seen more of the protection mode than me. At dog shows she thinks she is the protector of their rig and dogs. If someone approaches in the dark or suddenly, she lets them know. KATHRYN ROBERTS I’m an AKC Judge of Working dogs and Non- Sporting dogs and also a breeder of Bullmastiffs, Ger- man Shepherd Dogs and Brussels Griffons, some of which have earned the high- est honors in Conformation as well as performance events under the registered kennel name of STARRDOGS. I am very passionate about the health, temperament and trademark look of the Bullmastiff, a truly remarkable breed to be cherished and protected. I live in Canton, Georgia. I own the International Canine Semen Bank of American “ICSB,” breeding better dogs today for a better tomorrow. Do I hope the breed’s popularity will change or am I comfort- able with the placement? I am comfortable where they are, popular- ity can cause issues. Do these numbers help or hurt the breed? I think overbreeding can hurt if not done properly. How important are head and body proportions in the Bullmas- tiff? The size should be proportionate with weight—powerfully built with a pleasing outline and should show significance.
Is there a color preference/prejudice in the show ring? We all say it’s hard to win with a brindle. There are more fawns so they tend to win more often due to averages. Some judges just love a good red. The biggest misconception about the Bullmastiff? They are not supposed to have a head of a Bulldog. They are wonderful family pets, but exercise is very important. People think they can just be couch dogs. Does the average person on the street recognize the breed? I don’t think so. What special challenges do breeders face in our current eco- nomic and social climate? Health testing is so important, but very expensive, and placing them properly in good homes that can afford to also test as adults [is important]. At what age do I start to see definite signs of show-worthi- ness? The eight week rule is a good starting place. The most important thing about the breed for a new judge to keep in mind? All the emphasis should not be on the head. (It should be wrinkled when interested.) Body, movement [that is] har- monious and balanced, with an ideal temperament [are important]. What’s the best way to attract newcomers to my breed and to the sport? Be nice! Educate, teach them about your passion, refer to an established breeder. My ultimate goal for the breed? That through my efforts, I left it a little better than I found it, and to recoup some of the qualities that are disappearing. My favorite dog show memory? When I won my class and my mother ran inside the ring and gave me a hug. I was 30 years old. I’d also like to share that these are dogs of endurance and alert- ness. When you can watch them be efficient, it is breathtaking. So many get very little exercise because they like to be couch dogs.
SHOWOFF © Ribbon Racks
Dogs, Horses & Sports
GERMAN SHEPHERD WALL AND CRATE RIBBON RACK
SHOWSIGHT MAGAZINE, MAY 2020 | 159
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