Insights from Sporting Group Judge Gregory Anderson

Insights from Sporting Group Judge Gregory Anderson

Interview with Sporting Group Judge Gregory Anderson by Showsight Magazine.

1. Where do you live? How many years in dogs? How many years as a judge?
2. What is your original breed? What is/was your kennel name?
3. Can you list a few of the notable dogs you’ve bred? Any performance or field titles?
4. How important are Performance and Companion titles in a Sporting Dog?
5. Have you judged any Sporting Breed Specialties?
6. Do you find that size, proportion, and substance are correct in most Sporting breeds?
7. Is breed-specific expression important to you as a judge? Can you offer some examples?
8. What are your thoughts on the current grooming practices among the coated breeds?
9. Are the Sporting breeds in good shape overall? Any concerns?
10. In your opinion, how do today’s exhibits compare with the Sporting Dogs of the past?
11. Why do you think the Sporting breeds make up a large portion of the typical show’s entries?
12. Just for laughs, do you have a funny story you can share about judging the Sporting Group?

Sporting Group Judge Gregory Anderson
Where do I live? How many years in dogs? How many years as a judge? Right now, I’m in Simi Valley, California, helping my father, Carl J. Anderson, a retried AKC judge. He is 96. I’ve been in the sport of dogs all my life. (I was born into dog showing family.) I started in Juniors and had great time. Two “greats” took me under their wings: Anne Rodgers Clark and Jane Forsyth. I guess they saw a talent that I had. I’ve been in the sport for over 50 years—hard to believe! I’ve been judging now going on 26 years. I was approved to judge the Sporting Group at the age of 35.
What is my original breed? What is/was my kennel name? My original breed is the Cocker Spaniel, but the first two breeds I finished were a blue roan English Cocker and a Borzoi. However, I fell in love with the Spaniels, and I worked and learned from many great people in Terriers, Poodles, Boxers, Dobermans, and the Sighthounds. My kennel name was GRAND, and I was lucky to have bred some lovely Cockers.
Can I list a few of the notable dogs I’ve bred? Any performance or field titles? The dogs I bred were for myself. I was a professional handler for over 20 years and had the opportunity to handle some of the finest Cocker Spaniels in history, winning many Groups, Bests in Show and Nationals, also winning at Westminster. I was so honored to show such quality!
How important are Performance and Companion titles in a Sporting Dog? Performance is very important. They must perform what they are bred for.
Have I judged any Sporting Breed Specialties? Yes, I have judged many Sporting Specialties. I was honored to judge the American Spaniel Club National five times, plus the Brittany Summer National. To sum it up, I’ve judged Specialties in all Sporting breeds all over the country and overseas.
Do I find that size, proportion, and substance are correct in most Sporting breeds? I feel that in most of the Sporting breeds, their size and proportion are okay.
Is breed-specific expression important to me as a judge? Can I offer some examples? Yes, eye expression is very, very important to me! A beautiful eye is so great!!
What are my thoughts on the current grooming practices among the coated breeds? Well, people who know me know how I feel about grooming; condition, coat texture, weight, and muscle tone!
Are the Sporting breeds in good shape overall? Any concerns? Some Sporting breeds are very strong and some need improvement, having steep shoulders, lack of rib spring and depth of body.
In my opinion, how do today’s exhibits compare with the Sporting Dogs of the past? I have seen so many great Sporting dogs from the past—people will never forget them—but I’ve also seen some great ones coming in their own now. I have found in my judging that some of the Sporting breeds have improved, and some have taken a step backwards.
Why do I think the Sporting breeds make up a large portion of the typical show’s entries? People love Sporting dogs; their attitudes, wagging tails, and wonderful way of pleasing you. It really is a Family Group. People love their Sporting Dogs.
Just for laughs, do I have a funny story I can share about judging the Sporting Group? I do have a funny story about judging the Sporting Group. It was my first Group assignment in Northern California, about 25 years ago. I was so excited! I flew up there, all ready, and the show was canceled due to weather! I went back to my room and ate a pizza by myself. (The excitement of a dog show!!)

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