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, but very limited, breeding is pretty low on my to-do list. My kennel name is
2.) How long have you been
in the breed? When and how did you get started? Are you affiliated with any clubs?
30+ years, I had the opportunity to own a highly trainable German Shepherd in the
mid sixties, he wasn't much to look at but I fell in love with the breed, mostly for it's intelligence and working
ability. I Bought my foundation bitch years later from Pat & Ken Downing of Abraxas Kennels in 1978. At that
time I had the opportunity to run their dog Ch. Abraxas Gable of Langanau I was hooked, and will never forget the
feeling of Gabe on the end of a lead. GSDC Minneapolis/St Paul.
3.) How long have you been
judging the breed?
8 years or so
4.) How many times a year
do you judge German Shepherds?
2 or 3
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 judge at both all-breeds
and specialties, which do you prefer ?
preferance but the large specialty rings do make it a lot easier for the judges, dogs and handlers. The dogs and
handlers have more space to move and can set up a rhythum you don't always get in smaller rings. At all breed shows
it's sometimes hard to give a realy good dog the chance to show how good it is because of time and ring size constraints.
The spectators also have a better chance to see the dogs.
8.) Do you have a color preference?
No color preference.
a) Would the color of a dog influence your judgment?
b) Do you find it harder to judge solid blacks ?
No, my first GSD's were blacks.
9.) What importance do you
place on condition of plush versus smooth coat? Please explain.
Not important. The overall condition of the coat is the important part.
10.) When judging the dog
do you also judge the handler? Please elaborate if possible.
No. We are there to judge the dog not the handler.
11.) What importance do you
place on missing teeth?
Important and not important it depends on which ones may be missing. more than one
isn't good though
12.) How do you see bites
13.) How do you see strength of ears?
Good to Very good, to quote a judge that has done the national a number of times
"They don't move on there ears." this is not to say I don't like and want strong ears but if everything
else is right I can't throw them out because their ears won't hold up a bowling ball.
14.) Do you feel the GSD's temperament has
improved over the past 5 years?
No real change.
15.) Do you consider temperament today to
be? Please explain.
Very good for the most part
16.) Do you prefer a dog to be shown on
a loose lead?
Yes, stringing them up should be kept in the cowboy movies.
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 10
Side Gait 9
Pasterns, hocks, feet 8
Shoulder and reach 9
I feel the above can be a loaded question, importance of one point over another
easily able to to be misconstrued. It all comes together to be the total dog and all parts have to be weighed together.
They all contribute to the package and must be judged together.
18.) Could you briefly describe your ring
procedure, and any changes you may incorporate between a small Vs large class
I bring the dogs into the ring in catalog order and and have them go around the ring,
this gives them a chance to loosen up, and have line up until all have come into the ring. Then I have them stacked
for first impressions. I then go down the line to get my first thoughts about the dogs. The dogs will now go around
together two times and line up again, if it's a large class I will split them and look at groups. Now I will go
back and look at the class or group as a whole before calling the first dog out bringing the dog to me on a loose
lead. I have them show me the teeth. They then do coming and going if they don't get it right they get to do it
again. I then ask them to take the dog around twice on a loose lead, I may ask them to slow it down. Some have
the chance to do it again if they don't show me what I want. Depending on what I see they may or may not be moved
at this time to a forward place in the line. I move through the classes and use the same basic procedure for winners
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 we do that then we should not charge entry fees for dogs that don't have a
chance at the points, or use them for the point count. Put up the best dog in the ring on that day.
20.) If a dog is not exactly to the standard
in size, would you prefer slightly larger or smaller?
Larger, would be preferred but the best dog will win without regard to size
21.) Do you think on average German Shepherd
Dogs are too extreme?
22.) In your opinion should double handling
Yes, as long as it doesn't interfere with the judging or the other exhibitors showing
their dogs to the max
23.) Should all select dogs, in your opinion,
be OFA (H&E)?
24.) When making the final selection, does
the dog with the most front reach usually win the class?
Could be a misleading question. Balance is where it's at. Front reach without a rear
that opens properly doesn't make it. Locked hocks are becoming an increasing problem and people either can't see
them or seem not to care.
25.) Do you feel more emphasis should be
put on the total package, and less on movement?
Yes, long term in order to improve the breed. I hope this is not taken out of context.
I feel if we have a good foundation the whole breed will improve across the board. This how I feel but the best
movement will win almost every time with few exceptions (mostly temperment). In anybodys ring!
26.) Do you think the German Shepherd Dog
standard should be changed?
27.) Do you think there should be any changes
in any of the existing rules concerning dog shows? If so, please elaborate
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
Yes, GV Am and Can Sel CH Lynrik's Kristal. When I first saw her they were doing
the temperament test in Tempe Arizona, she ate the umbrella and wanted the gun! On the dog side I have to add MV/Sel
Ch. Lindenhill's Hayabusa, yes I own him with Mike and Sheila Metz But I love the package. I'm sure there are others
worthy of mention but these two stand out, For me today. Thing is there have been many great ones, some names come
up over and over, but if all of these and maybe even some unknowns were put together in the same ring at the same
time? ? ? ? What about the next day? Todays bum is tomorrows hero. Yes lets remember all the great ones. There
have been at least 2, 3, 4, 5, ? ?
29.) Do you feel that in general the quality
of the breed in this country is getting better or worse ? Please elaborate
I'm impressed by the dogs that are now being shown at the national. A lot of the
dogs that do not get the select title now would have in past years.
30.) Do you have a pet peeve about anything
owners or handlers do concerning the showing of dogs ?
As in football, unecessary roughness.
31.) Do you have any suggestions for owners
or handlers regarding anything they should ALWAYS do when showing under you ?
Bring me a clean well groomed dog. You look your best when you do or look for a job,
your dog should look like the judge wants to touch it, not smell it. Do your best to SHOW the dog to the best of
your ability. Be professional the newbies are watching.
32.) Do you have any suggestions for owners
or handlers regarding anything they should NEVER do when showing under you ?
Treat the dogs, the other handlers or the owners outside of the ring in a manner
they wouldn't like if the situation were reversed. Trying to intimidate the judge
33.) Do you have any advice for people who
are relatively new to showing and/or breeding?
Go to as many shows as they can and try not to take things to seriously. The more
years we are in this the more we evolve. Be polite and a good sport. Make it fun.
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 would like to see less dogs that drag the top of their rear feet on the ground
when gaiting. Equally if not more annoying are dogs that don't open properly in the rear, this is becoming a serious
problem. We are the ones newcomers look up to, so lets teach them right.
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.
Sel Ch Altanas Mystique was great one and could do it all Specialties and All Breeds
over and over again