Page 232 - ShowSight, March 2020
P. 232

                With the often late-onset, it has affected a number of breeding pro- grams and it can progress to glaucoma which can have major reper- cussions for the dog.
More recently NCL (neuronal ceroid-lipofuscinoses), a type of inherited neurological disorders has been diagnosed in Golden Retrievers and several other breeds. Luckily a DNA test was devel- oped fairly quickly for this autosomal recessive disorder, which severely limits the quality of life as well as lifespan of the dog.
Any trends I’d like to see stopped? Disrespect for the breed standards! In Golden Retrievers, and other breeds as well, there is too much over-grooming and over-trimming. The breed standard is specific in how the Goldens should be presented, as are many other standards. The correct Golden coat is being blown open, excessively trimmed into straight lines, undercoat stripped and topcoat trimmed instead of presenting a natural appearance. The coat should lie close to the body, like a water-resistant jacket. The standard states: Feet may be trimmed and stray hairs neatened, but the natural appearance of coat or outline should not be altered by cutting or clipping. It also states untrimmed natural ruff. I am not against tidying up, but it needs to be done well in advance of the show. Clever groomers can thin and shape discreetly and still have a natural looking dog.
Some rustic hunting breeds, that should be tousled, etc., are being scissored, trimmed and flattened. (WP Griffon: Coat is hard and coarse, never curly or woolly, with a thick undercoat of fine hair, giving an unkempt appearance). I like to see the whiskers left on Sporting Dogs as well. Why are we still removing them for solely the clean look when they serve a functional purpose?
I hope we don’t start seeing Kooikers with their earrings and wispy ears being trimmed now. Their standard is also specific: “The dog is presented with a natural, untrimmed coat. Vis- ible scissoring or grooming, except for neatening the feet, is to be severely penalized.”
I have had some amazing mentors who have been stalwarts in our breed. From the beginning we sought out experienced people to guide us. Carole Kvamme Johnson (Alderbrooke), Dick and the late Ludell Beckwith (Beckwith Goldens), Marcia Schlehr (Kyrie), the late Rachel Page Elliot, the late Betty Gay (Gayhaven) all were very formative in educating me about the Golden Retriever. I have been blessed with their guidance over many years. Dick and Ludell also encouraged me to pursue my judging career. Marcia has been a dear friend and I only hope I can remember some of the vast store of knowledge that she has shared with me.
The biggest pitfall awaiting new and novice judges? First of all, the cost of attending specialties and seminars to learn and get continuing education credits. In order to judge, individuals have already put in years of breeding and exhibiting and sometimes some potentially good judges cannot travel or expend the necessary funds to fulfill the requirements of AKC beyond their own breed.
New judges—learn to be true to yourself and have confidence in your knowledge. Don’t be pressured by others or advertising. Just judge the dogs and find a mentor-judge to whom you can ask ques- tions. There are always new situations that arise or questions about a procedure or breed that need answering. Judges learn on the job at every assignment.
The most amusing experience I’ve ever had at a dog show? Most often entertaining puppy antics in the ring, from leaping and bounding to refusal to move at all. The social and sharing times with others of like mind in the dog world are the best times.
I was born in Lincoln, Nebras- ka and I currently live in Enfield, Connecticut and have 23 years in dogs. I breed English Setters under the kennel name “Sleepy Hollow”. I’ve bred multiple BISS and BIS English Setters. Outside of dogs, I enjoy gardening. I’m a licensed CPA, AKC Registered handler and I was previously a PGA/LPGA golf professional.
The current overall quality of the Group? Very good, we have some new breeders and some “classic” breeders that have all stepped up on health testing and quality of their dogs.
How do I think Sporting Dogs have adapted to living indoors? I think most Sporting dogs have adapted well. Most breeders like to put at least some hunting or field titles on their dogs.
Any particular challenges Sporting Dog breeders face in our current economic/social climate? Finding a large enough home and property to support their dogs and finding quality homes that can provide the same.
What makes a Sporting Dog the ideal companion in these 21st- century times? Companionship and the ability to become an out- door sports partner.
What advice would I give a newcomer to the sport? Find a great breeder as a mentor and trust them. A great breeder will mentor all newcomers happily.
The largest health concern facing my breed today? Hip dyspla- sia, although it’s minimal.
Any trends I see that I believe need to continue or I’d like to see stopped? Health testing has become very commonplace, thankfully, and hopefully will continue. I would like to see more folks actually post test results regardless of outcome. This would be a tremendous tool for new breeders selecting animals for their breeding programs.
I owe the most to Dr. Jill Warren, Esthete English Setters. Jill has taught me nearly everything I know. She is one of, if not the most, respected breeders in English Setters.
The biggest pitfall awaiting new and novice judges? Seeing sev- eral examples of incorrect type in the ring and only one or two who are correct. Flashy, incorrect type that is continually reward- ed in the showring, then repeatedly bred to only deteriorates our breed and makes it more difficult for breeders to breed out in successive generations.
The most amusing experience I’ve ever had at a dog show? Hav- ing an artificial hair ponytail holder fall off in front of a puppy at a sweepstakes. She grabbed it and wouldn’t let go.
“New judges—learn to be true to yourself and have confi- dence in your knowledge. Don’t be pressured by others or advertising. Just judge the dogs and find a mentor-judge to whom you can ask questions.”

   230   231   232   233   234