NON-SPORTING GROUP Q&A
skills and depth of knowledge in each breed. In addition to Shar- Pei, she has owned dogs in the Toy, Working, Terrier, and Hound Groups, and has titled dogs through CDX in Obedience Trials. She is a retired Special Education Teacher. Do I have any hobbies or interests apart from dogs? I enjoy going to estate sales. During this past summer, I took up an old interest and began swimming. I swim three to four miles a week. How was I first introduced to the Non-Sporting breeds? I got my first Chinese Shar-Pei in 1984. I was lucky at specialties, early on, and stuck with it. Have I bred any influential sires or dams? I bred several Register of Merit sires and dams. I have owned a few females that I consider to be outstanding producers in the breed. Did I handle any memorable show dogs? I handled many dogs that were memorable to me! My best results came by sending dogs with handlers who could attend more shows and earn rankings. The Non-Sporting Group is the most diverse. How do I priori- tize the essentials for each breed? It is a diverse Group. It is impor- tant to remember the distinguishing characteristics of each breed, and which unique features attract people to the breed. I am glad I learned Non-Sporting breeds first as I feel like it “keys you in” on type—and being able to find that quickly. What are some of the challenges that come with judging the Non-Sporting breeds? The challenges in judging this Group have to do with the diversity. Some breeds have so much detail in their type as compared to dogs in some of the other Groups. Also, they display different movement, temperament, and showmanship. I always say that judging this Group is like switching gears, as the criteria changes so often as you proceed through the Group. How important is presentation and “showmanship” in the Non- Sporting Group? Presentation is more important in some breeds than in others. I try to have realistic expectations on breeds as to showmanship, and not penalize those breeds that are not natural showmen. Are any breeds in better shape or worse than they were 25 years ago? An interesting part of judging is to observe the changes in quality of different breeds. Some years, the quality is deep in cer- tain breeds and then it falls off. Of course, this is also due to the number of dogs being shown in that breed. Recently, I think I have been impressed with entries in Bichons, Dalmatians, Shibas, and French Bulldogs. What effect has popularity (or the lack thereof ) had on the Non- Sporting breeds? There are several nice Non-Sporting breeds that have become somewhat rare at all-breed shows. It is disappointing to see the numbers decline. I am always happy to see a good example of these breeds. Do I have any advice to share with new judges of the Non- Sporting Group? I would advise new judges to talk to as many men- tors as possible. I find that when I have multiple sources, invariably, one person shares information in a way that “clicks” with me. New judges should be ready to learn the nuances of breed type in this Group. Non-Sporting is anything but generic! NANCY SMITHHAFNER I’ve lived in the small town of Tuscumbia, Alabama, for the last 33 years. I moved here in 1987 from Nashville, Tennessee, when I sold my Boarding Kennel & Groom Shop. I purchased my first Miniature Poodle in 1969, a brown bitch, for a pet. I went to my first dog show with a Brown Miniature puppy that I bred; and he earned Reserve Winners Dog. I attended my first Poodle Club of America National in June of 1975 and came home with two place- ment ribbons. I continue breeding, and I show my Miniature Poo- dles. I’ve loved the competition and showing my own dogs. I was
approved to judge my first show in January 1998... my breed, POO- DLES. I was elected to judge the 2000 Poodle National for the Miniature Variety. Do I have any hobbies or interests apart from dogs? YES, I love to paint in watercolors and oil. I love to garden, cook, sew, and I do lots of crafts. I travel, shop, and just live life to the fullest. My most favorite hobby is raising Poodle puppies; watch- ing them get on their feet, walking backwards, sleeping in the food bowl... getting on a lead... their first shows... How was I first introduced to the Non-Sporting breeds? Back in the days of BIG hair, I had to go to the beauty shop to have what was called a “comb out.” The owner had a Brown Miniature Poo- dle that kept all us ladies entertained while at the shop. So, when my husband took a job in Nashville, I left Minneapolis to move to Franklin, Tennessee. I gave up my banking life, and got a Brown Poodle to keep me company. That is what started my life as I know it today. I started with Miniature Poodles in the mid-1970s, and have bred 77 Miniature Champions. We’ve had, over the years, several in the Top-10, winning in both Dogs and Bitches. The Non-Sporting Group wasn’t as big then as it is today. However, the Poodles were always strong competition in the Non- Sporting Group, along with Dalmatians, Keeshonden, Bulldogs, and Lhasas. Have I bred any influential sires or dams? We have sev- eral APOGEE DAKTARI / DAKTARI APOGEE Miniature Poodles listed in “Poodles In America.” We refer to this as THE GREEN BOOKS! I bred my last litter of Miniatures in the mid-1990s. From the late ‘70s thru the mid-’90s, my partner, A. Monroe McIntyre, and I were top breeder/owner-handlers. HE did most of the showing of the Specials. In all these years, we had one or two in the Top- 10 in Black or Brown Miniature Poodles in the Non-Sporting Group. Remember, we didn’t have a large number of shows. We had one day at one site and then we moved to the next show for one day only. Majors required GREATER NUMBERS, like doubled for 3-point majors. We had Poodle Magazine that came out once a month. We had Kennel Review, which was an all-breed maga- zine. LIFE was much different in the world of dog shows in those early years. Did I handle any memorable show dogs? YES, I showed Ch. Daktari Apogee Jarvis, a Black Miniature dog that became a Top- Producing Dog as was his sire, Ch Daktari Apogee Dakota. The Non-Sporting Group is the most diverse. How do I priori- tize the essentials for each breed? Each breed has its purpose as to what they were bred to do and, in Non-Sporting, it’s very differ- ent. It’s your responsibility to understand their breed history and to understand their construction and movement. I find it enjoyable to judge all the differences in one Group. With many of the low entry breeds, you may NEVER see a major entry, as those breeds are in pockets around the country and are not at every dog show. What are some of the challenges that come with judging the Non-Sporting breeds? All the different sizes in the Group. How important is presentation and “showmanship” in the Non- Sporting Group? They all move differently, but without their true showmanship and presentation, it’s not the breed they are represent- ing in the Non-Sporting Group. Are any breeds in better shape or worse than they were 25 years ago? I feel all breeds are in better shape because of the health testing that is done in each breed. What effect has popularity (or the lack thereof ) had on the Non-Sporting breeds? Poodles have ALWAYS been a popular breed in the Non-Sporting Group. At the moment, I feel French Bull- dogs are one of the more popular breeds in Non-Sporting Groups.
164 | SHOWSIGHT MAGAZINE, SPRING EDITION
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