Collie Breed Magazine - Showsight


Quite often newer judges appear hesitant to go over the head. The head needs to be touched to be evaluated. RH: New breeders and judges should seek to learn from suc- cessful breeders, breeder seminars and the Collie Nation- al Specialty show. Understand the standard, read articles of the past and know what dogs are in their pedigrees. GK: Collies have a unique movement as they single track both front and rear. I feel many new and even some older judges do not understand the breed’s distinctly unique gait. I also feel judges have difficulty understanding head, eye and expression. When you show under some judges and they don’t bother going over the head or looking at expression, it’s disappointing. I could be described as a head hunter because without a correct Collie head and beautiful expression, you might as well just have any other breed of dog! One of the most important points is expression. It is the unique combination of a correct, beautifully chiseled head with beautiful, properly set eyes, and correctly set and carried ears. You seldom see correct expression on a poor head; the two are very closely tied together. Ideally you want it all. Unfortu- nately, no dog has it all so it becomes a task of sorting through and looking for those important breed virtues while balancing the qualities with the degree of faults. We are so lucky that we have a wonderfully written and descriptive Standard. I always reread the Standard before every judging assignment! Take advantage of ringside mentoring at a specialty. There is no better way to learn about the breed from breeders/owners that specialize in the breed. MR: I don’t think judges from other breeds understand the importance of head and expression as well as balance. I wish they would attend more Collie seminars. Tem- perament is very important; a Collie should not know a stranger. The Collie is one of the easiest breeds to live with as they are wonderful with children and families. I have never walked a Collie in public when I didn’t hear, “I grew up with a Collie.” It’s amazing how many people remember a Collie in their childhood. LR: Many years ago I entered a show and the judge turned her back to us the entire time we did the down and back. She told me to go around the ring and spent that time talking to the steward. I feel each entry deserves to be evaluated equally. The exhibitor has paid for your opin- ion, they may not like it when you hand out ribbons, but they all should be treated in the same manner. HS: New judges and many experienced judges do not understand that the Collie head is “inclined to lightness”. They discount the importance of the Collie’s headpiece because they do not understand our head planes or never took the time to learn the detail of head in

this breed. Consequently, because they do not under- stand “lean wedge” I see clunky dogs go up with too much width of backskull and far too much depth from brow to throat. Most importantly, they do not under- stand expression which is the hallmark characteristic of our breed. The Collie’s eyes and expression should be a window to the dog’s soul. The first thing I look for when I judge my breed are soft, dreamy, bedroom eyes with an expression that stops me in my tracks and knocks me off my feet. Judges need to learn how to properly examine the Collie head. A cursory pat on the top skull or light fingertips along the sides just doesn’t cut it. You cannot delight in the virtues of our headpiece or find the head faults if you do not thoroughly feel the structure of our head properties. 5. And, for a bit of humor: What’s the funniest thing you’ve ever experienced at a dog show? LC: We were going to a Match in New Jersey and were totally lost. We came upon a farmer getting into his pickup and sought his advice. He was not the most talk- ative but said he knew the location we were seeking. The only problem was that he knew of no direct route. So we followed his convoluted instructions and finally found the site. We were greeted by a very close friend who was holding one of his entries plus a Match ribbon. I was real- ly upset because the pup he was holding was his lovely young bitch pup so I knew it was too late. He laughed and said, “No you are not, I just went Best Male in Match you can still show your bitch pup.” Of course after all the re-judging he went back in and eventually went BIM. We all laughed, after all it was only a Match. TC: At a show last summer, I was judging a newly recog- nized breed. I placed the class and went over to the judge’s table to mark my book and before turning around to check the numbers I said, “I need your armbands please.” With that, one of the exhibitors took it off her arm and handed it to me. SF: Going winners after a judge said at the top of her lungs, on the go-round, “Bobby why is your bitch limping?” After I showed her the torn toenail, she said, “Oh, that’s all right and put her up.” MR: Probably the funniest thing was finding someone load- ing their equipment into my van at an all-breed show. Several people had the same color and style van I had at the time. So someone obviously thought my van was theirs. I never forgot to lock it again. RH: I once thought I could leap over the ring fencing to get a good photo, only I tripped over it, knocked down the entire fence of several rings and was quite embarrassed. However, we did get a great photo!


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