HERDING GROUP JUDGES Q&A
the past 50 years. In my own breed, we went through a period in the 1980s of a heavier-headed, excessively long-coated dog. That extinguished itself long ago. One breed that has improved a lot since the mid-1970s in terms of appearance and movement is the Belgian Malinois. In my opinion, how do today’s exhibits compare with the Herd- ing Dogs of the past? The German Shepherd Dog of today is totally different than the type of Shepherd the average person owned in the 1950s. I think that it is the one breed in the Herding Group that has changed the most. I think the Collie people have done a very good job of improving structure. The real concern that I have, not only for the dogs in the Herding Group but in the Working and Sporting Groups as well, is the amount of sculpting going on in the longer-coated breeds. Why do I think Herding Dogs can often become outstanding Show Dogs? Trainability. There is often a “drag” for some breeds in the Herding Group, and that is the ability to tolerate noisy build- ings and such. However, most of the dogs can be conditioned out of this. Just for laughs, do I have a funny story that I can share about my experiences judging the Herding Group? Not really. DALEMEYER Where do I live? How many
Why do I think Herding Dogs can often become outstanding Show Dogs? Soundness in movement; I would like to say that this is because they have to do a day’s work in their job as a herder. However, other Groups could say the same but may not be as sound. Just for laughs, do I have a funny story that I can share about my experiences judging the Herding Group? No, not at the moment. MARYMURPHY-EAST Where do I live? How many
years in dogs? How many years as a judge? I live in Eagan, Minnesota. I had to use other people’s dogs for companionship while growing up. I got my own dog in 1978 when I got my first Bearded Collie. I have been judging for 17 years. What is my original breed? What is/was my kennel name? My original breed is the Bearded Collie.
My kennel name is Marjac. Can I list a few of the notable dogs I’ve bred? Any performance or parent club titles? Many Marjac Beardies have herding, agility, and obedience titles as well as conformation. What are the qualities I most admire in the Herding breeds? Herding breeds are problem-solvers and are very close to their fam- ily. A child has parents and a “nanny” if there is a Herding breed in the mix. Have I judged any Herding Group Specialties? I’ve judged some of the Herding Group shows in Alaska and New Jersey. Do I find that size, proportion, and substance are correct in most Herding breeds? Most Herding breeds are correct in their pro- portions. Some of the breeds need the right size and substance to do their jobs. I find smaller or larger animals sometimes have a problem functioning efficiently. Is breed-specific presentation important to me as a judge? Can I offer some examples? Some of the breeds need to be hand-stacked while others walk into a stack. I appreciate seeing how the dog stands naturally. The standards are written to emphasize the points most important to each breed. When presenting the dog, it is great if the exhibitor can highlight those breed qualities. What about breed-specific movement? Do I demand this from Herding Dogs? I really want to see the dog move at the correct speed for its breed. Not every breed is meant to move at the speed of light. Exhibitors who can resist the urge to move with the pack and decide to move their dog at the correct speed have my respect. In the herding world, dogs moving too fast takes weight off the live- stock—which can cost the rancher money at the sale barn. In the show ring, excessive speed or too tight a lead can really throw off the moving picture of the dog. Also, allowing for proper head carriage can open the shoulder, giving better reach. Are the Herding breeds in good shape overall? Any concerns? Most of the Herding breeds are in good shape. I personally would like to see more emphasis on good structure and conditioning, with a little less on the grooming. A lovely animal should be able to stand and move while maintaining its shape. In my opinion, how do today’s exhibits compare with the Herd- ing Dogs of the past? The Herding Dogs of the past had a different set of challenges than the dogs do today. In most breeds, the majors in the past required beating a larger number of animals along with fewer shows to compete in for those majors. The challenges today are to find the major and be ready to compete when the opportunity is available. The Herding breeds today have fewer animals to beat for a major, but the breed populations are dwindling.
years in dogs? How many years as a judge? I live in Dorchester, Wiscon- sin. My family always had a dog or two—or three. As an adult, I pur- chased my first show dog in 1978. I have been judging since 1995; so, 27 years. What is my original breed? What is/was my kennel name? My original breed is the Old English
Sheepdog. The kennel name is Wynsilot. Can I list a few of the notable dogs I’ve bred? Any performance or parent club titles? Notable dogs include GCHB Wynsilot Decadent Enough Said and GCHB Wynsilot Ain’t Misbehavin. Parent club titles include a Top 20 Winner and Best of Breed at the National along with many Winners Dogs and Bitches at the National. We have many performances titles on many of our dogs that we have sold to others. What are the qualities I most admire in the Herding breeds? I admire their movement and desire to work. Have I judged any Herding Group Specialties? Yes. Do I find that size, proportion, and substance are correct in most Herding breeds? I think that there is a tendency in many breeds to be big and impressive so that they are noticed in the Group ring. Is breed-specific presentation important to me as a judge? Can I offer some examples? Yes, it is. Showing correct expression is one example. What about breed-specific movement? Do I demand this from Herding Dogs? I absolutely demand breed-specific movement from Herding Dogs. I would like to see them shown as they should be for that specific breed. Are the Herding breeds in good shape overall? Any concerns? I think, overall, the Herding Group is in pretty good shape. Most of the inconsistencies are in the newer breeds, where they haven’t really found their styles. In my opinion, how do today’s exhibits compare with the Herd- ing Dogs of the past? For instance, in my breed, I think there is a lot more trimming and teasing than there was in the past; less and less concern with showing in a more natural state.
172 | SHOWSIGHT MAGAZINE, MARCH 2022
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