Showsight Spring Edition, February/March 2021


Apso. There is variety in a few of the breeds, which means that they are judged by the breed standard, yet differ in size; for example, the American Eskimo Dog (Toy, Miniature, Standard), the Poodle (Miniature and Standard in this Group and Toy in the Toy Group), and the Xoloitzcuintli (Toy, Miniature, Standard). Acceptable ear sets, and ear shapes and sizes also differ in this Group. Movement differs, with some breeds expected to move faster than others, so the judge can see specifics in the gait and topline. For example, the stilted gait in the Chow Chow, which should not be allowed to run around the ring. How important is presentation and “showmanship” in the Non- Sporting Group? Certainly, the breed should be presented at its best advantage. However, in my opinion, showmanship itself does not take precedence over conformation. Are any breeds in better or worse shape than they were 25 years ago? I think the Chinese Shar-Pei bitches are exceptional today. In the breed overall, they have become more square-bodied and compact, with correct toplines for the breed. I see beautiful move- ment, with strong fronts and rears, which shows an excellent side gait. In addition, for over 25 years, their temperaments have greatly improved. There are, however, a few breeds in this Group that I feel are losing their toplines as specifically stated in the standard. I am also finding a couple of square-in-profile breeds that are too long in body and short on leg. What effect has popularity (or the lack thereof ) had on the Non- Sporting breeds? I would like to see more young people showing breeds in this Group. Possibly lesser known breeds in this Group would get more exposure if featuring them at dog shows and other events would happen. It certainly would develop an interest. Do I have any advice to share with new judges of the Non-Sport- ing Group? Take the time to learn the breed history. Attend nation- al specialties, if possible. These give you an opportunity to meet and talk, informally, with some of the top breeders from across the country and from abroad. I even attend them after I have received regular judging status on a breed. I find judging involves a continu- ous learning process. Over the years, I have developed friendships with mentors from other breeds and have felt very comfortable call- ing them if I have questions. I find breeders are delighted to share information about their specific breed, if you as a judge show a real interest. I also take every opportunity that I can to do kennel visits, which give me valuable one-on-one contact with a breeder/mentor. I find that the details I receive from these visits are priceless. Finally, I would say, “Love what you do and appreciate the uniqueness of the breeds in this Group.” GRACE FRITZ Grace Fritz is from Stilwell,

Spitz breeds, Sporting breeds, Toy breeds, and Working breeds. For example, the Poodle has a sporting heritage. The Dalmatian has a working function and is similar in make and shape to many Sport- ing breeds. Of course, as a breeder-judge, one starts their judging career with their own breed. I started with judging the Dalmatian, and continued through the Non-Sporting Group; a process that took 12 years. Eva, with AKC’s permission, went from the Dalmatian to the German Shorthaired Pointer and proceeded through the Sporting Group, and then tackled the Non-Sporting Group; a much more logical and easier path. Is there a funny story I’d like to share about my experiences judging the Non-Sporting breeds? At an undisclosed location in the distant past, I was judging a very strong night-time Non-Sporting Group, complete with breed introductions under the spotlight. A primary contender for Group honors, an anonymous white dog, proudly entered the ring with his handler, free-stacked, and shook his body from head to tail. To the horror of the spectators, the dog was obscured by a cloud of white... DR. JOYCE DANDRIDGE I live in Washington,

DC. My parents had Chows Chows, so I have been in dogs all my life. I have shown in Conformation and Obe- dience for over 32 years. I started judging in 2006. Do I have any hobbies or interests apart from dogs? I love to travel around the world and continue to tackle a bucket list of places to visit. I have spent entire summers in Italy, Germany, and the

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Scandinavian countries as well as some African countries. One of my most memorable was spending a month traveling Egypt, and another was spending two weeks at the Iditarod where I actually flew to a few of the checkpoints and talked to the mushers about their dogs. How was I first introduced to the Non-Sporting breeds? I exhib- ited my own Chows Chows in Conformation and Obedience, and noticed other breeds in the Group. The many differences immedi- ately struck my interest. and I began to talk to breeders about their breed’s purpose and appearance. As a history lover, I am always fascinated when I hear the history of the different breeds and how they originated. There may be a few similarities in the Group, but there are many distinct differences. Have I bred any influential sires or dams? Yes, I have bred and shown winners at specialties and at Westminster. The Non-Sporting Group is the most diverse. How do I priori- tize the essentials for each breed? This is a diverse Group and the differences are vast. As a judge, I take the time to learn the history of the breed because their job descriptions can be an assortment of duties. There are few common characteristics from breed to breed in the Group, and personality traits differ. Some are more active than others, so a judge must have an idea of their purpose to deter- mine their fitness; for example, the Dalmatian and Shiba Inu. What are some of the challenges that come with judging the Non-Sporting breeds? You can’t generalize about this Group. Some breeds are small, like the Boston Terrier and the Bichon Frise, whereas others are larger like the Chow Chow and the Chinese Shar- Pei. One breed, the Xoloitzcuintli, is hairless or can be short-coated, and some are full of coat like the Tibetan Terrier and the Lhasa

Kansas, and has raised Chinese Shar-Pei since 1984. She earned the last Chinese Shar-Pei Club of America’s Breeder of the Year title and has had several dogs and bitches receive CSPCA Register of Merit awards. She has bred Number One breed- ranked Chinese Shar-Pei in both horsecoat and brushcoat. Grace is a former President of the Chi-

nese Shar-Pei Club of America and Judge Education Committee member. Grace has been an AKC judge since 2001, and is currently licensed for the Non-Sporting Group, Working Group, and Terrier Group as well as many Toy, Sporting and Hound Breeds. She is also licensed to judge Junior Showmanship and Best in Show. She enjoys learning about new breeds and actively works to improve her


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