HERDING GROUP JUDGES Q&A
which have undergone several transitions in proportion, and there- fore, movement. And Shelties often have more coat, and the heads are becoming more Collie-like, with narrower backskulls. If the backskull becomes too narrow, the expression changes and the eyes are set closer together. Why do I think Herding Dogs can often become outstanding Show Dogs? Many of the Herding Dogs can become outstand- ing show dogs since they are often dual performers, and therefore, sound in structure and movement. Most are shown in proper condi- tion and with pleasing temperaments. Just for laughs, do I have a funny story that I can share about my experiences judging the Herding Group? At a recent show, I asked one of the first entries to gait around the ring. When nearly all the way around, the handler’s trousers fell down to his ankles. I offered for him to take time and leave the ring for “adjustments” and then return to complete the exam, but after pulling his trousers back up, he said he was ready again. (He did complete his entry’s presenta- tion without further incident.) EMILY FISH I grew up showing and breed-
As a retired science teacher, education is very important to me. When I prepared lessons for my science classes, I referenced as many sources as possible to bring a complete learning experience to my classes. I bring this same approach to studying a breed that I judge, starting with the materials provided by the parent club. I am proud that the foundation for my Aletian Sheltie kennel was a bitch that completed her Conformation Championship and a Utility Degree in Obedience at a time when those were the top titles possible. It was satisfying to earn Championship points and an Obedience leg at the same shows. I recently lost my Champion Sheltie bitch that was awarded BOB at a Specialty Show at eleven and a half years of age. Judging at conformation dog shows has given me the pleasure of meeting many people who enjoy the sport of purebred dogs. Evalu- ating the merits of their dogs is a privilege. Where do I live? How many years in dogs? How many years as a judge? I live in Southern California. I have been in dogs for 40-plus years. I recently received my 25 years judging pin from AKC. What is my original breed? What is/was my kennel name? My original breed is the Shetland Sheepdog, and my kennel name was Aletian. Can I list a few of the notable dogs I’ve bred? Any performance or parent club titles? My foundation bitch was CH Amstad Aleta of Glyn-Ayre UD, one of only a few Sheltie bitches to earn dual titles at the time. One of our favorite males was AM/CAN CH Amstad Aletian Merit Fire. What are the qualities I most admire in the Herding breeds? I appreciate the diversity of make and style of herding in the breeds within the Herding Group. Have I judged any Herding Group Specialties? Herding Group Specialties I have judged include the Herding Group Association of New Jersey and the Alaska Herding Group Club. Do I find that size, proportion, and substance are correct in most Herding breeds? Size, proportion, and substance are mostly correct in Herding breeds. This is probably due to their competition in performance events as well as at conformation shows. And many of them are actively involved with doing the work for which they were bred. Structure and movement must be proper to allow any breed to perform its specific function. Is breed-specific presentation important to me as a judge? Can I offer some examples? Since Herding breeds are so varied, they must be presented in a manner that emphasizes their adherence to individual breed hallmarks as well as their ability to perform their herding tasks. What about breed-specific movement? Do I demand this from Herding Dogs? Entries in the Herding Group, as well as entries in other Groups, should move in a breed-specific manner that allows them to perform their duties, if necessary, for long periods of time. Too often, Group judging emphasizes showmanship and side gait rather than breed-specific hallmarks. Are the Herding breeds in good shape overall? Any concerns? Most of the Herding breeds are presented in proper make and condition for their function. I am often concerned that when the entries advance to the Group level, an undue emphasis is put on showmanship and side gait. Herding breeds were not developed to make friends with anyone who appears in front of them. While they should not be shy or threaten, emphasis in Group competition is often misplaced on showmanship. In my opinion, how do today’s exhibits compare with the Herd- ing Dogs of the past? Most Herding breed temperaments have improved. Some have also improved proportions and structure so that their particular style of movement is more efficient for their function. For example, Collie movement has improved while the elegant profile and head quality so important for this breed have been maintained. Another example is my original breed, Shelties,
ing dogs under the Pawcific prefix. My breeds are Cardigan Welsh Corgis and Border Collies. It’s my belief that form follows function, and my dogs have been successful in both the herding and conforma- tion rings. I have bred a multi-Best in Show/National Specialty winner, many Group-winning dogs, Spe- cialty winners, and multiple dogs
with top performance titles. I started judging in 2010 and enjoy being a younger member of the judging community. As a breeder- judge, I have had the opportunity to judge multiple Specialty Shows across the US, and in 2019, I judged at the Border Collie National in Australia. Currently, I have the Herding Group, seven Sporting breeds, three Toys, two Hounds, one Working, and Junior Show- manship. I look forward to being a lifetime student and learning more about each breed. Where do I live? How many years in dogs? How many years as a judge? I live in Camas, Washington. I’ve been in dogs for 27 years and have been an AKC judge for 12 years. What is my original breed? What is/was my kennel name? My original breed is the Cardigan Welsh Corgi, but I am also very involved in Border Collies. Pawcific is my kennel name. Can I list a few of the notable dogs I’ve bred? Any performance or parent club titles? Cardigan Welsh Corgi: MBISS MBIS GCHG Am./Can./Int. CH Pawcific I Walk With The King HSAds PT HT STDsd HTAD1sd JHDs NAP CA CAA BCAT ACT1 ACT2 CGC TKN TKI VCX – “King” won the 2019 CWCCA National; he has 24 titles to date, with more in the works. Border Collie: BISS GCHB CH Pawcific Dream Date HSAs – “Lucy” won a BIS NOHS and has a history of National and Special- ty wins. She was honored to have won Best Puppy in Sweepstakes at her first National and Best Veteran in Sweepstakes at her last. BISS GCH CH Pawcific I’ve Got A Date With A Dream RN NF NA NAJ TKA – “Dasher” is Lucy’s son who had a short show career with a specialty win and Select Dog at the National. He is now an Instagram star @dasherbordercollie. What are the qualities I most admire in the Herding breeds? I am most drawn to the Herding breeds because of their versatility to do all venues and because of their intelligence. I believe form fol- lows function and I have enjoyed learning what makes a Herding Dog capable of doing its job in the herding arena.
166 | SHOWSIGHT MAGAZINE, MARCH 2022
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