What??? Withhold?? Not advance mediocre dogs
to a Championship title? Quite frankly I don’t think judges
withhold nearly enough and here’s why.
It has to be a very hard decision but on any given day, the entry could be just
that bad. Not long ago I sat ringside in Raleigh and watched dogs of my breed.
With the exception of the puppy Winners Dog, I would have withheld the rest of
the dog entry for “lack of merit.” The ones that could stand up, couldn’t move,
and the few that could move, couldn’t stand up.
Withholding would have denied the pretty puppy dog what might have been a major
win. I don’t know. It was so bad I left ringside; didn’t even stay for bitches.
This is just a taste of where we are headed in any breed ring. If AKC gets their
way, and the high volume breeders who get inspected are the only choice for
purchasing a pet, and the show breeders stop showing, the judges will either be
out of work, or judging pet shop dogs.
Structure? A long time ago, on an NC circuit, a judge withheld a major in a
breed that requires rear end structure for movement, actually, for pulling. She
was nearly tarred and feathered. I talked to her about it afterwards because I
was assigned to her as a guard dog. She was afraid to go to the bathroom alone
for fear of being accosted. She told me that there was not one set of sound
stifles in the bunch and I can believe it.
Measure? In my own breed (Poodles), I think every entry (toy and miniature)
should be measured every day. If that were an AKC mandate, it would go a long
way towards improving the breed.
Coat Color? If they took random hair samples, we might actually find a decent
black to breed to!
Hair Pieces and Wigs? And if the judges took out all the wigs, (one judge got a
hairpiece hung up on her diamond ring and it went flying across the ring in
front of God and everyone!!!) we might find out which dogs have a proper coat.
Then there’s the tale of the handler who was combing up his entry in the ring
and he flicked out two wigs himself! They went flying. Lucky for him the judge’s
back was turned. Go to any big Poodle Specialty and see all the hair pieces
lying around after specials are over. Coveted things, they are... I have them in
droves in boxes . You never know when you might need a little extra hair…
Hairspray? Don’t get me started on the gallons I have paid for over the years,
not to mention hair color. Why, if we dog show people followed the rules,
Sally’s would go out of business. It takes at least 5 boxes to do a Mini - it
only takes 1 box to do a human. Multiply all the black dogs by 4 or 5 boxes of
water works and you get an idea what I mean. Half a can of hairspray per
standard poodle.. per day.. See what I mean?? Sally’s would go belly up just
from lack of business from the poodle people.
So who are we kidding? Ourselves? And the next generation of new breeders! Give
me a shaved down poodle that can stand four-square, tail up, eyes on handler.
I’ll take that any day - and if it can swim, retrieve a duck, do agility
tomorrow, and obedience the next day, we have a real poodle... a TOTAL DOG.
I’ve come full circle from the days of my first ugly but brainy poodles; when I
sat at the breed rings wistfully wanting a beautiful poodle, one with the brains
and temperament of my obedience dogs. I spent the next 40 years creating just
Today, I sit typing with half of a (too tall) champion blue boy at my feet. He
has superb temperament and I would not trade him for all the champions in the
If we can’t each look back and say “I accomplished something and I did no harm
to my breed in the process” why in the world do we do this weekend in and
weekend out?? I have many, many fond memories... and many things to laugh
about...and many friends...
YES judges, withhold for lack of merit on any given day. If it is THE TRUTH, you
will sleep well that night for having done a service to the breed that day. And
if it was not THE TRUTH or if you did not withhold from the faked dog (1) or
that inferior dog, then toss and turn in your shame.