|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 Shepherd Dogs? Do you have a kennel name ?
I no longer breed German Shepherds.
My kennel name is Jimanie (was
2.) How long have you been in the breed? When and how did you get started? Are you affiliated with any clubs?
Started with my first show quality GSD in 1968. Bought a Ch. Dago v. Sixtberg son from a local breeder in Charleston, SC. I'm no longer a member of any GSD clubs, but once was active in the GSDC of Charleston and the GSDCA. My primary focus in breeding is now in Pembroke Welsh Corgis.3.) How long have you been judging the breed?
Since 1988.4.) How many times a year do you judge German Shepherds?
Approximately 125.) Over the last 2 years has the number of shows?
Stayed about the same. I try not to take more than approximately 12 judging assignments per year due to business and family committments.6.) Have you ever judged the National Specialty? If yes, when and what classes ?
No, not the GSDCA national.7.) Do you judge at both all-breeds and specialties, which do you prefer ?
I try not to look at color when making my final judgement, but have always loved a good black Shepherd!9.) What importance do you place on condition of plush versus smooth coat? Please explain.
10.) When judging the dog do you also judge the handler? Please elaborate if possible.
No, I'm there to judge the dogs.11.) What importance do you place on missing teeth?
Very important if the teeth that are missing are other than first premolars12.) How do you see bites today?
Good13.) How do you see strength of ears?
Fair14.) Do you feel the GSD's temperament has improved over the past 5 years?
No15.) Do you consider temperament today to be? Please explain.
Not as good as I would like to see it. Poor attempts at double handling make many dogs look insecure and anxious.16.) Do you prefer a dog to be shown on a loose lead?
Yes.17.) How would you rate the following in sequence of importance? (On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the highest).
18.) Could you briefly describe your ring procedure, and any changes you may incorporate between a small Vs large class
I try to use the same procedure throughout all my classes and breeds, if possible. I like to see the class as a whole go around together a couple of times. If the class is very large, I'll break it up into equal segments (half, thirds, etc. depending on how large the class is). I then do individual examinations on each dog with a down and back on the diagonal and then send the dog around to the end of the line. In very large classes I will make notations on the dogs I want to keep for further evaluation and make a cut to these dogs. Then often I will "work" these dogs to further evaluate their movement in order to compare one to the other to come up with my final placings.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)?
In some of the breeds it might help in reducing puppy champions that may or may not mature out to be worthy of the title, but it is not logical in allbreeds.20.) If a dog is not exactly to the standard in size, would you prefer slightly larger or smaller?
Probably smaller, but that is not nearly as important as so many other things. I've found that I have on occasion wound up with a smaller male and a larger bitch on the same day because the overall quality of the dogs shown on the day dictated that I select those dogs.21.) Do you think on average German Shepherd Dogs are too extreme?
Yes. Too many dogs that I see in the ring today are completely out of balance front to rear. Not only are the shoulder angles lacking, but often the rear is overdone. Extremes are fine in their place, but to place too much emphasis on one point tends to weaken the rest of the dog.22.) In your opinion should double handling be allowed?
No. This is a noble, intelligent breed of dog that should not have to rely upon double handling to keep them interested in what is going on around them. The dogs do not have to be "on" every second they are in the ring, they only have to have that keen look when the judge is looking at their expression. I get rather annoyed when I'm trying to take a second look at a dog I like and he or she is so distracted looking for his doubler that the dog seems anxious and unhappy - the very opposite of what a Shepherd should be!23.) Should all select dogs, in your opinion, be OFA (H&E)?
No24.) When making the final selection, does the dog with the most front reach usually win the class?
This is a difficult question to answer with just a yes or a no. While correct shoulder assembly is of utmost importance and rather difficult to find in today's showdog (not just in GSD's) a dog is far more than just a shoulder assembly! I would prefer, as would all judges, to have a beautifully balanced dog with that look of eagles who moved around the ring with seemingly little effort. But if I find a Shepherd with an excellent shoulder assembly, I might tend to overlook some other minor faults to reward the excellent shoulder. If all you do is look for the dog with the least amount of faults, you often wind up with a mediocre animal - no outstanding faults, but with no outstanding virtues, either.25.) Do you feel more emphasis should be put on the total package, and less on movement?
Again, this is difficult to answer with just a yes or no. As far as I am concerned, the total package INCLUDES movement. Of what use is a dog who is beautiful when standing if he is unable to sustain that beauty when on the move? A truly noble Shepherd with a flawless gait is the goal, not a common looking dog that can move well or a beautiful statue of a dog that cannot reasonably gait around the ring.26.) Do you think the German Shepherd Dog standard should be changed?
No! The GSD standard as written is one of the better written standards in the US if not the world. What we need is for more breeders to STUDY the standard and breed their dogs accordingly! Especially now, one should not change the standard to fit the dogs, but breed the dogs to fit the standard.27.) Do you think there should be any changes in any of the existing rules concerning dog shows? If so, please elaborate
None that I can think of.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
Bernd v. Kallengarten - masculinity without coarseness - no wasted motion, tremendous color.29.) Do you feel that in general the quality of the breed in this country is getting better or worse ? Please elaborate
Different areas of the country have different levels of quality. I have found great depth of quality in the dogs in the mid-west (Missouri - Michigan, etc.) and in California more than in other areas of the country. I am often distressed by what I call the common farm-type shepherd, one who lacks nobility and substance overall.30.) Do you have a pet peeve about anything owners or handlers do concerning the showing of dogs ?
Not having a dog trained before he comes in the ring. There is no reason why an intelligent dog such as the GSD cannot be taught to stand like a statue, move on a loose lead around the ring and move in a straight line down and back.31.) Do you have any suggestions for owners or handlers regarding anything they should ALWAYS do when showing under you ?
Be polite. Smile. Relax. Enjoy yourself. Don't think that because I don't give you first place or winners or breed that I don't like your dog. I may like him very much, but just found one I liked a little bit better32.) Do you have any suggestions for owners or handlers regarding anything they should NEVER do when showing under you ?
Sigh. I would say double handle. I usually am pretty good at ignoring it, unless it interferes with my concentration, then I'll put a stop to it. The majority of people who do it, do it poorly. Just because I don't glare at those outside the ring doing the doubling, doesn't mean I think it's OK.33.) Do you have any advice for people who are relatively new to showing and/or breeding?
Yes. This is a wonderful sport in which to be involved. Just remember, first and foremost, that the reason you should be doing this is because you love this breed. Not for the ribbons, or for the points, but for the dogs. If we have some who will truly dedicate themselves to the study of the breed with which they are involved - knowing the standard inside out and WHY the standard calls for what it does, then this most wonderful of breeds will survive. If you just want a dog that will win, leave the breeding to someone else and buy a dog from them. I challenge each of you to determine what the essential breed characteristics are within your breed - and then strive to keep them strong. How many of you can name five essential breed characteristics in the GSD? Can you describe your breed in just four or five sentences?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
Not much more that I have already said. This is a wonderful breed, my first love. A more noble, intelligent breed you cannot find. I am often saddened by some of the inferior dogs I see in the ring today, but when I have the privilege of judging a ring full of quality, it still gives me goosebumps. A judge can only pass on what is presented to her in the ring on that day. It is up to the breeders to dedicate themselves to breed only the best to the best and to only run on those dogs that they feel will be a credit to the breed. Never stop learning - I've been at this for over thirty years and I'm still learning. The more I dig, the less I realize I really do know. Don't be ashamed to ask questions. Any breeder who is dedicated will answer your questions. There are no dumb questions - dumb answers, maybe, but no dumb questions! Just don't expect an experienced breeder to spoon feed you, either. There are great books and videos out there for you to read from which you can learn. Don't think older breeders are living in the dark ages - they have a wealth of information to impartif you only ask! Discussion lists such as this one are of immeasurable help in deciphering this often confusing world of dogs. Don't be afraid to ask a question here - this is the perfect place in which to lob a query!
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