Interview with a Toy Group Judge Bradley Jenkins
Where do I live? How many years in dogs? How many years as a judge?
Bradley Jenkins: I live in Northeast Arkansas. I have been showing dogs since 1975—47 years! I have been judging for 24 years.
What is my original breed? What is/was my kennel name?
Bradley Jenkins: My original breed is the Cockers Spaniel. What I am most known for are Chihuahuas and Japanese Chin, and for 17 years, Manchester Terriers. My kennel name is Heartland for Chihuahuas, and Doubletree for Japanese Chin and Manchester Terriers.
Can I list a few of the notable dogs I’ve bred? Any performance or parent club titles?
Bradley Jenkins: The most notable dogs I have bred are Manchesters. GCH Doubletree Touchstone Hot Toddy is probably my “last hurrah.” She is currently the No. 1 all-breed exhibit. She was No. 5 last year, with me showing her when I could. She is professionally handled by David Williams. Bred by Brian Almojera MD and myself, her grandmother was a ranked bitch and was reserve WB at the National in 2014.
I bred a multi-Group-winning sable Chin male. In the 1990s is when he was shown. I owned GCH Heaven Hi’s Cornerstone. He was ranked nationally for two years and he is a top-producer with 14 titled get. The majority were bred by me.
In Chihuahuas, I have had several Specialty winners over the years. I have an eleven-year-old and a two-year-old right now. I don’t plan on exhibiting them or the Chin.
What are some of the qualities I most admire in the Toy Breeds?
Bradley Jenkins: I admire their sweetness and comical attitudes. They are easy to keep and fun to have around. They are like potato chips… you cannot have just one!
Have I judged any Toy Breed Specialties?
Bradley Jenkins: I have judged a lot of Chihuahua Specialties as well as being selected to judge their National Specialty. I have judged the Japanese Chin National Specialty, Regional Manchester Terrier Specialty, and Specialties for Poms, Paps, Affens, Brussels Griffons, Cavalier KC Spaniels, Chinese Cresteds, Havanese, Maltese, Poodles, Shih Tzu, and Yorkies. I am about to judge the Regional for Min Pins and Russian Toys!
Can I offer any advice to exhibitors regarding the presentation of these “table” breeds?
Bradley Jenkins: I suggest that you hold on to the lead, or the dog, when you have them on the table, and please don’t stuff food in their mouths when the judge is trying to look at the mouth or head.
Some longtime exhibitors have “downsized” to Toys. In my opinion, has this had an impact on quality?
Bradley Jenkins: Yes, it has had an impact in a good way. They bring to the table different ideas and they don’t seem to “baby” their dogs as much as Toy people do.
The quality has very much improved, though I can’t say that this is what has done it. I just think people have finally gotten very picky. However, Toy people are very good with their hands, and it takes people from other Groups some time to figure out how to do this.
Toy Breeds can require special care. Do I have any advice to offer breeders, exhibitors, and judges?
Bradley Jenkins: Not advice for breeders or exhibitors, but there is no need to be heavy-handed as a judge. I would suggest getting a person to let them be touched on the arm, like you judge, so that they can tell you if you may be too heavy-handed. This is the number one complaint I hear all the time from friends.
In my opinion, how do today’s exhibits compare with the Toy Dogs of the past?
Bradley Jenkins: Quality has really improved. Foods are better than in the past and conditioning is better. Bites are better overall.
If I could share my life with only one Toy Breed, which would it be and why?
Bradley Jenkins: A Peke! They are slower, like me. They are independent, sweet, and easy to live with. I had some years ago.
Just for laughs, do I have a funny story that I can share about my experiences judging the Toy Group?
Bradley Jenkins: In Columbia, Missouri, years ago, I was judging Chinese Cresteds and in comes a young girl, tall and pretty, with the biggest feet I had ever seen. I could not look at the dog for looking at her gigantic feet! She was wearing men’s basketball sneakers.
Dumb me said to her as she is putting her dog on the table, “Are those your shoes?” to which she answered, “Yes.” I said, “I thought they might be your boyfriend’s shoes, ‘cause they make your feet look huge.” She said, “My feet are huge!” I wanted to crawl under a rock. I just said a flat, “Oh.”