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Linda C. Krukar – 2023 National Dog Show Working Group Judge

Linda C. Krukar at the dog show with a Doberman Pinscher.


Interview with Linda C. Krukar – 2023 National Dog Show Working Group Judge

Can I describe my reaction to receiving an invitation to judge the Working Group at this year’s National Dog Show Presented by Purina?

I was thrilled and honored because I’ve attended the Kennel Club of Philadelphia (KCP) show since 1981 when it was benched in Philadelphia and I was a complete novice, to winning the Group three times with my Doberman Pinscher, and now I’m celebrating my 25th year of judging.


What does it mean to judge a Group at this historic show?

It is a huge responsibility that I take very seriously, and give each dog and handler team the time to shine.


In my opinion, how does this show differ from other AKC events?

Being benched, there is a unique atmosphere of excitement throughout the day, with huge crowds gathering around the rings to see the dogs, and spectators waiting in line to get into the arena to watch the Group judging.


What was I thinking or feeling moments before I stepped into the center of the Group ring?

I was thinking how nervous I felt years ago when I was preparing to make an entrance into the Group ring with my dog, and how exciting it is to now be judging these beautiful dogs.

Linda C. Krukar

Was there a heightened energy coming from the dog and handler teams? Did I feel the energy of the spectators?

The energy was tremendous, and the dog and handler teams were very energized. The sound on the floor of the arena was overwhelming, with spectators cheering for their favorites.


How challenging was this assignment? Can I share my selection process?

The quality was outstanding, so the selection of the finalists came down to breed-specific details and how the dogs carried those details.


Do I have a word or two about my Group winner? About the dogs that placed?

These dogs represented their breed exceptionally well. The Great Dane was a very spirited, masculine, square, smooth, well-balanced dog with a regal appearance, beautiful head, great size and elegance, moving with long reach and powerful drive. The Doberman was a very well-balanced, medium-sized, elegant yet masculine male, with a correct head and a free, balanced, and vigorous gait with good reach and drive. The Bernese Mountain Dog was a large, sturdy, slightly longer than tall, well-balanced dog with a striking black coat with rich rust and clear white symmetrical markings, good reach and drive, level back, and an animated, gentle expression. The Leonberger was feminine, muscular yet elegant, well-balanced, with a full black mask and double coat, with a soft expression, proud head carriage, and a powerful, ground-covering gait.


This show has become a Thanksgiving Day tradition in America. Is there anything I’d like to say on behalf of the Kennel Club of Philadelphia and the show’s sponsors?

The club members work as a team cheerfully and tirelessly to put on this first-class event, which grows larger every year and is the much anticipated “go to” destination to attend in person or in your living room with family. It is wonderful that over 20 million people tuned in his year!


Are there specific ways in which this show furthers the cause of purebred dogs?

Benched shows like this event are extremely important to introduce the general public to the sport of purebred dogs. The huge attendance is confirmation that there’s a real desire and interest from the general public to learn about purebred dogs. Because the dogs must stay in the building all day, it gives the spectators and dog lovers the opportunity to see almost any breed and interact with the exhibitors to meet the dogs up close and personal and learn more about them.


Now that my assignment is complete, what does this show mean to me personally?

It has always been one of my favorite shows because of the camaraderie, and it’s probably one of the reasons I’ve been on this long journey in the sport of dogs.