reason)
b) Do you find it harder to judge solid blacks ?
No. What I do find is that many judges are fooled by solid blacks
and some are also swayed by crowd enthusiasm for solid blacks.
9. What importance do you place on condition of plush versus
* Important (All condition factors are important.)
10. When judging the dog do you also judge the handler?
Please elaborate if possible.
The handler is part of the overall picture that the judge observes and
therefore the abilities of the person handling the dog play a role in what
the judge sees. As far as who the handler is, how he or she is dressed,
attitude and things of that nature, they do not influence me.
11. What importance do you place on
Important and Not Important
12. How do you see bites today?
13. How do you see strength of ears?
Good and Poor
14. Do you feel the GSD's temperament
has improved over the past
15. Do you consider temperament today
16. Do you prefer a dog to be shown
on a loose lead?
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
Pasterns, hocks, feet
Shoulder and reach
I am aware that I rated several items as "9". They are all structure
related and cannot be separated.
18. Could you briefly describe your
ring procedure, and any
you may incorporate between a small vs large class:
Generally, I ask the ring steward to arrange
the dogs in catalog order. Once they are all in the ring, I briefly
look at them as they are posed and then take them twice around the ring.
I then begin individual examinations of the dogs, starting with temperament
by requiring a loose lead approach, then a brief look at the posed dog
followed by an examination of teeth, testicles (if male) and overall soundness
of the animal while I am in such close proximity for a short period of
time. I then watch the dog coming and going, followed by one turn
around the ring and falling in at the end of the line.
Once all individual examinations are complete,
I usually gait them as a group for one or two turns and then arrange them
according to my observations from the individual exams coupled with observations
of their gaiting ability. From there on, barring any obvious problems,
it is a contest of gait, appearance, presence and soundness, as it is all
demonstrated and observed.
I judge small or large classes in the same
procedural manner except that I may divide a large class into smaller groups
for initial comparisons and merge them after arranging each group according
to my judgment of their placement within the group.
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)?
20. If a dog is not exactly to the
standard in size, would you
prefer slightly larger or smaller?
21. Do you think on average German
Shepherd Dogs are too extreme?
22. In your opinion should double
handling be allowed?
Yes and No (it needs to be subtle and controlled. Only obvious when
23. Should all select dogs, in your opinion,
be OFA (H&E)?
Long answer if desired:
While OFA (H&E) is extremely desirable, it cannot interfere with a
judges decision as to structure, soundness and other characteristics.
As far as breeding to the animal, every dog owner has the capability to
verify the OFA status of an animal and make their own decision as to breeding
or not breeding to that animal. The "select" title is reflective
of the overall dog from a judges point of observation and OFA status should
not be a consideration.
24. When making the final selection,
the dog with the most front
reach usually wins the class?
25. Do you feel more emphasis should
be put on the total
package, and less on movement?
Long answer: The key here is the word MORE and I can honestly say that
movement is a major element of the "total package". Personally, there
are many factors that influence my decision and movement is not first,
temperament is. Movement does, however, have a major influence on my
decision as it should in accordance with
26. Do you think the German Shepherd Dog
standard should be
If yes, in what respects:
27. Do you think there should be any changes
in any of the existing rules concerning dog shows? Yes
If so, please elaborate: I think that AKC should lighten up with regard
to their position on double handling. I also think that AKC should license
professional handlers like they used to but without the requirements
for boarding facilities and such. They should have a "code of conduct"
that handlers would agree to in order to be a member of the PHA.
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:
"Ideal" is in the eyes of the beholder. Many of our Grand Victors
and Grand Victrixes have been exceptional representatives of the breed.
In addition, such dogs as Hawkeye, Hammer, Lance and Paladin could make
chills run up your spine when they were at their peak. They were
all different but they all had spectacular characteristics that made you
29. Do you feel that in general the
quality of the breed in this
country is getting better or worse ? Better
Please elaborate: We have finally achieved the optimum in balance and extension
that gives us the beautiful, floating gait without overdoing it.
For many years we bred for extreme rears and paid little attention to fronts.
Then we realized the mistake and started breeding for fronts while maintaining
a hindquarter that provided the optimum in drive that the front could support.
Now, we are seeing a more balanced dog with the most extension that this
size animal can support, both front and
rear. We still have the extremes but I believe that we are moving
towards the optimum middle ground.
30. Do you have a pet peeve about
anything owners or handlers do
concerning the showing of dogs ? Yes
Some handlers, not all, try to intimidate judges with stares, dirty looks
and derogatory comments. The only effect that this has on me
is to annoy me and therefore cause negative feelings toward the handler.
31. Do you have any suggestions for
owners or handlers regarding
anything they should ALWAYS do when showing under you ?
Be courteous, be on time for the classes to the extent possible, and pay
attention. Each of us can make the other look bad during the conduct
of a show. Remember, I know that you are in there to win but so is
everyone else. I will do my best to be absolutely fair. Give
me the courtesy of accepting my opinion.
32. Do you have any suggestions
for owners or handlers
regarding anything they should NEVER do when showing under you ?
Do not try to intimidate me. Show me your dog to your best ability
and promote the dog to me but do not give me the angry stare or under the
breath comment in an effort to influence me. I will be more than
happy to discuss my decision with you when the show is over.
33. Do you have any advice for people
who are relatively new to
showing and/or breeding? Yes!
Get next to someone who knows and listen and learn from them. Do
not be discouraged when you find out that your first dog is less than perfect.
Go to lots of matches and practice. A little obedience work is advisable
as well. You learn a lot about how dogs think and what works when
you do obedience.
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: Yes.
Too many judges are not judging with fairness and honesty in mind.
Either they are otherwise influenced or they just don't know. It
takes knowledge and the strength to stand behind your convictions to judge
fairly and honestly. If you do not have the strength of your convictions,
or if you are thin skinned or biased toward a particular individual who
is handling, exhibiting or breeding, you should not judge.
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 see it. Yes.
I had the pleasure of judging Ch. Dopplet Tay's Hawkeye about six months
after Lorraine Clifford passed away. Her daughter had been caring
for the dog and had obviously put forth the effort to condition the dog,
both mentally and physically. Hawkeye was probably about seven at
that time but in prime condition. This dog was exceptional in type,
size, color and all of those physical attributes that catch the eye.
In motion, he covered ground like a machine and he put on a show that no
dog has equaled in my career as a judge.
Your Name: Leon