Showsight Presents The Rottweiler

Judging the RottweileR By Suzan Guynn Cammcastle Rottweilers I t is a delight to write this article for both aspiring and experi- enced AKC judges; there are many well respected, long time breeder/judges from whom I have sought counsel and per-

spective—and through their wisdom, experience and invaluable mentoring, I have provided the following perspective regarding the judging of the AKC Rott- weiler. Evaluating Rottweilers is a pleasure and a passion, whether it be sitting ringside in a camp chair, catalog and pen in hand or it be as an honorary judge presiding in an o ffi cial capacity at an AKC Rottweiler specialty show. Drinking in the sight and feel of a sea of Rottweilers, particularly at a breeders’ showcase event such as a special- ty, is a peak experience, a unique pleasure and a memorable honor. I had an English teacher long ago who posed the question: “Which came first: language or meaning?” Initially, the answer seemed obvious. Surely meaning necessitat- ed words which in turn were used to express and create pictures, thereby forming images in the minds of others. Th e question reared its head again in my mind when I consid- ered our century-old Rottweiler Breed stan- dard, inspired by the breed’s rich heritage passed to us in the 1920s by the ADRK and preceding generations, (see “Rottweiler History and Heritage”, co-authored with Joan Klem, ShowSight Magazine , March 2012). Th at image of the ideal Rottweiler is very nearly the same today in our AKC Rottweiler Standard. Th e AKC Rottweiler Standard assigns the language and conceptual boundaries to create a consensus, a collective mind- share if you will, of what the AKC Rott- weiler is, in all of his essence and in all of his splendor—a mental image borne of and realized through decades of dedicated and attentive breeding—and to be recognized and acknowledged by any AKC judge

may be referenced on the AKC website at: breed_standard.cfm. Our good fortune is that the AKC Rottweiler Standard is well-written and comprehensive—and for our benefit, adequately and constructively addresses the whole Rottweiler including his temperament, his appearance, his gait and his appendages. Neck is powerful, well-muscled, moderately long, slightly arched and without loose skin. (Multi BISS ARC Select Ch. Cammcastle’s Quantum LeapYear, “Launa”) The Negotiables, Definitives & Deal Breakers Th e language of the AKC standard con- structs and reveals the Rottweiler through three characterizing mechanisms. Th ese I will refer to as the “negotiables” (ranges), the “definitives” (factuals or absolutes) and the “deal breakers” (disqualifying faults). Much like the diagramming of a complete sentence reveals at least two parts to com- municate a complete idea (a subject and a verb), the AKC Rottweiler standard is made up of these three parts and together, they merge to create the complete, intended and ideal image of the Rottweiler whose mean- ing inspired the language of his standard. Negotiables: Th ese are ranges and typically within the standard present as acceptable variations: examples include size in both dogs and bitches, depth and sub- stance of the neck and body, strength of legs and pasterns, density of undercoat and

who, as part of that mindshare, knows and a ffi rms the image created by those words and embodied in so many outstanding Rottweilers (from the standard): “...A large, robust and powerful dog, black with clearly defined markings… his compact and substantial build denotes strength, agility and endurance… expres- sion is noble and alert… tail docked short close to body… is a trotter... motion is e ff ortless, e ffi cient and ground-covering… calm, confident and courageous...” The Standard IS We have an important job as Rottweiler judges in the AKC show ring, as our adher- ence to the AKC standard is critical. Th e AKC Rottweiler Standard is more than a simple map; it is the book of business for our task as judges. It is not interactive; it is not an evolving handbook of best practices or political trends; and it is not a document that we as judges are entitled to rewrite. It simply “IS” and that which it “IS” is nearly a century old, representing decades of gen- erations bred unto the ideal image of the Rottweiler it promotes. Our task as AKC judges is finite: to select the exhibit before us that best represents the image of an ideal Rottweiler as presented by our AKC stan- dard. Space does not permit the attachment of the standard to this article; however, it Movement should be balanced... with strong forereach and powerful rear drive. (BIS Ch. Cammcastle’s Hollywood First Lady, “Reagan”)

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