Showsight Presents the Whippet

whippet Q&A

TODD MILLER I live in Louisiana, MO where I am a family Doctor. I got my first purebred dog in 1997 and have been showing since. I have been a licensed judge through AKC for two years.

New York City as it is a central location for lots of sighthound shows and sports. I was a New Jersey Rag Racer Club member for many years. My first purebred dog was a Wire Fox Terrier when I was 12 years old. That means I’ve been active in pure- bred dogs for 50 years. (If you can add, you get my age.) 1. If you have judged Whippets outside the US, where do you feel that the American-bred Whippet is strong, and where could we stand to learn from our fellow fanciers overseas? EB: First of all, in many countries, Whippets are not found in large numbers, except in Australia. I recently judged Whippets at the Sydney Royal in 2015, and found them to be very comparable to the Whippets we have here in the US. I judged the Whippets in Australia, and will say that I recog- nized American breeders there (i.e. Phoebe Booth) working together with the Australian breeders, for the betterment of the breed. KD: I have not had the opportunity to judge outside of the US, but I did have the good fortune of attending the Whip- pet Congress in Sweden in 2008. The FCI has “suggested” guidelines for Whippets, but has no disqualifications. I find this unfortunate as this lends itself to a vast amount of incon- sistencies within the breed. Some Europeans have infiltrated American bloodlines in their programs, which has also lent itself to even larger gene pools and greater inconsistencies in type, size and soundness. EE: Over the more than 30 years that I have been judging Whippets, the breed has become significantly more uniform from country to country. There used to be much more of a clearcut division between English and American Whippets. It is not easy to generalize about anything, including Whippets, but in my opinion the breed has improved quite significantly over the years, having become sturdier, sounder and better balanced in most countries, including in the US. There seems to be more of a difference in type and quality between Whip- pets shown at the all-breed shows and at specialties in the US than anywhere else, the all-breed show Whippets tending to be more generic show dogs, while there are always a number of exquisite Whippets shown at US specialties. US Whippets tend to score heavily in pigmentation, expression, showman- ship and side gait, whereas balance of toplines, depth of chest, shape of underlines and front construction can often be improved. RF: I’ve judged Whippets in Australia, Canada, Italy and Sweden and think the American-bred Whippet is as strong in every aspect as any I’ve seen elsewhere. The world is such a small place anymore with puppies and semen being imported and exported from all over the world that many of the Whippets I’ve seen overseas have American blood- lines in their pedigrees as do many being shown here have foreign bloodlines in theirs. I think if we all just continue to have open lines of communication we can all—no mat- ter where we are from—continue to learn about the many different facets of good, well-bred Whippets from our fellow breeders/fanciers worldwide. DM: I have judged Whippets in Canada, Sweden, Finland, France, Italy, Russia, Hungary, Romania, Australia, Colum- bia, China, Japan and South Korea. In addition, I have shown

CHRISTY NELSON

I live in southern Cali- fornia. For the past 20 years I have spent con- siderable amount of time raising my two best Bred Bys—my sons. Both my sons have shown dogs but found other sports they enjoy more and which have kept us very busy. I’m a second-generation dog person. I showed my first dog when I was 8. I enjoyed much success breeding and showing Italian Greyhounds in my

teens. Runners is the kennel name I inherited from my moth- er, Isabell Stoffers. Over the past 40+ years (I refuse to admit to any more years than that) I’ve enjoyed competing with my Whippets in conformation, lure coursing, straight racing, obe- dience and junior showmanship. I have had my judge’s license for 20 years and I am licensed to judge Whippets, Salukis, Bas- sets, Italian Greyhounds and Junior Showmanship. I wish I had more time to be licensed for more breeds—maybe when my youngest son goes to college.

SHARON SAKSON

I am a television news producer. I discovered Whippets while I was Execu- tive News Producer at KPIX in San Francisco. I would spend my weekends lure coursing with Jean Balint, Wyndsor Whippets, in Napa and Sonoma counties. Dur- ing the week I was in charge of all the news programs on the station. Next, I moved to London, England, and worked for years with Peter Jennings, the anchorman of

ABC Evening News. I became friends with a British Broadcast- ing Corporation television producer who had the top cours- ing Whippets, Gay Robertson, Moonlake Whippets. We were kindred spirits. As far as where I live, I am a recent arrival to Florida and I love it! The dogs do, too. I was born in Princeton, New Jersey, and returned there to live while I was working in

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