TERRIER JUDGE Q&A
Sue, is in the pedigrees of many of my line’s top Terriers. Second, I bred the combination of GCh. Am. Can. McVan’s Light My Fire, aka “Jimmy,” and Am. Can. Ch. Beameups Gold Digger, aka “Anna Nicole,” four times together to set my type. Jimmy sired more than 20 champions. Can I speak a bit about breed-specific presentation and coat con- ditioning in the Terrier breeds? Terriers are hard work. The coated Terriers require almost daily condition and hand stripping. It can take hours to do it right and ensure the correct texture. Hard coats require daily conditioning to prevent coat breakage. I used to like to watch Ric Chashoudian prepare a Wire for show. He would pluck a couple of hairs from the coat, stand back to assess, and do it again and again. It takes time and tenacity to prepare and condition a Terrier correctly. Unfortunately, many exhibitors want instant grat- ification and are not willing to put in the time to do it right. For these individuals, Terriers are not the right Group of dogs for them to show. What about breed character? Can I share my thoughts on spar- ring in the ring? As a whole, Terriers were bred to catch and kill vermin (rats, mice, badgers, otters, and hares) and to help hunters flush foxes out of their hiding places during fox hunts. In the case of the Bull breeds, they don’t start the fight, but like all Terriers, will stand their ground and not back away. Obviously, not all Terriers (i.e., Bull breeds, Norwich and Nor- folk) should be sparred. If done correctly, sparring Terriers is a use- ful technique to assess breed characteristics such as tenacity, heads up/tails up attitude, and neck-to-back lines. Sparred in groups of only 2-3 dogs, one can assess the confidence, tenacity, and heads up/tails up attitude of dogs. Unlike stacking dogs, a handler can’t fake it or “hold a dog together.” Sparring must be done correctly such that the handlers are held in check and dogs look at—but do not touch—one another. Many Terrier breeds are known for their singular expression. Can I offer a few examples? When I think of the term “singular expression,” I believe we are referring to an attribute ascribed to a group that doesn’t really exist. The most notable example is hear- ing people talk about a “Terrier front” as if there is only one type ascribed to all Terriers. I want to shout out that there is no such thing as a singular Terrier front. The Bull Terrier no more has the same front assembly as a Fox Terrier than a Scottish Terrier has the same front as a Kerry Blue Terrier. Please stop generalizing. It just isn’t true. How would I assess the overall quality of the “newer” Terrier breeds? Like any new breed, the variation in quality, size, and breed qualities is more varied. It takes up to 10 years to standardize most breeds relative to the AKC standard. I think Rat Terriers are doing quite well. Their standard is relatively clear. Glen of Imaals are a more complicated breed to understand. The small size of the gene pool for Cesky Terriers makes it difficult to breed to the standard or to interpret the quality. In my opinion, what makes a Terrier the ideal companion? Each Terrier breed has a unique personality. They are independent but loyal. They are devoted companions who can still think for them- selves. They are confident and are usually fearless. Why is “Montgomery” a significant show for so many breeders/ exhibitors outside of Terriers? Montgomery exemplifies the essence of the sport of purebred dogs: The getting up at dawn; the collec- tion of quality dog women and men working hard to present their dogs; the Best of the Best brought together in one location on a crisp autumn day; the pride seen on owners’ faces as they show the best their kennel has to offer; the unforeseeable nature of the weather; and more importantly, the often-unpredictable nature of the win- ners in the Breed and Group rings. That’s what makes Montgomery County one of the world’s great dog show.
Which Terriers from the past have had the greatest influence on the sport? I presume that other people you have interviewed will list influential show dogs. So, I will take a road less traveled: Presiden- tial Terriers, particularly “Fala,” owned by Franklin D. Roosevelt, “Telek,” owned by Dwight D. Eisenhower, and “Barney Bush,” owned by George W. Bush, who kept the Scottish Terrier in the forefront of Americans’ eyes. Terriers owned by actors and those featured in movies have also reminded people of the cleverness and charm of Terriers. A few notables include “Asta,” the Wire Fox Terrier featured in the classic movie The Thin Man , and definitely “Toto” who was Dorothy’s constant companion in The Wizard of Oz . Alfred Hitchcock’s Sealyhams were extras in his movies, and the list goes on… Is there a funny story I can share about my experiences judg- ing the Terrier breeds? A favorite story is about judging Border Terriers at Hatboro KC show. I’d narrowed the Breed winner down to two excellent specimens, both of which exuded breed type with otter heads, spannable, etc. My Breed winner on the day was the male. The next day, the bitch special won the Breed and was shown in the Group that I was judging by Karen Fitzpatrick. Apparently, Karen almost didn’t show in the Group because her bitch had lost the Breed the day before. Her friend talked her into showing, saying something like, “Well, what if the judge really likes Borders. You could win.” Indeed, I did like quality Borders. I’d owned and shown Borders in the past. So, in this very strong Montgomery weekend Group, I gave the Border a Group 3. Karen jumped up and down, and grinned from ear to ear. I still remember her saying, “This is better than winning Montgomery. It took me by such surprise…” We both laughed and finished taking the picture. LYDIA COLEMAN HUTCHINSON
Where do I live? How many years in dogs? How many as a judge? I live in Middletown, Maryland, in an old brick German Federal style farmhouse. I have had dogs my entire life and started going to shows when I was nine years old. I have been judging since 1964 (57 years). Do I have any hobbies or interests
apart from purebred dogs? I have many other interests; formerly a docent at the National Gallery of Art and the National Cathedral in Washington, DC, and The Historical Society of Frederick County, Maryland. I love art and history, gardening, swimming, reading, and singing in my church choir. Can I talk about my introduction to Terriers? I was introduced to Terriers by my parents who got their first Cairn two months before I was born. Have I bred any influential Terriers? Have I shown any nota- ble winners? Many of our WOLFPIT CAIRNS have had a strong impact on the breed. The most important one that I bred was CH CALEDONIAN BERRY OF WOLFPIT (“Groucho”); he was a Top Producer, Best in Show winner, and winner of 18 specialties. Other top winners and producers are BIS winner GCHG CALE- DONIAN TEA TIME OF WOLFPIT (#1 Cairn in 2015), CH PERSIMMON OF WOLFPIT, and the famous CH CAIRN- WOODS QUINCE, four-time winner of the CTCA National Spe- cialty back when there was only one specialty each year (with huge entries). All of these dogs appear in many breeders’ pedigrees and are behind many of Wolfpit’s 288 champions. Can I speak a bit about breed-specific presentation and coat con- ditioning in the Terrier breeds? Cairns are one of the easier of the
198 | SHOWSIGHT MAGAZINE, SEPTEMBER 2021
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