WITH VICKI ABBOTT, JUDY HARRINGTON, DOUG JOHNSON, WENDY MAISEY,
SHAROL CANDACE WAY, DR. MICHAEL WOODS & GALE YOUNG
the dog should be built correctly to do that job. Mentor- ing is needed for these new ones if they have an interest in breeding better dogs. JH: I think there have been good breed stewards who have consistently had quality dogs in competition since I became involved with the breed. I would say that the quality that I have seen remains the same. DJ: This is a strong breed that is one of my favorites to judge. Interestingly, this is a bitch-dominated breed with generally lots of quality in the bitch entries. Sometimes getting through the male classes can be a struggle. The breed often times finds a sire that becomes popular and produced well bred to any and every line. There are sev- eral potent sires that stamp a look on their offspring no matter which bitches they are bred to. So, to your point, today the breed is not as dense in quality as in recent years (five to ten years ago), but you can still find quality entries throughout the country. WM: I think there has been a lot of improvement in the breed, there are better temperaments and more sound- ness coming and going. CW: I have only been judging them a short time, but front shoulder angles appear to be better. Also temperament, there are not as many shy ones. MW: Most of us are inclined to remember ‘the good old days’ with nostalgia and see the past through rose- colored glasses. There were some great dog in the past and there are some great dogs in the present. Overall, I think the quality in the breed has improved from when I started judging. Breeders are trying to get away from exaggerations and we’re seeing a better balanced dog and more dogs with breed type. That doesn’t mean that there isn’t room for improvement, but I think breeders are on the right path and are trying to preserve the essential characteristic of the breed. GY: Much better than they were in the 50s, but recently there seems to be a lack of knowledgeable and dedicated long-time breeders and we are losing the correct outline. 5. What do you think new judges misunderstand about the breed? VA: One of the comments in the first paragraph of the standard is that “above all, the dog’s conformation must indicate the ability to work with great speed and endur- ance in the field”. So for a new judge, priorities in the standard must be set according to this statement. Physical characteristics should be weighed by their effect on func- tional ability. It’s important to understand what a dog in good hard condition is—a dog that is very showy but has soft muscles and straight shoulders does not meet these expectations. JH: This is difficult to answer since I’m usually busy judging in other rings when new judges are doing their job so wouldn’t comment without being able to watch them.
DJ: I think they are struggling with the bone mass and body substance and can get put off by some of the construc- tion challenges. Another point if the head and expression which is important and yet misunderstood. They are not to have deep flews and lots of skin, the eye color can be off putting if not correct, so there are certainly some detailed type concerns to figure out before you have a larger entry of this breed. CW: Trumpets, location, shape and appearance. Also eye color which is certainly different if you come from say Terriers where dark eyes are required. “INTERESTINGLY, THIS IS A BITCH-DOMINATED BREED WITH GENERALLY LOTS OF QUALITY IN THE BITCH ENTRIES.” MW: Most new judges work very hard to perfect their craft; they want to do a good job and are committed to what they do. That having been said, many young judges, myself included when I began to judge, fall into the trap that ‘more’ is good: more fore-chest, more angulation, more size, more substance. The standard describes the breed as “a medium-sized gray dog” and some variation of the word ‘moderate’ is used five times in the standard. The standard does not ask for an exaggerated dog, but a medium-sized, balanced dog that is within specific size limits. In judging males in particular, the dog that is in the lower half of the size range should not be disregarded simply because he looks smaller than the rest of the class. He might well be the best, even if not the biggest, Weimaraner. GY: Judges might think that they are a rectangular breed, in motion they need a level topline, tail off the back held at approximately one o’clock with good reach and drive. “Above all, the dog’s conformation must indicate the abil- ity to work with great speed and endurance in the field.” 6. Is there anything else you’d like to share about the breed? JH: I love that so many in the breed also work in the field with their dogs. I have found the temperaments to be quite good across the board as well. CW: Coast to coast, I have found the overall quality of Weims to be very good. Good presence, outline
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