Showsight Presents The Rottweiler

WITH GEORGE CHAMBERLIN, SUZAN GUYNN, JOAN KLEM, WENDI LEWELLAN AND SHARON MARPLES

clients as needed and direct them down the correct path of breeding in the future.

dock thing caused somewhat of a division in the breed, it came to finances again. At first AKC told us that we could either leave the tailed dog in or we could excuse it as not in accordance with the breed standard. So entry fees were lost, numbers in breed loss, handler’s fees? Maybe. Next we were required to leave the dog in and gait and examine him but can still excuse as not in accordance with the breed standard. How many judges are going to do that? To me it has always been the integrity of the judging process which is on trial. It requires the attempt to find that dog that most meets the requirement of the breed standard in the country in which the show is being held. WL: Enjoy the sport of conformation. Be supportive and help others. Smile and take your wins and defeats with grace and kindness. Do not let the quest take over your goodness, enthusiasm and fun. Remember to be an hon- est dedicated worker for your breed and your dogs. Wel- come and help others who are interested in dog showing and your breed. Give good information about your breed. Do not say anything detrimental or don’t talk at all. SM: Practice good sportsmanship! Win or lose, we are all there for the dogs; make it fun for them and yourself. Be prepared—bring a well trained, groomed and well socialized puppy/dog that adheres to the breed standard to your judge. Support the up and coming newbies and junior handlers. 3. What are your thoughts as to how AKC affiliated Rottweiler clubs can build and retain membership? GC: Make everything you do fun and inclusive. Not every- one in a club needs to be a leader or standout but if every- one feels they are helping or learning to attain their and the club’s goals you will add and maintain membership. SG: Create constitutions and by-laws that put club direc- tion and voice back in the hands of the majority and put people ahead of Rottweilers. Yes, that is what I said, and here is what I mean: putting people ahead of the dogs is in the best interest of dogs. Current clubs are constructed on aspects of rule and consequences/punishments that may not effectively serve the Rottweiler. It is not difficult to be swept away, even manipulated, by a well intended platform in which members devote themselves to falling on swords in the name of Rottweiler health, welfare and legislation. But in so many circumstances the endgame is so much smaller than the consequences for having a dif- ferent view and the division among people that unfortu- nately results. What is truly best for the Rottweiler is not whether a club “allows” a Grade Three Rottweiler bitch to be bred or whether another club decides that it is unethical to breed to a European dog without an

2. What advice do you have for today’s exhibitors in AKC conformation competition? GC: The best handlers realize that it is a dog show, so you should present a professional appearance to the judge and spectators. During the time that my wife, Betty, showed many breeds over a long period in her life, she always presented a clean, well-groomed dog and was very well dressed. She was always the one to beat because of her professional and outstanding performances in the ring. Want an honest opinion of your work? Have some- one take videos of your performance. It will help you to be the best! SG: You can not hang the moon on one judge’s opinion, whether it is in your dog’s favor or not, so maintain a thick skin. Be sure you and your dog enjoy the venue; given two correct dogs, it is sometimes hard for a judge to deny a beautiful dog with a happy spirit who may not have every foot in place to a dog that is similarly correct, stacked properly, but appears to be unmotivated, disinter- ested or unwilling to cooperate with any zeal. Remember this is a tooth breed, so your exhibit should be willing to cooperate with the mouth exam. Be a great sport even when you are certain you deserved the award but lost. It might be your dog’s award tomorrow. Give your dog the advantages of preparation: early socializing, groom- ing and training will translate to a positive experience. Presentation matters, yours and the dog’s; the judge has approximately two minutes per dog. If you cannot deliver this presentation in an optimal way, hire a handler who can provide the best possible snapshot of your dog to the judge. The human condition is the number one variable in the selection of a winning animal—a judge’s decision is subjective by nature; how that person perceives his/ her winner can be remarkably different than your own. Enjoy the highs, because they will also come with time, patience and hard work! JK: My niece and AKC Judge, Sue Rademacher, and I were discussing the change in today’s competition. She remem- bered that she had handled at least 40 to their Champion- ship from junior age to when she became a judge. That would not be done today. It has become a professional handlers competition. It is all about the money. All breed judges often charge by the number they have to judge. A handler can bring in a number of different breeds. The AKC also worries about finances. They keep adding breeds that most people have never even heard of or judges seen. But I want the AKC to continue and handlers to present our breed. I do wonder that when this tail

294 • S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , N OVEMBER 2017

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