TERRIER JUDGE Q&A
Westminster, multiple Bests in Show, and every SCWT specialty in America—at least one time. We also showed the influential West Highland White Terrier Ch. Holyroods Hootman O Shelybay, who was the sire of many champions, including Ch. Roundtown Ivan The Terror, the breed’s top winner of all time, and Ch. Aberglen Lucky Lindy that we bred, who was a multiple BIS winner and No. 1 Westie while he was shown. Can I speak a bit about breed-specific presentation and coat con- ditioning in the Terrier breeds? I have always felt that the best way to understand Terrier coat is to get your hands into it and try to learn how to condition and prepare one for the ring. If people would try to do it, they would begin to understand what makes a correct coat and why it matters if a harsh coat is soft or overloaded with undercoat, or alternatively, if a coat is silky and wavy or wooly and crisp. Mastering Terrier coat conditioning is an art and a grind. It takes talent AND perseverance. What about breed character? Can I share my thoughts on spar- ring in the ring? Nothing is more beautiful than Terriers being care- fully sparred in the ring, solidly holding their ground, with intense, on the muscle poses, showing off not only their conformation but also the Terrier attitude that is part and parcel of the package. (Ter- riers propped up with a chunk of food in their face will never take the place of two dogs staring each other down.) Sparring is not sup- posed to be a brawl. Rather, it is a demonstration of that package of excellent conformation and attitude. Many Terrier breeds are known for their singular expression. Can I offer a few examples? The one that immediately comes to mind is the Dandie Dinmont. His expression is totally his own and unlike any other Terrier. In many ways, the smaller, dark, piercing eyes and expression, and small, high set ears in many breeds are reversed in the “un-Terrier” Dandie who favors a large eye and drop ear. Nevertheless, it is a really appealing expression. How would I assess the overall quality of the “newer” Terrier breeds? Variable. Like many newer breeds, there are pockets of talented breeders who have quickly developed quality examples of their breed and other places where those who own and exhibit these breeds really have not yet developed the knowledge or eye to discern the faults in their dogs. In my opinion, what makes a Terrier the ideal companion? A Terrier takes his good times with him, wherever he goes. Why is “Montgomery” a significant show for so many breed- ers/exhibitors outside of Terriers? Montgomery is THE dog show that still fulfills the original purpose of dog shows. Everyone likes to win, but if you don’t win at Montgomery you can still come away with something. It is where serious breeders from all over the country, and sometimes the world, gather to compare their breed- ing and their dogs with others. It’s a place to evaluate your breed- ing program and find dogs that can help to improve your stock where weaknesses exist. It is also a place where people wanting to learn about Terriers (many of which you rarely see in entries larger than two or three) can find large numbers that allow them to get a picture in their minds of proper type. And then there is the ring- side knowledge, breeders with years of experience willing to answer thoughtful questions about their breeds. Which Terriers from the past have had the greatest influence on the sport? So Many… Ch. Nornay Saddler? Is there a funny story I can share about my experiences judging the Terrier breeds?There was a show held in an outdoor park where the gophers were rampant. A lot of the Terriers were very keen to check out the holes during the day, but their handlers persevered. It all fell apart during Scottish Terrier judging when a pair of gophers stuck their heads up. The dogs went nuts, dragging and pulling and barking to get to those critters. Suffice to say that movement was not the criteria for my final placements.
Where do I live? How many years in dogs? How many as a judge? We live in New Jersey when it’s warm, and in Flor- ida and California when the temperature drops below 60 degrees! My husband, Harvey, and I breed Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers under the Wheatens of Shandalee banner. We go back to 1968 with the breed, five years before they were recog-
nized. I have been judging since 1995 and am approved for Terriers, Sporting, Non-Sporting, a number of Hound breeds, and BIS. Do I have any hobbies or interests apart from purebred dogs? I love to keep busy—and my plate is pretty full. I’m still working; I’ve been an executive recruiter for the last 35 years, filling senior level roles, primarily in the pharmaceutical and biotech industries. In addition, my husband and I love to travel with our grandchildren and show them the world. Having recently retired after thirty-two years as a Delegate, I just joined the Board of Court Appointed Spe- cial Advocates, an organization dedicated to advocating for foster children in difficult family situations. Can I talk about my introduction to Terriers? In the late 1960s, we lived on Long Island and owned a well-bred Miniature Poodle who, unfortunately, was not a healthy dog. On one of the many times we had him at the vet, a woman came in with this shaggy fluff of a dog, and I lost my heart then and there. It looked like a small beige sheepdog; turns out it was a Wheaten. I came home and said to my husband, “You’ve got to see this dog.” We started going to dog shows, following the Wheatens and their breeders in the Miscel- laneous classes like a couple of groupies, found a good breeder, and waited two years till we got our first Wheaten. Have I bred any influential Terriers? Have I shown any notable winners? We have bred well over 80 Champions under the Shan- dalee prefix that I mostly finished from Bred-By. We have had three of the Top Producers in the breed: Hogan of Hopping Brook and Legenderry’s Iollann the Fair in the early 1970s, and GCHG Shan- dalee Fireworks who was the #2 Wheaten in the country around 2013-2016 and also a BIS, multiple Group winner and placer, and dam of at least 12 Champions. “Moxxy’s” kennel mate, GCH Shan- dalee Rocket Science, who has just turned 13, was the #1 male and #2 Wheaten for several years running, also a multiple group winner and placer, and sire of Champions. I also co-owned and showed Group-winning CH Brearah’s Danny Boy, #1 owner-handled Wheaten in 1989, 1990 and 1991, whose dam was a Champion Shandalee bitch. Can I speak a bit about breed-specific presentation and coat con- ditioning in Terrier breeds? Breed-specific presentation is impor- tant in any Group, and particularly in Terriers when it comes to coat. Having served on our breed’s Standard Revision committee, I hold dear the words, “...coat must be of sufficient length to FLOW (emphasis mine) when the dog is in motion.” It also states, “Dogs that are overly trimmed shall be severely penalized.” Coat is a dis- tinguishing characteristic of our breed, and yet judges ignore this dictum and continue to reward Wheatens that look like blonde Ker- ries! Our coats are to be soft and silky with a slight wave, yet many are cottony and dry, partly due to genetics but also due to nutrition and coat care. Show coats need constant attention, which means daily brushing and combing, trimming, nails, teeth, and weekly baths. There are no shortcuts. In our breed, too many exhibitors will comb-out mats a day or two before a show, thereby shredding the coat—and then think the dog is ring-ready. Breed-specific presentation counts also in the way the handlers present the breed. A Cairn is shown on a loose lead, for example; a Fox Terrier is not. You are painting a whole picture; the coat, the
190 | SHOWSIGHT MAGAZINE, SEPTEMBER 2021
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