ShowSight Presents The Miniature American Shepherd

many before and very nice heads. They turned out to become a lovely breed and a joy to judge. PH: That is very difficult to say as they have not been in the AKC rings for that long. I did judge them many times before they became an AKC breed and the over- all improvement in both type and quality has greatly improved, along with much more consistency of size. GK: I believe the breeders are improving the breed. From the time I started judging I have seen better heads, better movement, improvement in overall quality and more athletic dogs. PT: Yes—much better! The breeders are doing a lovely job. SW: I must say qualities of dogs are good here on west coast. I’ve been judging the breed since prior to AKC recogni- tion and I’ve judged Australian Shepherds for 17 years. I have had a great love for the Aussies ever since I first encountered the breed. 5. What do you think new judges misunderstand about the breed? EDB: The standard says it all and is very clear. It should not be compared with Australian Shepherds; it is a breed on its own. PH: That it is a different breed, not almost the same breed in a smaller size. GK: New judges need to keep in mind that these are Herd- ing dogs and they need to be athletes. BS: As for new judges, I’m afraid some mistakenly consider this breed to be a miniature version of the Australian Shepherd. And I should say this mistake is not limited to new judges. SW: I’m very proud of the Aussies developed in US. One thing to always remember: The most common descrip- tive word for the breed is “moderate.” The standard states the word “moderate” nine times and “medium” twice; the only time “short” is used is with pasterns and hocks. This is very easy to remember for new judges. 6. Is there anything else you’d like to share about the breed? EDB: In my opinion this breed is a joy to judge, friendly, outgoing, playful very agile. PH: I love the breed and as much as breeders of both sizes argue, Australian Shepherds have always been around in an assortment of sizes so how about we all get back to the importance of the dogs and forget the pettiness. GK: The breed standard sizes should be kept in mind when judging these dogs, smaller is not better. PT: Keep the nice temperament please. And keep in your mind that you need to stick with the type you have now that you have developed it.

“iN My opiNioN this breed is A JOY TO JUDGE,

frieNdly, outgoiNg, plAyful very Agile.”

SW: As a whole, I feel that size problems and coarseness are minimal concerns in this breed. Across the board I think the breed’s temperament is wonderful. 7. And, for a bit of humor: What’s the funniest thing you’ve ever experienced at a dog show? BS: With regard to funny incidents at dog shows, at the risk of being accused of having a sick sense of humor I must recall an incident that didn’t, fortunately, happen to me but remains the funniest thing I have ever seen anywhere. A judge was concentrating intently while examining a class of dogs and doing a very thorough job. Nearing completion of the examination of one specimen, the judge reached under the dog to check the necessary parts when the dog decided to “do his business.” The judge had to rush out to the nearest facility to clean up. While feeling very sorry for the judge, those of us who saw what happened could not stop laughing. PT: There are so many to choose from, but one is there about an Afghan handler running around the ring and her shoe flew off across the ring, and she just kept going and showing her dog. SW: The funniest thing I ever saw at a dog show didn’t happen in my ring, it happened in the ring next door to mine. A lady was concentrating so hard on gaiting her Toy dog that she didn’t know her slip was coming down. I tried to let her know, but it was too late. The slip dropped to her ankles and almost tripped her. She stopped and tried to put it back up, but that proved too difficult with one hand on the dog and one on the slip, so she yanked it off, walked up to the judge and asked if she could try again. She then gaited her dog perfectly (with the slip still in her hand) and went on to win the Breed. Bless her heart—and the judge, too. They’re both in heaven. But I can still see the entire incident as clearly as it happened today.

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