Interview with Non-Sporting Group Judge Dr. Troy Clifford Dargin
Where do I live? How many years in dogs? How many years as a judge?
I live between New York City, the Philadelphia area, and Nashville, Tennessee.
What is my original breed? What is/was my kennel name?
Dr. Troy Clifford Dargin: My original breed is the Shih Tzu; Falling Star is my kennel name.
Can I list a few of the notable dogs I’ve bred? Any performance or parent club titles?
Dr. Troy Clifford Dargin: I have many homebred champions; over 80. I have won the American Shih Tzu Club Lainee Award for Top-Producing Bitch several times. I have also won Group One on several of my dogs, but I do not special much.
What are some of the qualities I most admire in the Non-Sporting Breeds?
Dr. Troy Clifford Dargin: I admire the variety of different breeds.
Have I judged any Non-Sporting Breed/Group Specialties?
Dr. Troy Clifford Dargin: Yes.
Can I speak to the overall quality of the more popular Non-Sporting Breeds/Varieties; Bulldog, French Bulldog, and Standard & Miniature Poodles?
Dr. Troy Clifford Dargin: Well, in NYC, take a stroll outside anywhere in the city and every dog you will see is a Frenchie. This breed is popular and I feel type is all over the place in the breed. Poodles are fun to judge—square and “Poodly” is what you are looking for!
What about the overall quality of the more “vulnerable” breeds; Coton de Tulear, Finnish Spitz, Löwchen?
Dr. Troy Clifford Dargin: I love a good Coton—but the cotton hair! I feel sorry for the groomers because this mats so easily. I was at one of the first Löwchen Nationals when they were first accepted into AKC and they are a lovely, lion-like breed. (I’m a Leo, so I have always loved this breed.)
Would I have any advice to impart to newer judges of the Non-Sporting Breeds who come from other Groups?
Dr. Troy Clifford Dargin: Each breed is so very different, so take your time to really go through each breed to understand it—it might take more time than with other breeds.
In my opinion, how do today’s exhibits compare with the Non-Sporting Dogs of the past?
Dr. Troy Clifford Dargin: I don’t think dogs today compare to any dogs of the past. There were so many great kennels and great dogs. In my own breed, we went from having 300 dogs at our National to, some years, under 50. Still, there are some very nice dogs today.
Why do I think Non-Sporting Dogs can become such outstanding Show Dogs?
Dr. Troy Clifford Dargin: I think this Group has lovely companion animals in every size.
If I could share my life with only one Non-Sporting Breed, which would it be and why?
Dr. Troy Clifford Dargin: Lhasa—I seem to love this breed, if you look at my Group One history. Maybe it’s because they are similar to my first breed, Shih Tzu. But I also think it’s because I like Lhasas that have great temperaments and show well, which is not always the case. They can be hard-headed, just like any Oriental breed.
Just for laughs, do I have a funny story that I can share about my experiences judging the Non-Sporting Group?
I have many funny stories to share and tell… come find me at a show. I’m always happy to talk!