Interview with a Toy Group Judge Madeline Miller
Where do I live? How many years in dogs? How many years as a judge?
Madeline Miller: I live in a suburb of Detroit, Michigan. I have been in dogs for over 50 years, judging for 25 years.
What is my original breed? What is/was my kennel name?
Can I list a few of the notable dogs I’ve bred? Any performance or parent club titles?
Madeline Miller: Best in Show Min Pin, Ch. Madeic’s Motown Magic, was a notable dog. I also bred two different Westminster Breed winners in the 1980s.
What are some of the qualities I most admire in the Toy Breeds?
Madeline Miller: I, of course, want to see the Toy Breeds exhibit correct type. I also want sound movement. Movement is overlooked by some, but it is important. Toys may not be hunting or herding, but correct structure and movement will keep them healthy and sound into old age.
Have I judged any Toy Breed Specialties?
Madeline Miller: I have judged many Toy Specialties, including Chihuahua, Pekes, Min Pins, Papillons, and Yorkies.
Can I offer any advice to exhibitors regarding the presentation of these “table” breeds?
Madeline Miller: The first thing is to get them used to the table. I examine on the table, but judge them on the ground. Also, it is never necessary to run or race with any Toy Breed.
Some longtime exhibitors have “downsized” to Toys. In my opinion, has this had an impact on quality?
Madeline Miller: This can’t be generalized. If an exhibitor has had success through hard work in their original breed, they will strive to achieve the same in their new Toy Breed. If they downsize because they think the Toys will be “easy,” their chance of success is less.
Toy Breeds can require special care. Do I have any advice to offer breeders, exhibitors, and judges?
Madeline Miller: Learn what is correct in your breed from experts and mentors.
In my opinion, how do today’s exhibits compare with the Toy Dogs of the past?
Madeline Miller: I think that overall quality in many breeds has improved over the years.
Why do I think Toy Dogs can become outstanding Show Dogs?
Madeline Miller: Many of them are flashy, with coats that draw attention. Also, most Toys want to please their owners/handlers, so they perform well in the ring because of this.
If I could share my life with only one Toy Breed, which would it be and why?
Madeline Miller: It would be—and has been—Min Pins. They are the King of Toys and are truly a big dog in a small package. They know no fear, sometimes to their detriment.
Just for laughs, do I have a funny story that I can share about my experiences judging the Toy Group?
Madeline Miller: I was judging a Min Pin Specialty for the first time and I had nail art; flowers that matched my dress. The dogs were fascinated and kept trying to eat the flowers!