over the loin into a nicely rounded croup. The only sharp angle we have on a Whippet is at the hock joint. RT: There are times judges seem to have difficulty under- standing the silhouette and when to look for it. The most important time to judge the shape is on the move. The Whippet should be able to keep curves top and bottom on the move. There should be no flattening out over the loin. Sometimes we see curve over the loin, but no tuck up in the underline. An exaggerated curve over the top is not ideal. Our illustrated standard has really great drawings that demonstrate the ideal Whippet shape. It always bothers me to see a judge stand back and profile on the table or ramp. All you really do with this exercise is prove who is the better table trainer. 6. Is there anything else you’d like to share about the breed? Please elaborate. MA: Whippets do not have to be judged on the table. They can be judged on the ground. If judged on a table, do not evaluate outline there, just do the hands-on exam only. BH: I was honored to have been elected to judge the 30th AWC National Specialty show this year. I was thrilled to examine so many correct and beautiful Whippets. This was truly an amazing experience and I feel proud to be a part of this wonderful breed. I personally feel the breed I love is in great hands of today’s owners and breeders. Not only is the Whippet a versatile dog but is a treasured family member. IK: Whippets are sensitive dogs. They need socialization, especially to other dogs from the time their ears open to seven months of age. They need positive experiences with people, especially children, other breeds of dogs and the world around them. Once that window is closed at seven months, it is too late to undo the good or bad. Although I absolutely believe that temperament can be hereditary. This extends to the new homes they send their dogs to. A frightened, shy, non confident dog is unhappy and at risk for health problems. JL: That length over the loin and the tuckup that makes them so elegant/different looking is what allows them to do that beautiful double suspension gallop that they are famous for. It allows them to fold in half, which adds to their speed. If I could have one wish about judges applying to judge our breed it would be that they would be required to attend a performance event, and see these dogs at their very best. AKC now gives you credit for attending a performance event, but they don’t require it and don’t stipulate what kind of event. They give the same weight to any event and that has that breed there. DS: The Whippet is an athlete first and must be viewed as a breed with purpose. The structure has purpose in every way it functions from head to tail. The head has large forward facing eyes to view game. The front is its shock absorber and should have well laid back shoulder angula- tion and bend to pastern. The hind quarters are the engine and propel the dog forward in its quest for game. In between is the topline and underline which blend in a perfect harmony of “S” curves allow the Whippet its abil- ity to perform the double suspension gallop. Symmetry of outline is the it factor of this breed and although not always seen, must be sought after.
HT: This breed is about being a fast, sprint running Hound. So please be take some time to talk to those breeders who participate in the events that evaluate the function- ality of the breed. Things like straight upright pasterns, long over angulated rears, thin second thighs and overly short loins are not functional and detrimental to the abil- ity run fast and turn on a dime they are known for. Don’t become one of the great bait off judges who feel the best is the one who can stand and stare at food with their ears up for the longest amount of time! Yes, they should be able to free stack so you can assess their structure with- out having had their feet placed perfectly by the exhibi- tor. It is also nice to see that the ears are mobile and do not stand upright in the show ring as this helps you see the expression of the Whippet. A beautiful rose ear folded like gull wings with large dark rounder eyes gives the Whippet it’s soft, intelligent and warm expression. RT: We have a height disqualification. If a judge feels a dog is not within the limits, they must measure the dog. I have spoken with judges that said they knew they were not going to place a dog so did not bother to measure them. This does not help us as breeders maintain the standard. Fast movement does not equate to proper movement. If a dog has a long stride, he will have a long stride even at a walk provided he is uninterrupted by the handler. 7. And, for a bit of humor: What’s the funniest thing you’ve ever experienced at a dog show? BH: I was exhibiting at one of the AWC National Specialties. We had a foreign judge who I knew and as he turned to exam my entry he saw a cute Chihuahua. Never cracking a smile, he examined the dog and then excused my dog for lack of merit and told me that he even lacked testicles. I acted shocked and the judge just broke out in laughter. IK: It was at my very first dog show in the early 70s. I went into the ring with a little bitch I had purchased from a top breeder in Southern California. I had not been to more than a few handling classes under Peter Gaeta and it showed. My bitch slipped out of my hands as we were going around, I hit a ring pole and she ran out of the ring and away! It could have been really awful. She let me catch up to her quickly and I went home in shame. JL: I was stewarding and yelled at a junior handler who was being a pain while checking times for the handler she was working with, heard by a group of people at a supported entry. When the handler walked up and said, “It’s okay, she whelped this one and can yell at her if she wants.” Another time that same handler coerced me into taking a WD back in the ring for breed. He had a special, his partner had WB and they wanted her to get the cross over major. While being hissed at to not touch him because he was supposed to lose, I managed to run over the special in front of me, let the dog snag a cuticle while trying for the tiny piece of bait I’d been given, so I have my hand fisted in my pocket to keep from dripping blood until I could get the stewards attention and still went BOW. DS: It is hard to come up with just one! I will say there is so many things that people do with dogs that you have to laugh at. It is a funny sport, one I truly enjoy! HT: My wife and I were showing at the finger lakes shows in western New York. It was a beautiful outdoor show site.
296 • S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , J UNE 2018
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