Top Notch Toys June 2017



M ost of my adult life, oth- er than dogs, has been spent as a teacher. In that time I have learned that you can’t save everyone. I also learned sometimes if you plant a couple of seeds, or create a challenge, you can win some of the battles. I’m not going to explain everything in the standard in this writing. That is your job, your responsibility and your challenge. That is if you want to be considered a respected judge of TFT. I will try to plant seeds and challenge you. I will give you tips and thoughts on the process to help you sort out this delightful breed. STORIES A judge once told me that if he could recognize a breed then it had all the type it needed. However true that com- ment is, in a simplistic way, it’s not the core knowledge you want adjudicating the National. All too often we see in the rare breeds, generic judging with “flash and dash” or “best down and back wins.” Big wins bestowed on dogs with no type while the one with type walks. I have also heard breeders of other breeds say, “We have a couple of types in our breed.” My only question as a judge should be which one more closely matches the standard. There is a big difference in eliminating dogs with faults (negative judging); to rewarding dogs with attri- butes and breed hallmarks that match the standard (positive judging). At the end of the day, fault judging can’t be as much fun as looking for the unique characteristics that make them differ- ent than breeds of similar type. Another story. An elderly lady breeder I knew decided to go for her judging license. She picked the breeds she wanted, back when you could do

that. She confessed to me she knew the breeds and what she liked. She didn’t know the standard and if what she liked, was correct. She wanted to do right and not look like a foolish old lady. She made flash cards with the breed on one side and a sentence of the stan- dard on the other side. She would mix them all up, standard quotes side up. Then she began building her breeds. Putting parts of a standard under the breed she thought it belong to. She tried visualizing it in her mind’s eye as she went. She then turned them all over

to see what was under the wrong breed. That became her challenge to see and understand why it went to the breed it belong to. She ended up getting 100s on breed tests, could sort out large classes, judge in the positive mode and write critiques that commanded respect. I miss her. THOUGHTS & TIPS ON JUDGING TFTS Assemble your class. Look hard at their profile. The TFT is an athletic dog and should look like one. The standard

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