TERRIER JUDGE Q&A
Montgomery you can see all the Terriers in the rings, where differ- ent judges can have different opinions each day. Is there a funny story I can share about my experiences judging the Terrier breeds? I LOVE Wire Fox Terriers, and would take one home with me in a heartbeat. (But don’t worry, I will bring it back FIRST THING in the early morning!) RODNEY HERNER
player of the Philadelphia Orchestra at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. I was good, but not that good! I had only been playing the Horn for about four years. I took this failure pretty hard and gave up the Horn for good. Besides, I was now smitten with the dog show game. I finished three champions from my very first litter! The rest is history. Can I talk about my introduction to Terriers? While in high school, I worked for Margaret Kilburn, a breeder and judge of Dobermans and Toy Manchesters. Mrs. Kilburn was a very popular Doberman judge of the day, having judged the Doberman National numerous times. She owned a pet supply store that provided groom- ing for all breeds. While working for her, I became very fond of the Manchesters, and I purchased a puppy bitch from her. She later encouraged me to breed the bitch and then to show the puppies. The dam was from the famous Grenadier Manchesters of Janet Mack in New York City. We bred her back to one of Miss Mack’s champions. The rest is history. Of course, my love for Dobermans is a result of working with Mrs. Kilburn at her kennels. Although I never bred or showed Dobes, my wife and I have had one or two as house dogs for over fifty years. I learned to groom a variety of breeds, many of which were Terriers. The spirited Terriers quickly became my favorites. As I became more successful in the show ring, I met Peter Green, who later showed some of my Manchesters for me. I learned, from watching Peter, what a show quality Terrier should look like and how it should be groomed. Have I bred any influential Terriers? Have I shown any notable winners? The most successful show dog I bred was Ch. Renreh Lorelei of Charmaron. The Renreh, my kennel name, was my last name backwards, and Charmaron is the kennel name used by Charles A.T. O’Neill of Doberman Pinscher fame, who purchased “Lori” for his 11-year-old daughter, Mari-Beth. After a very suc- cessful run in Junior Showmanship, Mari-Beth started showing “Lori” in Breed competition, which resulted in not only Breed wins from the classes, but also in numerous Group placements and wins. “Lori” went on to win numerous BIS wins under esteemed judges William Kendrick and Alva Rosenberg. Her most noted win was at the Westminster Kennel Club in 1969, where she won Toy Group First under noted judge Anna Katherine Nicholas. She was also a BISS winner. My multiple Group winner, Ch. Renreh Diamond Jim, won the Toy Group at the prestigious Westchester KC under esteemed judge Ramona Van Court. I bred a total of five Group- winning Toy Manchesters, which was not an easy feat in the high quality Groups of the 1970s and ‘80s. Can I speak a bit about breed-specific presentation and coat con- ditioning in the Terrier breeds? Terrier breed-specific presentation is definitely tied directly to coat conditioning and bringing out breed character. The wire-coated breeds require a constant tidying up. The process of rolling the coat involves almost daily hand stripping of the coat to maintain the proper hard, wiry texture that is paramount to correct presentation called for in the standard. Of course, correct grooming styles of the wire-coated breeds vary greatly, i.e., theScot- tish Terrier and the Wire Fox Terrier each have their correct groom- ing presentation that helps to bring out their breed character. The same holds true for the soft-coated breeds, i.e., Kerry Blue Terrier, Bedlington Terrier, and Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier. These coats truly take an artist with scissors to create the correct breed character. What about breed character? Can I share my thoughts on spar- ring in the ring? Sparring of the Terriers is a very effective technique for bringing out true breed character, but you must be careful to do it correctly and, of course, only spar breeds that call for it. It usu- ally works best if you spar dogs with dogs and bitches with bitches. It is wise to never use more than two or three dogs to spar. Bring them to the center of the ring and instruct the handlers not to get too close. If they ignore your request, feel free to manually put them where you want them. Never spar dogs BEFORE you move them.
Where do I live? How many years in dogs? How many as a judge? I live in Long Neck, Delaware. I have been an AKC- approved judge since 1995. I am currently approved to judge the Hound, Terrier, Toy, and Non-Sporting Groups, and Best in Show. I have had the honor of judg- ing at the National Dog Show in Phila- delphia, Morris and Essex Kennel Club
in 2010 and 2015, Montgomery County Kennel Club twice, and the Woofstock show in California. My international assignments include three assignments in China. My original breed is the Toy Manchester Terrier. I bred my first champion in 1958. Since then, I have finished over 50 champions under the kennel name Renreh. These included many Toy Group, Best in Show, and National Specialty winners. Ch. Renreh Lorelei of Charmaron, bred by myself and owned by Charles A.T O’Neill & Mari-Beth O’Neill, remains the only Toy Manchester to have won the Toy Group at Westminster. She was also a multiple Best in Show winner, a rare accomplishment for Toy Manchesters in the 1970s. Over the years, I have held memberships in many dog clubs. I served the American Manchester Terrier Club as President and as the Judges Education Chairman for 25 years. I served as Presi- dent and Show Chairman of the Delaware Valley Toy Dog Fanciers Association. I am also a member of Morris & Essex Kennel Club and Devon Show Association, the American Dog Show Judges, Inc., and the Dog Judges Association of America. I now devote my time to judging and attending nationals and seminars of breeds that I already judge or plan to judge in the future. I live with my wife of 50 years and best friend, Marilyn. Although I have managed to stick to short-haired breeds at home, as a professional dog groomer of almost 60 years, I have a long back- ground of working with all types of dog coats. I have one son, Douglas, who resides in Manhattan and in the Pocono Mountains area. I also have two grandchildren who, along with my wife, are the love of my life! After spending over eighty years in southeastern Pennsylvania, in August of 2020, my wife and I moved to the southern Delaware coastal area. We now reside in Long Neck, Delaware, which is near the Rehobeth Beach area. I bred my first litter of Toy Manchesters in 1957, the same year I graduated from High School. I became a regular status judge for Manchesters in 1995, and currently I am approved for four Groups: Hound, Terrier, Toy, and Non-Sporting. Do I have any hobbies or interests apart from purebred dogs? Aside from my longstanding interest in purebred dogs, I am an avid gardener. In Pennsylvania, I had a huge rose garden as well as several rock gardens and cactus gardens. Although we have down- sized our home and land area quite a bit, I still have some roses and gardens of both annuals and perennials. I have always been addicted to classical music. While in high school, I learned how to play the French Horn and became quite proficient with it. As a result, I became a member of the Pottstown Band, an organization that presented concerts of both popular and classical music. At the time, I thought I wanted to become a professional Horn player, so I applied to and was accepted for an audition with the principal Horn
194 | SHOWSIGHT MAGAZINE, SEPTEMBER 2021
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