Mastiff Breed Magazine - Showsight


BARBARA DEMPSEY ALDERMAN I am delighted to know that Mastiff people would want my opinion on their breed—I guess they maybe realize that I am very fond of the breed. I was, many years ago, an Afghan person. I began helping my husband at shows as an assistant handler. I became an all-breed handler when AKC licensed us. Eventually, after much surgery, I retired and started to judge. I am now an all-breed judge. When I started judging, the Working Group was my second group. This would have been in the mid-80s. Back then Mastiffs mostly lumbered and labored around the ring. Many had tremendous size, but not the soundness. I remember a show in Ohio and we (as new judges to a breed) had to be evaluated by an AKC Rep. The show was outdoors on uneven ground; there were four or five dogs in the ring. I remember thinking, ‘Oh my, they could hardly move’—again, they had such labored movement. The AKC Rep was Tom Glasford; he said, “You did the best could.” What an advancement in 20 years—still even back then being so massive and unsound, some that were too small or all legs, one extreme to the other—now there are only a few too small on any given day. Another point, a lot of owners may have no idea how smart these dogs are and how trainable they are, also. They want to please. Exhibitors are learning and doing a good job exhibiting. Somewhere in between I became very fond of the breed—to look in their eyes and see the ‘Hi, what’s up’ expression was, and is, completely captivating. Gill Newman became a very good friend and mentor to me. He also was my ring steward at all the Eukanuba-Garden AKC shows, mostly televised ones. I know we all miss him and his wonderful Mastiffs. I think the exhibitors and breeders are very dedicated to their breeding pro- grams, structure, soundness, heads and temperament—a gold star to the tempera- ment in particular! It is amazing to see how many show with professional handlers and they go with them and are very happy; not all breeds would be happy in the show environment without owners. “...I BECAME VERY FOND OF THE BREED — TO LOOK IN THEIR EYES AND SEE THE ‘HI, WHAT’S UP’ EXPRESSION WAS, AND IS, COMPLETELY CAPTIVATING.”


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