HERDING GROUP JUDGES Q&A
Have I judged any Herding Group Specialties? Yes, and of course, the Herding Group at all-breed shows many times. Do I find that size, proportion, and substance are correct in most Herding breeds? In general, yes, and I try to select for the proper shape in each breed standard; proportions such as square, longer-than-tall, etc. Is breed-specific presentation important to me as a judge? Can I offer some examples? Presentation surely is part of the picture in assessing each breed. Watching side gait and stacking in German Shepherd Dogs; evaluating expression with head, eyes, and ears on Collies; and, in general, movement at the appropriate speed for each breed, for assessing head, topline, tail carriage, and facility in motion. What about breed-specific movement? Do I demand this from Herding Dogs? Yes, and as indicated above, I try to select for this as well. Breed-specific movement is an important part of type. Are the Herding breeds in good shape overall? Any concerns? In general, the breeds are in good shape. Australian Shepherds, Canaan Dogs, Belgian Malinois, Bergers Picard, and Pembrokes are particularly strong at this time. For some breeds, more often in the classes, dogs are not trained to stand for examination. This makes evaluation difficult. Sometimes I come across exhibits that are overweight or out of condition. This really detracts when assess- ing for placements. In my opinion, how do today’s exhibits compare with the Herd- ing Dogs of the past? In some breeds, past dogs were stronger, but in others the breed has progressed. (I know that this is a “squishy” answer.) The more important thing is that my overall impression is that the dogs that come to me in the Group line-ups are, with little exception, strong representatives of their breed. It is exciting to make cuts and placement choices from among them. Why do I think Herding Dogs can often become outstanding Show Dogs? The breeds in the Herding Group are typically ani- mated, responsive to the handler, give the look of intelligence, and are in good physical condition. They gait well and look like a show dog should. Just for laughs, do I have a funny story that I can share about my experiences judging the Herding Group? Once, in Group judg- ing, I had a Pyrenean Shepherd that just wanted to show how smart and athletic he was. As he approached for his turn, he jumped on the ramp, up onto the table, back onto the ramp, and back onto the table for his exam. EDY DYKSTRA-BLUM I acquired my first Old Eng-
What is my original breed? What is/was my kennel name? My original breed is the Old English Sheepdog (OES), and my kennel name is Bizzeeboots. Can I list a few of the notable dogs I’ve bred? Any performance or parent club titles? I never really campaigned any dog as it was not in my interest to run after rankings. However, all of my dogs are champions and several are Grand Champions. My dogs have pro- duced champions worldwide. One notable dam is CH Bizzeeboots Millenium Star who produced BIS winners in the US, Russia, and Ukraine. Her grandson, GCHB Bizzeeboots Last Train 2 Clarks- ville, is a great sire, with many champions sired and BIS winners in Finland. I never participated in any performance events. What are the qualities I most admire in the Herding breeds? I admire the loyalty, the willingness to please, and the ability to work in fields and still be a companion. Have I judged any Herding Group Specialties? I have not judged Herding Group specialties. However, I’ve judged several Regional Breed Specialties and several National Specialties, of which my own has been the “icing” of a judging career. Do I find that size, proportion, and substance are correct in most Herding breeds? Most breeds have correct size and substance, with always some extremes. Also, this is very breed-specific. Is breed-specific presentation important to me as a judge? Can I offer some examples? Breed specific presentation? Yes, it is very important. Some (negative) examples are Pembroke Welsh Corgis with a completely “cut down” rear end, and over-groomed Old English Sheepdogs with neck and shoulders cut short, and even the body. Some of the Belgian breeds too are completely shaped. What about breed-specific movement? Do I demand this from Herding Dogs? Breed-specific movement is a very important issue, depending on the breed’s function. The German Shepherd Dog needs to keep the topline steady, as a moving fence, feet close to the ground, shaving the earth. The OES has a breed-typical gait. All Herding breeds need to keep their feet on the ground with no wasted motion and with the ability to work all day. Are the Herding breeds in good shape overall? Any concerns? This is very breed-specific. Some pups born during COVID-19 are really not the best dogs ever bred. Breeders should look at the choices they have in their breed regarding who to breed to whom. Again, this is very breed-specific, and most Herding Dogs are well-bred dogs. In my opinion, how do today’s exhibits compare with the Herd- ing Dogs of the past? This is also a very breed-specific question. Some Herding Dogs were better in the past than the dogs of today, and some are better today than in the past. Why do I think Herding Dogs can often become outstanding Show Dogs? Herding dogs make great pets and are always willing to please, and they have the temperament to become great show dogs. Just for laughs, do I have a funny story that I can share about my experiences judging the Herding Group? Nothing I can really think of right now. JANET FINK I have been an AKC judge for
lish Sheepdog in 1975 and have been actively showing since, under the Bizzeeboots prefix. I have pro- duced many champions in the US and worldwide. While living in the Netherlands, I completed courses which involved Anatomy of the Dog, Genetics, Structure, and Movement. I moved to the US in 1986.
more than 20 years. During that time, I have judged many Special- ty and All-Breed Shows, Sweep- stakes, and special events. I also judge at UKC, ARBA, and IAB- CA shows. I have held offices in local Sheltie and all-breed clubs. For ASSA, the national Sheltie club, I have also chaired the Judges Education Committee.
I started judging in 2001 and have judged in many European countries, Russia, Japan, China, Mexico, and Australia. I have had the privilege of judging my breed’s National Specialty in 2015. To date, I am approved to judge the Terrier, Non-Sporting, and Herding Groups. Where do I live? How many years in dogs? How many years as a judge? I live in Ocala, Florida, and I have had the privilege to be judging for 20 years to date.
164 | SHOWSIGHT MAGAZINE, MARCH 2022
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