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  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 have continuously shown and bred German shepherds under the kennel name LORIEN since 1969. 
2.) How long have you been in the breed? When and how did you get started? Are you affiliated with any clubs? 
That makes it almost 29 years. I've remained very active in Orange Coast GSDC during the whole time (still a board member) and I also belong to the parent club and the local all-breed club Santa Ana Valley KC. I got started showing because I was always crazy about dogs and then found this whole world of similarly crazy people. German shepherds was an easy choice because they are incomparably THE BEST! 
3.) How long have you been judging the breed? 
I got my provisional license in 1994 and permanent status a year ago. 
4.)How many times a year do you judge German Shepherds? 
None this 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 ? 
I like both, for different reasons. I love a big ring - usually only found at the specialties - for judging movement. But I like judging, regardless. 
8.) Do you have a color preference? 
I have color preferences for my breeding program, but consider all colors equal in the ring. 
a) Would the color of a dog influence your judgment? If yes, how and why? 
No, even faded color is only a minor fault. 
b) Do you find it harder to judge solid blacks ? If yes, why? 
I find it's a little harder to see shoulder action in a black, so I just have to look harder. 
9.) What importance do you place on condition of plush versus smooth coat? Please explain. 
Plush is beautiful, and beauty is an influence. But great movement is beautiful too. Coat is a seasonal thing, while structure is permanent. Is that ambiguous enough? 
10.) When judging the dog do you also judge the handler? Please elaborate if possible. 
Well, yes. I figure a good handler can hide faults, so I have to work to see the real dog. The mediocre handler shows me all the faults, and I have to work to see a smooth and true gait. Loose lead helps to level the playing field. 
11.) What importance do you place on missing teeth? 
Missing tooth? No big deal unless it seems to be a serious problem in the given area at a given time. Usually it's another quality that makes the difference. 
12.) How do you see bites today? 
Mostly good. 
13.) How do you see strength of ears? 
Ear sets and ear strength should be better. Pet buyers want good ears! (I guess that's the breeder in me speaking, not the judge.) Do I fault it as a judge? Somewhat. 
14.) Do you feel the GSD's temperament has improved over the past 5 years? 
Five years is not long enough to judge a trend because one or two heavily used stud dogs greatly influence the current ring, which can balance out in the next generation. 
15.) Do you consider temperament today to be? Please explain. 
Good. Over 29 years, temperament has changed in the conformation ring. There are fewer spooky or snappy dogs, but many more hyper-active, "wired" animals. Is that temperament? Is it good temperament? 
16.) Do you prefer a dog to be shown on a loose lead? 
Yes, yes, yes! 
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 - 8
Side gait - 10
Temperament - 10
Teeth - 7
Coat - 6
Pasterns, hocks - 9
Feet - 7
Pigment - 5
Structure - 10
Shoulder & reach - 10
Under reach & follow through - 10
Attitude - 4
( I added a couple) 
18.) Could you briefly describe your ring procedure, and any changes you may incorporate between a small Vs large class 
Large classes should always be broken into smaller groups for gaiting. 
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. The judge's job is to find the best dog and bitch shown that day. 
20.) If a dog is not exactly to the standard in size, would you prefer slightly larger or smaller? 
Larger. Actually, what I like is more substantial. Unfortunately, smaller usually means FINER, something a shepherd should NOT be. 
21.) Do you think on average German Shepherd Dogs are too extreme? 
On the average? No 
22.) In your opinion should double handling be allowed? 
Yes. Bored dogs don't look noble. 
23.) Should all select dogs, in your opinion, be OFA (H&E)? 
No. Judges should judge only what they can see. Breeders don't need a smaller gene pool for selection in their breeding program. And why is this fault (non-OFA) greater than any other given fault? It's neither the most common nor the most serious. 
24.) When making the final selection, does the dog with the most front reach usually win the class? 
Sometimes, but there ARE other qualities to judge. 
25.) Do you feel more emphasis should be put on the total package, and less on movement? 
No, the total package includes movement. You can't have a good dog without type. You can't have a great dog without type and movement. 
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 
Yes, I think unqualified judges should not be allowed to judge. I have seen way too many all breed judges who obviously neither know nor care about German shepherds, and in fact seem even to dislike our breed. 
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 
To know whether a dog was ideal, I would have to know the dog well, because character counts. This, of course, eliminates the fantastic dogs I have known only through their ring presentations... many GREAT ones. So the favorites I have known are: Dog: Select Ch. Pinebeach's Chase of Lorien, ROM (personal bias) Bitch: Select Ch. Nike Clayfield Lady Love, TC, CD 
29.) Do you feel that in general the quality of the breed in this country is getting better or worse ? Please elaborate 
Probably better, although the great ones are, as always, rare. 
30.) Do you have a pet peeve about anything owners or handlers do concerning the showing of dogs ? 
Either they think faster movement is better movement, or they think the judge thinks faster is better. (Unfortunately, some judges do.) 
31.) Do you have any suggestions for owners or handlers regarding anything they should ALWAYS do when showing under you ? 
Always be polite - to the judge, to the other exhibitors and to the ringside. 
32.) Do you have any suggestions for owners or handlers regarding anything they should NEVER do when showing under you ? 
Never try to intimidate - the judge, the other exhibitors or the ringside. 
33.) Do you have any advice for people who are relatively new to showing and/or breeding? 
Love and respect your dogs and the breed; make friends at the shows. 
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's a more complicated thing from the middle of the ring than from the outside, but not more difficult. Admitting my fallibility, I will try always to judge fairly and respectfully, and to select the best dogs to the best of my knowledge and ability. 
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. 
You don't have to be in the middle of the ring to "judge" a great one. Sometimes the great ones didn't even win! ...but it still was a thrill to see them. 
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