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 ?
2.) How long have you been
in the breed? When and how did you get started? Are you affiliated with any clubs?
My parents owned German Shepherds. We had them as companions during teh Viet Nam
era. I've personally been in the breed over 20 years. GSDC of Atlanta 20 year anniversary in March. I've been a
PC member the same length of time except for the "check is in the mail" lapses! I started in obedience,
dabbled in breed, and became serious about ten years ago. I've had some very nice dogs through the years but wasn't
serious about breed
3.) How long have you been
judging the breed?
I have regular status in Aussies, my other breed, and just got my provisional in
GSDs in the fall of 2001.
4.) How many times a year
do you judge German Shepherds?
I am scheduled for my first provisional. The rest is up to the fancy
5.) Over the last 2 years has the number
I am scheduled for my first provisional. The rest is up to the fancy
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 ?
I prefer to show under respected judges. I'm not particular about where they are. I
am willing to judge at either.
I'm not opposed to double handling at the Specialties and have participated on more than one occasion. However,
my first five assignments with an AKC rep standing by will be done strictly by the book with EVIL looks at anyone
who coughs, sneezes, or has a laughing fit outside my ring, unless, of course, it happens after I place the class!
8.) Do you have a color preference?
I dearly love sable! All things being equal, they might get a second look. However,
I will put up the best dog regardless of color. Rich colors are to be preferred and what could be richer than sable.
Black, a good black/red, etc. Blacks are harder to see and handlers should take care to stand to the front so the
outline is not obscured. A nice black is a knockout!
9.) What importance do you
place on condition of plush versus smooth coat? Please explain.
As long as the coat is obviously double, it is not important..
10.) When judging the dog
do you also judge the handler? Please elaborate if possible.
Only to the extent that they either help or hurt the dog. I have been informed by
other judges that I should look up at least long enough to see that a person is actually on the lead so I can discuss
the dogs later by handler. I'm not particularly impressed by two legs in my ring. I'm looking for four!
11.) What importance do you
place on missing teeth?
Depends on which one it is and why it is missing. Teeth lost due to work, accident,
etc don't matter. The side occlusion and scissors must be correct. More than one missing due to genetics is a problem.
12.) How do you see bites
Good..... With the current improvement in heads I see less bad bites but then how
many people would bother to show a dog with a bad bite?
13.) How do you see strength of ears?
Does a GSD work on his ears? They should be erect and not detract for overall
appearance. IF two dogs were so close that it came down to ear set it would matter. Has that ever happened? Probably
14.) Do you feel the GSD's temperament has
improved over the past 5 years?
15.) Do you consider temperament today to
be? Please explain.
16.) Do you prefer a dog to be shown on
a loose lead?
Definitely, at least one pass.
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 7
Side Gait 8
Pasterns, hocks, feet 10
Shoulder and reach 7
You forgot topline. Hard, strong, and capable of transmitting power correctly from the rear assembly to the forehand.
18.) Could you briefly describe your ring
procedure, and any changes you may incorporate between a small Vs large class
Two passes around the ring just to loosen up. I like to stand back and get an overall
impression of type on both sexes, then go in for the individual. Down, back, and around. The GSD races will begin
after I get to see what I want to see. Thats when I let the handler show me what they want me to see.
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)?
Not necessarily an official limit. I will place the best dog on the day.
20.) If a dog is not exactly to the standard
in size, would you prefer slightly larger or smaller?
No preference. What I own tends to be larger but only to the extent that it does
not affect agility and working ability..
21.) Do you think on average German Shepherd
Dogs are too extreme?
I think some of them are. Of course, some of them are too moderate also. Many
of the dogs I see in the ring are extreme in the rear and short in the front. This lack of balance is incorrect
to the extent that it affects proper movement. Side gait is not everything in this breed. Many Afghans can out
side gait GSDs. Does that make them a GSD? The things that make a German Shepherd Dog a GSD are the important things
to look for when judging; breed type, bone, substance, head, and everything else that makes the dog a German Shepherd
Dog. Side gait is beautiful but it is not the end all of this breed!
22.) In your opinion should double handling
Not during my first five assignments!
23.) Should all select dogs, in your opinion,
be OFA (H&E)?
I'm an American. I choose not to force my opinions on others. When looking at prospective
breeding stock, as a matter of preference, I look for numbers. I also look at temperament and working ability,
structure, and pedigree. Does that mean everyone should? BREEDERS will choose to their own standard, whether we
agree or not. Novices will breed to titles. I guess I've reasoned
myself into a corner. No, the AOE program takes care of that!
24.) When making the final selection, does
the dog with the most front reach usually win the class?
All things being equal, yes. Although it is not my first criteria.
25.) Do you feel more emphasis should be
put on the total package, and less on movement?
26.) Do you think the German Shepherd Dog
standard should be changed?
Only if the MAJORITY of the PC votes to change it. We should not accept dictation
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
Mystique only had two faults. She wasn't sable and she didn't belong to me! Lynric's
Krystal was another. Ch. Clayfield Arriva was beautiful. Any breeder would cry to own any of those girls. In males?
There are two dogs out now that I think are two of the best I've ever seen. It would not be fair to name them because
but both went Select this year
29.) Do you feel that in general the quality
of the breed in this country is getting better or worse ? Please elaborate
I think it has improved over the past 10 years. At one point the breed got so long
and extreme that they were nonfunctional. I think fads run in cycles and eventually go away as breeders correct
problems. Who knows what the next one will be.
30.) Do you have a pet peeve about anything
owners or handlers do concerning the showing of dogs ?
No answer given.
31.) Do you have any suggestions for owners
or handlers regarding anything they should ALWAYS do when showing under you ?
Have fun. I'm going to.
32.) Do you have any suggestions for owners
or handlers regarding anything they should NEVER do when showing under you ?
I WILL control my ring. Listen to instructions and understand there is a purpose
for them. If I give them, I'm looking for something specific. If I
can't see it I can't judge the dog. Oh, and tell me how much you adore the
little red Aussie in my truck!
33.) Do you have any advice for people who
are relatively new to showing and/or breeding?
Find a mentor you can trust and make the relationship long term. Listen and don't
become an instant expert. Go to working trials and watch the function of the breed. Think about the mind that allows
a GSD to be the eyes for the blind, the nose that finds the lost child, the gentle dog who comforts the old and
infirm, or the dog who saves lives and gives his own in the line of duty. Think like a doctor: "DO NO HARM."
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 love this breed. I grew up with them and hope to live with them for the rest of
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 have been around for years and while most of you don't know me, Jim Moses has handled
for me for years. I never judged, but was privileged to spend time with, Covy Tucker Hill's Manhattan. He was a
gentleman. I am a localtemperament test evaluator for the PC from the Jim McGinnis era. I assisted Dana Everiss
with Hatter's temperament test evaluation at the GSDC of Birmingham many years ago. I have known a lot of dogs
through the years and must say that many were as sound but none were sounder than Hatter. He was the best ambassador
this breed ever had. Was he perfect? What dog is. Did he help this breed? In 2002, the Westminster KC staff talked
about "the Great German Shepherd Dog Ch. Covy Tucker Hill's Manhattan." What do you think?!