Showsight September 2021


friend and I started traveling to shows together. We watched the pro- fessional Terrier handlers work with their dogs. We either stayed to watch the Groups or, often enough, were in the Terrier Group our- selves and got to know other Terrier exhibitors, and their dogs too. Have I bred any influential Terriers? Have I shown any notable winners? The first dog I showed was a Special (long story). He and his progeny are behind a number of the dogs still being shown. Once I started judging, my husband and I decided that we wouldn’t special any longer, just finish championships. Between work and the available shows in our part of the country, we concentrated on summer circuits, but we usually tried to make Great Western and Montgomery County. My husband took a young boy to Montgom- ery one year when I just couldn’t get away, and finished him with two 5-point majors—this is the guy who didn’t like to go in the ring, and who I had to give a crash course to on grooming! ! Our friends took great delight in snipping a stray hair here or there, since I had sent grooming notes—but no scissors—with him! Can I speak a bit about breed-specific presentation and coat con- ditioning in the Terrier breeds? Let that Terrier walk in the ring and present himself ! Terriers are alert, they are watching, and they move around. As long as I can examine the dog, and reasonably see movement, I don’t expect a frozen statue pose. Coat—As with any dog at the show, conditioning is important if you want to show your Terrier at its best. As judges, the Ter- rier Group can be a challenge because Terrier coats go far beyond “short” or “stripped.” We have scissored coats, longer and shorter, and even clippered. We have mixtures of soft & wavy, soft & silky, mixes of hardish & soft or hard & soft, short smooth, short stiff, hard & wiry, broken & wiry, hairless or short, single or double. Coming from Min. Schnauzers, stripped coats are my thing, and judges need to learn the difference between a poor-quality coat and a poorly groomed coat. It’s an art to do well, and can take time to master. You really need to spend time with a number of dogs in each breed to see and feel what is correct or not. What about breed character? Can I share my thoughts on spar- ring in the ring? Terriers ARE characters! They tend to have a strong sense of self, with strong opinions. Smart. Sometimes Silly. This might mean the Bull Terriers are bent on putting on a clown show for everyone, or it might mean the Scottie and Westie are call- ing each other names. But each breed tends to have its own ideas. Particular to Terriers, sparring means bringing out two, maybe three dogs (but never more) to look at each other from a little dis- tance; to look alert, stand up on their toes. It does not mean getting too close or losing control. Min. Schnauzer Specials should be able to spar. But since younger dogs, bitches, and puppies usually live happily together at home, they might be more social than show-off. (Note: Some Terriers are NEVER sparred.) I tend to use sparring— looking at each other—when I am trying to decide between two or three. There is no need to repeat with each dog in the lineup, just the couple under consideration. Many Terrier breeds are known for their singular expression. Can I offer a few examples? Min. Schnauzers with their “little old men” eyebrows and beards; Kerry Blues or Soft Coated Wheatens or Skye Terriers with their fall of hair over their face; Airedales with that strong, majestic head; Border Terriers with their otter heads; planes of the Smooth Fox. Can’t you identify each breed by its head over the fence? How would I assess the overall quality of the “newer” Terrier breeds? It has been interesting to watch the progression of the newer breeds. Some seem to maintain several distinctive styles, while oth- ers appeared more homogeneous early on. In my opinion, what makes a Terrier the ideal companion? Per- sonality. Basic temperament. Spunk. But what is ideal for one per- son may not be ideal for the next. I knew a lady who adored her

Have I bred any influential Terriers? Have I shown any notable winners? No. I am not a Terrier breeder. Can I speak a bit about breed-specific presentation and coat con- ditioning in the Terrier breeds? As a judge, I see many breeds not conditioned with the appropriate stripping, etc., which makes many have a softer coat than some standards [require them] to have. In my opinion, what makes a Terrier the ideal companion? They are super smart and are always alert. Why is “Montgomery” a significant show for so many breed- ers/exhibitors outside of Terriers? This is the place where everyone can come to see the vast qualities of each breed. Terriers are sparse around all-breed shows, so it is difficult for people to see a ring full of several examples. Is there a funny story I can share about my experiences judging the Terrier breeds? Well, yes… one time, an exhibitor was coming toward me, stopped to bait her dog, and her skirt fell down to her knees. She bent down, pulled it up, and continued throughout the ring. We’ve all had embarrassing moments like that! WYOMA CLOUSS

I entered the world of Miniature Schnauzers in 1974. After a professional handler finished their first four champi- ons, my husband, Owen, and I showed and finished the next thirty-seven cham- pions ourselves. I served as President of the American Miniature Schnauzer Club for six terms, on the AMSC Board of Directors, and I continue on the AMSC

Judges Education Committee. I have also been President, and Show Chairman of the Idaho Capital City Kennel Club in Boise, Idaho, and have served as their Delegate to the American Kennel Club. Currently, I judge all Terriers and Toys, seven Working breeds, and two Herding breeds. I was honored to judge American Miniature Schnauzer Club National Specialties in Chicago in 1997 and 2003, the AMSC Montgomery County Specialties in 2007 and 2011, and in Denver in 2015. I have also enjoyed judging in China, Taiwan, Finland, Australia, Mexico, and Canada. Where do I live? How many years in dogs? How many as a judge? My husband and I live with our two Miniature Schnauzers in Meridian, Idaho (near Boise). We bought our first Mini Schnau- zer in 1974, and our second in 1977. In our innocence, both were daughters of the number one dog at the time, Ch. Hughcrest Hugh Hefner. Both, plus a homebred, were finished by professional han- dler, Paul Booher. I used that time to be mentored by Paul, learn to show groom, and take several handling classes. Later, we added Chinese Cresteds for ten years, but ultimately, our hearts were set on Min. Schnauzers. I started judging in 1994, and my very first assignment was a Min. Schnauzer Specialty in Taiwan. Do I have any hobbies or interests apart from purebred dogs? I love to read! My mini iPad always holds dozens of books, myster- ies, fantasies, thrillers, the occasional bio, and dog books. And the magazines that come… I love when they print special articles about all the different breeds. There’s always something to learn! I love to watch horses too. And racing. Sometimes, you will see that horse that is running on heart, but doesn’t have the front and reach for a longer race. Structure & Function! I watched harness racing the other day... some beautiful horses! ! But one horse looked all wrong. So, I spent the rest of the day trying to figure out why someone would put that poor horse in a race. Can I talk about my introduction to Terriers? I can still see Paul Booher working an Airedale’s coat and tidying up a Wire Fox. After our first three were finished by Paul, we dove in. I’d decided that I could do this too... still had a LOT to learn, though. A Kerry Blue


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