Showsight Presents The Russell Terrier

representative of the new breed and gave an entirely different view of what the Standard was actually saying. I’m sure he left his breeding mark and bettered it. It has taken some time since then for the breed to settle down into a set pattern and I believe it has, or is close to it. No, they’re not cookie cutters (Heaven forbid!), and there’s still room for each breeder’s artistic talents and view, and still stay within the Standard. The breeders seem to be sincere and cautious, but yet determined. That’s a good thing! AP: Russells have been eligible for Group competition fewer than 4 years, so I think they’re about the same. MU: After having judged the Russell Terriers at Montgomery County 2015 I was encouraged that there are breeders who are making a conscious effort to adhere to the AKC standard. 9. What do you think new judges misunderstand about the breed? CC: The importance of flexibility as determined by physical examination, spanning. Too many breeder/exhibitors mention how few judges know to span this breed. GD: Because there is a preponderance of Russells failing to meet the 50% ratio, this is often assumed to be correct. I feel there is a tendency to consider it a low-legged Parson Russell. It compounds the confusion when we see Par- sons that have lost length of leg. AH: The proportions! I don’t know if they keep seeing the Jack/Parson in their memory, or if they just haven’t stamped the unique balance of this delightful dog in yet. They’ll get it, just give them a little more time and they’ll come to love it like I do. AP: Actually, I’m a new judge of the Breed, although I’ve observed them for years, long before they were in regular classes. This was because I was attracted to the breed, and still am! MU: There are judges who need to develop a better under- standing of the purpose of the breed and how the mea- surements play a critical role in the working function of the Russell. You know this breed is so darn “cute”. They just make you grin and smile while they are in your ring. Therefore, one can become enchanted very quickly and overlook the necessities. 10. Is there anything else you’d like to share about the breed? GD: In a somewhat recent article I wrote, I broke the Ter- riers into two groups—long-legged and short-legged. I was taken to task by some Russell Terrier people for putting their breed into the “short-legged” category. I am still hard pressed to know how to classify this wonder- ful little breed. So I decided, at least in my own mind, to allow the Russell Terrier to stand alone, as belonging to neither! I would like to state that after all is said is done,

honoring a Russell Terrier simply because it meets the 50/50 criteria without the other breed traits that create correct breed type is just wrong. AH: Enjoy the breed! It is so different from the other wire/ smooth-coated Terriers, and that is their appeal. AP: Yes, there are two things in the Standard that are difficult (one extremely difficult) to find in the Breed today. First is the proper depth of the brisket (it should not fall below the elbow). Secondly, the Standard reads “the points of the ears are even with the corner of the eyes and…” This is just about impossible to find in an exhibit! Also, the Standard reads, “The height and weight descriptions indi- cate…”; however, no breed weight is given in its Standard. MU: When the time is right, a Russell Terrier must become a family member of our household. 13. And, for a bit of humor: What’s the funniest thing you’ve ever experienced at a dog show? CC: While judging the Wire Fox Terrier champion males class at the 2011 World Show in Paris, a cat came running through the middle of the line up, I couldn’t believe my eyes! GD: There are so many! I suppose one of the funniest was at Santa Barbara. It was late in the day and darkness was fast approaching. We were standing on the green, await- ing the serving of their renowned dinner. I had worn my darkest sunglasses all day and had forgotten to take them off. I suddenly announced to my friend that there was something wrong with my eyes because I was having a hard time seeing. He burst out laughing and suggested that perhaps it might help if I removed my sunglasses. Grinning rather sheepishly, I removed them and, viola—I could see again! AH: I’m in the ring getting ready to start the morning, and the wonderful voice of Leontyne Price starts singing “The Star Spangled Banner”. The Beagles in the next ring couldn’t stand letting her do a solo—so they tuned in and up and loud and joined her. It was adorable! AP: Many, however, very recently, while taking a BW/BOS photo with Russell puppy bitch (major win at her first show), her owner/exhibitor said, “They told me that I needed to get rid of her.” I replied, “Don’t dare do that— they’re crazy.” I discovered online that this bitch had the following day been awarded a Group 1! MU: A few years ago I was assigned to judge the Juniors. A young teen lad came into my ring. He obviously had not missed any meals. He was at the age where no body parts were coordinated with each other nor was his German Shepherd exhibit. As he went around the ring his shirt was headed upwards, his pant’s beltline was going down- ward all too quickly. The dog was most eager to leave the ring and he really had to make some very quick deci- sions, the class had to be concluded rapidly because grav- ity was definitely in charge of that lad’s clothing attire.

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