Interview with Pat Jenkins, Working Group AKC Judge
Where do I live? How many years in dogs? How many years as an AKC judge?
Pat Jenkins: I live in a small town in Utah—Richmond, Utah. I have been in dogs for 50 years, and five years as a judge.
What is my original breed?
Pat Jenkins: My original breed is the Alaskan Malamute and my kennel name is Wolfmountain.
Have I judged any Working Breed/Group Specialties?
Pat Jenkins: I have judged Doberman Pinscher Specialties and Great Dane Specialties, along with Alaskan Malamute Specialties. I have also judged Working Group Specialties in Florida.
Are there specific qualities I admire most in the Working Breeds?
Pat Jenkins: As far as what I most admire about the Working Breeds, I would have to say that it is their hardiness and the work ethic that I see in many of the Working Dogs. You can see in their attitudes and fitness levels that many of these dogs are not only great examples of their breed in the show ring but they are also fulfilling their original purpose.
How important are the breed hallmarks in the Working Breeds?
Pat Jenkins: Hallmarks of the breeds are essential to breed type. You can’t have a good/great dog without having these essential elements in each breed.
Can I speak to the general presentation of the Working Breeds in my ring today?
Pat Jenkins: The general presentation of the Working Breeds in the ring today is good. I would like to see more natural movement, with better conditioning of the dogs. Without a Working Dog in great working “shape,” you lose the epitome of the breed.
Do I have any thoughts/opinions on dividing the Working Group in two?
Pat Jenkins: I would like to see the Working Group divided into two Groups. The Group itself is so large today that it makes it very difficult to move the dogs in the ring to really see what is happening with these exhibits. But, I would like a measured approach to the division.
Example: If you are going to have Spitz-type breeds in one Group, then you will have to pull from other Groups to accomplish this task.
What advice would I offer newer judges of the Working Breeds?
The advice that I would offer to newer judges of the Working breeds is:
- Know your standards and don’t deviate from them when judging.
- Don’t place emphasis on popular winning dogs. Every exhibit is allowed the same opportunities in the ring.
- Be willing to listen and continually learn.
Which Working Breeds provide the greatest challenge to judges?
Pat Jenkins: The Working Breeds that provide the greatest challenge to judges and exhibitors are the new breeds that have just been accepted by AKC. These breeds are in the hands of new people and many are novices with their breeds. Patience with both the dog and handler is essential.
If I could share my life with only one Working Breed, which would it be and why?
Pat Jenkins: I have had Alaskan Malamutes for over 50 years and, while they are a challenge, they also make you laugh every day.
If I could share my life with only one dog, which dog would it be and why?
Pat Jenkins: If I could share my life with only one dog it would be “Clancy,” Wolfmountain’s Special Ops. He was special to so many people, but he was my “friend” when my three sons and my husband were all deployed right after 9/11.
Just for laughs, do I have a funny story that I can share about my experiences judging the Working Group?
Pat Jenkins: I was judging the Working Group where the grass was really slick. As an exhibitor went around, she slipped and was able to jump the ring barrier along with her dog. Then, without so much as a “blink,” she jumped right back over and kept on going. Now that is what I call “ring presence,” lol!