Showsight Presents The Rhodesian Ridgeback

rhodesian ridgeback Q&A WITH DIANE JACOBSEN, DANIELLE SAND, DENISE FLAIM, JOHN ARVIN AND DUDLEY HACKNEY

“THE STANDARD MAY BE AN OLD ONE WITHOUT MANY CHANGES OVER THE YEARS, BUT IT WAS WRITTEN WITH THE PURPOSE OF THIS BREED AS A FOREMOST THOUGHT.”

you might be surprised which ones can actually do the job the breed was bred to do.

are too up on leg—the Dane-ification of the breed. These dogs are often oversized but relatively narrow, with high hocks and less-than-stable rearquarters. And last but not least, small, squinty, too narrowly placed “pig eyes” instead of the big, round dark eye that is so crucial to the “intelligent expression” called for in the standard. JA: Unbalanced, too large for the breed Ridgebacks. Both dogs and bitches. DH: The most common fault would have to be poor front structure. Claudia Orlandi has a great breeding seminar as well as book that anyone will profit from, especially regarding fronts. Correct fronts must be a goal of every breeding, as they vanish quickly. Overall, breed type is good. 6. Anything else you’d like to share—something you’ve learned as a breeder, exhibitor or judge or a par- ticular point you’d like to make. DJ: Set a goal and remember what that is. That goal should be to produce a better dog, not just win in the ring. The standard may be an old one without many changes over the years, but it was written with the purpose of this breed as a foremost thought. DS: A kind word and a smile go a long way. DF: I think a lot of times exhibitors don’t understand why they lose. Sometimes, yes, it might be because of every- one’s favorite excuse—“politics.” But oftentimes, it’s because of a particular judge’s prioritization, which can and should change with time, as well as the competition in the ring. It truly is the dog on the day. JA: I would encourage judges who are applying for hunting breeds to spend some time going to performance events. Whether it be hunting trials, nose work, lure coursing or whatever. Get out of the show building and see the dogs work, run or trail, or whatever they do. There are too many breeds where I hear they “are no longer one breed.” Be it field or ring, it’s supposed to be all one breed, and

7. And for a bit of humor, what’s the funniest thing that you ever experienced at a dog show? DJ: I had several bitches entered under Michele Billings with my grandson Kyle helping. The 9-12 puppy bitch was less than perfectly trained. The American Bred bitch was the best one, and along with an Open bitch they all won their classes. Now the math was a bit on the short side as far handlers went, so I recruited a friend to handle the Am Bred bitch, who was at least leash-trained. First to go around was Kyle with the 9-12 puppy bitch. She dove under his legs, did a roll and grabbed for his pant leg. Kyle jumped over her as she got up and repeated this maneuver. They made it without a disaster but raised eyebrows from our judge. Then the Am Bred handler started off but was not mov- ing. The bitch is trying to pull her but going nowhere, like running in one spot. Judge turned to me and said, “Take this bitch.” Now I have a big problem: Should I hand off the Open bitch, who will surely tow the volun- teer handler to places yet unknown? I explained to the judge and she said not to worry as I get to move both of them. I moved the Am Bred and then changed armbands back to Open and moved her. Am Bred went Winners Bitch on her way to BOB over specials. After it was all over, the judge told me my grandson was either going to be the best handler in the world or he was going to quit and never show dogs again. Kyle is now a bartender in Las Vegas. JA: I enjoy stewarding. After the class has been judged and the winners are lining up, I usually say, “Armbands to the judge, please.” Well, one day I said that, and it was either a new or foreign exhibitor. She promptly took off her armband and handed it to the judge! Both of us had a great laugh, and explained to the exhibitor what it was supposed to mean.

S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , O CTOBER 2018 • 295

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