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, we currently are breeding. Our kennel name is Rivendell. 
2.) How long have you been in the breed? When and how did you get started? Are you affiliated with any clubs?  
I showed briefly in Obedience in the early 70?s when I lived in Kansas City. Jennifer and I stared showing in Conformation in 1981. We are both GSDCA members and belong to a local Bay Area club, Diablo Valley GSDC. 
3.) How long have you been judging the breed?  
5 years 
4.) How many times a year do you judge German Shepherds?  
3-5 times per year 
5.) Over the last 2 years has the number of shows?  
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 - but I do both as I love to judge. Judging the GSD has become an important part of my life. I don't care where the location might be if the dogs are good. When I do an All Breed, I do ,request, a larger ring if possible. I make that request known upon acceptance of the assignment. 
8.) Do you have a color preference?  
No preference 
a) Would the color of a dog influence your judgment? If yes, how and why?  
b) Do you find it harder to judge solid blacks ? If yes, why?  
No. The only thing about judging an all black or sable dog is that their faults seem more evident. 
9.) What importance do you place on condition of plush versus smooth coat? Please explain.  
Not important I do admit that smooth coated dogs tend to be the best movers. This is a general observation as I have judged some plush animals that move well, and smooth coated animals that Bekins couldn't help move! 
10.) When judging the dog do you also judge the handler? Please elaborate if possible.  
No . Caveat Emptor here...only if they screw them up! 
11.) What importance do you place on missing teeth?  
12.) How do you see bites today?  
13.) How do you see strength of ears?  
14.) Do you feel the GSD's temperament has improved over the past 5 years?  
15.) Do you consider temperament today to be? Please explain.  
Yes Gladly. When you judge 3-5 shows per year in various parts of the country, and over 99% of the dogs you judge pass a loose lead temperament test, it?s improving. 
16.) Do you prefer a dog to be shown on a loose lead?  
Not prefer, I demand it. 
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- 4  
Side Gait- 8  
Temperament- 9  
Teeth- 3  
Coat- 2  
Pasterns, hocks, feet- 5  
Pigment- 1  
Structure- 10  
Shoulder and reach- 7  
Attitude- 6 
18.) Could you briefly describe your ring procedure, and any changes you may incorporate between a small Vs large class  
I judge in catalog order. I bring my class in and if it's eight of more in a good size ring, split it. I take the 1st group around twice to warm them up. Then I move the 2nd group the same way. I request the dogs brought to me on a loose lead. If a handler rams a dog into me, they do it again. Eyes tell you EVERYTHING! I do my individual, including down and back, and then take the dog around. After all of the individuals I gait the group and will make some initial selections in preference. I consolidate the groups and then look to the dogs at the end. I will take them around and excuse those I don't believe to be competitive on that day. I will generally keep 5-7 dogs. I gait the remainder of the class until I make my selections. 
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. I haven't awarded points to a puppy, yet. I most likely give a special nod to a super puppy with a reserve, which I have done. I still should be able to do so if I choose to. 
20.) If a dog is not exactly to the standard in size, would you prefer slightly larger or smaller?  
Smaller. I've seen an awful lot of big dogs and bitches lately. 
21.) Do you think on average German Shepherd Dogs are too extreme?  
22.) In your opinion should double handling be allowed?  
Yes .Another Caveat Emptor- as long as it's done well and they don't screw up their dog. The GSD will not mindlessly stand and bait for a cookie. Do as is needed to make them look regal! 
23.) Should all select dogs, in your opinion, be OFA (H&E)?  
24.) When making the final selection, does the dog with the most front reach usually win the class?  
25.) Do you feel more emphasis should be put on the total package, and less on movement?  
Long answer: The way this question is written I can't answer it. IMO, the total package debate is moot. A balanced dog is the Total Package. There are some dogs that have MORE of that package than others. The Total Package should be a balanced dog with the ability to cover the most amount of ground with the least amount of effort. That term has taken breeders who don't want to work for a good shoulder off of the hook. 
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  
Not really. 
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 2 that I've personally seen that have impressed me to be CLOSE. Sel Ch Stuttgarts Sundance Kid ROM and Sel Ch Von Freya's Erik. IMO Bear was a wonderful dog with a fabulous temperament and the ability to produce himself and better, and Erik was the epitome of correct Shepherd movement. There are so many of the greats I've only seen on film. 
29.) Do you feel that in general the quality of the breed in this country is getting better or worse ? Please elaborate  
Better. Some years ago we witnessed the years of the rears. Dogs that could knit and purl a sweater just in the time it took to go over and back. Now we see an extreme dog that single tracks away and back. In general, I feel I see a better overall dog than I did when we got into the sport in the 80's. 
30.) Do you have a pet peeve about anything owners or handlers do concerning the showing of dogs ?  
Yes, destroying their dogs by bad double handling. 
31.) Do you have any suggestions for owners or handlers regarding anything they should ALWAYS do when showing under you ?  
Yes. Find out the style of dog I like, and show it to me. In N Carolina a handler apologized to me mid way through the show. I didn't understand why, so I asked. He explained it was his 1st show under me and brought all of the wrong style dogs. He was right, too. He's brought me my ,style, of dog ever since, and his positions have improved immensely. He still hasn't taken a point, but he's a whole lot closer! 
32.) Do you have any suggestions for owners or handlers regarding anything they should NEVER do when showing under you ?  
Nah, each show is different. 
33.) Do you have any advice for people who are relatively new to showing and/or breeding?  
Develop an eye for what is appealing to you and what you want. Then learn what it takes to achieve it. Never take a picture for 2nd place unless it's a Select, National Class placement, Futurity placing, or an All Breed Group! 
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  
It is an honor that I will always be thankful for. 
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.  
They've all been great to me. 
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Copyright © 1997, SpiderWomanl, Last Updated - 11/17/97