Interview With Edie Trocki

  The following is an attempt to improve communication between the judges of our breed, and the people who show under them.

1.) Are you an active breeder of German Shepherd Dogs? Do you have a kennel name ?

Yes - Legate Hill Shepherds

2.) How long have you been in the breed? When and how did you get started? Are you affiliated with any clubs?

We started in 1967. We wanted to have a family hobby that my husband and I and our 3 children would enjoy. We also liked the traveling. I am affiliated with the German Shepherd Dog Club of Greater New Haven.

3.) How long have you been judging the breed?

My first assignment was in June of 1993

4.) How many times a year do you judge German Shepherds?

3-4 times a year

5.) Over the last 2 years has the number of shows?

About the same.

6.) Have you ever judged the National Specialty? If yes, when and what classes ?


7.) Do you judge at both all-breeds and specialties, which do you prefer ?

Specialties. I did, but I generally now do just specialties. I would judge an all breed show if it was with a specialty and had a large ring.

8.) Do you have a color preference?


a) Would the color of a dog influence your judgment? If yes, how and why?

No unless the color was extremely washed out.

b) Do you find it harder to judge solid blacks ? If yes, why?


9.) What importance do you place on condition of plush versus smooth coat? Please explain.

Not important.

10.) When judging the dog do you also judge the handler? Please elaborate if possible.

No. The only way the handler enters into it is that sometimes they can present the dog to its best advantage. The same person can win multiple classes under me or both WD & WB.

11.) What importance do you place on missing teeth?

Important. If a dog has a missing tooth and has everything else I want, it would be competitive under me. However, if there were one of equal quality with a full mouth then the one with the missing tooth would be at a disadvantage. Also it depends on which tooth.

12.) How do you see bites today?


13.) How do you see strength of ears?

Between good and poor - probably fair.

14.) Do you feel the GSD's temperament has improved over the past 5 years?

Yes, The dogs overall do not seem as shy or skittish.

15.) Do you consider temperament today to be? Please explain.


16.) Do you prefer a dog to be shown on a loose lead?

Yes, but I primarily prefer the dogs not to race around the ring.

17.) How would you rate the following in sequence of importance? (On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the highest).

Coming & Going: 6
Side Gait: 9
Temperament: 10
Teeth: 6
Coat: 4
Pasterns, hocks,feet: 7
Pigment: 4
Structure: 9
Shoulder & Reach: 8
Attitude: 8

This is a hard question. You really have to look at the total dog within its competition.

18.) Could you briefly describe your ring procedure, and any changes you may incorporate between a small vs. large class

19.) Do you think there should be an age limit in placing points on a dog (i.e.dogs and bitches under 12 months of age)?

No. You select what you feel is the best dog in the winners class.

20.) If a dog is not exactly to the standard in size, would you prefer slightly larger or smaller?

No Answer.

21.) Do you think on average German Shepherd Dogs are too extreme?


22.) In your opinion should double handling be allowed?

Yes, to the extent that the dog looks its best, not pulling and going crazy.

23.) Should all select dogs, in your opinion, be OFA (H&E)?

Yes, but I feel there might be cheating if this is a rule.

24.) When making the final selection, does the dog with the most front reach usually win the class?

No, however, I like a really good mover and that includes front.

25.) Do you feel more emphasis should be put on the total package, and less on movement?

I like to have it in all my winners, but that usually is not the norm. I definitely like a good mover with a good back and topline.

26.) Do you think the German Shepherd Dog standard should be changed?


27.) Do you think there should be any changes in any of the existing rules concerning dog shows? If so, please elaborate

28.) Is there a dog, whether alive now or not, who to you typifies most closely the "ideal" German Shepherd Dog ? If yes, please explain and give details

29.) Do you feel that in general the quality of the breed in this country is getting better or worse ? Please elaborate

I think it is better now compared to a few years ago.

30.) Do you have a pet peeve about anything owners or handlers do concerning the showing of dogs ?

When handlers refer to the dog by name in the ring. Also when handlers crowd the person and dog in front of them.

31.) Do you have any suggestions for owners or handlers regarding anything they should ALWAYS do when showing under you ?

Treat the other handlers, their dog and the judge with respect.

32.) Do you have any suggestions for owners or handlers regarding anything they should NEVER do when showing under you ?

Make snide remarks or question what the judge is doing. I do not hold this against the handler, but it is not good sportsmanship.

33.) Do you have any advice for people who are relatively new to showing and/or breeding?

Talk to people in your areas. Go to shows and join a local specialty club. Listen to everyone's opinion and then try to decipher who seems more honest and knowledgeable.

34.) Is there anything else you would like to say about judging or about the German Shepherd breed today ? If so, please feel free to say it here

  1. I think the judge should be honest and knowledgeable.
  2. I think the handlers should go in and try to win with the dog they handle.
  3. The exhibitors should not say it was politics when they do not win. They should try to show what the judge likes.

35.) Have you ever judged one the of the greats? If so, can you give a rundown of this dog for the people who have not had the privilege to even see it.

I have only been judging for a little over 4 years, but I definitely have judged some future stars.

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