bring good breed characteristics to these dogs as the final goal. I am currently approved in AKC for the Working Group and Best in Show. I have judged overseas, and it is important for me as a breeder to observe and learn about Rottweilers all over the world. I have been to the ADRK Klubsieger in Germany (draws dogs from over 25 coun- tries a year) four times and I have attended two World Shows. Rottweilers are fairly consistent in type and struc- ture around the world. I judged bitches at the American Rottweiler Club in 2015 and I am looking forward to judg- ing Breed and dogs there in 2017. 1. What five traits do you look for, in order, when judging Rottweilers? What do you consider the ulti- mate hallmark of the breed? The most important virtues for me, in Rottweilers, are movement that reflects balance and soundness (this is a working breed). Once I have found the soundest dogs in the ring, I search for: (1.) Proportion, in the 9 to 10 height and length. Dogs that are too long in proportion lose the compact, sturdy dog with endurance. (2.) Breed characteristics in the head, that include dark almond eyes that are not too close together, medium-sized ears that are level with the top of the head and lay close to the head, good zygomatic arch that gives the head strength and width and a good under jaw. (3.) Good bone that is in proportion to the size of the dog. (4.) Drive and a confident temperament. 2. What shortcomings are you most willing to forgive? What faults do you find hard to overlook? I generally put cosmetic faults at the bottom of my prior- ity list and refer to these when all things are equal in two dogs. This would include muddy markings and rose colored or pink mouths or a slight wave in the coat. A fault that I am seeing more often, is a Rottweiler that is straighter in the front and over angulated in the rear. This type of structure is in opposition to a breed that needs to be able to trot all day and have the endurance needed for an athletic dog. 3. 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? The breed has become more consistent over the last few years, in becoming more compact and producing better breed type in the heads. I also remember from years ago when many Rottweilers were a bit sharp in the ring and judges were a cautious in judging them. Today the temperaments have vastly improved and while they still possess drive, they are also more confident in tempera- ment. I have seen a few Rottweilers that may becoming too large (our breed is a medium to large breed, not large to giant) and I have seen some trends to breed more exaggerated heads. By this I mean too short of muzzles with a large dome type head. And the last trend is one I mentioned in the question above, where I see our breed developing very straight fronts, with extreme angulation in the rear. This seems to occur in many breeds, and I am
the dog that could do those things when judg- ing (or breeding.) Today they are a little harder to find. 6. Your pet peeve in the show ring is… ? Actually, no pet peeves— unless too small a ring would be one. 7. What advice would you give a novice exhibitor? My advice to a novice exhibitor: Go to as many specialties as possible. Study how the Pros handle… practice. Our local Obedience Club
Joan Klem judging at Bucks County KC, c. 1981. It had been raining into the morning, but when Joan stepped into the ring to judge, it stopped. Many overseas shows were also held outside—but it has never rained on Joan Klem!
has Conformation classes, too. Use a different collar and leash for home and obedience than you do in the confor- mation ring. Your dog will learn the difference. Make it fun for your dog… and yourself. Be a good loser because when you win, you will be a good winner. 8. What’s the funniest thing you’ve ever experienced at a dog show? For my first judging assignment in Taiwan, I had put a CD on to learn Chinese so that I could say 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 in Chi- nese… they gave 5 ribbons… as I pointed to the winners. To make it clear, in the final go around, I put the winners in order with number one in the lead. As I started to gait them around in order, the last dog of about 10 would cross the ring and get in the front. He was a largish man with a smile that encompassed his whole face… and a hopeless dog. The third time he did this, I gave up and just smiled and laughed with the crowd watching and gaited them around leaving him in front. Come to think of it, maybe my Chinese was not that good? LEW OLSON I started showing dogs in 1974 and got my first Rottwei- ler in 1977. This dog (CH Rodsden’s Bertes V Zederwald CDX) won over 50 Group 1s and most of these were before the working group was split into two groups, now known as the Working and Herding Group. He had several offspring that did well in the show ring, including Ch. Cannnon River Oil Tanker CD and Ch. Blackwood Danted V Lyvngwerth CD (both Best in Show dogs) and was winner of the top-producing Rottweiler for 3 years in a row. I have bred about 70 champions under the ken- nel name Blackwood and co-bred quite a few more. It was important for me to develop a breeding program and work towards several goals over the years. I wanted to develop a Rottweiler with good structure first and then
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