Page 24 - ShowSight Presents - The Airedale Terrier
P. 24

                 DISCUSSIONS ON THE
It wasn’t until high school that Peggy Beisel McIlwaine discovered the world of dog shows. After graduating in 1973, she bought her first show dog, an Old English Sheepdog. She continued her education by attending the University of Wisconsin in Green Bay, and showing her dog on week- ends. In 1977 Peggy began a three year apprenticeship with Terrier master George Ward, where she discovered her love for
Terriers, specifically Wire Fox Terriers. It was also during her apprenticeship with Ward that Peggy met her husband to be, Sandy McIlwaine. They married in 1980, establishing Foxairn Kennels in Ann Arbor, specializing in Wire Fox and Cairn Terri- ers. In 1996 she retired from the demands of professional han- dling and was approved to judge the Terrier Group and Junior Showmanship. She is also approved to judge the Sporting and Herding Groups, and several additional breeds. She has judged internationally, with assignments in the UK, Australia, Scan- dinavia, the Philippines, South America, Mexico, Spain, South Korea and China. She has judged at Westminster on five occa- sions, and in 2006 judged the Terrier group. She has judged at the AKC/Eukanuba Invitational show on a few occasions and judged the Terrier group in 2012. She has judged breeds at the famous Montgomery County Terrier show on several occasions and in 2010 she was honored by judging Best in Show. In her spare time, Peggy’s time is consumed with her family, her ken- nel and judging. Peggy is a member of the Detroit Kennel Club in which she has many duties, Westchester Kennel Club and many of their breed clubs. Peggy and Sandy no longer breed Cairns or Wires and now share their home with a colored bull Terrier named Sport and a white bull bitch named Lily.
1. How important are the following for judging: sparring, coat and side gait?
Sparring: Sparring is not about fighting, it is about courage— something all Terriers should possess. If done properly it a beautiful sight to behold, the dogs on their tiptoes, shown naturally without the assistance of the exhibitor other than to keep the dogs in check. It shows not only the courage, but overall outline with the ears on the alert aiding in seeing the real head and expression, the arch of neck, tail set and topline. For a dog enthusiast, it is almost like a ballet if
done properly.
Coat: Any wire-coated Terrier breed should possess the proper coat and it enters greatly into my decision. If the best dog is a bit short on coat, but still possess the correct texture I will award it because coat does grow.
Side Gait: I’m one who likes my cake and wants to eat it, too.
I love a clean down and back as well as good side gait. I want an Airedale to move like an Airedale and not like an Australian Shepherd or Doberman or German Shorthair.
2. What, if any, are the health concerns for the Airedale?
Head planes have always been an issue and are still a concern.
3. Do you have any pet peeves in the Terrier ring?
My pet peeves are moving the dogs too fast and improper trimming. I don’t want to see any scissor marks or clippered necks and rears!
4. While judging, can any part of the Breed Standard
be overlooked?
I don’t think I am willing to overlook any part of the standard, all parts add into the equation, but sometimes you have to compromise in order to get the best overall representation.
5. What is the greatest challenge in judging the Airedale?
Having such small entries so the choices are limited.
1. How important are the following for judging:
sparring, coat and side gait?
Sparring: I was writing a book on judging Terriers a few years ago and Rhonda Davis (Findlay, Ohio) wrote the chapter on Airedales. She finished each chapter with the refrain, “YES! WE SPAR AIREDALES!” I never judge Airedales without hear- ing Rhonda’s words in my head. I don’t spar every Airedale I judge, but when it comes to a decision I find sparring makes many of the decisions for me. Many years ago I judged an Airedale Specialty on the Gray’s Lake, IL Terrier weekend. I can remember RC Carusi showing his Airedale special, and Gabriel Rangel showing his Airedale special, both were won- derful examples of their breed. I sparred them, the two came together, arched their necks, pulled themselves together,
tails quivering, it was the most beautiful sight to see! I don’t remember which dog I pointed to, but I do have that picture firmly in my mind’s eye.
Coat: Coats come and go, but the structure beneath never changes. On a major Terrier weekend and two wonderful dogs come together, the better coat well trimmed will have advan- tage over a coat not in condition. Judging Terrier breeds four or

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