(for example, “I wish the head was better”). Unfortunate- ly, I see it being less common nowadays. Sometimes I also observe judge assistants (candidates for judges) strug- gling with being able to express why they like or dislike given dogs and describing them in a very general manner. 6. Is there anything else you’d like to share about the breed? NL: The judges have a responsibility to award typical dogs with natural, rustic looks and to penalize exaggerated dogs in any point of size, coat, angulations and structure. MEM: When AKC announced that the Lagotto Romagnolo would be welcomed into the Sporting Group in 2015, I was just applying for the last breeds in the group and so eagerly sought out examples and information on the breed. My initial response to the pictures was that they are an absolutely enchanting breed. The curly coat reminded me of some of the very old pictures I had seen of hunting poodles in Europe. When I saw my first Lagotto, I fell in love with his smallish size, his abundance of curls in the coat and his winning, outgoing personality. JR: Having been privileged to judge the first national for the breed I was interested that with such a small gene pool the breeders have been able to escape the wide diver- gences in type which are in many breeds. The introduc- tion of imports may see changes in this and it will be up to the protectors of the breed to resist. VMSS: As a note of interest, see the table below—this lists statistics of the Polish Kennel Club in 2015.
7. And, for a bit of humor: what’s the funniest thing you’ve ever experienced at a dog show? NL: Once I judged a group of Neapolitan Mastiffs at an international show in Europe and one lady brought to the ring a beautiful male with an electric dog shock collar, I was really confused and super-politely asked her to remove the collar from dog but she replied quick that the collar serves to protect me (as judge) in the ring and she added that I could feel perfectly safe while the dog wear it. After she refused to remove it, I concluded that I will feel more safe without the dog in the ring or without potential electric shock when I will go over dog during examination. JR: Over the years there have been many, but one of my favorites occurred when I said to a handler to move in a small circle in the ring and the handler promptly used me as a ring marker and did a small tight circle around me. VMSS: Oh, I remember a lot but there was one situation that really stuck with me. This might be difficult to trans- late, but I will certainly try. I was judging Great Danes and there was a very beautiful, thick-boned and robust dog that was presented by an elderly gentleman. There wouldn’t be anything unusual about that pairing if it wasn’t for the fact that the gentleman was very short and very frail looking. His head was on the same level as his Great Dane’s head. The size of the dog made the gentle- men look more petite and his dog even bigger. That sight led to my spontaneous and tender reaction so when I was asking him to present his dog in movement I say, “Please make a circlet (a petite circle)” instead of, “Please make a circle.” The owner of the dog smiled and jokingly made a spin and asked, “Was that okay?” The dog didn’t move even a bit while looking at his owner. “HAVING BEEN PRIVILEGED TO JUDGE THE FIRST NATIONAL FOR THE BREED I WAS INTERESTED THAT WITH SUCH A SMALL GENE POOL THE BREEDERS HAVE BEEN ABLE TO ESCAPE THE WIDE DIVERGENCES IN TYPE WHICH ARE IN MANY BREEDS.”
REGISTERED IN THE KENNEL (PEDIGREE)
NUMBER OF PUPPIES BORN
Male Female Male Female Male Female
22 46 27
AY: The Lagotto is a charming new addition to the Sporting Group. I have been lucky enough to see quite a few and their exhibitors are excited to show them off but are very concerned that their rustic appearance does not get loss in the land of let’s groom. My hope for the Lagotto is that there will be plenty of education for judges, breeders and owners available by qualified folks so that this very attractive, affectionate animal is judged correctly and that breeding practices are carefully monitored.
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