Showsight August 2020


dogs when actually the dog is not the shape it should be. Hands-on examination is necessary to discover that. Have I noticed any trends among Non-Sporting breeds that cause concern or have impressed? I do think that some breeds need to work on the front assembly. Breeds such as Poodles, Bulldogs and French Bulldogs are some of the examples. Some Poodles have their front legs coming out of their necks and not from the highest point of the shoulder. I am also seeing more flat feet that are not well-arched and cushioned on thick, firm pads. Some Bulldogs and French Bulldogs do not have the “set wide apart” in their fronts, but have what I refer to as “fiddle fronts.” That is very concerning to me and I think the breeders need to work on this. I think that the Tibetan Spaniel has maintained a good front that states that “the bones of the forelegs are slightly bowed, but firm at shoulder.” What are my thoughts about revising breed standards to address health issues, coat colors and patterns? I believe if the Parent Clubs want to address and revise their breed standards to address health issues, I think this is good not only for the breeders, but for the breed itself. The Bulldog standard was revised in 2016 to address various colors patterns such as the merle pattern as a disqualifica- tion. Most color disqualification goes back to health issues or the inter-breeding of that breed sometimes in the past that pops up every once in awhile that is not good for the health of that breed. To address this, the Parent Clubs need to react to these problems that can affect the health of our breeds not only for those breeds in the Non-Sporting Group, but for the other Groups. Which Non-Sporting breeds have made the greatest strides in overall quality or still need work? I think that the Bichon Frise, since it was recognized back in 1988, has really done an outstanding job in not only improving the structure of the breed, but also the balance and unsound movement it had when it was first introduced to the fancy. I remember seeing the Bichons in the beginning of the breed where it was much more than 1/4 longer than the height at the withers. It also had a very soft outercoat and not a coarse or curly texture as it has today. The gait has also improved, as before it had more of a gait that looked like it took some effort to move. Breeders have done a great job on this breed as now most of the exhibitors show dogs that have a movement that at a trot is free, precise and effortless. I think the breeds that need help I have mentioned in the previous questions, but let’s face it, we must keep in mind form and function and the health of the breed and that should be foremost in the minds of the breeders. Does it seem that entries are rising or declining among the Non- Sporting breeds? I think you are seeing more of a decline in the entries in the Non-Sporting breeds. First of all, this is true of most of the breeds nowadays. We used to have large entries in Poodles, but we are lucky if you can find a major—and even if you do, the amount needed for a major is severely reduced. I do not think this helps any breed if you can get a major by winning with six dogs there. There are some exceptions such as low-entry breeds, and this is understandable. We do not have any of the large kennels or the breeders like we did in the old days. What we need to concentrate on is breeding good dogs that meet the requirements of the breed as stated in the breed standard, and not to see how many champion- ship titles you can earn. What advice would I give to breeders and exhibitors of Non- Sporting dogs? First of all, read the breed standard for your breed. Second, find good mentors who have experience in your breed. Lis- ten to them. See what the pedigree of the stud dog and brood bitch looks like, and is that breeding what you need [in order] to produce good, healthy puppies and to improve the qualities of your dogs. Again, I repeat, read the breed standard and look at pedigrees! Lis- ten to people who know the breed and think about what they say. Would I encourage exhibitors to compete in companion and performance events? Yes, I would suggest that you get involved in the companion and performance events. One thing I would advise,

policy, I could only apply for Poodles. My next application I could only apply for one more breed. Once you were approved for those two breeds, you were able to apply for two more breeds, etc. It took a while to get that first Group, which is not a bad thing. Are there specific challenges presented to judges by the diver- sity within this Group? No, I do not think it should be a challenge for any judge due to the diversity within this Group. If you have studied the breed and have good mentors you should be able to work through these “challenges” without a problem. Once you are approved for the Group it can sometimes prove difficult if a new breed is accepted into that Group, as usually you have not done the amount of studying you have done on the other breeds. The only requirement you have to get approved for that new breed is to pass an open book breed exam. Sometimes I think that is not fair to the breeders and exhibitors in that new breed. I think that the AKC should let you keep the Group, but you must complete some educational CEUs on that breed within, let’s say, one year’s time [in order] to keep that breed and that Group. Does a Non-Sporting breed’s historic purpose play a role in my selection process? Definitely it does...form follows function. If you do not study the purpose for which that breed was established, how do you know what to judge for? I feel that when you enter the ring, you must have some idea of that history and judge according to the breed standard with the idea in your mind of the purpose of the breed. Even if it is Poodles, you must know the history of that breed, as originally it was bred to be a sporting dog to retrieve and hunt game for its master. How important is breed-specific presentation and conditioning among the Non-Sporting breeds? It think it is very important as there are parts of some of the Non-Sporting breeds that indicate specific disqualifications or faults such as the Chow Chow which states, “Edges of the lips black, tissues of the mouth mostly black, gums preferably black. A solid black mouth is ideal. The top surface and edges of the tongue a solid blue-black, the darker the better. Disqualifying Fault—The top surface or edges of the tongue red or pink or with one or more spots of red or pink” The Chinese Shar- Pei also has a disqualification such as the Chow Chow. You need to also know which breeds in the Non-Sporting Group must be on the ramp and those that are ramp optional. At the top of each of my breed standards for all Groups I indicate where that breed is to be examined, as most breeds do not have that in their breed stan- dard. In the Non-Sporting Group, you must examine the Bulldog, Chinese Shar-Pei, Chow Chow and the Keeshonden on the ramp. Ramp optional is the Finnish Spitz. As for conditioning, I believe it is very important as some breeds state that the breed must be shown in its natural state. You can find a whole paragraph on presentation in the Coton De Tulear breed standard. It states, “The dog must be shown as naturally as is consistent with good grooming. His coat should be clean and free of mats. In mature specimens, the length of coat may cause it to fall to either side down the back but it should not appear to be artificially parted. The long, untrimmed head fur- nishings may fall forward over the eyes, or be brushed backward over the skull. The hair on the bottom of the feet and between the pads may be trimmed. Any other trimming or sculpting of the coat or any grooming which alters the natural appearance is to be severely penalized.” It also indicates in the Coton De Tulear breed standard that the puppy coat is much softer in texture than an adult coat. Judges should know this when they judge the breed, as it states in the General Appearance section that it is characterized by a nat- ural long, white, dry, profuse, cotton-like coat. Let’s now address some of the Poodle coats—too much topknot and too much coat can sometimes make the dog look not balanced and square. Lots of the breeds use foreign substances, but most judges do not consider that in their decisions. I think the coats should be clear and not matted, but sometimes there is too much scissoring that shapes the


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