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 of shows? 

 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 today? 

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 not.

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
Temperament  10
Teeth  5
Coat  5
Pasterns, hocks, feet  10
Pigment  8
Structure  10+
Shoulder and reach  7

Attitude 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 be allowed? 

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 from anyone.

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 details 

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 my life.

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?!

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