|The following is an attempt to improve
communication between the judges of our breed, and the people who show
1.) Are you an active breeder of German Shepherd Dogs? Do you have a kennel name ?
Yes, I am active as a breeder if you qualify I or less breedings per year as active. I am also active as an exhibitor. Our kennel name is ABRAXAS SHEPHERDS.2.) How long have you been in the breed? When and how did you get started? Are you affiliated with any clubs?
We, my wife Patty and I, established our kennel in 1978. Prior to actually establishing the kennel as we know it today, we had owned German Shepherds for approximately 4 years.3.) How long have you been judging the breed?
I received my license to judge in 1993.4.) How many times a year do you judge German Shepherds?
Since I am an active exhibitor and I don't feel it wise to accept a lot of judging assignments at the same time, I only accept three or four judging assignments each year. I try to insure that they are in different parts of the country and where I don't5.) Over the last 2 years has the number of shows?
Since I received my license to judge, I have always made it a practice to accept only three to four shows a year as I explained above. Therefore, it remains the same.6.) Have you ever judged the National Specialty? If yes, when and what classes ?
No, I have not judged the Nationals, but Helen Miller Fisher did submit my name last year to the Board to Judge the Nationals. When I learned I was not on the Board slate, I planned to run by petition. However, when I decided to run for the Office of Vice President I felt it would be in poor taste to run on the slate to judge the Nationals at the same time.7.) Do you judge at both all-breeds and specialties, which do you prefer ?
Since I do limit the number of assignments that I accept, I prefer to judge at Specialties. However, I have judged at some large All-Breed shows, I would feel much better about judging8.) Do you have a color preference?
As an exhibitor and breeder. we have always bred black and tan. I do prefer the rich pigment with more black than red/tan but have not had that in a while. I am constantly working towards that end.9.) What importance do you place on condition of plush versus smooth coat? Please explain.
I think it is always more pleasing to the eye to see a beautiful German Shepherd with a beautiful coat. You can have a well conditioned coat in both plush and smooth. As a judge, I am10.) When judging the dog do you also judge the handler? Please elaborate if possible.
As a judge, I could care less who is handling the dog as long as the dog is presented the way I want it presented. I believe that everyone knows that a good dog can be made to took bad with poor presentation just as a good dog can be made to look superb with the proper presentation. I do request and get a loose lead presentation.11.) What importance do you place on missing teeth?
Proper dentition is very important and any missing teeth,. other than first premolars, is a serious fault and must be considered when judging the dog.12.) How do you see bites today?
While judging over the past few years, I haven't noticed any significant problems with missing teeth, but I have seen several level bites which seems to be more of a problem than missing teeth. Overall, bites are good.13.) How do you see strength of ears?
I haven't seen a problem with ears and consider them to be good.14.) Do you feel the GSD's temperament has improved over the past 5 years?
Absolutely!! It has improved. I have always tested temperament when judging by using the loose lead test. I am very careful, however, not to stalk a dog or try and hold it's eye contact. Use15.) Do you consider temperament today to be? Please explain.
In the shows that I have judged or attended, I have not seen any major temperament problems. A few shy dogs, but usually good overall.16.) Do you prefer a dog to be shown on a loose lead?
I always demand and got a loose lead or a dog cannot win under me.17.) How would you rate the following in sequence of importance? (On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the highest).
Coming and going 918.) Could you briefly describe your ring procedure, and any changes you may incorporate between a small Vs large class
I have the dogs come into the ring in catalog order and go to a designated area after checking the arm band numbers, Then the dogs are stacked so I can get a general impression of them. I Then ask that the dogs make two laps around the ring while Making sure that the handlers understand I want to see the dogs at an easy gait with a loose lead. After this, I start the19.) 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, I don't think there should be an age limit placed in placing points on any dog. If a dog is good enough to win, the age should make no difference. During the years I have judged, I have20.) If a dog is not exactly to the standard in size, would you prefer slightly larger or smaller?
I would prefer slightly larger, but it still all goes back to the dogs structure and movement,21.) Do you think on average German Shepherd Dogs are too extreme?
No, I do not feel that the German Shepherd Dog is too extreme. The real key is whether they are in balance in their movement front to rear and does the rear function properly.22.) In your opinion should double handling be allowed?
I don't mind discreet double handling, but I will not allow people running crazily around the ring, etc. My experience has been that there are a lot of people who do not know how to double handle their dog and do more damage than good for the dog. I am also of the opinion that double handling is no different than baiting a dog in the all breed ring or sparring simply to excite23.) Should all select dogs, in your opinion, be OFA (H&E)?
If you are asking if I think it should be mandatory for all Selects to be required to be OFA, then my answer is no. I am not in favor of placing the requirement of OFA for our Selects or any other mandatory requirement for that matter other than what the Breed standard calls for. We have already established a requirement and that is within the confines of the Award of Excellence. If you scrutinize the Selects at the past two Nationals, you would find that the greater percentage of the males were OFA certified and some were too young. I also know the argument that by having this requirement, we somehow would improve hip dysplasia as "most" people breed to the24.) When making the final selection, does the dog with the most front reach usually win the class?
I use the German Shepherd standard when judging and feel that the winners are the ones who most meet that standard. We have a very complete standard with some 1690 words in it- Those areas that comprise movement such as hindquarters, transmission, forequarters, and gait make up 30% of our standard. Therefore, a dog with a beautiful front working in total balance will usually be my winner.25.) Do you feel more emphasis should be put on the total package, and less on movement?
Please refer to my answer #24. 1 am also not sure what some people mean when they say "total package". To me a "total package" 'would be the one that most conforms to the standard If the GSDC of America and it's members want to change our standard to place less emphasis on movement then that is what should be done, but remember our beautiful breeds outreaching, elastic gait, without effort, covering the maximum amount of ground with the minimum number of steps is one of the areas that sets our breed span from all others, It has served us well for many years and continues to do so in my opinion.26.) Do you think the German Shepherd Dog standard should be changed?
No, I feel we have a very good and complete standard that serves us very well and has for many years.27.) Do you think there should be any changes in any of the existing rules concerning dog shows? If so, please elaborate
No, I don't think there should be any changes, I do believe, however, at large shows (i.e.: 5 points) then there should be some compensation to the reserve winners.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
There are and has been a lot of really fine dogs so to single one out would be difficult. There are many who have been dominant contributors to our breed such as Lance, Reno, Sundance Kid, Gunner, and as I have already mentioned GV Hollamor's Judd who actually patterned our thinking towards movement. One bitch whose name comes to mind is GV CH Langenaus Tango who in my opinion met the standard in almost every area including movement. I could go on and name many others, however, those who most typify my ideal GSD are those who have the qualities that our standard calls for and displays breathtaking movement.29.) Do you feel that in general the quality of the breed in this country is getting better or worse ? Please elaborate
One of the things that bothers me regarding owners is any improper and too exuberant double handling of their animals in the ring. It distorts the animal and does not present them in the best light. As far as handlers are concerned, occasionally one will ignore my instructions as far as loose lead and the speed at which I prefer to see them gait which is unfortunate because it also does a disservice to the animal and the owners.31.) Do you have any suggestions for owners or handlers regarding anything they should ALWAYS do when showing under you ?
I always expect to see the dogs properly groomed and presented as I ask them to be. The handlers only need follow my directions and the owners need only pay close attention (double handling) to their dogs while performing in the ring.32.) Do you have any suggestions for owners or handlers regarding anything they should NEVER do when showing under you ?
I will not tolerate poor sportsmanship from either handier or owner.33.) Do you have any advice for people who are relatively new to showing and/or breeding?
The most important thing I can stress to anyone is that we all started at the same place and should never hesitate to share our experiences and knowledge we have gained. Anyone undertaking breeding or showing should be knowledgeable about the standard and be able to pick the movement out and know how and why it works, and they should always be objective in evaluating their own dogs as well as others. I do not believe that breeding should be undertaken for any reason except to better the breed.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
I enjoy judging and seeing fine animals presented to their best advantage. I have a procedure that does not vary from show to show and I feel that is very important especially to those watching you judge. Consistency is another area that needs constant attention so that exhibitors and handlers know what to expect when entering under any judge. As I have already stated the GSD today is overall a better dog today than it has been and we always need to continue to strive to improve and not regress.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.
This question is very difficult to answer as I am not sure how the term "GREAT" is being used. It could be used only to signify how well a dog produces; or could mean the impact the dog has on the breed itself; or simply the movement and structure. Even though I have been judging only five years, I have been fortunate enough that virtually every dog I have pointed has gone on to finish it's championship. When I judged the Futurity, my Futurity dog was the #3 Select this past year; my Maturity bitch winner was the Maturity Victrix that year. Many of the dogs that I have awarded points to early in their career have gone on to earn the Select title within a short period of time under different judges. So for me to single out one dog would be improper.
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