Showsight Presents The Briard

Q&A

Work ® and previously, agility. My non-dog pastimes are reading, hiking, traveling to non-dog show places and spending time with friends. 2. Number of years owning, showing and/or judging dogs? I showed my first dog as a kid in 1954. I was a breeder, exhibitor, professional handler for about 20 years and was approved to judge in 1991. 3. Describe your breed in three words: My original breed is Shelties… they are small, intelligent and agile. 4. What traits, if any, are becoming exaggerated? I believe the Briard breeders have, for the most part, maintained the breed in relatively good shape without succumbing to exaggerations. Perhaps like so many breeds, lots of reach and drive is sometimes overly admired, when what is needed in this flock-tending dog is effortless, smooth movement that will last all day. 5. What are your “must have” traits in this breed? What shortcomings are you willing to forgive? For me, the biggest must have is a stable temperament. Forgiving shortcomings always depends on what virtues the dog offers that makes me willing to forgive deficien- cies. For example, I love a Briard with a long head—40% of the dog’s height per the standard—but am willing to reward dogs with shorter heads if they have quality in other areas. 6. While judging, do you see any trends you’d like to see continued or stopped? I like the fact that many entries now bring dogs of assort- ed colors—not just tawny or washed out tawny, but rich blacks and even a gray now and then. I believe that over- all coat quality has improved, especially in blacks where good texture used to be harder to find. In some entries it can be hard to find tails properly carried and with a nice crochet at the end. I would like to see less racing in the ring, less bait badly used. 7. What, if any, are the traits breeders should focus on preserving? In this breed, I hope breeders continue to strive for nice length of head, that wonderful elegant Briard silhouette and balance of front and rear quarters that permit smooth movement. Overall balance is so important, within the parameters of a given breed and I think not enough cur- rent exhibitors understand it. I wish also that breeders would pay more attention to bites; too many Briards

lapse of a quality male and female aging from puppy- hood to coat and movement maturity, I think would be a benefit to both breeder and judge. (Hmm, I might suggest that in my breed!) 11. Do you have anything else to share? It’s a fine herding breed. I’ve seen them at work in the herding fields as well. It is a breed to be admired, whether working or showing. LINDA MORE BIO

When I was born, my parents already had Shelties as house- dogs, and when I was 11 my mother sent me and our new- est young dog to obedience class. One could say it was all my mother’s fault that decades later I am still busy with dogs. From that beginning in obedi- ence and junior showmanship with Shelties, to breeding and showing in conformation, I

went on to a twenty year career as a professional handler based in New England. Over the years I handled dozens of breeds representing every Group, including specialing BIS winners in 5 groups. I retired from handling in 1991 and was granted approval to judge the Herding Group and Juniors, soon followed by a large number of Sporting breeds, Siberian Huskies and Cairn Terriers. I attended law school and briefly practiced law in New Hampshire before going to work for AKC in 1997. Upon retiring from AKC in 2003 I resumed judging and at the present time I do the Sporting, Hound, Herding and Terrier Groups, Siberian Huskies and Juniors. I have had the pleasure of judging numerous Specialties as well as all breed shows on this continent and abroad, and find there is no more enjoyable judging experience than sorting through a good entry of quality dogs. Besides breeding Shelties and co-breeding Keeshonden, I have co-owned several other breeds. German Shepherd Dogs were my companions for some years, and my current house dog is a Border Collie. 1. Where do you live? What do you do outside of dogs? I live in North Carolina, but spent much of my life in the New England states. Outside of dogs…well, for relax- ation, I do work with my dog on tracking and K9 Nose

do not have good bites, with short little front incisors sometimes arranged in a rather random

230 • S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , A UGUST 2015

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