NON-SPORTING GROUP Q&A
The showmanship needs to be breed-specific, which is dependent on the individual structural requirements of each breed. Not every breed is built to fly around the ring at a million miles an hour!
BARBARA (BOBBIE) WOOD I live in Cranford, New
Then there was BIS, MBISS Ch. Anbara Rimar Mary Puppins, CGC whom I campaigned for about three years. I showed her to Best in Show and, when she was an 11-year-old veteran, to Best in Specialty at our ALAC National Specialty. I finished BIS, BISS Ch. Anbara Rimar Grin N’Bear It, ROM who was then campaigned by Doug Holloway. My most-titled dog was Multiple Group- Winning, MBISS, MHIT Ch. Anbara Alasara Smart Aleck, CDX, RE, ARCHEX, CD-C2, CDX-C who was campaigned by Debbie Burke to Best in Specialty at our ALAC National Specialty, and was a Top Five Lhasa Apso. He has the distinction to be the only Lhasa to win both Best of Breed and High in Trial at our ALAC National Specialty. Maybe not a great conformation show dog, but my very first homebred Lhasa, Bo-Jangles, CD, was a regular on Sesame Street. He always looked like a Muppet and I loved him for 14 years. The Non-Sporting Group is the most diverse. How do I pri- oritize the essentials for each breed? With such a diverse group, it is essential that you have a clear picture in your mind of the ideal example of each breed. In this way, when you step into the Group ring you can assess each dog standing in front of you by asking the question: “Does this dog conform to its breed standard?” We have so many different sizes and shapes in this Group that it is almost like a puzzle to figure it out. So, my first priority will always be breed type, followed by proper condition, and those specific charac- teristics that make the breed unique. We don’t want Frenchies with Boston heads and we don’t want Bostons with Frenchie toplines; no Shar-Pei with level toplines or Bulldogs long and low; and no Chow Chows moving like Poodles. It’s specifics all the way for each breed. What are some of the challenges that come with judging the Non-Sporting breeds? The challenge will always be finding the best dog to represent the Group in the Best in Show lineup. This Group contains such a diversity of breeds—with each one possessing a whole different look and way of moving—that deep knowledge of each standard is essential. Which breeds are square, longer than tall, off-square, have free movement, stilted movement, heads and muzzles 1:2, 3:5, 1:1 ratios? Which dog represents his breed the best? It’s not a Group with just subtle differences from breed to breed, but with major differences in structure, balance, and move- ment. I truly love the challenge and get very excited to sort through each and every breed. How important is presentation and “showmanship” in the Non- Sporting Group? I feel that presentation is very important in show- ing dogs. As an owner-handler for about 45 years, I would never take a dog into the ring that was not clean, conditioned properly, and groomed to the best of my ability. It shows respect for the sport, for the judge whose opinion you are seeking, and for your dog. As a judge, I have encountered dogs that were dirty, smelly and untrained, and I wondered why exhibitors would spend all the money and time to show a dog in that condition. This truly dis- appoints me. Showmanship differs depending on which breed you are evaluating. You certainly wouldn’t expect the showmanship of a Chow Chow to be the same as the showmanship of a Poodle. The showmanship needs to be breed-specific, which is dependent on the individual structural requirements of each breed. Not every breed is built to fly around the ring at a million miles an hour! So, while
Jersey, but when I was given my first Lhasa Apso in 1968, I lived in a New York City apartment. I bred my first lit- ter in 1971 and, as I worked on Sesame Street at the time, my dog’s first show experi- ence involved “lights, camera, action.” As a kid, I had been heavily involved with showing horses, hunters and jumpers, so when the owner of the stud dog
suggested I try showing one of the pups, I thought it would be fun. After my first match show, I came home with three beautiful rib- bons and I was hooked! That was 50 years ago and the passion has just gotten stronger as the years have passed. I decided that when I achieved my Breeder of Merit status from my parent club, The American Lhasa Apso Club, that I would have learned my breed well enough that it would be time to apply for judging approval. So, in 1981, I applied for my first breed; Lhasa Apsos, of course. That makes 40 years as a judge. Do I have any hobbies or interests apart from dogs? My pro- fession as a sound effects artist was creative, and I loved the chal- lenge. I went to New York with the idea of working in theatre as a stage manager, but it soon became apparent that television was the media to pursue if you wanted steady employment. Working for ABC/Disney, I enjoyed being a part of shows like All My Chil- dren, Ryan’s Hope, One Life To Live, $20,000 Pyramid, Reasoner/ Walters News, World News Tonight with Peter Jennings and, what started it all, Sesame Street and The Muppet Show! The biggest thrill of my TV career was winning four Emmy Awards for my work on All My Children. However, theatre will always hold great interest and enjoyment for me. How was I first introduced to the Non-Sporting breeds? When I started going to matches with my first Lhasa puppy, we were often promoted to the Group competition. I didn’t know what was going on, but we participated in every competition for which we were eligible! I spent a year just doing those matches, learning how to handle and learning about other breeds. Needless to say, at that time, I had no intention to ever judge and no idea where this passion would lead me! Have I bred any influential sires or dams? Being alone and work- ing full time did not allow me the privilege of being able to breed any time I wanted. I basically only bred a litter when I wanted a new puppy to show, so one litter a year was my average. I did breed a bitch who produced 10 champion get and about four males that attained ROM status, but breeding was on a very small scale and carefully planned. Did I handle any memorable show dogs? Yes. First was MBIS, MBISS Ch. Anbara’s Hobgoblin, ROM whom I handled to his championship before he went to handler, Jean Lade, who showed him to the No. 1 Lhasa Apso, All-Systems in 1980 and ‘81.
SHOWSIGHT MAGAZINE, SPRING EDITION | 171
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