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 ?  

I actively bred for over twenty years. I am not breeding at this particular time because of personal circumstances, but fully expect to go back to breeding when the time is right & I locate the bitch on which I want to base my new foundation. When breeding, I bred both in partnership with Dania Karloff (as Da-Jo's) and singly (as Crestview), producing champions under both kennel names. 
2.) How long have you been in the breed? When and how did you get started? Are you affiliated with any clubs?  
I have had a German Shepherd Dog most of my life. I bought my first "show" dog in 1968. She was sired by Ch Falko v. Cellar Schloss out of Ch Della of Cosalta (a CH Harry v, Donaki dau.). She grew to be approximately the same size as the horses I was riding, but by then I had been bitten by the bug. Having a little talent showing in showing dogs & no money for same, I became a handler out of economic defense. This was back when handlers either had to apprentice to another handler for a period of time, or just teach themselves the hard way, then beg the AKC to give them a handler's license. I handled until approx. 1985 when my knees and my enthusiasm gave out. After about 5 years away from all dog things, I began to feel an urge once more to be involved. I applied for & received my judge's license in 1990. I am currently a member of the GSDC of Central Indiana, and have been a past member of the GSDC of Western New York, the GSDC of Eastern Virginia, and a founding member of the GSDC of NW Pennsylvania. 
3.) How long have you been judging the breed?  
Almost 8 years. 
4.) How many times a year do you judge German Shepherds?  
Approx. 3-5. I feel that judging much more than that tends to overexpose a judge and adversely effect their draw. 
5.) Over the last 2 years has the number of shows?  
Stayed about the same. 
6.) Have you ever judged the National Specialty? If yes, when and what classes ?  
No. After dropping out of showing, it has taken awhile for me to re-establish name recognition with the newer people in the breed. This is a task at which I'm still trying to work hard. 
7.) Do you judge at both all-breeds and specialties, which do you prefer ?  
I have judged both at specialties as well as all breeds, but usually judging at a specialty gives you better judging conditions & therefore the better animals to judge. If an all breed can provide those same ring conditions, then I would have no preference. 
8.) Do you have a color preference?  
Having put up animals of every accepted breed color, I guess I would have to say that color is almost the last thing I notice on an animal....but my heartstrings go plunk when I see a REALLY stylish & good moving black. Guess that answers the question concerning black dogs. 
a) Would the color of a dog influence your judgment?  
b) Do you find it harder to judge solid blacks ?  
Yes, they are harder to judge, because everything is accentuated and silhouetted, but when they are good, they are spectacular in my eyes! 
9.) What importance do you place on condition of plush versus smooth coat? Please explain.  
Can't say as that should be a primary point of judging. A plush coat look prettier & a smooth coat can cause a judge to see more elbow motion coming at you, but those are minor factor to be evaluated in judging the total animal. 
10.) When judging the dog do you also judge the handler? Please elaborate if possible.  
Only when I perceive the handler as making my job harder, whether by refusing to show what I want, or interfering with the presentation of their dog. I want EVERY animal to be presented in the very best manner possible so as to give each to maximum opportunity to be seen in the most positive light . 
11.) What importance do you place on missing teeth?  
This answer would depend on the number & placement of the missing teeth. A missing #1 premolar would have very little influence on my judging unless I was very pressed to make fine distinctions between excellent animals. 
12.) How do you see bites today?  
Good. I have found very few really bad bites and have had only one occasion to disqualify a dog for an undershot bite 
13.) How do you see strength of ears?  
Good. Again I find my share of weak and overset ears, but since I am primarily seeing dogs only in the showring, I am not being exposed to the progeny with severe ear problems. 
14.) Do you feel the GSD's temperament has improved over the past 5 years?  
I think that conscientious judges are making every effort to address this in today's rings. I, myself, do a loose lead temperament check, and think most of your better judges today are attempting the same. 
15.) How do you consider temperament today to be? Please explain.  
Very good. So many people in our breed today are doing so many more diverse things with their dogs (herding, agility, etc.) that I think the temperament improvement goes hand in hand with these activities. 
16.) Do you prefer a dog to be shown on a loose lead?  
I not only prefer it, I require it at some points of my judging procedure in the class. 
17.) How would you rate the following in sequence of importance? (On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the highest). 
Side Gait 10 The division of these two aspects has me baffled, shoulder & reach need to be inclusive under side gait along with balance, underdrive,follow-through & efficiency of motion.  
Shoulder & reach 10  
Temperament 8  
Pasterns, hocks & feet 7 
Coming & going 6 
Attitude 5 This, too, is hard to separate out as so much of it can affect all the other components  
Structure 4 Pictures presented standing can change drastically when put in motion  
Coat 3 
Pigment 2 
Teeth 1 

Again, let me qualify the above ranking, these would also be weighed by the severity of the fault & the comparison to the other animals in the class. 

18.) Could you briefly describe your ring procedure, and any changes you may incorporate between a small Vs large class  
As, a rule I take all the animals around a least once upon beginning judging n order to give everyone a feel for the ring, let some animals settle & just give myself an initial first impression of the class as a whole. I then proceed with individual examinations. At this time I insist on seeing each animal on a loose lead at least twice. First when the animal comes out in the center, I approach it on a loose lead for a temperament examination, then again when the animal does its individual gaiting around the ring.  

I absolutely insist on a loose lead at this time & will make the handler go around until I see the animal loose and gaiting reasonably for at least a portion. If it is a large class, I will divide it after individuals and work with each group until I decide which animals I want to keep for final competition. I never keep less than 6 animals in this group to insure against mishaps among my final four during the last steps of judging a 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. A judge can only judge which animal is the best one on a given day. They cannot be expected to foresee how a particular animal will be in the future. Otherwise a judge could be limited to putting up an inferior animal over a structurally inferior animal because of an age limitation. I am very strongly against ANY restrictions being placed on a judge's decision other than those placed there by the standard. 
20.) If a dog is not exactly to the standard in size, would you prefer slightly larger or smaller?  
No particular preference. 
21.) Do you think on average German Shepherd Dogs are too extreme?  
No. A poorly ligimented dog will be faulty in the rear whether extreme in angulation or not. Faulty ligamentation is the component the breeder should be concentrating on eliminating. 
22.) In your opinion should double handling be allowed?  
I have no problem with double handling when it is done properly, but I loathe bad double handling. I think it harms more animals than it helps. Good doubling is done discretely & with good judgement...just enough to keep the dog going to correct direction and acting interested. Bad doubling distorts an animal by causing them to pull too hard, in the wrong direction, or just totally distorts everything the judge is trying to see.  

I always try to give every handler and animal every opportunity to present their animal to the very best of its ability, but I don't have the time for marathon judging or to keep instructing the doubler until they get it right, and if my instructions are continuously disregarded, then I feel I can only judge on what I'm seeing, not what someone may think I should be seeing. 

23.) Should all select dogs, in your opinion, be OFA (H&E)?  
Again, I reiterate I am strongly against any constraints being put on a judge's decisions. I feel that the people who are conscientiously breeding for good hips will investigate this from the stud dog owner & make their decision appropriately, regardless of Select rating. Someone who is merely breeding to "titles", will do so regardless. As a judge, I can only tell you which animals, in my opinion, most nearly met the standard on a given day.  

I find nowhere in our standard that an OFA rating is a requirement. I cannot be the fancy's conscience. Only the breeders have that moral obligation, and I feel most breeder feel deeply about this obligation that they will take EVERY factor into consideration when choosing the direction their breeding program takes, as they are the ones living with the consequences of a heartbroken owner. 

24.) When making the final selection, does the dog with the most front reach usually win the class?  
Only if the rest of the package is equally as good, then this can be a factor in the final decision. 
25.) Do you feel more emphasis should be put on the total package, and less on movement?  
I think every judge needs to look at the total animal, but the deciding factor between two similarly quality animals should be movement. 
26.) Do you think the German Shepherd Dog standard should be changed?  
I would have to know specifically how & why before I could answer this question. 
27.) Do you think there should be any changes in any of the existing rules concerning dog shows? If so, please elaborate  
Can't think of any off hand. Check with me again, next time I judge & start complaining about something. 
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  
I'll list 2. Famous dog....GV CH. Mannix of Fran-Jo. A dog that was so far ahead of his time as to look like he came from another planet then. He was deep, masculine with a German-type head. I used his silhouette for years when giving structure lectures. He looked like he could give you that low ground covering gait all day long....and could. He had a very aloof temperament, which was sometimes misconstrued for shyness. He was the least shy dog I ever knew. He just didn't care a whit about you unless you were on of "his" people. I can remember many times rolling around on the floor on Joan & Fran's kitchen with the big ole wooly bear. I still dream about him whenever I judge. Not-so-famous dog...CH. Jeenellyn's UFO. This was a dog even I under appreciated when he was alive. I'd give anything to have access to frozen sperm from him to use now.  

He was never used for the right reasons (usually only because someone wanted to breed to a black champion), but consistently proved any line he was crossed with. I didn't start showing him until he was over 6 1/2 years of age (first point) and finished him when he was over 8, looking a strong and good as many of the young dogs finishing today & dying a short time later. He was a very bright animal who saw absolutely no point in running around a ring, but would do it primarily just to "humor" me. He was NEVER double handled because his owners couldn't afford to show him and go too. He always just had to do it on his own. After he finished, the owner put an endurance degree on him & was working towards his SchH I when he was injured in a training accident. 

29.) Do you feel that in general the quality of the breed in this country is getting better or worse ? Please elaborate  
I feel that the breed on the whole is getting better. Today's breeders are not only making every effort to turn out more competitive animals in the show ring, but appear to be painfully aware of the animals they are producing for the pet market. I see more and more breeders reaching out, trying to educate the public & dispel the unfortunate myths that go hand in hand with our beautiful breed. 
30.) Do you have a pet peeve about anything owners or handlers do concerning the showing of dogs ?  
Two. 1.) Listen to me when I am trying to tell you something in the ring. Believe me, I don't want anyone's dog to look bad. If I'm saying something to you concerning the speed, doubling, whatever, I'm trying to make the point that I think this animal looks better from my perspective, when you do as I ask you. What does it matter if Joe Shmo, standing at ringside tells you Fluffy is an absolute world beater, running around the ring strung up? I'm the one pointing, and if I tell you I don't see it that way...well you better go ask Joe to give you the major that day, because I not going to.  

2.) When you enter under me, you're asking for my opinion of an animal as seen on that particular day. I don't care what his credentials (or in some cases non-credentials) are up to that point, I can only judge on how he looks at that time & place. Why get pissy with me if you get my opinion after paying good money for it? Throwing a screaming fit does not ensure that I will go over & take the purple ribbon away from the winner & award it to you retroactively, but it will ensure you to look pretty stupid to the audience, regardless of how "BOLD" they tell you you were, they're are still privately thinking "What a major league immature jerk!"....and trust me, it doesn't increase your competitiveness under me in future judging assignments. Most Shepherd people are naturally assertive like their dogs, and trust me, under this happy-go-lucky exterior, I am a true Alpha Bitch! 

31.) Do you have any suggestions for owners or handlers regarding anything they should ALWAYS do when showing under you ?  
See above. Also, have fun!!! People just don't seem to have much fun at this sport any more. Lighten up people...its not fatal! If you don't wake up dead or in Vietnam, then all the rest is detail. 
32.) Do you have any suggestions for owners or handlers regarding anything they should NEVER do when showing under you ?  
Memorize the answer to question 30. 
33.) Do you have any advice for people who are relatively new to showing and/or breeding?  
Be quiet & everyone. Don't just rely on one source as the fountain of all knowledge. Pay attention to those who are DOING, not just talking about it. And after 5 years or so, believe me, you still are not an expert. No matter how long you work on educating hard to try to breed carefully you pick homes for your furry babies....there are bumps in the road. Mother Nature whips one out of her bag of tricks and find out you're still a neophyte idiot! 
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'm currently on page 7 of this novella. Don't you think your readers would prefer I shut up already?
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 think here I would be better put to say that instead of judging some of the greats, there were very few of the ones back many generations in your pedigrees that I didn't know on a one-on-one basis. Would love to talk about the oldies but goodies (a category of which I seem to find myself, now) anytime. Stop me at a show, insert your quarter in the proper coin slot, and stand back. 
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