TERRIER JUDGE Q&A
LEE HERR Where do I live? How many years in dogs? How many as a judge? I have been involved in dog-related activities my whole life. I was born and raised in Wampum, Pennsylvania, and migrated to Mesa, Arizona, in 2005. I was raised on a farm, so I was able to witness the purposes for which different breeds were developed; and why different breeds were built differ-
Once the blood gets boiling, it takes some time for it to cool down. If done correctly, sparring will bring out the best in Terrier structure, character, and expression. Be warned, however, it does not always work. The dogs may know each other, be kennel mates or are just not into sparring. Don’t let that stop you. It is definitely worth the try! Many Terrier breeds are known for their singular expression. Can I offer a few examples? Many of the Terrier standards call for a
keen expression. Here are some that go beyond: Australian Terrier—Intelligent, self assured;
Bedlington Terrier—Mild, gentle; Cairn Terrier—Foxy expression; Dandie Dinmont Terrier—Soft, wise expression; Fox Terriers—Deep set, full of fire; Manchester Terrier—Keen, bright, alert Norfolk Terrier—Sparkling, keen, intelligent; Scottish Terrier—Keen, piercing, varmity.
ently to be able to do their jobs; whether it be Collies actively herd- ing cattle and sheep or Terriers controlling rodents, Beagles hunting rabbits or German Shepherds guarding and protecting livestock and their owners. Do I have any hobbies or interests apart from purebred dogs? I was a founding member of the Pennsylvania Dog Judges Assn., and past member of the Senior Conformation Judges Assn., NE Ohio Judges Assn., and the American Dog Show Judges Assn. I have presented many seminars involving both All-Breed and Breed- Specific Structure & Movement. I have since become a Lifetime Member of the New Castle Kennel Club, where I was President and Show Chairman for more than 20 years. I organized the New Castle Memorial Weekend Classics and was the Cluster Chairman for over 10 years. I am also a Member of the German Shepherd Dog Club of America, American Fox Terrier Club, Lifetime Honorary Member of the Arizona Working Dog Club, and past member of several Specialty and Group Clubs. After becoming a successful exhibitor/handler and breeder, and having competed in “go-to-ground” competitions for many years, I moved on to become an approved AKC judge in 1998; with Smooth Fox Terriers being the first breed for which I was approved. I have judged all Terriers, all Working, and most Herding breeds, and Best in Show for the AKC. And I was also a licensed all-breed judge for the NCA for several years, including assignments in the US, Columbia, Japan, and China. Then in 2005, I accepted the position of Executive Field Repre- sentative for the American Kennel Club. I then held that position for 12+ year. I also held the position of AKC Director of Events. While being an Executive Field Rep., I had the ability to see the Terriers from around the country—and their grooming techniques. I got to see the grooming techniques, both good and bad, for many breeds. I have since gone back to judging and am enjoying every moment. It is hard to believe that my involvement with the American Kennel Club has been for over 40 years. I am humbled to have been taught by so many influential breeders and handlers over the years, including, but not limited to, Peter Green, George Ward, Michael Kemp, Margaret Young Renihan, and Denny Knola, just to name a few. But the names are truly countless. Can I talk about my introduction to Terriers? My first purebred show dog was a German Shepherd Dog, which I exhibited in both Obedience and Conformation competition. I have actively bred and exhibited several different breeds, including, but not limited to, German Shepherds, Bernese Mountain Dogs, Newfoundlands, Chesapeake Bay Retrievers, Beagles, Aussies, Westies, and several other Terrier breeds. Due to an accident, though, I had to give up showing large breeds for a while. In the meantime, a good friend, Arthur Saylor, wanted me to become partners in Wild Country Kennels, which were mostly Smooth Fox Terriers, West Highland White Terriers, and Beagles. I was most successful with the Smooth Fox Terriers. I believe it was their unique shoulders, their breathtak- ing silhouettes, and their intense stare that made it so easy for me to become hooked on Terriers. I have since gone on to finish 35+ champions out of my own breeding.
How would I assess the overall quality of the “newer” Ter- rier breeds? I have been quite impressed with the structural qual- ity of the American Hairless Terrier as well as the Rat Terrier, both breeds that are fairly new to the Terrier Group. I have given Group placements to both breeds in the recent past. Both came to us with fairly good front and rear angulation as well as decent muscular developments. In my opinion, what makes a Terrier the ideal companion? Since I have lived with Manchesters for over half a century. I would say that the breed is THE ideal companion. Although they are a bit cautious of strangers, as I am too, they seem to live to please their owner. Their extreme intelligence makes them easy to train. It also makes it easy for them to train you! Why is “Montgomery” a significant show for so many breed- ers/exhibitors outside of Terriers? If you are a non-Terrier person and are considering adding them to your approved list of breeds to judge, you MUST, in my opinion, attend the Montgomery County KC Terrier extravaganza at least three or four times. There you will not only see large numbers of breed entries from all over the world, but you will also have access to the top breed authorities of the world. Because of the large entry numbers in many breeds, there is no way that you will have time to view and properly study all of the breeds that you want to someday judge with just one visit. Which Terriers from the past have had the greatest influence on the sport? I have been judging for 27 years and in that time, the single Terrier that I feel has had the greatest influence on the sport and on his progeny was “Mick” the Kerry Blue Terrier. Because he was being campaigned just before I was approved for Terriers, I never was privileged to get my hands on him, but I did manage to see him in action. Is there a funny story I can share about my experiences judging the Terrier breeds? Speaking of Kerry Blues, the very first time I judged the breed as a provisional judge was at a show in North Car- olina. I had an entry of two, both champions and both very typey dogs. Since I was having trouble deciding which one to award Best of Breed, I decided that I would use sparring to help. It was my first experience with sparring, so I wanted to impress the Field Rep with my knowledge of the technique. I brought the two out to the center of the ring and instructed the handlers not to get them too close to each other. As they approached the center, both became overly zealous, tugging at their handler’s lead. At that point one of them tugged the lead from his handler and charged full speed towards the other. My heart raced as they were about to make contact with each other. I envisioned a blood bath of both canine and human blood, something the Field Rep would most certainly have blamed on me. Just as I was feeling doomed, when they finally met, they both reared up and started licking each other with tails wagging furiously. The handlers then told me that they were kennel mates and best friends. WHAT A RELIEF!
SHOWSIGHT MAGAZINE, SEPTEMBER 2021 | 195
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