Showsight Presents The Chihuahua

The breed has improved tremendously. The tempera- ments are a lot better than in the past. Soft or shy is the problem. The characteristic that has changed for the worse is head exaggeration. Shortening the muzzle to change the expression gives a mean look and a Bulldog- gish appearance of the head. The soft look is gone and bite problems are more pronounced. 5. Is there anything Chihuahua handlers do you wish they would not? I wish handlers would not stuff their dog’s mouth while we are trying to see the bite and expression. Also, it is not a race—do not run! Pay attention to what has gone on before you come in the ring. I rarely change patterns from show to show, I tell exhibitors 100 times a day what to do, so please pay attention so it won’t be 101. 6. What are your feelings about the merle pattern? I think the Merle color is setting the breed up for prob- lems associated with the color. 7. How does size affect your decisions, as long as the dog is under 6 pounds? I tend to like middle to upper end of the size scale; but, I can appreciate a correctly made tiny one. Judging is sup- pose to be evaluating breeding stock, so if you have one under 4 pounds, it would be hard to get a free whelped litter from that female. 8. Do you see differences besides coat in Long Coats vs. Smooths? Long coats are overall better than smooth coats. 9. Name a previously campaigned Chihuahua that illustrates your ideal type. My favorites from the past were Ch. Jo-El’s Drummer Boy and Ch. Simpaticas Celeste—the first is a smooth and the second is a long coat. RICHARD MILLER

most regional specialty clubs, Chihuahua Club of Finland and the Chihuahua Club of Russia. Judging has also taken me to Australia and Mexico. I am presently retired after teaching 13 years and serving on the administrative team of Great River Health Systems in W. Burlington, IA for 31 years. I do some substitute teaching during the winter months when I am not traveling to shows. My wife (of nearly 52 years) and I live in a tiny rural community in west central IL. We raised both of our children in our present home. 2. What five traits do you look for, in order, when judging Chihuahuas? What do you consider the ultimate hallmark of the breed? I first look for good breed type when I am judging. I then want to see swift movement with good reach front and rear without any sort of bounce. I look for overall sound- ness both in structure and temperament. I am always concerned with the bite of the dog, and finally I look at the head of the individual dog. For me a good Chihuahua is much more than a pretty head. 3. What shortcomings are you most willing to forgive? What faults do you find hard to overlook? I am a side movement judge most often. I can forgive a bit on the down and back evaluation. I will not forgive cross- ing either in front or in the rear. I often have to forgive a front that has little or no convergence. I will not forgive lack of breed type. Dogs I award placements to must look like a Chihuahua unmistakably. I will not forgive a horrible bite. By that I mean grossly undershot or grossly wry in mouth. 4. How has the breed changed since you became involved with it? Do you see any trends you think are moving the breed in the wrong direction? Any traits becoming exaggerated? When I got involved with the breed, smooth coats were so much better than the long coats. This changed and longs seemed to be the stronger variety. When I judged the recent national, I would say overall that the smooth coats were of better overall quality. I don’t know that this is always true. When I first got involved with the breed, most exhibitors got down on the floor and stacked their dogs. No one did much of any free baiting. This too has changed. We see most dogs being free baited in the show ring today. There are still too many breeders/exhibitors that have no clue what makes for a correct front well under the dog. The head still takes too much attention from most. 5. Is there anything Chihuahua handlers do you wish they would not? I feel too much scissoring is done to my breed. Most often it calls attention to the fault that the exhibitor is trying to conceal. Small ears, short legs, long bodies, poorly set on tails, etc. are still an issue regardless of the expertise of the person doing the scissoring. 6. What are your feelings about the merle pattern? I have never owned a merle or a chocolate. I have put up both colors at specialty shows. I cannot be colorblind when I judge my breed. I always wanted rich dark

1. Please tell us about your back- ground in Chihuahuas, including kennel name, highlights, judging experience. We’d also like to know where you live and what you do outside of dogs. My relationship with the Chihuahua began in July of 1957 when I purchased

my first AKC registered puppy. This was a smooth coated bitch puppy. I knew nothing of a breed standard or ethics of breeding. I breed Chihuahuas until August of 2013 when I sold my remaining breeding stock. My kennel name was Mar-Rich (first syllable of my wife’s and my name). I never actively campaigned a special since I did not think that was appropriate for a judge to do this. I did show dogs at specialties and won several BISS shows as well as several BOS to BISS. I have judged our national specialty twice (most recently in Oct. 2015),

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