- Where do you live? How many years in dogs? How many as
- Do you have any hobbies or interests apart from
- Can you talk about your introduction to Terriers?
- Have you bred any influential Terriers? Have you shown any notable winners?
- Can you speak a bit about breed-specific presentation in the Terrier breeds? Coat Conditioning?
- What about breed character? Can you share your thoughts on sparring in the ring?
- Many Terrier breeds are known for their singular expression. Can you offer a few examples?
- How would you assess the overall quality of the “newer”
- In your opinion, what makes a Terrier the ideal companion?
- Why is “Montgomery” a significant show for so many breeders/exhibitors outside of Terriers?
- Which Terriers from the past have had the greatest influence on the sport?
- Is there a funny story you can share about your experiences judging the Terrier breeds?
The Terrier Judges | Carolyn Alexander
To the staff and readers of ShowSight, thank you for your invitation to include me in this issue. I’ll use the questions sent to me as a framework, but not exclusively, since David has responded to many of these questions already and his responses will cover a lot of ground for me too.
Where do I live? How many years in dogs? How many as a judge? David and I have lived for 42 years in a home on a promontory overlooking the Salinas Valley. The area below us is what John Steinbeck (who was from nearby Salinas) called “the pastures of heaven.” We are across the Salinas River from Spreckels (a wonderful little community built by sugar). Driving into Spreckels reminds one of country roads in France). We are south of San Francisco and just a bit north of Monterey and Big Sur, with some of the most gorgeous coastline in the world. We are also close to Carmel (and yes, we used to see Clint Eastwood occasionally around town, and we ran into Doug McClure several times in the Hog’s Breath—Clint’s bar at that time—and at the Monterey airport). We never saw Kim Novak, who was married to a local veterinarian, though they have since moved to Oregon, I believe. Doris Day was also a local. We participated in one of her Carmel Valley charity croquet afternoons/matches, which David’s father won and we all drank a lot of very good champagne. We have the lovely crystal bowl trophy from the event.
As for dogs, when I was about nine years old, my father bought a Fox Terrier for my brother and me. When I finished my undergraduate work, I bought a Pekingese, who was for many years the light of my life. As time moved on, I had several Afghans. All but one were rescues. Too many who love the look of that breed don’t understand the energy level and coat requirements (easier now than in the time I had them… thanks largely to much better grooming products). I have also had German Shepherd Dogs. They were home/farm centered. However, I did tracking and guard/attack training with my male GSD when I lived in Germany. Forty-two years ago, I married into Bull Terriers and have loved the breed ever since.
Through our work with canine rescue and local shelters, we were able to meet and talk with a number of rather well-known folk like Jane Fonda, Ted Turner, and Betty White (all dog lovers). Working with dogs in rescue, breeding, and judging has been enjoyable in so many ways.
Do I have any hobbies or interests apart from purebred dogs? As for hobbies, I’m an avid reader and I love old movies. The son of a close friend from my years stationed on Guam was a senior TCM exec, and I was invited to the TCM festival in 2019. And without a lot of names and details… my friend and I got to walk the red carpet and attended a splendid private reception. We were seated in an exclusive elevated area, where a number of photographers were taking photos of me, wondering, it seemed, which old doll actress I was.
I also used to horseback ride, but while I can ride an English saddle, I was more of the country cowgirl ilk. David and I also used to ski. I’ve skied almost every mountain in Europe. I especially loved going to Switzerland and France to ski; great slopes and great food. So, obviously another hobby is travel.
Can I talk about my introduction to Terriers? In 1972, the Stars and Stripes carried a photo of the White Bull Terrier, Ch. Abraxas Audacity, when he won Crufts. I cut out the picture and kept it on my office desk for years and years (never sure why). I was fascinated by the look of the dog. As we were later able to visit and have conversations with Violet Drummond Dick, I was amazed by her knowledge and was delighted that my tiny glimpse of Audacity had been a peek into what was to become a significant part of my future.
For over 25 years, I was the AKC Columnist for Bull Terriers. In that time, I wrote several columns about presentation, including some small grooming touches. One of the biggest issues was getting Bull Terrier people to train and present their dogs. Another was getting judges to understand that the Bull Terrier is not a statue and should show spirit. The first paragraph of the AKC standard is important.
What about breed character? Can I share my thoughts on sparring in the ring? In regard to sparring, it is a singular thought… Bull Terriers, for the most part, would roll over shaking with laughter if a judge tried to spar them… the ones that wouldn’t might get over their confusion and actually get themselves into a fight. The Bull Terrier truly is a party animal and a gentleman’s companion. He is not the barroom brawler (part of a shameful, macho, betting activity of an earlier century in England). Bull Terriers are thinking dogs and will solve problems their way. They fairly easily learn how to open doors, for example. They also want to please their people. If they think you want them to fight for you, something might start that can’t be undone. Do NOT spar a Bull Terrier!
Many Terrier breeds are known for their singular expression. Can I offer a few examples? The Bull Terrier expression is intelligent (it’s in the standard). Those clever, triangular eyes are also quizzical and mischievous. They love to have fun!
In my opinion, what makes a Terrier the ideal companion? Terriers strongly relate to people. In return, people relate to them. From the earliest days, most Terriers lived in the houses with people, primarily to kill vermin. The Staffy is known as the nursemaid… the nanny dog, and rightly so. They were often assigned to the children for play and observation/protection. Many Terriers relate especially to children, who have fun-loving, curious, and often mischievous natures as they do. What makes Terriers special to their people? Of course, it is their unique appearance and coats, but I believe it is mostly about their spirit; the Terrier determination to do something fun and worthwhile. Terriers want to be a true family member and will do things and be active WITH their people.
Is there a funny story I can share about my experiences judging the Terrier breeds? While I can’t think of any particularly funny stories at the moment, may I simply say that I have learned many lessons from my Terrier friends. Decades ago, when we visited White Waltham (Raymond Oppenheimer’s estate), we asked to see Ch. Badlesmere Bonaparte of Souperlative. We were taken into the kennels to meet him. We were very lucky. Others with credentials and introductions were mostly allowed to see selected dogs as they were brought out into a courtyard for viewing, but we got to go into the kennels too. When I asked to take a photo of Bonaparte, I was told, “No, his best photos have been taken.” The lesson: Always use your best photos… and if not the best, be ready to say, “The best photos have already been taken.” Note: They allowed me to take photos of others, including the famous Ch. Souperlative Jackadandy of Ormandy. Almost anyone who met Jackadandy was taken by his grand stature and his ability to look into your soul. He mesmerized judges in his day and was enormously successful!
On one of our trips to UK (we owned a home in Scotland and always had family to visit, so we usually went every year and tried to time the trips to coincide with specialties and shows), we visited with Violet Drummond Dick. David’s father (who had a Soft Coated Wheaten) asked, “What is most important to know about a Terrier… a Bull Terrier?” She replied, “Temperament, Temperament, and Temperament.” She continued by saying that if one doesn’t have a reliable dog they can live and work with, they’ve already lost.
Let me close by saying that we have been fortunate to judge in many countries, including Terriers in Germany, France, Italy, UK, Australia, South Africa, Zimbabwe, New Zealand, Finland, Thailand, Canada, Mexico, Colombia, etc. But on many judging trips to China, we have noted few Terriers anywhere in that country. Thanks to the efforts of several US breeders, quality Miniature Schnauzers were establishing a toehold in China about a decade ago. Chinese canine enthusiasts established grooming schools and brought over groomers and breeders to teach classes. When COVID passes, we hope we will find some beautiful Terriers there.
While we do not plan to be at Montgomery this year, we wish everyone well and hope that it goes beautifully! We have wonderful memories of those times when we exhibited there and when we judged there.
As for me at this point in my life, I enjoy every moment I can with my dog friends, with club/dog activities, and keeping company with David and Georgy (our 11-year-old BT). Thinking of the future, I’m siding with one of my favorite writers:
“If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die, I want to go where they went.” —Will Rogers
The Terrier Judges | David Alexander
Where do I live? How many years in dogs? How many as a judge? I live in the country between Salinas and Monterey, in California. I have been in dogs for over 40 years now, and 2021 was my 25th in judging.
Do I have any hobbies or interests apart from purebred dogs? I play golf (less frequently these days), work out at the country club I belong to, and follow sports (particularly soccer from UK where I grew up), golf, and NFL (SF 49ers). I have interests in travel (pre-COVID) and in good wine, which I maintain through participation in local wine events. California is great in this regard, and I live very close to the Santa Lucia Highlands appellation of Monterey County. My travels have taken me to over 50 countries and I have judged in 20 of them.
Can I talk about my introduction to Terriers? Growing up, our family always had a dog, and I was particularly taken with a Scottie we had, which was my first exposure to Terriers. I used to babysit a Bull Terrier for friends of mine in Toronto (we emigrated to Canada at the same time), and that started my love affair with the breed that continues to this day. I have always been attracted to the independence, feistiness, and intelligence of the Terriers, in particular, the Bull breeds.
Have I bred any influential Terriers? Have I shown any notable winners? We had a small, successful breeding program known particularly for good health and great temperaments. But our dogs were never widely used. We bred 16 ROM champions and did have some successes on a national level at Silverwood. CH Brigadoon Black Pepper ROM was BOV three years in a row, a record that has not been equaled. CH Brigadoon Walk-A-Bout ROM was a runner-up and BOS, and CH Brigadoon GoGo Boots a BOV. So, we came close without attaining the ultimate prize. It was particularly galling to miss out with Black Pepper who was really a bitch ahead of her time. Incidentally, both Walk-A-Bout and GoGo Boots won the Bronze Trophy, Canada’s equivalent to the Silverwood competition here in the US.
Can I speak a bit about breed-specific presentation and coat conditioning in Terriers breeds? Having bred Bull Terriers, a “wash and wear” breed, I will defer to others to comment on the preparation for show of the coated Terriers. Aside from a good bath, our preparation consisted of trimming the under part of the BT tail, the whiskers, and the rear line of the thighs, all of which was aimed at enhancing the smooth outline we love in a quality BT. BT necks are supposed to be tight-skinned, so any wrinkle there can be subject to a thinning of the coat. So much for preparing the dog ahead of the ring.
As for in-ring presentation, it is most important to allow the Terriers to be Terriers. For example, our breed is supposed to be animated and full of vigor, so statues they are not. This is not an excuse for a lack of training or lack of control, but judges should cut them some slack here. In-ring presentation should allow breed character to be expressed as much as possible (see next item).
What about breed character? Can I share my thoughts on sparring in the ring? There are several traits that are endearing to Terrier fanciers. We love their inquisitiveness, intelligence, independence, self-confidence, perseverance, and in some cases, their feistiness. I love the way they exude an attitude of self -belief, the “don’t mess with me or you’ll be sorry” kind of posture. This exhibits itself to different degrees across the breeds; highest in Scotties, Irish, and Westies, to mention a few, and lower in others that traditionally have run in packs. This is why we spar some of the breeds. Unfortunately, the required “spark” is disappearing, and it is rare these days to get the desired response when using this component of judging. I will spar the dogs at breed level, but never in the Group. Why? Because not all Terriers should be sparred, and it is my opinion that allowing breeds to spar in the Group gives an advantage to those breeds to show themselves off more. An unfair advantage, IMHO.
Many Terriers are known for their singular expression. Can I offer a few examples? Let’s start with my own breed. We label the desired expression “varminty.” This term encapsulates both the physical aspects of the head as well as a manifestation of character. Eye shape and set are critical to this and, combined with the correctly set and sized erect ears, epitomize the self-confidence and trickiness that we so desire. Hence, varminty. This type of thing is evident in several other Terriers—the “down the nose” intensity of the Scottie or Miniature Schnauzer, the look of eagles of the Airedale, the intensity of the Fox Terriers, and so on. Where furnishings obscure the eyes in certain breeds, the ears assume an increased importance, reflecting the character sought through their size, shape, and carriage. In the Bull breeds, we seek self-confidence typified by their deportment, never carrying self-belief over into aggression. There are other distinct expressions to be seen; the softer, knowing expression in a Dandie’s face, the intensity in the eyes of the Irish, the Welsh or the Cairn. The Terrier Group has many nuances in the area of expression.
How would I assess the overall quality of the “newer” Terrier breeds? Of the two newest, the Cesky seems to be in better shape than the American Hairless. You can speculate as to why this might be the case, but that is my opinion. I say this because I see Ceskys more resembling their breed standard than I do the Hairless, and this is particularly true in front construction and toplines. One reason could be that the Cesky has been around for longer (1930s vs. 1970s) and has had a longer period to reach more homogeneity. Of course, individual breeding decisions play a huge role, so it remains speculation as to how they have arrived at their current respective levels. I have no particular insights to offer in this regard.
In my opinion, what makes a Terrier the ideal companion? You have to have a lot of patience and fortitude to be a Terrier fancier. They are tricky, intelligent for the most part, somewhat independent of thought, and strong in will. You have to outwit them at times. They often need a reason to do something. (If it’s not fun, why should I do it type of thinking.) Our BTs are referred to as “kids in dog suits.” This sums up the challenge of being a Terrier owner. Challenging, but if you are up for it, very rewarding.
Why is “Montgomery” a significant show for so many breeders/exhibitors outside of Terriers? Montgomery is a Mecca for Terriers and Terrier people, and has a world-wide reputation for the quality of the dogs being shown. It is THE most important show for Terrier people in this country and the reasons are numerous: The prestige of the win, as invariably the best Terriers are exhibited; virtually every breed conducts a specialty (meaning top dogs will be entered) and several are national specialties; and breed specialists (breeders and mentors) abound. Being the most prestigious of Terrier shows means a win here boosts an exhibit’s reputation no end, and the opportunity to be BIS is a prize indeed, an accolade widely sought. For the neophyte Terrier aficionado, there are opportunities not just to see top dogs being exhibited, but also to make contact with the most knowledgeable people in the various breeds, to gain insight, and boost knowledge. A unique opportunity, indeed.
Which Terriers from the past have had the greatest influence on the sport? In my experience, there have been two that really stood out, both of which made the hair on the back of your neck stand out when they were shown. One was the great Kerry (Torums Scarf Michael) and the other was Rufus (Rocky Top’s Sundance Kid), the Colored Bull Terrier; both great show dogs and both great ambassadors for their breeds. This latter accolade was particularly true of Rufus who helped to disabuse the general public of the notion that Bull breeds could not be trusted. Rufus loved to participate in “Meet the Breeds” encounters, never tiring of it, even as an older dog.
Is there a funny story I can share about my experiences judging the Terriers breeds? The funniest is not a personal tale. It occurred when a judge bent over to examine a Bull Terrier and her hairpiece moved slightly. The Bull Terrier, seeing this, literally rose to the occasion, grabbed the offending intruder, as you would expect of a true Terrier, and had to be persuaded to give up his prize. Never a dull moment!
The Terrier Judges | Anne Barlow
Where do I live? How many years in dogs? How many as a judge? I live in the Greater Austin, Texas, area. I bought my first Airedale Terrier in 1980, and he was the first dog I took to shows. I was approved for my first breed, Airedales, in 2000.
Do I have any hobbies or interests apart from purebred dogs? I enjoy following college football and basketball (Baylor!), and enjoy watching horse racing. Through Racehorse.com, I’m a micro share owner of Authentic (Kentucky Derby winner), Monomoy Girl, and several other young horses. Makes watching a little more exciting when you have a very, very, very, very small share of a horse.
Can I talk about my introduction to Terriers? I can say the only good thing my step-mother brought to the table was her Welsh Terrier. That was my first Terrier. A Wire Fox Terrier and my first Airedale followed while in graduate school. I bought my first Airedale from Jerry Murphy in Dallas, who had bred and shown them for many years. Henry McGill handled for him, and they encouraged me to show my dog. Ric Chashoudian was the first person I met at my first dog show. The rest, as they say, is history.
Have I bred any influential Terriers? Have I shown any notable winners? I’ve been fortunate to have bred and owned a few Terriers that I consider very good examples of the breed, who did a lot of winning over the course of their careers. Most recently, GCHS Spindletop’s Miles And Miles Of Texas, “Austin.” Also, CH Spindletop’s New Kid In Town, “Randy,” and CH Spindletop’s Blaze Of Glory, “Betsy.”
Can I speak a bit about breed-specific presentation and coat conditioning in the Terrier breeds? Obviously, coat conditioning and trim are very important; many hours every week on my breed! It is essential for a dog to be in correct trim, and coat—you can’t win on the big weekends without both.
What about breed character? Can I share my thoughts on sparring in the ring? Sparring is “a must” in the Terrier ring. If you aren’t comfortable doing it, please move on to another Group. The dogs look their best staring down each other. I only bring out two at a time, never more.
How would I assess the overall quality of the “newer” Terrier breeds? Honestly, I’m not crazy about the quality of the newer breeds; inconsistent in almost every way (size, type, coat, etc.)
In my opinion, what makes a Terrier the ideal companion? For me, it is their always being on alert and being feisty, their gameness (mine are happy to kill any and all small furry things), and their overall looks.
Why is “Montgomery” a significant show for so many breeders/exhibitors outside of Terriers? Because it is a gathering of the best Terriers in the world—so many specialties and big numbers of dogs that you don’t see elsewhere.
Which Terriers from the past have had the greatest influence on the sport? Too many to mention!
The Terrier Judges | Fred Bassett
Where do I live? How many years in dogs? How many as a judge? I grew up in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and began showing dogs in that area in 1961 as a 12-year-old-boy; Miniature Poodles, and later, Pomeranians, which is what I became known for. I moved to the Tulsa, Oklahoma, area in 1975, which is where I’ve stayed. So, I have 60 years in dogs. I began judging in 1977 with Poms, so have 44 years as a judge. I judge all Terrier, Toy, Non-Sporting, and Herding breeds, plus Basset Hounds and Best in Show.
Do I have any hobbies or interests apart from purebred dogs? Yes, I have a lifelong interest in photography, again since my early teens. I am also a Partner in a business called Forever Faith, with my son-by-choice, Abe Cruz. We produce athletic clothing and accessories, and Abe is also an Author, Actor, Fitness Personality, and Motivational Speaker. You can check us out at
Can I talk about my introduction to Terriers? Terriers were the last Group that I studied and applied for, and I had never prepared or showed any. So, I wanted to learn what stripping coat was all about, and the work involved. I was fortunate to live close to Susie Atherton of Miniature Schnauzer fame. She took me on and mentored me, and turned over a couple of Schnauzers to me; a champion male whom I completely fell in love with (Bandit), the dog that she taught me how to strip. Then she had a couple litters of puppies that we evaluated, and she let me take one of the pick-males (Max). I raised him, trained him, did all the grooming, and showed him to his championship myself in tough competition, back in about 1982-83. I set up with Suzie at the shows and met lots of knowledgeable Terrier people, both breeders and handlers. They were wonderful to me, and gave me a real inside education.
Have I bred any influential Terriers or shown any notable winners? No.
Can I speak a bit about breed-specific presentation and coat conditioning in the Terrier breeds? Next to Poodles, which I was familiar with from my youth, I believe the hard-coated Terriers are the most work of any show dogs. And from my work with the Schnauzers, I have a healthy respect for what it takes to get most Terriers conditioned and ready for the show ring. I believe coat condition and preparation makes or breaks a good Terrier, and can definitely separate the cream of the crop in Group competition.
What about breed character? Can I share my thoughts on sparring in the ring? Breeds that spar can be truly stunning when they are at full attention in a controlled spar. I use it very selectively, and only when I have two final favorites that I want to compare in that way. Sparring is done wrong in many cases, both by the handlers and by the judges. I don’t want it to degenerate into an out of control growling and snapping situation, so I always ask for some distance and control. I remember the last time I used it was in a strong Terrier Group where my two favorites were a Wire and a Lakeland. I pulled them out at the end, and asked the experienced handlers for a controlled spar. It was beautiful, and I made my final decision for first and second right there, and then picked out my third and fourth from the others. It was interesting that afterwards many of the true Terrier people thanked me, though a few of the other judges were upset with me for taking the time—the people who are only interested in getting done as soon as possible, and getting back to the hotel for dinner!
Many Terrier breeds are known for their singular expression. Can I offer a few examples? The breed that jumps into my mind first is the Border Terrier, with its Otter Head. That’s an extremely important feature for me, and the deciding factor when I’m down to my favorites. Following those, I will mention a few with really unique and important head traits, including all the Bull Terriers and the Staffie Bulls.
In my opinion, what makes a Terrier the ideal companion? I wouldn’t agree that this is true, unless you live on some property and need help with vermin control. For me, most Terrier breeds can be a bit difficult with their working instincts, desire, and high energy. They are probably noisier and harder to control than most people will want for an “ideal companion.”
Why is “Montgomery” a significant show for so many breeders/exhibitors outside of Terriers? Montgomery is magical. It has a similar mystique to Westminster because of its high-level of competition and the international flavor. I showed there twice while I was showing the Schnauzer boys, and I’ve attended a few more times to study. Truly wonderful!
Is there a funny story I can share about my experiences judging the Terrier breeds? Not from judging, but I will share one from showing the Schnauzers. After I finished the puppy I’d raised, I had two really nice champions who were quite similar. So, I decided to try Brace competition with them. I had a teen son at the time who was interested and traveled to shows with me. He showed one in Breed, and I showed the other. When we got done with Breed, I had to put the two of them into their special Brace lead. They were both “Tough Terriers” in the Breed ring, so they would give me a hard time as I was putting them together. I used to have to grab both by their beards and give them a talking to before we went back in the ring. They showed great then, but it was pretty embarrassing! I only tried it three or four times.
The Terrier Judges | Troy Clifford Dargin, PhD, JD, LLM, MBA, CCC-SLP
I hold an eclectic array of experiences and degrees, framing my interest with cross departmental work. My undergraduate degrees are in theatre performance and vocal music education K-12, master’s degrees in music, speech-language pathology, political science and finance, and a PhD in Speech Language Pathology with a focus on habilitation of the professional voice. I have taught junior high music in the public school system and have performed professionally in theatre, most specifically in a travelling children’s theatre troupe, before turning to academia. I am a certified practitioner in the Arthur Lessac Voice/Body technique and hold a certificate in Vocology from the National Center for Voice and Speech. I maintain professional service through offering continuing education to SLPs through my “Visions in Voice” company, where I combine my academic and entrepreneurial business interests. I continue to be active in the music community by judging state and regional vocal music contests. My professional affiliations include: Pan-American Vocology Association (PAVA); NSSLHA, and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia—a professional men’s music fraternity. Throughout all of my interests, I remain constant with my desire to mentor students.
Where do I live? How many years in dogs? How many as a judge? I was born in Germany. I grew up in Iowa and have lived in the NYC/Philadelphia area for the past six years. I’ve been in dogs most of my life, since I was a child (I think, maybe, since age seven?). I’m now 44. I’ve been judging for 21 years now.
Do I have any hobbies or interests apart from purebred dogs? Yes, I sing and act. I love reading and traveling. Right now, I’m enjoying building new educational programs around art and science, especially speech-language pathology graduate programs at universities.
Can I talk about my introduction to Terriers? Since I was a boy, I would rent the AKC videos about Terriers (and all the other Groups) and soak up all the information I could about the breeds. I even created spreadsheets of certain breed traits; measured dogs, recorded measurements, etc. I was very serious about conformation—it was my life, even as a child. (I traveled to shows with some Miniature Schnauzer breeder/handlers when I was younger.) I also assisted a professional handler in California who specialized in drop-coat breeds, but I was able to have a holistic handling experience by helping his friends at ringside, etc.
Have I bred any influential Terriers? Have I shown any notable winners? No. I am not a Terrier breeder.
Can I speak a bit about breed-specific presentation and coat conditioning in the Terrier breeds? As a judge, I see many breeds not conditioned with the appropriate stripping, etc., which makes many have a softer coat than some standards [require them] to have.
In my opinion, what makes a Terrier the ideal companion? They are super smart and are always alert.
Why is “Montgomery” a significant show for so many breeders/exhibitors outside of Terriers? This is the place where everyone can come to see the vast qualities of each breed. Terriers are sparse around all-breed shows, so it is difficult for people to see a ring full of several examples.
Is there a funny story I can share about my experiences judging the Terrier breeds? Well, yes… one time, an exhibitor was coming toward me, stopped to bait her dog, and her skirt fell down to her knees. She bent down, pulled it up, and continued throughout the ring. We’ve all had embarrassing moments like that!
The Terrier Judges | Wyoma Clouss
I entered the world of Miniature Schnauzers in 1974. After a professional handler finished their first four champions, my husband, Owen, and I showed and finished the next thirty-seven champions ourselves. I served as President of the American Miniature Schnauzer Club for six terms, on the AMSC Board of Directors, and I continue on the AMSC Judges Education Committee. I have also been President, and Show Chairman of the Idaho Capital City Kennel Club in Boise, Idaho, and have served as their Delegate to the American Kennel Club. Currently, I judge all Terriers and Toys, seven Working breeds, and two Herding breeds. I was honored to judge American Miniature Schnauzer Club National Specialties in Chicago in 1997 and 2003, the AMSC Montgomery County Specialties in 2007 and 2011, and in Denver in 2015. I have also enjoyed judging in China, Taiwan, Finland, Australia, Mexico, and Canada.
Where do I live? How many years in dogs? How many as a judge? My husband and I live with our two Miniature Schnauzers in Meridian, Idaho (near Boise). We bought our first Mini Schnauzer in 1974, and our second in 1977. In our innocence, both were daughters of the number one dog at the time, Ch. Hughcrest Hugh Hefner. Both, plus a homebred, were finished by professional handler, Paul Booher. I used that time to be mentored by Paul, learn to show groom, and take several handling classes. Later, we added Chinese Cresteds for ten years, but ultimately, our hearts were set on Min. Schnauzers. I started judging in 1994, and my very first assignment was a Min. Schnauzer Specialty in Taiwan.
Do I have any hobbies or interests apart from purebred dogs? I love to read! My mini iPad always holds dozens of books, mysteries, fantasies, thrillers, the occasional bio, and dog books. And the magazines that come… I love when they print special articles about all the different breeds. There’s always something to learn! I love to watch horses too. And racing. Sometimes, you will see that horse that is running on heart, but doesn’t have the front and reach for a longer race. Structure & Function! I watched harness racing the other day… some beautiful horses!! But one horse looked all wrong. So, I spent the rest of the day trying to figure out why someone would put that poor horse in a race.
Can I talk about my introduction to Terriers? I can still see Paul Booher working an Airedale’s coat and tidying up a Wire Fox. After our first three were finished by Paul, we dove in. I’d decided that I could do this too… still had a LOT to learn, though. A Kerry Blue friend and I started traveling to shows together. We watched the professional Terrier handlers work with their dogs. We either stayed to watch the Groups or, often enough, were in the Terrier Group ourselves and got to know other Terrier exhibitors, and their dogs too.
Have I bred any influential Terriers? Have I shown any notable winners? The first dog I showed was a Special (long story). He and his progeny are behind a number of the dogs still being shown. Once I started judging, my husband and I decided that we wouldn’t special any longer, just finish championships. Between work and the available shows in our part of the country, we concentrated on summer circuits, but we usually tried to make Great Western and Montgomery County. My husband took a young boy to Montgomery one year when I just couldn’t get away, and finished him with two 5-point majors—this is the guy who didn’t like to go in the ring, and who I had to give a crash course to on grooming!! Our friends took great delight in snipping a stray hair here or there, since I had sent grooming notes—but no scissors—with him!
Can I speak a bit about breed-specific presentation and coat conditioning in the Terrier breeds? Let that Terrier walk in the ring and present himself! Terriers are alert, they are watching, and they move around. As long as I can examine the dog, and reasonably see movement, I don’t expect a frozen statue pose.
Coat—As with any dog at the show, conditioning is important if you want to show your Terrier at its best. As judges, the Terrier Group can be a challenge because Terrier coats go far beyond “short” or “stripped.” We have scissored coats, longer and shorter, and even clippered. We have mixtures of soft & wavy, soft & silky, mixes of hardish & soft or hard & soft, short smooth, short stiff, hard & wiry, broken & wiry, hairless or short, single or double. Coming from Min. Schnauzers, stripped coats are my thing, and judges need to learn the difference between a poor-quality coat and a poorly groomed coat. It’s an art to do well, and can take time to master. You really need to spend time with a number of dogs in each breed to see and feel what is correct or not.
What about breed character? Can I share my thoughts on sparring in the ring? Terriers ARE characters! They tend to have a strong sense of self, with strong opinions. Smart. Sometimes Silly. This might mean the Bull Terriers are bent on putting on a clown show for everyone, or it might mean the Scottie and Westie are calling each other names. But each breed tends to have its own ideas.
Particular to Terriers, sparring means bringing out two, maybe three dogs (but never more) to look at each other from a little distance; to look alert, stand up on their toes. It does not mean getting too close or losing control. Min. Schnauzer Specials should be able to spar. But since younger dogs, bitches, and puppies usually live happily together at home, they might be more social than show-off. (Note: Some Terriers are NEVER sparred.) I tend to use sparring—looking at each other—when I am trying to decide between two or three. There is no need to repeat with each dog in the lineup, just the couple under consideration.
Many Terrier breeds are known for their singular expression. Can I offer a few examples? Min. Schnauzers with their “little old men” eyebrows and beards; Kerry Blues or Soft Coated Wheatens or Skye Terriers with their fall of hair over their face; Airedales with that strong, majestic head; Border Terriers with their otter heads; planes of the Smooth Fox. Can’t you identify each breed by its head over the fence?
How would I assess the overall quality of the “newer” Terrier breeds? It has been interesting to watch the progression of the newer breeds. Some seem to maintain several distinctive styles, while others appeared more homogeneous early on.
In my opinion, what makes a Terrier the ideal companion? Personality. Basic temperament. Spunk. But what is ideal for one person may not be ideal for the next. I knew a lady who adored her Smooth Fox Terrier, but later, was totally flummoxed by the cutest, sweetest, happiest Bull Terrier puppy, and had to give it back.
Why is “Montgomery” a significant show for so many breeders/exhibitors outside of Terriers? They come to learn. Montgomery County is the perfect event to see significant numbers of each breed, all in one venue. Breeders, exhibitors, and visitors come from all over the country and the world to see this special gathering of all
Which Terriers from the past have had the greatest influence on the sport? I think more as a breeder in terms of important, “watershed” dogs that are found in the history of each breed.
Is there a funny story I can share about my experiences judging the Terrier breeds? There was a time when a Malamute was waving his lovely plume of a tail under the fence, right at the end of the down and back. It sure looked like a varmint to the eager Terriers! Any time you are judging Terriers, you need your sense of humor—and you’ll have loads of fun!
The Terrier Judges | John Constantine-Amodei
Where do I live? How many years in dogs? How many as a judge? I live in Nokomis, Florida. I’ve been in dogs for 46 years, judging for 18 years.
Do I have any hobbies or interests apart from purebred dogs? Hiking
Can I talk about my introduction to Terriers? I started out by getting a Miniature Schnauzer in the 1970s. I learned the coat work and grooming from Sue Baines who was a Schnauzer/Terrier specialist. I worked for her on the weekends at shows. I also worked with Bill Farrera with Westies; learning from him as well as showing some dogs
Have I bred any influential Terriers? Have I shown any notable winners? I bred Ch. Adamis Frontrunner who was a multiple Group winner in the 1990s, but who really had his influence in breeding. He sired 39 American champions. I also bred Am/S. African/UK Ch. Adamis Supernatural who was the first dual American and
Can I speak a bit about breed-specific presentation and coat conditioning in the Terrier breeds? Different Terrier breeds are shown differently, of course, but all must be properly groomed. The grooming, while stylized, is still a reflection of what they were bred to do. The hard-coated Terriers need that harsh coat to protect them from the harsh conditions in which they worked. The beards and furnishings were to help protect them from bites by their quarry. I like to see a Terrier shown on its own, with the handler standing, and not stacking and holding the dog in place. They should be active and hold themselves together.
What about breed character? Can I share my thoughts on sparring in the ring? Again, different Terriers have different characters. Not all Terriers spar. For those that do not spar, you still want them to come out and stand, looking with interest and presenting a good picture. For those that do spar, they should stand up and look at each other like a prize fighter; on their toes, ready to take on the world. I think you should only spar two dogs at a time, otherwise it can get a bit wild. I wish judges would spar more often and let the dogs show themselves at their best. That said, I feel handlers today do not prepare their dogs to spar in the ring; perhaps because sparring is not usually done, but I don’t know. Too often, when I bring out two dogs to spar, all they do is look to their handlers for a treat.
Many Terrier breeds are known for their singular expression. Can I offer a few examples? A few examples are the AmStaff with his completely proud and fearless expression, the
Bedlington with his mild and gentle expression, which belies a fierce foe, and the Scottie with his tough, down the nose look and
How would I assess the overall quality of the “newer” Terrier breeds? I think some are doing quite well and have become very competitive. Most are very low entry breeds, and it is difficult to improve with that; it just takes more time.
In my opinion, what makes a Terrier the ideal companion? Again, there are different Terriers and all cannot be lumped as one. But with the ones I have lived with (Fox Terrier, Mini Schnauzer, Westie), if you want a devoted, but somewhat independent, dog that is fearless but obeys you, then a Terrier might be the right choice.
Why is “Montgomery” a significant show for so many breeders/exhibitors outside of Terriers? It is just the history and mystique associated with seeing so many superb examples of many breeds that draws everyone; just the stories one hears of experiences over the years; the longevity of the show; the worldwide interest
Which Terriers from the past have had the greatest influence on the sport? I would have to say Ch. Torum’s Scarf Michael, shown by Bill McFadden. Such a beautiful, true example of the breed.
The Terrier Judges | Betsy Dale
I started judging in 1984 after 20 years breeding and showing Airedales. I also have had Scotties, Welsh Terriers, and Brussels Griffons. I am approved for the Terrier, Toy, and the Non-Sporting Groups. I have had the honor to judge many Specialties, Group Shows, and All-Breed Shows in the US, Canada, South Africa, Mexico, Venezuela, Finland, Germany, Australia, China, Taiwan, and Thailand. I am a life member of the Ann Arbor Kennel Club (MI), and Show Chair of the Terrier Club of Michigan.
Where do I live? How many years in dogs? How many as a judge? I live in Michigan, and I have been a dog lover all my life. I started judging in 1984… 37 years ago!
Do I have any hobbies or interests apart from purebred dogs? I have a career in sales, and have traveled extensively to 49 states and six continents! Hobbies include family, reading, games, cooking, gardening, sewing, and meeting up with friends for
Can I talk about my introduction to Terriers? My introduction was made through the Disney movie, The Ballad of Hector the Stowaway Dog; an Airedale. Then I went to a dog show, and I was hooked. Of course, it took lots of mentoring to get a proper, competitive dog.
Have I bred any influential Terriers? Have I shown any notable winners? Ch. Marydales Headliner, an Airedale, and Ch. Sea Aire Bruhil Carsey, a Welsh.
Can I speak a bit about breed-specific presentation and coat conditioning in the Terrier breeds? Perfection comes with a lot of work! (Physical conditioning, no flabby muscles or extra fat.) Coat is presented according to the standard, with no shortcuts. Reality brings less than that, but we can hope for the best.
What about breed character? Can I share my thoughts on sparring in the ring? It is very important to spar when appropriate, as it shows off their best look and personality. The Terrier Club of Michigan made a video on this, and it is available on YouTube with over 11,000 viewers so far!
Many Terrier breeds are known for their singular expression. Can I offer a few examples? If you watch certain breeds, such as Fox, Lakeland, and Welsh, you can see how they are always looking and scanning for varmints. Just exudes type! If they spot something and focus on it, it is a perfect time to look at them.
How would I assess the overall quality of the “newer” Terrier breeds? Several need a lot of improvement! They don’t have a solid handle on type, condition or presentation.
In my opinion, what makes a Terrier the ideal companion? They are funny, challenging, interesting, and devoted. However, they are not for everyone since a lot of patience is needed!
Why is “Montgomery” a significant show for so many breeders/exhibitors outside of Terriers? It is a mecca for fanciers who want to learn, and to see all the latest competitors. If you want to judge Terriers properly, Montgomery is a requirement! Nowhere else can you see so many quality Terriers presented properly. Maybe you will discover a future star!
Which Terriers from the past have had the greatest influence on the sport? Ch. Torum’s Scarf Michael (Mick), the Kerry Blue, is a fine example along with many others: Ch. Galsul Excellence, the Wire Fox; Ch. Goldsand’s Columbus, the Russell; Scottie bitches Ch. Braeburns Close Encounter (Shannon) and Ch. Roundtown Mercedes of Maryscot (Sadie); Airedale bitches Ch. Finlair Isis and Aust. Am. Ch. Oldiron Margaret River; the Wheaten Ch. Andover Song N Dance Man; the Bedlington Ch. Willow Wind Centurion; the Norwich Ch. Willum the Conqueror; the Welsh Terrier Ch. Anasazi Billy the Kid; the Lakeland Ch. Special Edition; the Westie Ch. Mac-Ken-Char’s Irish Navigator; the Sealyham Ch. Efbe’s Hidalgo at Goodspice (Charmin); the Airedale Ch. Jokyl Superman; the Wire Fox Ch. Afterall Painting the Sky (Sky); the Bull Terrier Ch. Rocky Top’s Sundance Kid (Rufus); the Australian Terrier Ch. Lodiah Red Hawke (Bugsy); and the Dandie Aust. Am. Ch. Hobergays Fineus Fogg (Harry).
Is there a funny story I can share about my experiences judging the Terrier breeds? A long time ago, I was judging an outdoor show on Long Island in the fall—and it was cold. I wore a coat with a fur collar. A well-known handler had a Welsh Terrier on the exam table that took a serious look at the collar and grabbed it! I thought it was very funny, but the handler didn’t!
The Terrier Judges | Judith V. Daniels
I was born in Topeka, Kansas. I graduated from Highland Park High School as Valedictorian, with a 4.0 grade average. Then I attended Kansas State University and graduated in 1964, Magna Cum Laude, grade average of 3.864, with a degree in Mathematics. During my Junior year at KSU, I joined the state Madrigal Singers, and for about eight weeks, we toured the American bases in the Far East as a USO Show. At the age of 50, I enrolled in the University of Phoenix, and earned my MBA Degree in Business Administration.
I have been involved in the sport of dogs since 1968, when I got my first Staffordshire Bull Terrier. A breeder of 23 (Prefix “Starzend”) and owner/handler of 36 SBT Champions, I’ve also owned and exhibited Smooth Fox Terriers and Silky Terriers.
I am licensed to judge the AKC Terrier, Working, and Non-Sporting Groups. I have judged in Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, China, South Korea, England, Belgium, Mexico, South Africa, and Slovenia.
Prior to AKC recognition, I prepared the data for Staffordshire Bull Terrier Foundation Stock Registration. Then, in 1975, the year that the AKC recognized the SBT, I owned and handled the first champion of the breed, Ch. Northwark Becky Sharp (imported from Australia). Eight years later, in 1983, I co-owned and handled the first SBT to win an AKC All-Breed Best in Show, Ch. Guardstock’s Red Atom.
I was elected to the AKC Board of Directors in 1991, and served in that capacity until June, 1994, when I briefly assumed the position of AKC’s Executive Vice President, and then AKC President through March of 1996.
In 1994, I was the first recipient of the SBT Club of America’s “Dennis Springer Award” for lifetime historical contribution to the breed in North America.
“Staffords” have been my gateway to a wonderful and full life in the sport of dogs. Every level of involvement has been enriched by their presence, from the beginning when I worked with several other breed enthusiasts to get the breed—and then the breed club—recognized by the AKC.
Where do I live? How many years in dogs? How many as a judge? I have a home base in Spring, Texas, and my husband and I spend most of our down time in our retirement/vacation home in Belize. I’ve been in dogs for 53 years; judging for 37 years.
Do I have any hobbies or interests apart from purebred dogs? My interests? On my iPad—6 Card Games and 6 Word games. And jigsaw puzzles.
Can I talk about my introduction to Terriers? My introduction was a Staffordshire Bull Terrier puppy for Christmas in 1968, and then, gradually, learning about dog shows, especially from our “mentors” and then close friends: Fred and Margaret Young, and Glen and Jean Fancy. And, from the first AKC show that I attended, (because SBTs were more often than not in the 8:00 a.m. hour, I stayed through Best in Show, learning about the various breeds, and also learning about handling from the handlers in the ring.
Have I bred any influential Terriers? Have I shown any notable winners? While several of the dogs we’ve bred produced winners in the ring, the SBT numbers being shown where not enough to be labeled “influential.” My notable winner, of course, was Ch. Guardstock’s Reds Atom.
Can I speak a bit about breed-specific presentation and coat conditioning in the Terrier breeds? Size/Proportion are usually apparent at first sight. Then, the placement of legs/feet often call out breed-specific issues, such as square fronts, i.e., SBTs, Bulldogs, and Frenchies, to name a few. It has taken me a long time to be proficient in the judging of coat conditioning, and I’m still learning. Many handlers have helped me with that so far.
What about breed character? Can I share my thoughts on sparring in the ring? I appreciate sparring in the ring, but only when it is done properly. In order to spar correctly, dogs need a bit of training and understanding on what the handler wants. A few years ago, I was judging Scotties, and the first two in the lineup were way across the ring from me. They were much too vocal (as Scotties can often be), so I casually walked from my judging table over to them, and said to the handlers, “Okay, ladies. Either shut them up, or take them out… until I’m ready to spar them.” It’s just amazing how quiet they can be. When I sparred them, they were perfect!
Many Terrier breeds are known for their singular expression. Can I offer a few examples? A Staffordshire Bull Terrier (and the Am Staff, too) have intense eyes, and a smile! Their demeanor also expresses power and strength!
How would I assess the overall quality of the “newer” Terrier breeds? There are seldom enough of an entry in the newer breeds to make an assessment; the newer breeds are often totally absent at the shows. However, one of the newer ones that I am fond of is the Rat Terrier. They have both style and a stable temperament. I’ve seen several (although one or two at a time) that exhibit exceptional quality. I’ve placed a Rat Terrier in the Terrier Group on more than one occasion. I’ve had only one-at-a-time Cesky in my ring, and they can be rather difficult to assess.
In my opinion, what makes a Terrier the ideal companion? Terriers are trainable, loyal, extremely intelligent, and they’re always ready to give you a “lick in the face!”
Why is “Montgomery” a significant show for so many breeders/exhibitors outside of Terriers? “Montgomery” is the very best place for someone who would like to learn about a specific Terrier breed (or all Terriers in general), to observe the entire day, watching different breeds and observing judges sort out their entries, which have large numbers with the “Best of the Best” in each breed. The day is a special “seminar” about Terriers, and there are many dog owners, and handlers, to talk with… especially ringside.
Which Terriers from the past have had the greatest influence on the sport? Unfortunately, I don’t retain names, but I do recall a magnificent Lakeland, a Scottie, a Bedlington, a Norwich, a Kerry Blue, a Bull Terrier, an AmStaff, a Smooth Fox Terrier, a Wire Fox Terrier, and a Welsh Terrier.
Is there a funny story I can share about my experiences judging the Terrier breeds? When I was finishing my Terrier breeds, and had many entries to be observed, at one show I had a rather large entry of Border Terriers. The Open Dog Class had six exhibits. As they entered the ring, I said to myself, “Oh, my goodness, the puppies are going to win today!” Each of the Open Dogs had a glaring problem, and I was so worried about how the Field Rep was going to critique me once my decisions had been made. As I placed the Open Class, I quickly looked over to the Rep… and he was having a bit of a nap! At times, salvation comes in a strange form! After the dogs exited the ring, I walked over to the Rep, and said, “My goodness, what an Open Class I had. It was almost impossible to sort out!” To which he responded, “Yes, they all looked very nice, but I did like your puppy for Winners Dog.” Saved by Nap Time!!
The Terrier Judges | Bill DeVilleneuve
Where do I live? How many years in dogs? How many as a judge? I live on Long Island in Dix Hills, New York. I have owned and bred Scotties for 50 years. I started judging in 1983, getting AKC approval to judge one breed, the Scottish Terrier. Currently, I am approved to judge three Groups, Working, Terrier, and Toy, plus multiple breeds in the Hound and Non-Sporting Groups.
Do I have any hobbies or interests apart from purebred dogs? My dogs and judging keep me busy, but I am a gym member and try to spend several hours each week with various exercise programs. I also enjoy traveling and cruising, and have missed these during this COVID shutdown year.
Can I talk about my introduction to Terriers? I grew up with a Cairn Terrier from the time I was five years old. My parents got him from a family friend who was an occasional hobby breeder. Although not a show dog (as I look back on him now), he was a nice-looking boy. He lived until I graduated from college—almost 17 years old. This started my interest in Terriers. After getting married, we started looking for a Cairn without success. We were introduced to an available Scottie bitch, and the rest is history.
Have I bred any influential Terriers? Have I shown any notable winners? I had two of the top breeder/owner-handled Scotties in the 1980s and 1990s, CH Duff-De Pac Man and CH Duff-De Lord James. I also owned an STCA #1 Brood Bitch Award winner in the 1990s, CH Killisport Charisma of Scarista, a Scottish import and dam of seven champions. I also owned one of the top Scotties in 2006, multiple BIS winner CH Wychwood Wyndola of Duff-De, piloted by Bergit Kabel. She was #2 Scottie, a Top-Ten Terrier, and winner of the STCA BOS Award for the year.
Can I speak a bit about breed-specific presentation and coat conditioning in the Terrier breeds? Many Terriers are labor intensive breeds. Coat conditioning is vital to correct presentation. I can speak from experience about the time spent on my own Scotties, stripping coats and getting dogs ready for shows. It took quite some time to learn from some of the best how to do this.
What about breed character? Can I share my thoughts on sparring in the ring? Terriers are tenacious by nature. They like to assert themselves. Sparring, done properly with two or three dogs, allows a Terrier to show that personality; attentive, with tail and ears up. Sparring should only be done with certain Terriers, as many are not sparring breeds. Sparring with my own breed, Scotties, is essential to assess character.
Many Terrier breeds are known for their singular expression. Can I offer a few examples? Many Terriers have a “harder” look to them as a result of that small, dark, almond or oval eye, as opposed to a softer Spaniel or Beagle eye. This is in keeping with the nature of the Terrier personality. Scotties, in particular, should have a hard, varminty, piercing look with small, dark, almond eyes and small, well-placed ears, which also contribute to this desired expression.
How would I assess the overall quality of the “newer” Terrier breeds? There are not that many new Terrier breeds. Maybe Rat Terriers qualify. They have come a long way since their early years when quality was questionable. Today, the Rat Terriers are very competitive and doing well in Groups. I have placed many in Groups in the last few years. The American Hairless Terrier is also fairly new. Although not as popular as the Rat, there are many nice examples of the breed in the show ring.
In my opinion, what makes a Terrier the ideal companion? I can speak for my Scotties. In general, they are intelligent, affectionate, wonderful companions—and very loyal. I have a young boy now, a little over a year old, who truly is my best friend. He wants to go everywhere with me, and I try to take him to as many places as I can. He loves the dog shows, and I take him when I have some available time.
Why is “Montgomery” a significant show for so many breeders/exhibitors outside of Terriers? Montgomery has always been such a beautifully presented show, with Terriers from across the country attending. To see all those Terriers together, in a great setting, is a wonderful experience, even for a non-Terrier person. Terriers are an exciting bunch.
Which Terriers from the past have had the greatest influence on the sport? It would be hard to name all the influential Terriers from the past. Each breed would have its top-producing stud dogs and brood bitches. Mick, the Kerry Blue, might come to mind. In Smooth Fox Terriers, I think of Nornay Saddler. Bardene Bingo would be an influential Scottie sire from the mid-20th century.
Is there a funny story I can share about my experiences judging the Terrier breeds? Offhand, nothing stands out in my mind as “funny.” That said, it is always fun (and an adventure) to
The Terrier Judges | Dr. Karen M. Ericson
I was born in New Jersey and spent my first years on Long Island. We lived in the Hamptons, which were not at all glamorous then. There were duck and potato farms and an Indian Reservation. Our family moved to New York City, and I lived there until graduating from college. While in high school, I started working for a pair of professional handlers in Rye, New York. In 1971, I moved to Northern California and took some time off from showing to begin my family and complete a Master’s Degree in Public Administration. When the kids were old enough, they showed in Juniors. We were the typical motorhome show family. My sister, Sandi Olsen, joined us, and we showed and bred mainly English Cockers. Sandi is also an active judge who started in Juniors along with our other sister, Pam. Professionally, I worked for the U.S. Geological Survey as a research scientist until I had an offer to teach at the University of San Francisco. It was there that I earned my Doctorate in Education and became an Assistant Dean. In 2005, my husband, Michael, and I decided to move to the Seattle area, and I accepted a position as the Director of Community-Based Learning and Research at the University of Washington. Michael is a true Terrier devotee. Once, when my daughter was showing my husband’s Norwich who misbehaved badly in the ring yet won her class, I chided him about how he had spoiled her. She went back in and won a four-point major under the great judge Michelle Billings! Currently, we are owned by an English Setter, a Whippet, and a
Where do I live? How many years in dogs? How many as a judge? I live in Carnation, Washington, on a small lake east of Seattle in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains. I showed my first dog in 1965, so 56 years, and have been judging since 1998.
Do I have any hobbies or interests apart from purebred dogs? My husband and I love sailing on Puget Sound and visiting family when given the chance. We are pretty busy with our veterinary clinic. However, he has the veterinarian and me keeping the business side of things going.
Can I talk about my introduction to Terriers? As a small child, my family had a few purebred dogs and I had an intense love for them. I grew up in New York, and we received the New York Times each day in school. I was always excited to read Walter Fletcher’s weekly Sunday column in which he reported about dogs and dog shows. One day, when I was eight years old, I saw that the Bronx County Kennel Club was holding a show at the Bronx Armory, which was close to our house. I begged my parents to take me, so they dropped me off with enough money for a hot dog and a soda. I was in heaven and stayed until the show closed!! In those days, pretty much all shows were benched, and as I walked down the very first aisle, a White Bull Terrier reached out and grabbed me. He was so charming that I spent a good part of the day with him and taking in all the different breeds, many of which I had never seen in person before. I was hooked!!
Have I bred any influential Terriers? Have I shown any notable winners? I have never considered myself a breeder of Terriers. I have been more of a scholar, studying breed characteristics and what makes them develop the features that are unique to each breed. My first Terrier was a Skye, purchased from the well-known Iradell Kennels in Ridgefield, Connecticut. We have bred a few litters over many years, but we mainly enjoyed them as companions after they were finished. We never had a large number of dogs at one time, as we felt it would be unfair to them in terms of getting enough attention. Probably the most notable winners we had was a Group-winning Border Terrier in the 1980s that we’d purchased from Betsy Finley of Woodlawn fame, and a Miniature Bull Terrier in the ‘90s that won the Breed from the classes at Hatboro Kennel Club on the Montgomery weekend. She was bred by Marilyn Drewes in New Hampshire. We have also had, and bred on a limited basis, Westies, Norwich, and currently, a Parson Russell. Each breed is quite unique, and we’ve thoroughly enjoyed getting to really know them.
Can I speak a bit about breed-specific presentation and coat conditioning in the Terrier breeds? It is very important to know the original function of each breed and relate this to how each breed is presented. In particular, showing your breed at the correct speed and drawing out the unique expression of each one. For example, the raciness of a lovely Irish Terrier as it moves around the ring paying attention to anything that moves, or the fire of a great Kerry Blue that peers out and obviously dominates its surroundings. The outlines of some breeds are so unique to them, their silhouettes are recognizable instantly. As far as coat conditioning, this is so important to the function of each breed. It is a joy to feel the correct, hard, crisp or soft coat of a specific breed. Stripping and rolling a coat takes skill, and hours and hours of work, and few people are really masters at it. Whenever I feel what I believe to be a correct coat in the ring, I let the person showing the dog know that I really appreciate the amount of work that went into the conditioning process. In some instances, though, grooming has been overdone, and the trimming and sculpting of today is not useful to a working Terrier. I believe the smaller entries in Terriers is due to the amount of time it takes to present a dog that can be competitive. Many people do not have the time or desire to learn what it takes.
What about breed character? Can I share my thoughts on sparring in the ring? Each breed, obviously, has its own character, and it is important to know what is correct. For example, an American Staffordshire must look confident and powerful without being aggressive. You can always count on a Bull Terrier, both standard and Mini, to be a clown. The Airedale has a commanding presence that grabs the eye, and the Staffordshire Bull Terrier is earnest while absolutely loving people. Parson Russells can show the determination that drives them down the hole after a fierce quarry—and they sometimes stay there until they are dug out. As far as sparring, it is proper for some breeds where you want them up on their toes and showing their best expression, but it’s not for others. It is necessary to read up on the history of the different breeds and, once again, relate it to why it was developed. Terriers that were bred to hunt with others should not necessarily be sparred, as you can see their character and temperament without this exercise. And it must be done properly, with handlers knowing how to keep their distance and yet have the dogs look at one another and show who they are.
Many Terrier breeds are known for their singular expression. Can I offer a few examples? Who can forget the fire and intensity when you are looking in the face of a great Scottie? Or the varminty eyes and egg shape of the correct head on a Bull Terrier? The liquid dark eyes of the Dandie Dinmont just draw you in, and the glint of the Sealyham when something catches their eye makes you aware of their determination. Borders have that unique otter face, which looks at you and says, “What would you like me to do?” Westies have a sweetness all their own, and Ceskys have the seriousness that indicates their willingness to work.
How would I assess the quality of the “newer” Terrier breeds? While many of these breeds are old ones, just new to the AKC, it takes several generations to really establish a particular, correct type. Oftentimes, people interested in a new breed are not able to procure the very best examples from their place of origin. Where many of these breeds are heritage breeds and are often endangered, breeders are reluctant to part with ideal specimens, especially to people they don’t know. So, at first, type can be all over the place. But with the hard work of dedicated fanciers, you are bound to see improvement over time.
In my opinion, what makes a Terrier the ideal companion? Once you have lived with a Terrier and can appreciate their true character, you really begin to understand why they are so enjoyable. They are not for everyone, however. In general, they are intense, active to the point of being very busy, into everything, and full of high jinx. There is never a dull moment when they are awake, but in return, you get a loyal friend who will entertain you and defend you with everything they have.
Why is “Montgomery” a significant show for so many breeders/exhibitors outside of Terriers? It brings together good and great examples of each breed in numbers not seen elsewhere. Often it is where people learn how influential breeders produce top quality exhibits time and time again. The excitement of, perhaps, the greatest Group show is thrilling to see. People come from all over the world to see the spectacle that is Montgomery.
Which Terriers from the past have had the greatest influence on the sport? The first one who comes to mind is the great Kerry Blue, “Mick,” with Bill McFadden piloting. Of course, there was the Smooth Fox, Ch. Ttarb The Brat, and the terrific Bull Terrier, “Rufus,” who surely was the best Bull Terrier I have ever seen. Also included would be the Wire Fox, Ch.Galsul Excellence, and the Norwich, Ch. Thrumpton Lord Brady.
Is there a funny story I can share about my experiences judging the Terrier breeds? I could not think of one that happened while I was judging, other than nearly being decked by an enthusiastic Bull Terrier. However, I can think of one involving my initial experience when I was looking for my first Terrier, which was a Skye. We drove up the long driveway at Iradell Kennels where there was a yellow sign that read, “Beware of Flying Kangaroos.” I thought that was very funny until we saw actual kangaroos. We couldn’t believe our eyes!! Needless to say, it was very amusing.
The Terrier Judges | Marcia Feld
Where do I live? How many years in dogs? How many as a judge? I live in Libertyville, Illinois. Growing up, my best friend was “Pal.” He was always with me, and anytime I got in trouble, he would go with me to hide in the bushes. After Pal’s death, I was without a “best friend” until 1974. My husband grew up without a dog, and had no desire to have one. Then one day, while reading the paper, he said, “If I ever had a dog, it would be one of these.” I looked over his shoulder and saw that it was a Miniature Schnauzer. When he got home from work the next day, we had a puppy. So, a lifetime with dogs and 27 years judging.
Do I have any hobbies or interests apart from purebred dogs? My grandchildren.
Have I bred any influential Terriers? Have I shown any notable winners? There have been two: Ch. Feldmar Nightshade was one of the first black/silver champions. (His pups were placed all over the world, and those placements were done with the understanding that the dogs would be shown to their championships, which resulted in titles in England, France, Italy, Germany, Australia, and South Africa); and Nightshade’s son, Ch. Feldmar Night Reveler who was the No. 2 AKC Miniature Schnauzer in, I believe, 1987. (A first for a black/silver Mini.)
Can I speak a bit about breed-specific presentation and coat conditioning in the Terrier breeds? Terrier coats vary and, consequently, so does care and conditioning.
What about breed character? Can I share my thoughts on sparring in the ring? Temperament and character can vary from dog to dog, very much like in human beings. As for sparring, well, I just have them “look at each other,” the purpose being to get the alert, up on their toes look.
Many Terrier breeds are known for their singular expression. Can I offer a few examples? Frankly, I am not sure of the meaning of “singular expression.” Appearance does vary due to head shapes and grooming. Westie and Scottie heads vary greatly from the Foxes and the Mini Schnauzer. Coat and color distinguish the Soft Coated Wheaten from the Kerry Blue, though they have
How would you assess the overall quality of the “newer” Terrier breeds? Good.
In my opinion, what makes a Terrier the ideal companion? Any dog can be the ideal companion. All depends upon their puppy experiences, and their nature and nurture with their human.
Why is “Montgomery” a significant show for so many breeders/exhibitors outside of Terriers? The large numbers of dogs entered at the show, and the outstanding level of breed quality.
Which Terriers from the past have had the greatest influence on the sport? Almost every breed has had an influential sire.
Is there a funny story I can share about my experiences judging the Terrier breeds? I’m sure there have been, but nothing I can remember precisely.
The Terrier Judges | Julie Felton
Where do I live? How many years in dogs? How many as a judge? I reside in Wauconda, Illinois, a small northwestern suburb of Chicago. I grew up with dogs. My mother had a Poodle, and my brother raised and bred Redbone Coonhounds. When I was 10 years old, I got my very own dog, a Bluetick Coonhound. I hunted with my older brother, or moreso, I ran around the woods chasing him and his dogs. Mine didn’t have to work, she was all mine, and that truly started my love of purebred dogs and sports. I began judging 21 years ago when I was approved for my first breed, Parson Russell Terriers. I came in on the slow train in picking up my breeds step-by-step, and I’ve slowly worked up from there. I am currently approved for two Groups and Best in Show.
Do I have any hobbies or interests apart from purebred dogs? I love spending time with my family, bird watching, and riding my trike. I am an avid reader and I want to learn how to knit.
Can I talk about my introduction to Terriers? In my early twenties, I wanted an active little dog, but not a wimpy one. My brother suggested that I look into Jack Russell Terriers, the name that was given to them in the beginning. (Now they are known as the Parson Russell Terrier in AKC.) I started with a fun little JRT named Lil Bit. I finally found what I was looking for! A smart dog that was eager to please, intelligent, active, and a very loyal companion. Terriers never let you become bored or lonely.
Have I bred any influential Terriers? Have I shown any notable winners? I bred the first big Parson Russell Terrier breed winner, BIS BISS CH Fox Valley Frolic, “Fuzz.” She won the first PRT National in 2000 as an AKC recognized breed at eleven months of age. Thereafter, she was co-owned with Amelia and Dan Musser to a spectacular career. In addition to Fuzz, I have also bred three other National Specialty winners. I have finished several champions from the Bred-By Exhibitor class, and to date, I have bred over
Can I speak a bit about breed-specific presentation and coat conditioning in the Terrier breeds? To turn a Terrier out in proper coat and conditioning is a work of art that takes years to hone to the skill level needed to bring out the best in so many different breeds. They all have various nuances to learn and various purposes for their type of grooming. It quite often takes hours and hours of hand stripping by devoted owners and handlers for the majority of breeds in the Terrier Group. Most Terrier coats call for a harsh jacket. It’s a real disservice when these breeds are presented in their underwear (stripped down to their undercoat). Judges should always consider the history of Terriers in their consideration of the whole package. Often, these dogs were called upon to hunt in rough, cold, rainy terrain. A dog without proper coat or conditioning would be a worthless team member and is likely to get injured or worse.
What about breed character? Can I share my thoughts on sparring in the ring? A Terrier of any breed embodies boldness and pride in itself. When the sun is beaming down at an outdoor show and a Terrier is standing there, on its toes, full of itself, there is nothing prettier. You want to see the sharp expression as they survey what is going on around them. It is unparalleled in other Groups. When sparring is done correctly, it just takes my breath away; watching Terriers stand on their toes for the spar, with their chests puffed out and necks arched as they move up like stallions. Having said this, so many Terriers are losing their sparkle character so that the real feel of the spar is lost. It is much more than two dogs meeting. A sparring Terrier should not prefer to look at a chicken breast waved about by its handler than what is going on around them. Terriers should also not show like robots. Reward that spunk and naughtiness! Another thing to remember is that not all Terrier breeds should have “Terrier fronts” and not all of them are to be sparred.
Many Terrier breeds are known for their singular expression. Can I offer a few examples? In the show ring, the Dandie Dinmont Terrier has an affectionate and dignified nature, with a wise expression, whereas the Lakeland Terrier has a cock-of-the-walk attitude. But place the Dandie in a working situation and you will see his tenacity and boldness. Let’s not forget the less intense Terrier breeds, such as the Rat Terrier, with a keen intelligence as they are an overall working Terrier that should be easy to get along with other dogs and will appear more biddable, since that is how they are used historically. All Terriers were bred with a purpose, so remember what those purposes are in our judging. Some Terriers are bred to work in packs, but overall, no overt aggression, boredom, or any fearfulness should be rewarded.
How would I assess the overall quality of the “newer” Terrier breeds? Some of the newer Terrier breeds are very sound and are good examples of their written standards. Many times, they are being shown by very devoted beginners and owners whom I look forward to seeing expand their skills and knowledge as the breeds are getting wider known. It is exciting to see these breeds
In my opinion, what makes a Terrier the ideal companion? A Terrier considers itself more of an equal to you than a dog. I swear they are part human with how well they can read you. They know when you are happy or sad and they are always looking for the next adventure, even if you are not. They are fun and happy dogs. I cannot tell you how many times my dogs have teased me with their devilish sense of humor.
Why is “Montgomery” a significant show for so many breeders/ exhibitors outside of Terriers? Montgomery is the Greatest Terrier Show on Earth. Even f you are not a Terrier person, it is worth attending. People come worldwide to bring and see the best of the best compete head to head. No other show brings this excitement. Win or lose, you know you are among history in the making.
One of my favorite times is the early morning of the show, no matter the weather, when it is quiet but for a few barks here and there, before everyone is hustling about. I have my coffee in my hand and I just look at the rings as the morning mist begins to clear and the sun shines down. You can feel the spirits of the dogs of yesteryear. Soon the rings will fill with the new generations trodding on the same soil as their ancestors did. It is just a feeling that is rarely felt at other shows.
There is a crackle in the air; the excitement you can almost taste it. I love this show, with the history and traditions that it holds. Every breeder and aspiring Terrier judge needs to come to this show at least once. The education they will learn there they can carry on in their future.
Which Terriers from the past have had the greatest influence on the sport? There have been so many great Terriers making a mark. But I think most will agree that “Mick,” the Kerry Blue, had a huge influence on the sport. Even non-Terrier people followed his career. There have been several history-making Wire Fox Terriers such as Ch. Registry’s Lonesome Dove, “Lacey,” who really had an impact on the breed/sport and who stands out in my memory.
Is there a funny story I can share about my experiences judging the Terrier breeds? Nothing comes to mind with me being a judge. But when I first started exhibiting, I was so nervous in the Group ring that the judge told me to go down and back… and I never came back. I just went down and went to the line, and thought I had done well. Oops!
The Terrier Judges | Geir Flyckt-Pedersen
Where do I live? How many years in dogs? How many as a judge? Since having to leave Florida (and even North Carolina) due to a severe fire ant allergy, I currently live in Pepper Pike, Ohio.
The first dog, a wonderful mix of everything, came into my life in 1954, but I entered the ring for the first time in 1959 (or 60?) with a Boxer. I judged my first open show 1970/71.
Do I have any hobbies or interests apart from purebred dogs? I have always been interested in anything animal-related. We raised horses in a small way (Swedish Warmblood), but due to family involvement, I’ve always been an “on the ground follower” of anything equine, like showjumping, dressage, and eventing.
My personal obsessions have been golf and running! Gardening, arts, antiques, and interior design are also on the list.
Can I talk about my introduction to Terriers? My introduction to Terriers was, like so many things in life, rather strange. I was, at the time, “seriously” involved with German Shepherds and Boxers. But a neighbor owned this large Poodle-like, black and tan dog that was always very hairy. Then, one day, the dog turned up naked and the owner told me that she had been stripped!!! Not clipped. (All new to a 13/14-year-old kid who found this interesting and
We had a Junior section in our local all-breed club, and at the next meeting we were asked if anybody had any special interests they wanted to pursue—and Geir mentioned that he would like to watch a Terrier being stripped. One of the board members happened to breed Airedales, and she took me under her wings. And the rest is history; too long to include here!
Have I bred any influential Terriers? Have I shown any notable winners? In Wire Fox Terriers, we bred some 100-plus champions, and at least two of my dogs, Ch. Louline Pickled Pepper, and his son, Ch. Louline Heartbreaker, can be found in a majority of current pedigrees if you look back a few generations. Over here, Ch. Louline Head Over Heels and Ch. Louline Peterman were responsible for a large number of champions. Also, our exports to Germany, Italy, France, and The Netherlands have become parts of the breed’s US history.
Our exports to the US alone have won between them at least 500-600 Groups and a couple of hundred Bests in Show. Ch. Louline Stringalong, handled by Roz Kramer, won the Quaker Oats Award. His sire, Ch. Louline Pemberton, handled by George Ward, won the breed at Montgomery under Annie Clarke. Ch. Talludo Minstrel of Purston, who won Best in Show at Montgomery, was sired by Ch. Louline Lord Fauntleroy. And my export, Ch. Forchlas Cariad, was another Montgomery Best in Show winner.
In 1974, my Welsh Terrier was the first in history to become Dog of the Year in both Norway and Sweden—in the same year. This was repeated by one of my Wire Fox Terriers in 1980, but never by anyone else. Ch. Louline Promotion became Sweden’s Dog of the Year in 1989, and Ch. Louline High Jack won Best in Show at the Australian KC’s bicentennial show.
Over a period of four years, we won Best in Show at the Swedish Skansen Show (Sweden’s Montgomery) with three different breeds; WFTs, Norfolks, and Lakeland, and twice runner up. One year, winning the double, with Lakeland Terrier (Ch. Brass Button of Sherwood, actually imported from the US) Best and a
In 1980, we won Best in Show and runner up with a WFT and a Cocker at the, till then, largest ever Helsinki show.
We were the first to ever win the prestigious Pup of the Year in England twice, and I judged the same event in 1997 when we were awarded the “Tom Horner’s Award of Excellence” for our involvement in the sport.
July 1, 1990 is the most memorable day of my life. One of my WFTs won Reserve Best in Show by some 10,000 dogs at the prestigious Windsor show. We also won Best Puppy in Show. But on THAT VERY day, six different Louline WFTs won All-Breed Bests in Show in six different countries.
I was also the first to judge the International Junior Showmanship Final at Crufts—and have done so twice.
I must also add that we had similar success with our (English) Cockers, and have successfully bred (in a small way, my favorite Airedales), Norfolk Terriers, Greyhounds, and Whippets.
Can you speak a bit about breed-specific presentation and coat conditioning in the Terrier breeds? Coat and presentation are hugely important features for any Terrier being shown.
There is a tendency to “over-trim” many of the Terrier breeds. To comment on every single breed is impossible. Even the very similar looking breeds like Welsh, Lakeland, and WFT require specialized expertise to create the individual outlook and balance.
But Terrier grooming is definitely an art form that takes a lot of experience to perfect.
Most breed standards are listing the amount and length of coat required for various parts of the dogs. Too many dogs are, these days, shown in too short coats, which doesn’t seem to even be noticed by newer judges.
What about breed character? Can I share my thoughts on sparring in the ring? With only a couple of exceptions, any Terrier should enter the ring as though he owns the ground he’s standing on; without help from any other dogs.
Coming from a world where sparring is illegal, I still think that with capable handlers in tow, it is an important procedure for a number of breeds. However, in many cases, [sparring is] unfair, as so many top-winning bitches are not interested, which gives the males a huge advantage. But when it works, it is certainly a way to make a Terrier look its best!
Many Terrier breeds are known for their singular expression. Can I offer a few examples? I don’t know what you mean by “singular expression,” but each breed has its own typical and desired expression. To prove that you really know the “soul” of the breeds, you should, in my humble opinion, be able to identify each one by a “cut out” of eyes and expression.
How would I assess the overall quality of the “newer” Terrier breeds? I am not certain which breeds you include in the group, “Newer” Terrier breeds! But I think most of the more recent additions, some of which I have met and known in Europe decades ago, are very compatible to what we see worldwide. And they seem to be in the hands of the most enthusiastic and also, hopefully,
In my opinion, what makes a Terrier the ideal companion? If you have chosen a Terrier as your pet and companion, you will never have a dull moment (at least with most of them). Given the attention, time, and opportunity, they can learn a lot. But they also have their own view on what is really important. Playing and having fun are important parts.
I grew up watching Fox Terriers competing successfully in obedience, and most of them loved water and a few became very clever divers. But it is virtually impossible to “bundle” all breeds together. A Scottish Terrier has a temperament and mentality very different from, say, a Wire Fox Terrier.
A negative side for a majority of the breeds is, of course, the expense of grooming. But if done correctly, you will be blessed with a basically non-shedding pet!
Never forget, however, that all the “bull” breeds make wonderful friends and pets, which is probably the cause of their huge popularity worldwide!
Why is “Montgomery” a significant show for so many breeders/exhibitors outside of Terriers? The reasons why Montgomery has become like the Mecca for people from all over the world are many. Importantly, it has long traditions of a seriously well-organized event, judged by, to a large extent, breed experts who know what they want and what they’re doing. Also, the numbers and level of quality with regard to the entry itself, as well as the level of professional grooming, handling, and presentation, is something you cannot find anywhere else in the world.
If you want to learn about Terriers, this is where you find a unique opportunity!
For American breeders and handlers from all over the country, this is where you can find out if all those local “stars” really are as good as their many wins would indicate! Many have returned home to their “own territory” rather disillusioned! But this is the place to go if ambition and inspiration are on your wish list. This I know from many years of experience…
Which Terriers from the past have had the greatest influence on the sport? Terriers of the Past: I could give you a never-ending list of a variety of breeds, but the two dogs on my mind are the Kerry Blue, Ch. Torums Scarf Michael, and the WFT, Ch. Galsul Excellence; two dogs that made a huge impact on myself as well as on a crowd, inside and outside the exclusive world of Terriers.
Is there a funny story I can share about your experiences judging the Terrier breeds? A story I have told many times: I showed an Airedale many moons ago who, when the judge bent down to look at her teeth, all of a sudden got a very intense look in her eyes. She jumped up and grabbed his wig, which she started shaking vigorously. I got it away from her, and the judge replaced his wig, looking rather embarrassed! But he probably didn’t realize that for the rest of the day it was worn back-to-front!
The second incident does not involve a Terrier, but a Standard Poodle who had obviously been doing a lot of wining in the UK. Coming from Scandinavia, we were told that it was important to share with the exhibitors why we did what we did, but when I had finished telling this lady handler that she placed second (as I would like a better underjaw and better feet) she looked me straight in the eyes telling me, “Well, you’re not exactly an oil painting yourself, Mr. Pedersen!” It still hurts!
The Terrier Judges | Sally George
Where do I live? How many years in dogs? How many as a judge? I live in Sonoma, California, in the California Wine Country. My husband, Mark, and I were professional handlers until I retired in 2006 to support my kids in school. I applied to judge shortly after that and have been judging since.
Do I have any hobbies or interests apart from purebred dogs? My hobbies are gardening, horses, sheep, ducks, Giants baseball, and DIY home maintenance.
Can I talk about my introduction to Terriers? My family owned Terriers before I can remember. There were stories of an Airedale, a Sealyham, and a pair of Kerry Blues, but the first dog I remember as a child was a Norwich. When she died, my parents chose a Standard Poodle for our family. But when I was able to buy a dog of my own, I was torn between a Miniature Schnauzer and an Irish Terrier. Eventually, I wound up with both. Meanwhile, Mark was very involved with Scotties. So, I was dunked into that breed when we married.
Have I bred any influential Terriers? Have I shown any notable winners? Most notable must be the Soft Coated Wheaten, Ch. Andover Song N Dance Man. He held the record as the top winner in the breed for many years, having won the Terrier Group at Westminster, multiple Bests in Show, and every SCWT specialty in America—at least one time.
We also showed the influential West Highland White Terrier Ch. Holyroods Hootman O Shelybay, who was the sire of many champions, including Ch. Roundtown Ivan The Terror, the breed’s top winner of all time, and Ch. Aberglen Lucky Lindy that we bred, who was a multiple BIS winner and No. 1 Westie while he
Can I speak a bit about breed-specific presentation and coat conditioning in the Terrier breeds? I have always felt that the best way to understand Terrier coat is to get your hands into it and try to learn how to condition and prepare one for the ring. If people would try to do it, they would begin to understand what makes a correct coat and why it matters if a harsh coat is soft or overloaded with undercoat, or alternatively, if a coat is silky and wavy or wooly and crisp. Mastering Terrier coat conditioning is an art and a grind. It takes talent AND perseverance.
What about breed character? Can I share my thoughts on sparring in the ring? Nothing is more beautiful than Terriers being carefully sparred in the ring, solidly holding their ground, with intense, on the muscle poses, showing off not only their conformation but also the Terrier attitude that is part and parcel of the package. (Terriers propped up with a chunk of food in their face will never take the place of two dogs staring each other down.) Sparring is not supposed to be a brawl. Rather, it is a demonstration of that package of excellent conformation and attitude.
Many Terrier breeds are known for their singular expression. Can I offer a few examples? The one that immediately comes to mind is the Dandie Dinmont. His expression is totally his own and unlike any other Terrier. In many ways, the smaller, dark, piercing eyes and expression, and small, high set ears in many breeds are reversed in the “un-Terrier” Dandie who favors a large eye and drop ear. Nevertheless, it is a really appealing expression.
How would I assess the overall quality of the “newer” Terrier breeds? Variable. Like many newer breeds, there are pockets of talented breeders who have quickly developed quality examples of their breed and other places where those who own and exhibit these breeds really have not yet developed the knowledge or eye to discern the faults in their dogs.
In my opinion, what makes a Terrier the ideal companion? A Terrier takes his good times with him, wherever he goes.
Why is “Montgomery” a significant show for so many breeders/exhibitors outside of Terriers? Montgomery is THE dog show that still fulfills the original purpose of dog shows. Everyone likes to win, but if you don’t win at Montgomery you can still come away with something. It is where serious breeders from all over the country, and sometimes the world, gather to compare their breeding and their dogs with others. It’s a place to evaluate your breeding program and find dogs that can help to improve your stock where weaknesses exist. It is also a place where people wanting to learn about Terriers (many of which you rarely see in entries larger than two or three) can find large numbers that allow them to get a picture in their minds of proper type. And then there is the ringside knowledge, breeders with years of experience willing to answer thoughtful questions about their breeds.
Which Terriers from the past have had the greatest influence on the sport? So Many… Ch. Nornay Saddler?
Is there a funny story I can share about my experiences judging the Terrier breeds?There was a show held in an outdoor park where the gophers were rampant. A lot of the Terriers were very keen to check out the holes during the day, but their handlers persevered. It all fell apart during Scottish Terrier judging when a pair of gophers stuck their heads up. The dogs went nuts, dragging and pulling and barking to get to those critters. Suffice to say that movement was not the criteria for my final placements.
The Terrier Judges | Sue Goldberg
Where do I live? How many years in dogs? How many as a judge? We live in New Jersey when it’s warm, and in Florida and California when the temperature drops below 60 degrees! My husband, Harvey, and I breed Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers under the Wheatens of Shandalee banner. We go back to 1968 with the breed, five years before they were recognized. I have been judging since 1995 and am approved for Terriers, Sporting, Non-Sporting, a number of Hound breeds, and BIS.
Do I have any hobbies or interests apart from purebred dogs? I love to keep busy—and my plate is pretty full. I’m still working; I’ve been an executive recruiter for the last 35 years, filling senior level roles, primarily in the pharmaceutical and biotech industries. In addition, my husband and I love to travel with our grandchildren and show them the world. Having recently retired after thirty-two years as a Delegate, I just joined the Board of Court Appointed Special Advocates, an organization dedicated to advocating for foster children in difficult family situations.
Can I talk about my introduction to Terriers? In the late 1960s, we lived on Long Island and owned a well-bred Miniature Poodle who, unfortunately, was not a healthy dog. On one of the many times we had him at the vet, a woman came in with this shaggy fluff of a dog, and I lost my heart then and there. It looked like a small beige sheepdog; turns out it was a Wheaten. I came home and said to my husband, “You’ve got to see this dog.” We started going to dog shows, following the Wheatens and their breeders in the Miscellaneous classes like a couple of groupies, found a good breeder, and waited two years till we got our first Wheaten.
Have I bred any influential Terriers? Have I shown any notable winners? We have bred well over 80 Champions under the Shandalee prefix that I mostly finished from Bred-By. We have had three of the Top Producers in the breed: Hogan of Hopping Brook and Legenderry’s Iollann the Fair in the early 1970s, and GCHG Shandalee Fireworks who was the #2 Wheaten in the country around 2013-2016 and also a BIS, multiple Group winner and placer, and dam of at least 12 Champions. “Moxxy’s” kennel mate, GCH Shandalee Rocket Science, who has just turned 13, was the #1 male and #2 Wheaten for several years running, also a multiple group winner and placer, and sire of Champions. I also co-owned and showed Group-winning CH Brearah’s Danny Boy, #1 owner-handled Wheaten in 1989, 1990 and 1991, whose dam was a Champion Shandalee bitch.
Can I speak a bit about breed-specific presentation and coat conditioning in Terrier breeds? Breed-specific presentation is important in any Group, and particularly in Terriers when it comes to coat. Having served on our breed’s Standard Revision committee, I hold dear the words, “…coat must be of sufficient length to FLOW (emphasis mine) when the dog is in motion.” It also states, “Dogs that are overly trimmed shall be severely penalized.” Coat is a distinguishing characteristic of our breed, and yet judges ignore this dictum and continue to reward Wheatens that look like blonde Kerries! Our coats are to be soft and silky with a slight wave, yet many are cottony and dry, partly due to genetics but also due to nutrition and coat care. Show coats need constant attention, which means daily brushing and combing, trimming, nails, teeth, and weekly baths. There are no shortcuts. In our breed, too many exhibitors will comb-out mats a day or two before a show, thereby shredding the coat—and then think the dog is ring-ready.
Breed-specific presentation counts also in the way the handlers present the breed. A Cairn is shown on a loose lead, for example; a Fox Terrier is not. You are painting a whole picture; the coat, the expression, whether the tail is to be at 12 o’clock or straight out behind the dog, as in a Border Terrier. A successful exhibitor knows the Standard of his/her breed and presents the dog accordingly.
What about breed character? Can I share my thoughts on sparring in the ring? Sparring is a great way to show Terrier character, but not every Terrier breed is to be sparred. To be done correctly, the judge and the handlers must be knowledgeable and in control, lest there be a dog fight. Because there are so many novice exhibitors nowadays, I hesitate to spar dogs other than in my Winners or BOB classes at a Specialty—unless I am confident in the ability of the exhibitors.
Many Terriers are known for their singular expression. Can I offer a few examples? Expression is an essential part of breed character, and many breed standards will describe it. In Scotties, a keen, piercing, “varminty” expression defines the breed. Norwich want a foxy expression. Wheatens have a softer expression, alert and happy, exhibiting interest in their surroundings.
How would I assess the overall quality of the “newer” Terrier breeds? Several of the “newer” Terriers are a work in progress. Rat Terriers have made great strides since they joined the Group around 2010; American Hairless are improving, but shyness and hackney gait still need attention.
In my opinion, what makes a Terrier the ideal companion? Terriers are fun and funny, smart and clever, spending most of their time trying to outthink their owners. So, it’s important that owners be smarter than their dog. I tell prospective buyers that Wheatens are jumpers and that their personality is a cross between a gifted two-year-old child and a bratty fifteen year old! You have to like that personality and also know how to channel it without breaking the spirit of the dog.
Why is “Montgomery” a significant show for so many breeders/exhibitors outside of Terriers? Montgomery is the “ne plus ultra” for Terriers. It’s an opportunity to see the best of the best and for breeders to showcase their breeding stock, plan their next breeding to a dog they finally get to see in person, and to assess that of other breeders from around the country and the world. Rain or shine, hot or cold, there is nothing like Montgomery!!
Which Terriers from the past have had the greatest influence on the sport? Many years ago, my husband and I were attending the National Terrier show in England. Walking out after the show had ended, I spotted a seven-month-old Kerry puppy—way, way across the parking lot. He took my breath away and I dragged my husband over to see this beautiful baby. It was Mick, CH Torum’s Scarf Michael, with his breeder/owner, Ron Ramsey. I talked about that puppy for months, and much later, Mick came to the US and made his mark. I had the privilege to go over him ringside while he was on his winning streak here and I have never been more impressed with any dog—ever. He was so “of a piece”; truly unforgettable.
In Fox Terriers, Nornay Saddler and TTarb the Bratt come to mind. In Norwich and Norfolk, “Willem” and “Coco,” respectively, and, of course, the Scottie, Bardene Bingo, to name a few.
Is there a funny story I can share about my experiences judging the Terriers breeds? Many years ago, I was showing a happy, silly, seven-month-old, totally untrained Wheaten puppy that I had bred and placed with a lovely pet family that allowed me to show him. We never went to a handling class as I believe in “on the job training” with Wheatens because they get bored too easily. Annie Clark was the judge. After she succeeded in going over him between his kisses and wiggly rear, I was attempting to gait him while he was jumping up and having a grand old time. As we came back to her, Annie smiled and said. “I see you’ve got a dope on a rope!” We always laughed about that, once he’d finished, and she would always ask about the “dope on a rope!”
The Terrier Judges | Nancy Smith Hafner
Where do I live? How many years in dogs? How many as a judge? I was born in Indiana. I grew up in the country on a farm and I have always had dogs. When I married, I lived wherever my husband worked; from Hampton, Virginia, and Minneapolis, Minnesota, to Franklin Tennessee, and Nashville, Tennessee, and then in Tuscumbia, Alabama. I’ve resided in Tuscumbia for the last 34 years. Tuscumbia is in the most northwest corner of Alabama without being in Tennessee or Mississippi (being 20 miles as the crow flies).
In 1997, I applied to judge my one breed of Poodles, and was approved to judge in January 1998. I judged my first assignment of Poodles, and was then elected to judge the Poodle Club of America National; the Miniature Variety in 2000. I judge the Terrier, Toy, and Non-Sporting Groups, Best in Show, and my Permit Breeds, Boxers and Mastiffs.
Do I have any hobbies or interests apart from purebred dogs? I love to paint in oil and watercolor, gardening, antiquing, shopping, and traveling with friends.
Can I talk about my introduction to Terriers? My late mother had Airedales, from 1931 until the day she passed away at 83. So, on the farm, we needed Airedales to watch and guard the farm from the deer and groundhogs that would destroy our crops. (And we never lost one piece of farm equipment out of the farm barns with Airedales running loose.) We had one litter of Airedales Pups—19 of them, of which 18 lived healthy lives. It took some months to find proper homes for them all. Never again did we breed a litter of Airedales. We would just purchase the next one from a show breeder. One litter in a lifetime was enough!
Have I bred any influential Terriers? Have I shown any notable winners? No, our Airedales worked the Farm. However, I have had many lifelong friends with Skye Terriers and other Terrier breeds, and I am a longtime Poodle breeder myself. Just remember, the Terrier folks and the Poodle folks are ALWAYS the first to arrive at dog shows, as we have lots of grooming to do before ring time. So, I’ve made many Terrier friends at the shows.
Can I speak a bit about breed-specific presentation and coat conditioning in the Terrier breeds? In Airedales, it’s weeks before each show that coats are stripped on faces and main jackets. Each dog has its own type of coat and how that dog’s coat will grow. Each one can be just a week to 10 days difference. An Airedale that is not in the perfect timing with coat can look unready to be shown at a specialty show where every hair is to be in perfect timing of condition and length.
What about breed character? Can I share my thoughts on sparring in the ring? Sparring is always enjoyable to watch as the two or three dogs come out on their tiptoes to look their BEST, pulling themselves into the strongest pose, showing off their arch of neck and shortening up their backs, kicking off those back feet to prove that they are the Best of Breed in the ring at that moment. They could take on the World!
How would I assess the overall quality of the “newer” Terrier breeds? I feel we have many dedicated breeders who have done an outstanding introduction of their breed to the Terrier World.
In my opinion, what makes a Terrier the ideal companion? They are very loyal to their owners and their property. They are
Why is “Montgomery” a significant show for so many breeders/exhibitors outside of Terriers? ONLY at Montgomery County are you exposed to all types in each breed. And at Hatboro, Devon, and Montgomery you can see all the Terriers in the rings, where different judges can have different opinions each day.
Is there a funny story I can share about my experiences judging the Terrier breeds? I LOVE Wire Fox Terriers, and would take one home with me in a heartbeat. (But don’t worry, I will bring it back FIRST thing in the early morning!)
The Terrier Judges | Rodney Herner
Where do I live? How many years in dogs? How many as a judge? I live in Long Neck, Delaware. I have been an AKC-approved judge since 1995. I am currently approved to judge the Hound, Terrier, Toy, and Non-Sporting Groups, and Best in Show. I have had the honor of judging at the National Dog Show in Philadelphia, Morris and Essex Kennel Club in 2010 and 2015, Montgomery County Kennel Club twice, and the Woofstock show in California. My international assignments include three assignments in China.
My original breed is the Toy Manchester Terrier. I bred my first champion in 1958. Since then, I have finished over 50 champions under the kennel name Renreh. These included many Toy Group, Best in Show, and National Specialty winners. Ch. Renreh Lorelei of Charmaron, bred by myself and owned by Charles A.T O’Neill & Mari-Beth O’Neill, remains the only Toy Manchester to have won the Toy Group at Westminster. She was also a multiple Best in Show winner, a rare accomplishment for Toy Manchesters in the 1970s.
Over the years, I have held memberships in many dog clubs. I served the American Manchester Terrier Club as President and as the Judges Education Chairman for 25 years. I served as President and Show Chairman of the Delaware Valley Toy Dog Fanciers Association. I am also a member of Morris & Essex Kennel Club and Devon Show Association, the American Dog Show Judges, Inc., and the Dog Judges Association of America.
I now devote my time to judging and attending nationals and seminars of breeds that I already judge or plan to judge in the future. I live with my wife of 50 years and best friend, Marilyn. Although I have managed to stick to short-haired breeds at home, as a professional dog groomer of almost 60 years, I have a long background of working with all types of dog coats.
I have one son, Douglas, who resides in Manhattan and in the Pocono Mountains area. I also have two grandchildren who, along with my wife, are the love of my life!
After spending over eighty years in southeastern Pennsylvania, in August of 2020, my wife and I moved to the southern Delaware coastal area. We now reside in Long Neck, Delaware, which is near the Rehobeth Beach area.
I bred my first litter of Toy Manchesters in 1957, the same year I graduated from High School. I became a regular status judge for Manchesters in 1995, and currently I am approved for four Groups: Hound, Terrier, Toy, and Non-Sporting.
Do I have any hobbies or interests apart from purebred dogs? Aside from my longstanding interest in purebred dogs, I am an avid gardener. In Pennsylvania, I had a huge rose garden as well as several rock gardens and cactus gardens. Although we have downsized our home and land area quite a bit, I still have some roses and gardens of both annuals and perennials. I have always been addicted to classical music. While in high school, I learned how to play the French Horn and became quite proficient with it. As a result, I became a member of the Pottstown Band, an organization that presented concerts of both popular and classical music. At the time, I thought I wanted to become a professional Horn player, so I applied to and was accepted for an audition with the principal Horn player of the Philadelphia Orchestra at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. I was good, but not that good! I had only been playing the Horn for about four years. I took this failure pretty hard and gave up the Horn for good. Besides, I was now smitten with the dog show game. I finished three champions from my very first litter! The rest is history.
Can I talk about my introduction to Terriers? While in high school, I worked for Margaret Kilburn, a breeder and judge of Dobermans and Toy Manchesters. Mrs. Kilburn was a very popular Doberman judge of the day, having judged the Doberman National numerous times. She owned a pet supply store that provided grooming for all breeds. While working for her, I became very fond of the Manchesters, and I purchased a puppy bitch from her. She later encouraged me to breed the bitch and then to show the puppies. The dam was from the famous Grenadier Manchesters of Janet Mack in New York City. We bred her back to one of Miss Mack’s champions. The rest is history. Of course, my love for Dobermans is a result of working with Mrs. Kilburn at her kennels. Although I never bred or showed Dobes, my wife and I have had one or two as house dogs for over fifty years.
I learned to groom a variety of breeds, many of which were Terriers. The spirited Terriers quickly became my favorites. As I became more successful in the show ring, I met Peter Green, who later showed some of my Manchesters for me. I learned, from watching Peter, what a show quality Terrier should look like and how it should be groomed.
Have I bred any influential Terriers? Have I shown any notable winners? The most successful show dog I bred was Ch. Renreh Lorelei of Charmaron. The Renreh, my kennel name, was my last name backwards, and Charmaron is the kennel name used by Charles A.T. O’Neill of Doberman Pinscher fame, who purchased “Lori” for his 11-year-old daughter, Mari-Beth. After a very successful run in Junior Showmanship, Mari-Beth started showing “Lori” in Breed competition, which resulted in not only Breed wins from the classes, but also in numerous Group placements and wins. “Lori” went on to win numerous BIS wins under esteemed judges William Kendrick and Alva Rosenberg. Her most noted win was at the Westminster Kennel Club in 1969, where she won Toy Group First under noted judge Anna Katherine Nicholas. She was also a BISS winner. My multiple Group winner, Ch. Renreh Diamond Jim, won the Toy Group at the prestigious Westchester KC under esteemed judge Ramona Van Court. I bred a total of five Group-winning Toy Manchesters, which was not an easy feat in the high quality Groups of the 1970s and ‘80s.
Can I speak a bit about breed-specific presentation and coat conditioning in the Terrier breeds? Terrier breed-specific presentation is definitely tied directly to coat conditioning and bringing out breed character. The wire-coated breeds require a constant tidying up. The process of rolling the coat involves almost daily hand stripping of the coat to maintain the proper hard, wiry texture that is paramount to correct presentation called for in the standard. Of course, correct grooming styles of the wire-coated breeds vary greatly, i.e., theScottish Terrier and the Wire Fox Terrier each have their correct grooming presentation that helps to bring out their breed character. The same holds true for the soft-coated breeds, i.e., Kerry Blue Terrier, Bedlington Terrier, and Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier. These coats truly take an artist with scissors to create the correct breed character.
What about breed character? Can I share my thoughts on sparring in the ring? Sparring of the Terriers is a very effective technique for bringing out true breed character, but you must be careful to do it correctly and, of course, only spar breeds that call for it. It usually works best if you spar dogs with dogs and bitches with bitches. It is wise to never use more than two or three dogs to spar. Bring them to the center of the ring and instruct the handlers not to get too close. If they ignore your request, feel free to manually put them where you want them. Never spar dogs BEFORE you move them. Once the blood gets boiling, it takes some time for it to cool down. If done correctly, sparring will bring out the best in Terrier structure, character, and expression. Be warned, however, it does not always work. The dogs may know each other, be kennel mates or are just not into sparring. Don’t let that stop you. It is definitely worth the try!
Many Terrier breeds are known for their singular expression. Can I offer a few examples? Many of the Terrier standards call for a keen expression. Here are some that go beyond:
Australian Terrier—Intelligent, self assured;
Bedlington Terrier—Mild, gentle;
Cairn Terrier—Foxy expression;
Dandie Dinmont Terrier—Soft, wise expression;
Fox Terriers—Deep set, full of fire;
Manchester Terrier—Keen, bright, alert
Norfolk Terrier—Sparkling, keen, intelligent;
Scottish Terrier—Keen, piercing, varmity.
How would I assess the overall quality of the “newer” Terrier breeds? I have been quite impressed with the structural quality of the American Hairless Terrier as well as the Rat Terrier, both breeds that are fairly new to the Terrier Group. I have given Group placements to both breeds in the recent past. Both came to us with fairly good front and rear angulation as well as decent
In my opinion, what makes a Terrier the ideal companion? Since I have lived with Manchesters for over half a century. I would say that the breed is THE ideal companion. Although they are a bit cautious of strangers, as I am too, they seem to live to please their owner. Their extreme intelligence makes them easy to train. It also makes it easy for them to train you!
Why is “Montgomery” a significant show for so many breeders/exhibitors outside of Terriers? If you are a non-Terrier person and are considering adding them to your approved list of breeds to judge, you MUST, in my opinion, attend the Montgomery County KC Terrier extravaganza at least three or four times. There you will not only see large numbers of breed entries from all over the world, but you will also have access to the top breed authorities of the world. Because of the large entry numbers in many breeds, there is no way that you will have time to view and properly study all of the breeds that you want to someday judge with just one visit.
Which Terriers from the past have had the greatest influence on the sport? I have been judging for 27 years and in that time, the single Terrier that I feel has had the greatest influence on the sport and on his progeny was “Mick” the Kerry Blue Terrier. Because he was being campaigned just before I was approved for Terriers, I never was privileged to get my hands on him, but I did manage to see him in action.
Is there a funny story I can share about my experiences judging the Terrier breeds? Speaking of Kerry Blues, the very first time I judged the breed as a provisional judge was at a show in North Carolina. I had an entry of two, both champions and both very typey dogs. Since I was having trouble deciding which one to award Best of Breed, I decided that I would use sparring to help. It was my first experience with sparring, so I wanted to impress the Field Rep with my knowledge of the technique. I brought the two out to the center of the ring and instructed the handlers not to get them too close to each other. As they approached the center, both became overly zealous, tugging at their handler’s lead. At that point one of them tugged the lead from his handler and charged full speed towards the other. My heart raced as they were about to make contact with each other. I envisioned a blood bath of both canine and human blood, something the Field Rep would most certainly have blamed on me. Just as I was feeling doomed, when they finally met, they both reared up and started licking each other with tails wagging furiously. The handlers then told me that they were kennel mates and best friends. WHAT A RELIEF!
The Terrier Judges | Lee Herr
Where do I live? How many years in dogs? How many as a judge? I have been involved in dog-related activities my whole life. I was born and raised in Wampum, Pennsylvania, and migrated to Mesa, Arizona, in 2005. I was raised on a farm, so I was able to witness the purposes for which different breeds were developed; and why different breeds were built differently to be able to do their jobs; whether it be Collies actively herding cattle and sheep or Terriers controlling rodents, Beagles hunting rabbits or German Shepherds guarding and protecting livestock and
Do I have any hobbies or interests apart from purebred dogs? I was a founding member of the Pennsylvania Dog Judges Assn., and past member of the Senior Conformation Judges Assn., NE Ohio Judges Assn., and the American Dog Show Judges Assn. I have presented many seminars involving both All-Breed and Breed-Specific Structure & Movement. I have since become a Lifetime Member of the New Castle Kennel Club, where I was President and Show Chairman for more than 20 years. I organized the New Castle Memorial Weekend Classics and was the Cluster Chairman for over 10 years. I am also a Member of the German Shepherd Dog Club of America, American Fox Terrier Club, Lifetime Honorary Member of the Arizona Working Dog Club, and past member of several Specialty and Group Clubs.
After becoming a successful exhibitor/handler and breeder, and having competed in “go-to-ground” competitions for many years, I moved on to become an approved AKC judge in 1998; with Smooth Fox Terriers being the first breed for which I was approved. I have judged all Terriers, all Working, and most Herding breeds, and Best in Show for the AKC. And I was also a licensed all-breed judge for the NCA for several years, including assignments in the US, Columbia, Japan, and China.
Then in 2005, I accepted the position of Executive Field Representative for the American Kennel Club. I then held that position for 12+ year. I also held the position of AKC Director of Events. While being an Executive Field Rep., I had the ability to see the Terriers from around the country—and their grooming techniques. I got to see the grooming techniques, both good and bad, for many breeds. I have since gone back to judging and am enjoying
It is hard to believe that my involvement with the American Kennel Club has been for over 40 years. I am humbled to have been taught by so many influential breeders and handlers over the years, including, but not limited to, Peter Green, George Ward, Michael Kemp, Margaret Young Renihan, and Denny Knola, just to name a few. But the names are truly countless.
Can I talk about my introduction to Terriers? My first purebred show dog was a German Shepherd Dog, which I exhibited in both Obedience and Conformation competition. I have actively bred and exhibited several different breeds, including, but not limited to, German Shepherds, Bernese Mountain Dogs, Newfoundlands, Chesapeake Bay Retrievers, Beagles, Aussies, Westies, and several other Terrier breeds. Due to an accident, though, I had to give up showing large breeds for a while. In the meantime, a good friend, Arthur Saylor, wanted me to become partners in Wild Country Kennels, which were mostly Smooth Fox Terriers, West Highland White Terriers, and Beagles. I was most successful with the Smooth Fox Terriers. I believe it was their unique shoulders, their breathtaking silhouettes, and their intense stare that made it so easy for me to become hooked on Terriers. I have since gone on to finish 35+ champions out of my own breeding.
Can I speak a bit about breed-specific presentation and coat conditioning in the Terrier breeds? Since COVID hit, the Terriers I have seen lately are in surprisingly good condition. Maybe with the extra time on hand, the correct grooming techniques were taught and executed. Thank goodness some of the new people coming along are learning the correct way to groom Terriers. There will always be that percentage of them for whom scissors, clippers, and razors are the go-to because it’s so quick, whereas hand stripping is a dying art.
What about breed character? Can I share my thoughts on sparring in the ring? It is bone chilling to watch correct use of sparring. An Airedale will increase in height, shorten his back, change his stare to an intense glare, folding his ears tightly, all while he is approaching the other Airedale. There is no other way to achieve such an intense stance without the use of correct sparring. Same with the Smooth Fox Terriers, Scotties, Westies, Lakelands, and several of the other breeds. You will definitely see the correct tail carriage and attitude doing sparring. I must express, however, that the correct use of sparring is important. It is NOT a dog fight or an uncontrollable melee. It’s a sight of beauty.
Many Terrier breeds are known for their singular expression. Can I offer a few examples? The expressions on Terriers are important to do their work, including shielding their eyes. (Bunny rabbit eyes have troubles in tunnels.) These are go-to-ground breeds, and breeds that use their expressions to get the job done. The Terrier expression is supposed to invoke fear into their prey. Their folded ears are influential to keeping dirt and debris out so that they can focus on the task at hand. As breeds go, the expression on Border Terriers has some consistency to an otter. Then there is the infamous Terrier tail… to pull it from the hole without breaking it and harming the dog. Thus, why docking is such an important part of Terrier history.
Why is “Montgomery” a significant show for so many breeders/exhibitors outside of Terriers? This should be a very good year at Montgomery County. Everyone has cabin fever and is itching to get out. Montgomery is a special place where seasoned exhibitors can rekindle friendships and newer exhibitors can develop friendships. It’s the King of Dog Shows. People from all over the world come just for the Terriers. I highly recommend that every judge who is planning on judging Terriers should attend Montgomery several times for not only the education, but for the experience. Many breeds have educational projects, and there’s always a good mentor to sit with to just watch the dogs move correctly and to see how they are groomed properly. At Montgomery, you have the ability to see the grooming techniques of the senior exhibitors and to just talk and absorb all the knowledge of Terriers from all over the world. This is a place where you can pick the brains of people you only see in magazines or hear of. This is truly the place to be if you are an admirer of Terriers. This is where we come together. This is the Terrier Mecca of dog shows.
Which Terriers from the past have had the greatest influence on the sport? Terriers have captured not only my eye, but have also intrigued me to dig deeper into their history.
The Terrier lineage, ironically, can be traced back to several dogs that are too numerous to count at this time. But due to these influences of their past, we were presented with dogs such as the Wire Fox Terriers, Ch. Lonesome Dove, handled by Michael Kemp, and Peter Green with Ch. Galsul Excellence. There are also so many great dogs that have been presented by some of these legends. Just to name a few: Peter Green, Clay Coady, Gabriel Rangel, George Ward, Beth Sweigart, Woody Wornall, and many, many more… too many to name. The Smooth Fox Terriers, especially, have Ric Chashoudian to thank for presenting Ch. Ttarb The Brat. I actually had the honor to have the last breeding with the Brat.
Is there a funny story I can share about my experiences judging the Terrier breeds? I will leave you with a true, but funny, story. I was judging Wire Fox Terriers at the Canfield dog show, when this gentleman came into my ring and set up his dog. As I went to go over his dog, he apologized for the coat. I told him not to worry because I care more about what is under the coat. I then sent him down and back… that’s when I noticed that the coat he was wearing was ripped in the back. I’d assumed he was talking about his dog, but I guess he has a good story to tell as well. I still laugh when I think back at that.
Congratulations to all the Montgomery winners! You are all winners just for competing!
The Terrier Judges | Dr. Vandra L. Huber
I am an AKC Platinum Breeder of Merit of Scottish Terriers. My husband, Michael Krolewski, and I have bred more than 150 AKC champions under the McVan® prefix. Scottish Terriers owned and/or bred by myself have gone Best in Show at four of the most prestigious dog shows in world; Westminster, Crufts, Euro Asia Dog Show in Russia, and the Benelux World Dog Show. I have also owned other breeds such as Border Terriers, Miniature Schnauzers, Russell Terrier, Bearded Collie, and Affenpinschers. I am licensed by the American Kennel Club to judge all Terriers and Toys, Poodles, and numerous Herding breeds. Internationally, I have judged in Australia, Canada, China, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Japan, Latvia, New Zealand, Norway, Russia, South Korea, Sweden, and Thailand. I am active in the Olympic Kennel Club, the Washington State Scottish Terrier Club, and the Scottish Terrier Club of America (STCA). I am a frequent speaker on Scottish Terrier history and conformation, and have presented seminars to judging and/or exhibitor groups on the topics of conformation decision-making and judging biases.
Where do I live? How many years in dogs? How many as a judge? My husband and I live in Woodinville, Washington, just outside of Seattle. I’ve been in dogs since 1982. I started judging in 1997 under the 1 for 1, 2 for 2 system.
Do I have any hobbies or interests apart from purebred dogs? I collect vintage jewelry (Bakelite and Galalith) that, of course, feature a Scottish Terriers motif. I have more than 200 pieces of unique vintage (1920-current) pieces. I am a published writer and poet on a variety of subjects. Since retirement as a business professor, I’m becoming more interested in birdwatching and gardening.
Can I talk about my introduction to Terriers? I grew up with cats, but wanted a dog from the time I was eight years old. (My mom only liked cats.) I got my first Scottie as a gift to myself when I graduated college and was no longer living at home.
Have I bred any influential Terriers? Have I shown any notable winners? My first notable winner was Ch. Gaelforce Postscript who went BIS at the Westminster dog show in 1995. She holds the record for winning the most National Specialties. “Peggy Sue” was shown by Maripi Woolridge, but I put her first BIS on her in Canada.
Other notable winners include: Am. Russian, English Ch. McVan’s To Russia With Love, aka “Knopa.” She went BIS at Crufts, the world’s largest dog show, and is a National breed winner. Knopa was shown by Rebecca Cross; and BIS BISS GCHG McVan’s Big Bopper at Beameups. “Bopper” is a three-time National Specialty BIS, Breed and Group Winner at Crufts, and BIS winner at the World Benelux Dog Show. Bopper is shown by Rebecca Cross.
Regarding influential Terriers, I would say that BIS and BISS Am. Can. Ch. McVan’s Stamp of Approval, who is the son of Peggy Sue, is in the pedigrees of many of my line’s top Terriers. Second, I bred the combination of GCh. Am. Can. McVan’s Light My Fire, aka “Jimmy,” and Am. Can. Ch. Beameups Gold Digger, aka “Anna Nicole,” four times together to set my type. Jimmy sired more than 20 champions.
Can I speak a bit about breed-specific presentation and coat conditioning in the Terrier breeds? Terriers are hard work. The coated Terriers require almost daily condition and hand stripping. It can take hours to do it right and ensure the correct texture. Hard coats require daily conditioning to prevent coat breakage. I used to like to watch Ric Chashoudian prepare a Wire for show. He would pluck a couple of hairs from the coat, stand back to assess, and do it again and again. It takes time and tenacity to prepare and condition a
Terrier correctly. Unfortunately, many exhibitors want instant gratification and are not willing to put in the time to do it right. For these individuals, Terriers are not the right Group of dogs for them to show.
What about breed character? Can I share my thoughts on sparring in the ring? As a whole, Terriers were bred to catch and kill vermin (rats, mice, badgers, otters, and hares) and to help hunters flush foxes out of their hiding places during fox hunts. In the case of the Bull breeds, they don’t start the fight, but like all Terriers, will stand their ground and not back away.
Obviously, not all Terriers (i.e., Bull breeds, Norwich and Norfolk) should be sparred. If done correctly, sparring Terriers is a useful technique to assess breed characteristics such as tenacity, heads up/tails up attitude, and neck-to-back lines. Sparred in groups of only 2-3 dogs, one can assess the confidence, tenacity, and heads up/tails up attitude of dogs. Unlike stacking dogs, a handler can’t fake it or “hold a dog together.” Sparring must be done correctly such that the handlers are held in check and dogs look at—but do not touch—one another.
Many Terrier breeds are known for their singular expression. Can I offer a few examples? When I think of the term “singular expression,” I believe we are referring to an attribute ascribed to a group that doesn’t really exist. The most notable example is hearing people talk about a “Terrier front” as if there is only one type ascribed to all Terriers. I want to shout out that there is no such thing as a singular Terrier front. The Bull Terrier no more has the same front assembly as a Fox Terrier than a Scottish Terrier has the same front as a Kerry Blue Terrier. Please stop generalizing. It just isn’t true.
How would I assess the overall quality of the “newer” Terrier breeds? Like any new breed, the variation in quality, size, and breed qualities is more varied. It takes up to 10 years to standardize most breeds relative to the AKC standard. I think Rat Terriers are doing quite well. Their standard is relatively clear. Glen of Imaals are a more complicated breed to understand. The small size of the gene pool for Cesky Terriers makes it difficult to breed to the standard or to interpret the quality.
In my opinion, what makes a Terrier the ideal companion? Each Terrier breed has a unique personality. They are independent but loyal. They are devoted companions who can still think for themselves. They are confident and are usually fearless.
Why is “Montgomery” a significant show for so many breeders/exhibitors outside of Terriers? Montgomery exemplifies the essence of the sport of purebred dogs: The getting up at dawn; the collection of quality dog women and men working hard to present their dogs; the Best of the Best brought together in one location on a crisp autumn day; the pride seen on owners’ faces as they show the best their kennel has to offer; the unforeseeable nature of the weather; and more importantly, the often-unpredictable nature of the winners in the Breed and Group rings. That’s what makes Montgomery County one of the world’s great dog show.
Which Terriers from the past have had the greatest influence on the sport? I presume that other people you have interviewed will list influential show dogs. So, I will take a road less traveled: Presidential Terriers, particularly “Fala,” owned by Franklin D. Roosevelt, “Telek,” owned by Dwight D. Eisenhower, and “Barney Bush,” owned by George W. Bush, who kept the Scottish Terrier in the forefront of Americans’ eyes. Terriers owned by actors and those featured in movies have also reminded people of the cleverness and charm of Terriers. A few notables include “Asta,” the Wire Fox Terrier featured in the classic movie The Thin Man, and definitely “Toto” who was Dorothy’s constant companion in The Wizard of Oz. Alfred Hitchcock’s Sealyhams were extras in his movies, and the list goes on…
Is there a funny story I can share about my experiences judging the Terrier breeds? A favorite story is about judging Border
Terriers at Hatboro KC show. I’d narrowed the Breed winner down to two excellent specimens, both of which exuded breed type with otter heads, spannable, etc. My Breed winner on the day was the male. The next day, the bitch special won the Breed and was shown in the Group that I was judging by Karen Fitzpatrick. Apparently, Karen almost didn’t show in the Group because her bitch had lost the Breed the day before. Her friend talked her into showing, saying something like, “Well, what if the judge really likes Borders. You could win.” Indeed, I did like quality Borders. I’d owned and shown Borders in the past. So, in this very strong Montgomery weekend Group, I gave the Border a Group 3. Karen jumped up and down, and grinned from ear to ear. I still remember her saying, “This is better than winning Montgomery. It took me by such surprise…” We both laughed and finished taking the picture.
The Terrier Judges | Lydia Coleman Hutchinson
Where do I live? How many years in dogs? How many as a judge? I live in Middletown, Maryland, in an old brick German Federal style farmhouse. I have had dogs my entire life and started going to shows when I was nine years old. I have been judging since 1964
Do I have any hobbies or interests apart from purebred dogs? I have many other interests; formerly a docent at the National Gallery of Art and the National Cathedral in Washington, DC, and The Historical Society of Frederick County, Maryland. I love art and history, gardening, swimming, reading, and singing in my church choir.
Can I talk about my introduction to Terriers? I was introduced to Terriers by my parents who got their first Cairn two months before I was born.
Have I bred any influential Terriers? Have I shown any notable winners? Many of our WOLFPIT CAIRNS have had a strong impact on the breed. The most important one that I bred was CH CALEDONIAN BERRY OF WOLFPIT (“Groucho”); he was a Top Producer, Best in Show winner, and winner of 18 specialties. Other top winners and producers are BIS winner GCHG CALEDONIAN TEA TIME OF WOLFPIT (#1 Cairn in 2015), CH PERSIMMON OF WOLFPIT, and the famous CH CAIRNWOODS QUINCE, four-time winner of the CTCA National Specialty back when there was only one specialty each year (with huge entries). All of these dogs appear in many breeders’ pedigrees and are behind many of Wolfpit’s 288 champions.
Can I speak a bit about breed-specific presentation and coat conditioning in the Terrier breeds? Cairns are one of the easier of the coated Terrier breeds. It is important that they have dense double coats, but their coats do not need to be “worked” every few days like the broken-coated breeds, i.e., Airedale, WFT, Welsh, Lakeland, etc. To keep them in show condition, rolling the coat every one-to-two weeks does the trick. Cairns keep themselves in good body condition as long as they get adequate exercise.
What about breed character? Can I share my thoughts on sparring in the ring? It goes without saying that Terriers should be energetic and on their toes. I personally prefer not to see “push button” dogs in the ring. Therefore, I strongly approve of letting dogs have an opportunity to interact in the ring. The term “sparring” is sometimes wrongly interpreted as looking for aggressiveness, and that is not how I view it. I want the dogs to show interest in other dogs, not just in the food the handler is using for bait.
Many Terrier breeds are known for their singular expression. Can I offer a few examples? Almost all of the Terriers require an alert, keen expression in their eyes. One exception is the Dandie Dinmont, which has somewhat large eyes with a soft,
How would I assess the overall quality of the “newer” Terrier breeds? All of the newer breeds have a way to go to solidify type.
In my opinion, what makes a Terrier the ideal companion? Terriers appeal to people who like the Terriers’ independent attitude and spunkiness. Generally, Terriers lead long, healthy lives.
Why is “Montgomery” a significant show for so many breeders/exhibitors outside of Terriers? The “Best of the Best” are usually there, and it is thrilling to see the head-to-head competition.
Which Terriers from the past have had the greatest influence on the sport? Terriers have had a great impact on the sport and there are too many to try to include here. At the top of the list, though, have to be “Willum” the Norwich, “Mick” the Kerry, and “Rufus” the Bullie.
Is there a funny story I can share about my experiences judging the Terrier breeds? Possibly the funniest experience was when I was judging the Group and a Bull Terrier came in handled by a total novice. The dog managed to wipe out the ring fencing at all four corners! I just stood in the middle of the ring, laughing to beat
The Terrier Judges | Ken Kauffman
I have been involved with Cairn Terriers for over 45 years, starting out in obedience and transitioning to conformation. My first Cairn, Lord Duffer MacBriar Rose CDX, Can. CD, was the #1 Cairn in obedience in 1974, and was the reason I became interested in the sport of dog showing/breeding. Since beginning my breeding program, under the Brehannon prefix, I have produced and finished over 50 champions. Always owner-handled, many Brehannon Cairns have been Group and Specialty winners. The most recent, GCHS Rocco’s Collar King Carl XVI Gustaf, was imported from Finland, and to date has won 14 Specialty Bests, including Best of Breed at the 2012 Cairn Terrier Club of America National Roving Specialty and the 2018 National Specialty, from the Veteran Class. In addition to breeding and showing, I have been approved to judge Cairns for over 35 years, and the Terrier Group for 25 years. I also judge the Toy Group, BIS, and Junior Showmanship. My involvement has also included serving as an officer of the Cairn Terrier Club of America in various positions, and most recently, as a four-term president. I am retired from Girard College, where I had been an art teacher for 39 years. I am currently VP and Show Chairman for Montgomery County KC. I live in Upper Bucks County in an historic farmhouse with my husband. The sport has given me so many wonderful experiences and I look forward to many more.
Where do I live? How many years in dogs? How many as a judge? I live in Sellersville, Pennsylvania, and have been involved in the sport for 45+ years. I began judging in 1984.
Do I have any hobbies or interests apart from purebred dogs? Hobbies, other than dogs: I am an artist and enjoy gardening, woodworking, and cabinetmaking.
Can I talk about my introduction to Terriers? My mother was from Scotland, so when I was finally old enough to get my own dog, I was drawn to the Scottish breeds; first a Scotty and then a Westie. But, the one that got me into this sport was a Cairn. (The cutest ball of fur you ever saw.) I brought him home a few days before Christmas 1973. He was just six weeks old (shocking, I know). I knew nothing about Terrier temperament, and at six months, I decided that he needed to learn how to behave. So, off to obedience class we went. He so impressed the instructor that she suggested I join the local obedience club. It was through that club and that Cairn that I was introduced to the world of dog shows. BTW, that Cairn’s name was Lord Duffer MacBriar Rose CDX, Canadian CD. He was the #1 Cairn and #5 Terrier in obedience. I later acquired his half-sister, and she produced my first homebred champion. I was hooked.
Have I bred any influential Terriers? Have I shown any notable winners? After 45+ years of breeding Cairns, I would like to think that of the 50 or so champions, some have had a positive influence on the breed. But, only history will tell. The most notable Cairn that I have shown is an import from Finland named GCHS Rocco’s Collar King Carl XVI Gustaf, bred by Rina Niemi. Gustaf is the winner of 14 SBIS, including two national specialties. The most recent was in 2018 from the Veterans Class. He was in a 3-way tie for #1 Cairn in 2013.
Can I speak a bit about breed-specific presentation and coat conditioning in the Terrier breeds? This is an area that is very important and is specific to the individual Terrier breeds. The hard coat on one breed may not be the same hard coat on another. Some breeds have a double coat; some have a single coat. Some standards call for a weather-proof coat, while others call for a weather-resistant coat. It is important to know the difference. There are a few breeds that have a soft coat, and others that have a smooth coat. Each breed requires the correct coat conditioning and presentation. This is not an area where one size fits all.
What about breed character? Can I share my thoughts on sparring in the ring? In general, Terriers are independent. They were developed, for the most part, to help with ridding the farm and home of unwanted vermin. In some cases, as with Airedales and Kerries, they were bred to be all-around farm dogs. They needed to be able to think on their own, and not turn away from a challenge. Sparring is a way of judging that characteristic. Not all Terrier breeds, however, are sparred. In my opinion, if done correctly, there is nothing more exhilarating than to see two or three Terriers up on their toes, nose to nose, with tails quivering in the middle of the ring. Unfortunately, too many people think that sparring is fighting, and many judges won’t do it.
Many Terrier breeds are known for their singular expression. Can I offer a few examples? Expression in a Terrier is a combination of eye color, eye shape, and eye placement, along with the ears. In reviewing the various standards, I found 10 breeds that call for a keen expression. Others want an intelligent expression. Piercing and varminty (Scotty), foxy (Cairn), determined and inquisitive (Bull Terrier), and fearless and implacable (Border) are also used to describe the different breed expressions. A Terrier’s expression is hard to put a finger on, but you’ll know it when you see it.
How would I assess the overall quality of the “newer” Terrier breeds? Most have developed quite nicely, but there is room for improvement in some others.
In my opinion, what makes a Terrier the ideal companion? In my opinion, a Terrier is not the ideal companion for everyone. You have to want a dog that is independent, and sometimes, a little hard-headed; one that is full of energy and occasionally feisty, particularly with other dogs. Not all are good with young children. That said, for me, there is no better group of dogs. Terriers will always be a part of my life.
Why is “Montgomery” a significant show for so many breeders/exhibitors outside of Terriers? Montgomery is the biggest Terrier show in the world. Breeders and their dogs come from all over the US to participate, as well as from many different countries around the world. We host 23 National Specialties. It’s a chance to see the very best dogs in their respective breeds. There is no other show where you will be able to see all 32 Terrier breeds in one place. Whether you are looking for a particular breed as a pet, or you are an aspiring Terrier judge, there is nothing to compare with the experience of Montgomery.
The Terrier Judges | Gloria Kerr
I have bred and titled numerous conformation champions, from Golden Retrievers, Akitas, and Pembroke Welsh Corgis to Chinese Cresteds, under the name of Krishna Kennels. Several famous US Golden kennels are founded on my Krishna dogs. Many of my dogs have attained Best in Show and Best in Specialty wins.
I became an AKC licensed professional handler in 1974 and have handled, finished, and specialed dogs in every AKC Group.
In 2000, I became an AKC licensed judge and am now approved for the Sporting Group, Herding Group, Toy Group, Non-Sporting Group, and Terrier Group, along with six breeds in the Working Group and most breeds in the Hound Group, Junior Showmanship, and Best in Show.
I have judged throughout the world; in Australia, Argentina, Mexico, Korea, Taiwan, China, Canada, Sweden, Germany, Columbia, Indonesia, Japan, and Brazil. This includes the Golden Retriever National Specialties in the US, Korea, and Canada, the Chinese Crested National Specialty, the Akita National Specialty in the US and Germany, and the Brittany National Specialty in the US.
Where do I live? How many years in dogs? How many as a judge? I live south of Tucson, in Arizona. I got my first dog, a Golden Retriever, in 1963. I have judged 21 years.
Do I have any hobbies or interests apart from purebred dogs? I have several hobbies, including jewelry design and gourd art.
Can I talk about my introduction to Terriers? I had a wonderful Skye Terrier when I lived in Texas. We finished his championship and specialed him for a short time, but he had a heritable disease and we lost him at a young age… very sad.
Since I started judging BIS, I found myself putting up a lot of Terriers. So, I thought I should learn more about the whole Group.
Have I bred any influential Terriers? Have I shown any notable winners? I have not shown any influential Terriers, but have enjoyed judging many outstanding ones.
Can I speak a bit about breed-specific presentation and coat conditioning in the Terrier breeds? I was taught that Terriers should own the ring, and mostly have quality harsh coats! Several former Terriers handlers have been my mentors, and I still appreciate them to this day. I find that most Terrier handlers have a good handle on structure and type. Coat conditioning is very important in Terriers, and is quite a job.
What about breed character? Can I share my thoughts on sparring in the ring? Most Terriers have the “I own the ring” attitude, and it is thrilling to see them! Some people do not know how to spar Terriers, and until I know they will do a good job of it, I think it should only be done by the professionals.
Many Terrier breeds are known for their singular expression. Can I offer a few examples? Scotties, Bull Terriers, Fox Terriers; actually, many of the expressions of almost all the Terriers are quite singular in expression.
How would I assess the overall quality of the “newer” Terrier breeds? Some of the new Terrier breeds are getting better all the time. Some started out needing work, but their breeders have been improving them.
In my opinion, what makes a Terrier the ideal companion? Terriers are ideal companions as they are aware of everything that goes on around them at all times!
Why is “Montgomery” a significant show for so many breeders/exhibitors outside of Terriers? Montgomery is the best place to see the top Terriers of many breeds. If anyone wants to learn about Terriers, that is the place to go!
Which Terriers from the past have had the greatest influence on the sport? I think Fox Terriers have had the greatest influence on the sport.
The Terrier Judges | Mareth K. Kipp
Where do I live? How many years in dogs? How many as a judge? I live on a dairy farm in North Prairie, Wisconsin. Like many, we have had dogs for most of my life, but we purchased our first (almost purebred) Airedale Terrier about 60 years ago. We purchased our first “show” dog in 1968. I just checked when I started to judge, and it was 1982. So that makes 39 years.
Do I have any hobbies or interests apart from purebred dogs? I love to quilt, knit, and do counted cross stitch. In between, I love to read. I also volunteer at our local hospital.
Can I talk about my introduction to Terriers? I think my personality is much like that of most Terriers. I always loved Wires, but we felt a bigger dog would do better on the farm. My mother-in-law had Airedales as a kid and convinced us that this should be the breed for a growing family.
Have I bred any influential Terriers? Have I shown any notable winners? We all like to think we have bred some influential dogs. Two of mine really stand out; Ch. Moraine Hold That Tiger and Ch. Moraine Promises To Keep. They both did very well in the show ring.
Can I speak a bit about breed-specific presentation and coat conditioning in the Terrier breeds? Breed presentation should always take into consideration the breed standard as written, not how you would like to change it; but what it states today. An Airedale is not a Cairn or a Wheaten, but it can be presented trimmed similarly to a Wire, Irish, Welsh, and to some extent, the Lakeland. By this, I mean the presentation of a stripped jacket. Dogs today are shown in a much tighter jacket than they were when I first started to exhibit. An Irish has a different ear set than an Airedale. A Kerry has its own way of going around the ring. Each breed has its own personality and distinctive look. Coat condition is, to me, one of the first things I see on the dog as it enters the ring. A long, dead coat indicates to me that the handler has not paid much attention to his charge for quite a while. I love to see a newer exhibitor come into the ring with a well-presented dog. I always ask if they did their own grooming, and if yes, I love to praise them. You can see the pride on their faces. A few kind words never hurt anyone.
What about breed character? Can I share my thoughts on sparring in the ring? The Terrier Group presents an opportunity to see all kinds of breed character. You would never see the hard-bitten expression of the Irish on a Glen or Cesky, for example. Getting to know the various breeds teaches that to you.
Sparring? So glad you included this. Have you ever stood at Montgomery during Best of Breed judging and watched the dogs? I get goose bumps watching the dogs, and bitches, on their toes, ears alert, tail quivering… is there anything more beautiful? And no, sparring does not mean fighting. Some dogs do get a little excited, but they easily fall back in line.
Many Terrier breeds are known for their singular expression. Can I offer a few examples? I think the Irish comes to mind as a breed with a most distinctive expression. The Wheaten has a soft look… I could go on and on, but each owner of the different Terrier breeds could give you a different answer to this question. And to me, the Airedale is sensible.
How would I assess the overall quality of the “newer” Terrier breeds? Thoughts on the “newer” breeds? How new? I can think of the Rat, the Glen, and the Cesky as newer breeds. I think each and every one of these breeds has improved, hands down, from the earlier days. The Rat has improved in soundness and type, and is now a more consistent group of dogs. I worry some about the Glen. Instead of that natural dog that is described, he is being shown in a closer trim, and I think even worse, the topline is starting to appear almost level. I have been told that in order to win in the Groups, the handlers have to “pretty them up.” Not to me they don’t. I like the breed the standard describes. I live near several Cesky and have seen a change to that breed as well. I thought they would take the Terrier Group by storm since they don’t have to be stripped, but I was wrong. The entries at shows are still relatively small, unless the exhibitors call each other to make it worth their while. I think Cesky type is quite similar and grooming has improved. It’s an interesting breed.
In my opinion, what makes a Terrier the ideal companion? There isn’t enough time or space to tell why I think the Terrier is the ideal companion. First of all, not everyone should own many of the Terriers. They are busy and have their own mind, though I can’t imagine my life without one.
Why is “Montgomery” a significant show for so many breeders/exhibitors outside of Terriers? Montgomery is the cherry on top of your favorite hot fudge sundae. It is where you see the world’s best Terriers, handled by some of the best owner-handlers and professionals in the different breeds. For the consummate Terrier lover, it’s going from the Airedale ring to the Fox Terriers, the Lakeland, the Wheaten, the Schnauzer, and on and on, and back to the Airedale ring in time to see the Breed. My daughter, when planning her wedding, jokingly told me that she was getting married on Montgomery weekend. I told her to take a lot of pictures. (BTW, she didn’t get married that weekend.)
Which Terriers from the past have had the greatest influence on the sport? When I first started showing dogs; the Red Barron, Tommy, the Kerry, Peter’s Wires and Lakeland, Bill with Mick. So many memories, so little space to write about them. To me, personally, Ch. Jokyl Superman and Ch. Turith Adonis were two dogs that kickstarted my breeding program.
Is there a funny story I can share about my experiences judging the Terrier breeds? Many funny stories, but there is one that I love to laugh at myself about. I was judging Airedales at Montgomery and it was one of the rainy years. Being very aware of my very carefully selected outfit and shoes, I’d decided to get a pair of ankle height clear boots. I had a hard time getting them on, but eventaully started judging. At one point, I was in the middle of the ring and happened to look down and started to laugh and laugh. Of course, exhibitors and ringside must have wondered what was so funny. Well, you guessed it, I had them on the wrong feet and my toes were both pointing out! No wonder they were difficult to put on.
The Terrier Judges | Louise Leone
I began my journey in dogs with a Miniature Schnauzer in 1974. Since that time, I have owned, bred, and exhibited Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers, Norfolk Terriers, Norwich Terriers, and Border Terriers. I am best known for my owner-handled multiple Best in Show Norfolk Terriers and multiple Best in Show
I am very proud to be the President of Colorado Kennel Club, Show Chair, and AKC Delegate. I have been a member of Colorado Kennel Club since 1974 and have served as Secretary and Board Member, and sat on the Show Committee, holding several positions. I have served as Secretary of the Norfolk-Norwich Club, Norfolk-Norwich Terrier Club Judges Education Chair, and Secretary of the Norfolk Terrier Club, and I wrote the first Judges Educational Handbook on the Norfolk and the Norwich Terrier. I am active and serve on the Board of the Rocky Mountain All Terrier Club and I am Show Chair. I am also President of the Colorado Federation of Dog Clubs whose mission is promoting legislation protecting the rights of dog owners and dogs.
In 2008 and 2010, I was awarded the AKC Outstanding Sportsmanship Award by the members of Colorado Kennel Club.
I am approved to judge Best in Show, the Terrier Group, Miscellaneous Group, and Junior Showmanship.
Where do I live? How many years in dogs? How many as a judge? I live with my husband, Dr. Edward Leone, in Franktown, Colorado. I have been breeding and exhibiting Terriers for 48 years. I have been judging since 2011. I am approved to do the Terrier Group, Miscellaneous Group, Junior Showmanship All Breeds, and Best in Show for eight years now.
Do I have any hobbies or interests apart from purebred dogs? I love to travel and read.
Can I talk about my introduction to Terriers? My introduction to Terriers started when my Miniature Poodle died and we were looking for a dog. Our neighbor had a Miniature Schnauzer and I fell in love with this dog. I took this dog to obedience classes where I met some Miniature Schnauzer breeders, and they invited me to come to their club meetings. I went to their meetings and they encouraged me to show my dog. I did, and this is where my love for Terriers all began.
Have I bred any influential Terriers? Have I shown any notable winners? I finished many Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers and Norfolk Terriers, including Group and Specialty winners. I have owner-handled my Norfolk Terrier, Ch. Davi of High Ridge Farms, to multiple Bests in Show. I also owner-handled my Border Terrier, Ch. Meadowlake Whistler at Amberly, to multiple Bests in Show, and finished several Border Terriers.
Can I speak a bit about breed-specific presentation and coat conditioning in the Terrier breeds? Breed presentation, conditioning, and expression are extremely important in Terriers because they play a big part in Terrier type. Terriers have to show, and have attitude and expression. Coats are critical. There are several different types of coats in the Terrier Group, which are described in their names like the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier, Wire Fox Terrier, and the West Highland White Terrier. Conditioning coats is not the only important part of Terriers. Exercise and conditioning go hand-in-hand with showing Terriers.
What about breed character? Can I share my thoughts on sparring in the ring? There is nothing more beautiful than watching two or three Terriers sparring in the ring. They walk towards each other, pull themselves up on their toes, tails up, and with an assertive nature, look at the other dogs. Terriers look their best standing on their own and making their presence known.
Many Terrier breeds are known for their singular expression. Can I offer a few examples? There are several breeds that come to mind; the Norwich Terrier has a slightly foxy expression, the Bedlington Terrier has a mild, gentle expression.
How would I assess the overall quality of the “newer” Terrier breeds? I see them to continue to improve with time.
In my opinion, what makes a Terrier the ideal companion? Terriers are smart, loyal, and devoted to their family. I personally can’t imagine not having a Terrier.
Why is “Montgomery” a significant show for so many breeders/exhibitors outside of Terriers? “Montgomery” is a significant show for prospective judges or anyone else who wants to learn about Terriers. Top breeders and exhibitors from all over come to attend this show with their dogs. There is no show that has a large entry of quality Terriers like Montgomery. It is an experience that you will never forget. If you want to learn about Terriers, Montgomery is the place go.
Which Terriers from the past have had the greatest influence on the sport? In my opinion, the following dogs have had the greatest influence on our sport: Kerry Blue Terrier – Eng. and Am. Ch. Torums Scarf Michael; Smooth Fox Terrier – Ch. Ttarb the Brat, and Norfolk Terrier – Eng. and Am. Ch. Nanfan Crunch, just to name a few.
Is there a funny story I can share about my experiences judging the Terrier breeds? I can’t think of any funny experiences that I have had.
The Terrier Judges | Chris Levy
Where do I live? How many years in dogs? How many as a judge? I live in Salem, Oregon. I’ve been showing dogs for 49 years, and judging for 25.
Do I have any hobbies or interests apart from purebred dogs? The dogs and dog club activities take up most of my time, but I also like to paint and sculpt (dogs, of course).
Can I talk about my introduction to Terriers? My first dog was a Miniature Schnauzer that I showed, starting 49 years ago. I continued with that breed for over 30 years. I also dabbled in Cairns for a few years. My introduction to the other Terriers came from our active Terrier Group club (long before Group clubs were recognized by AKC) and competing with them in the Group. Our local judges group wanted to have a day-long “form and function” workshop on Terriers, and I volunteered to lead it. All the Terrier club members lent me their old Terrier books, and I spent a huge amount of time researching the breeds, their history, and their function. The presentation I gave for that workshop has now morphed over time into a comprehensive presentation that I give (to any group who will listen) on the history, form, and function of the Terriers. It’s a great introduction to the Group as a whole for non-Terrier judges.
Have I bred any influential Terriers? Have I shown any notable winners? I showed our dogs while working full-time and on a limited budget. So, while I had several Group winners, my breeding program wasn’t a huge influence on the breed. But I did travel to Montgomery every year!
Can I speak a bit about breed-specific presentation and coat conditioning in the Terrier breeds? I’ll deal with breed-specific presentation in the next question. As far as coat is concerned, historically, many Terrier breeders developed wire-coated dogs that could withstand going-to-ground and running through briars and brambles where their hair would get pulled out in the course of their work. The hair shaft itself is coarse when it first comes in, then the shaft becomes thinner and finer as the coat gets longer. Today, their owners take some of that hair out (strip) to get the newer, harsh hair to come in. This type of coat is impervious to almost anything. It takes work and a lot of dedication to work these coats every week. I admire those who do it, and I appreciate a really great wire coat. Still, I don’t want to take away from the other Terrier breeds that are either short-coated, hairless, or have soft coats. Each is very unique and takes its own type of conditioning.
What about breed character? Can I share my thoughts on sparring in the ring? Breed character is one of the top priorities in a Terrier! And, of course, it varies depending on the type of hunting they performed. For those that were bred to take on and bolt (or kill) a badger or fox in the pitch-black tunnel on whose territory they were trespassing, it takes an inordinate amount of courage and recklessness to even go down into that tunnel. Understanding what these Terriers did for a living gives one a much better appreciation for those feisty Terriers! Two Terrier breed standards specifically mention that temperament; Scotties and Irish Terriers. Scotties: “NO JUDGE SHOULD PUT TO WINNERS OR BEST OF BREED ANY SCOTTISH TERRIER NOT SHOWING REAL TERRIER CHARACTER IN THE RING.” (And it’s in CAPS in the standard.) Irish Terriers: “It is of the utmost importance that the Irish Terrier show fire and animation. There is a heedless, reckless pluck about the Irish Terrier which is characteristic, and which, coupled with the headlong dash, blind to all consequences, with which he rushes at his adversary, has earned for the breed the proud epithet of “Daredevil.” These descriptions are not to be ignored.
I’m sorry to see so few judges sparring Terriers these days. The Terrier people will appreciate it if you do it right. Nothing can beat that impression of a Terrier on the “tiptoe of expectation” that you see when sparring. That being said, many Terrier breeds are not to be sparred and it’s incumbent on the judge to know this.
Many Terrier breeds are known for their singular expression. Can I offer a few examples? The Terriers with beards and eyebrows have a “down the nose” look that is essential, especially the Scottie and Miniature Schnauzer. At first glance, you should never notice the eyes on these breeds—they are relatively small and dark, and hidden by the eyebrows. The Bull breeds have very unique expressions, from the egg-shaped head and “piercing glint” of the Bull Terrier and Miniature Bull Terrier, to the “hourglass” (my term) look of the Stafford.
How would I assess the overall quality of the “newer” Terrier breeds? I think many breeds that come into AKC are improved by the interest taken in that breed, and the breed usually improves, at least in structure and movement. The changes as far as grooming and breed type can be questionable. The newer Terrier breeds are going through the same process and are definitely improving in structure and movement.
In my opinion, what makes a Terrier the ideal companion? Terriers have a “joy of life” that is just contagious. Everything is new and exciting, and we can’t help but take part in some way.
Why is “Montgomery” a significant show for so many breeders/exhibitors outside of Terriers? This is where the term “coming out of the woodwork” applies. Many all-breed shows are lucky to have 100 Terriers entered, when at Montgomery you could see thousands of the best Terriers in the country. Many of the breeds have National Specialties at Montgomery, so it’s like attending 30+ Nationals all in one place. There’s nothing like it for any Terrier person. Anyone who wants to judge Terriers must go, and hopefully, more
Which Terriers from the past have had the greatest influence on the sport? Of course, the Wire Fox Terriers have had a huge influence because there have been so many great ones that have won very prestigious wins such as Westminster. Mick, the Kerry Blue, made a huge impression on me. At an all-breed show, before I could judge Kerrys, I was able to go over Mick, and it’s one of only two times that I actually got goose bumps, realizing how great this dog was.
Is there a funny story I can share about my experiences judging the Terrier breeds? I can think of many great stories, but none of them funny enough to write about here.
The Terrier Judges | Melinda Lyon
I have been owned by a West Highland White Terrier since 1972. Shortly thereafter, I attended my first dog show and found my happy place. While still working full-time as a Nurse Anesthetist, my breeding program was very limited. But I managed to finish approximately 50+ Westies, many from the Bred-By Exhibitor Class. In 1992, I applied to AKC to judge and now I do the Terrier and Toy Groups as well as some Non-Sporting breeds.
It has been an extreme honor for me to have judged Sweepstakes twice and the Regular Classes three times at the WHWTCA National Specialties. Over the years, I have served in many various capacities for the WHWTCA as well as for the Louisville Kennel Club. For the past 10+ years, it has been my privilege to serve as Chair of Judges Education for the Parent Club. My passion for educating prospective new judges is with the objective to preserve and protect the integrity of my breed.
Where do I live? How many years in dogs? How many as a judge? I have always lived in the Louisville area, except for my two years in Durham, North Carolina, for Nurse Anesthesia School. I was first introduced to the West Highland White Terrier in 1972 when I moved back home. It was love at first sight and it only took that first blue ribbon to get me hooked on dog shows. I jumped in with both feet, becoming active in the Louisville Kennel Club and showing my dogs for the next 20 years. In 1993, I decided to challenge myself by expanding my horizons to the judging arena.
Do I have any hobbies or interests apart from purebred dogs? Aside from dogs, my other interests have included competing for 30 years with a Sweet Adelines Chorus, a passion for travel and scrapbooking these adventures, plus I love to play bridge.
Can I talk about my introduction to Terriers? Growing up, my family always had dogs, everything from a Chihuahua to a Great Dane. But my introduction to Terriers wasn’t until I got my first Westie in 1972. That is when I found my true fit.
Can I speak a bit about breed-specific presentation and coat conditioning in the Terrier breeds? While presentation and conditioning are certainly important, this isn’t the “end all, be all” for me. Grooming is an art form, and not all of us are as proficient at it as are most professional handlers. I remember giving a 5-point major at a National Specialty to a bitch that wasn’t the most beautifully groomed in the ring. Structurally, however, she had the key components that were most important to me and to that of the breed. I was taught that we are judging breeding stock, rather than a
Which breed characteristics are difficult for Non-Terrier judges to understand? In talking to other judges, they often tell me that they are intimidated by the various coats. As with most coated breeds, a multitude of faults or shortcomings can be hidden by clever grooming and sculpting. For this reason, I tell judges in my seminars to be brave and to get in there with their hands to actually feel the basic structure beneath all the coat.
Another misnomer is the term “Terrier Front,” which is mistakenly applied to a broad spectrum of Terriers. There is a world of difference between many of these Terriers, and therefore, they can’t be lumped into the same category. One cannot equate a Bedlington Terrier front, a Fox Terrier front, or a Scottie front as being remotely comparable. For this reason, it’s important to understand their skeletal structure as it applies to the job they were meant to do.
What about breed character? Can I share my thoughts on sparring in the ring? You ask, “What makes a Terrier a Terrier?” Well, while a Terrier can be a bit stubborn at times, for the most part, they are confident, spunky, and they basically have huge personalities. Despite their relatively small stature, in their minds they are “large and in charge” of their surroundings.
I’d have to say that the most intimidating factor for the novice judge might be sparring. It’s best not to pull out more than two or three dogs at a time to spar. What I do is ask them to go to separate corners, turn, and slowly walk toward each other while not getting too close. What I’m looking for is that typical Terrier attitude: alert, up on their toes, neck arched, tail quivering, and at-the-ready, without any unruly behavior or a fight. I’ll never forget the first time I saw this demonstrated at Montgomery County: It was a beautiful site and it literally took my breath away. A word of caution, however, is to be sure that you know which Terriers are acceptable to spar and which are never to be sparred. Observing Barn Hunt and Earth Dog Trials and such can provide additional insight into the Terrier personality as well and why it’s important to remember the specific purpose of a breed. This combined information will help weigh in to your final decision.
Many Terrier breeds are known for their singular expression. Can I offer a few examples? With regard to expression, the extreme teasing of heads that we see in many cases impedes the ability to properly access this. Here again, I say, don’t be shy. Dive in to honestly feel the head. Move the hair back so that you can evaluate the eye and pigmentation. All of these things are vital to the proper expression and structure.
I have to admit, it was an adjustment for me to get accustomed to seeing dogs with natural ears and/or an undocked tail. For the most part, we have an expected image or outline fixed in our brain. When the natural variation comes into the ring, it does call for refocusing, but eventually, it becomes second nature to accept the “new normal.”
Where bites are concerned, scissors vs. level, I probably lean more toward scissors, assuming I have two equally worthy specimens. Anne Rogers Clark once told me that she favored scissors to level because there is always the danger of bites slipping further in an undesirable direction. I don’t like to see small teeth in Terriers. A working Terrier is supposed to have a strong, punishing bite with surprisingly large teeth for the size of the dog.
In my opinion, what makes a Terrier the ideal companion? Do I think Terriers are right for every family? No, but they can be loyal, devoted companions for the right family or anyone who likes a challenge. Evaluating family dynamics is key to matching the right breed to the right family. I personally cannot imagine my life without a Terrier, specifically a Westie. I’m always up for a challenge!
Which Terriers from the past have had the greatest influence on the sport? Of the Terriers, there are certain ones that stand out in my mind. For the first eight to ten years, I have to admit that I had tunnel vision, only focusing on Westies. When I did start to look around, I discovered a whole new world. Lonesome Dove and Shannon are two that I loved. But of the Terriers that I’ve actually personally judged, Mick was a real standout for me. These were all dogs that walked into the ring and owned their space, as if to say, “I’m here and the rest of you can go home now!”
The Terrier Judges | Richard V. Miller
Where do I live? How many years in dogs? How many as a judge? I live in a tiny town of 1,700 residents in West Central Illinois. My town is equidistant to Burlington, Iowa, Fort Madison, Iowa, and Macomb, Illinois. I purchased my first AKC registered dog in 1957. She was a smooth Chihuahua. I entered my first dog show in 1968 where I exhibited a Longhaired Dachshund. She was WB, BW, and BOS. I was hooked. I got my approval to judge in 1991, and judged for the first time in 1992 at the Chihuahua Specialty of Michigan.
Do I have any hobbies or interests apart from purebred dogs? I love to read. I have read all that John Grisham has written. (His latest book, Sooley, was just too sad at the end.) I am also an avid stained-glass artist. I have made many windows, glass boxes, lamp shades, etc. I was an art major undergraduate. I can still draw and paint, but I don’t do much of that. At one time, I was an avid antique furniture collector/refinisher.
Can I talk about my introduction to Terriers? Terriers came as a default. When approved to judge the Toy Group, the Manchester is one of the breeds. Since the breed is Manchester with two varieties, I was approved for a Terrier at the same time I was granted approval to judge the Toy Group. The same is true of the Poodle. Other than these breeds, I was exposed to Australian Terriers by a kennel club member. I visited her often and watched litters of the breed mature. Chuck and Peggy Lewis from Burlington, Iowa (now from Springfield, Illinois) were also factors with West Highland White Terriers. I live close to some Terrier exhibitors/breeders. I watched and visited with a variety of these exhibitors as they prepared their breeds for the show ring.
Have I bred any influential Terriers? Have I shown any notable winners? My late wife wanted a dog of her own. She gave me a list of four breeds that she thought she would enjoy owning. They were 13” Beagle, Bedlington Terrier, Brussels Griffon (rough), or a Border Terrier. I ruled out the Bedlington since I knew I would have to do the grooming, and the Beagle, simply because of noise with close neighbors. I met Barry Rose, Karen Fitzpatrick, and Nina Fetter, all with an interest in Borders. I purchased a Border Bitch from Barry Rose with the stipulation that she had to be bred one time. I agreed to this stipulation only if Barry would sell the litter. She whelped five puppies, one of which was blue. Her bite went off, making her undesirable to be shown. I took her to Montgomery County only to say that I had exhibited there. She was the smartest, most obedient dog I have ever known. She was spayed after her litter and lived beyond her 15th birthday.
Can I speak a bit about breed-specific presentation and coat conditioning in the Terrier breeds? I would have to say that most Terriers are presented in hard condition with proper grooming/stripping. This is especially true of Scottish Terriers and Wire Fox Terriers.
What about breed character? Can I share my thoughts on sparring in the ring? Breed character has to be present for me to consider the entry in the Group ring. To me, breed character and type are about the same. I was on the panel of judges at Tallahassee earlier in the year, and Anne Katona came up to me and asked, “Did I see you sparring Scotties a few minutes ago?” Of course, she had observed this happening in my ring. I don’t always spar dogs, but if I am a bit undecided on my winner, I will spar as a final decision maker.(Anne was pleased that I had sparred the dogs in the ring.)
Many Terrier breeds are known for their singular expression. Can I offer a few examples? Terrier breeds that were bred to rid properties of vermin have a very specific expression. This comes from the small, dark eye, ear expression, and tail set/carriage.
Once this is recognized as essential for a specific breed, it is easy to rule out those that do not possess this expression.
How would I assess the overall quality of the “newer” Terrier breeds? The newer Terrier breeds, for me, would be Parson Russell, Russell Terrier, Rat Terrier, Cesky Terrier, and American Hairless Terrier. I feel the Rat Terrier has improved the most since approved for AKC competitions. When this breed enters my ring, I see much consistency overall. (It is a disappointment for me to see an entry with the desired topline being defeated by a dead-level topline that is uncharacteristic of the breed.) Russell Terriers would be a close second. Nearly always, this breed is consistent.
In my opinion, what makes a Terrier the ideal companion? A particular breed can be an ideal companion only if it is trained to be such a companion.
The hard coat of many Terriers makes them desirable when stripped to maintain a neat appearance. Discipline at an early age to make the dog know its limits is essential for any breed that is expected to be a companion dog.
Why is “Montgomery” a significant show for so many breeders/exhibitors outside of Terriers? Montgomery County is an essential show for anyone grooming himself/herself to judge Terrier breeds. This is about the only show where all Terrier breeds are present and in good numbers. All judges realize the importance this show has and how important a Best of Breed ribbon, a Group placement or a BIS (Group I) there means to the handler, owner, exhibitor,
Which Terriers from the past have had the greatest influence on the sport? I would have to say that the Wire Fox Terrier is the breed that has greatest influence.
Is there a funny story I can share about my experiences judging the Terrier breeds? During COVID days, we judges ask exhibitors to show the bite of their entry. I remember saying to an exhibitor at the end of my table examination, “Bite.” The exhibitor replied, “No, he won’t bite.” (Obviously, this was a novice exhibitor.)
I would like to conclude with naming some mentors who have been so very important for my growth as a Terrier judge. I would place Bergit at the top of the heap of mentors who took me seriously and spent hours with me, discussing fine points of breeds. Others who have played an important role would be Merle Taylor, Clay Cody, Melinda Lyon, and Reita Nicholson. I have been pleased to have been invited to judge a few Terrier specialties. These are Kerry Blue, Bedlington, and Miniature Schnauzer. When I judge, my goal is to always come away having learned something new.
The Terrier Judges | Al Pertuit
Where do I live? How many years in dogs? How many as a judge? I live in Central, South Carolina. I’m retired from Clemson University. I’ve been “in dogs” over 45 years—first AKC champion in 1982. I’ve judged since 1998.
Do I have any hobbies or interests apart from purebred dogs? I also enjoy growing ornamental plants—have more plants than Wal-Mart.
Can I talk about my introduction to Terriers? My father liked to hunt, so I had Smooth Foxes growing up. I wanted a Wire, but they said, “NO! You’re not going to get a long-haired dog. It’ll shed all over everything and stink when it rains.” Wires don’t shed!
Have I bred any influential Terriers? Have I shown any notable winners? I bred “Sky” with Betty Seaton. She won 139 BISs, including Central States, Montgomery County, and Westminster, thanks to the handling of Gabriel Rangel with the support of Torie Steele and Victor Malzoni. Sky’s full, younger sister, owned and shown by Véronique Gehan, earned championships in many European
countries; and, [in 2014], she won BIS at the CGA to win the title of Top Dog in France (all breeds). More recently, “Trooper” won Breed at Central States under Terrier expert Peter Green, and Select Dog at Montgomery County. Trooper was well-handled/conditioned by Jordan Waters.
I do not believe in breeding closely. I look for breed type—only look at pedigrees to avoid some dog(s). In a litter, one pup can be truly outstanding and its littermate only average; yet, both have the same pedigree. A dog looks like it looks because most of its genes are for that look.
Can I speak a bit about breed-specific presentation and coat conditioning in the Terrier breeds? I am not a fan of “statue” presentation of Terriers—hits me in the gut. I like them because they’re lively, excited when they see you, and somewhat “bad” (makes me laugh)! A judge, IMO, should evaluate the overall dog, not just the head, etc. Correct structure and movement are very important. Breed size is important. For example, a correct-sized Wire with substance is far harder to breed than a larger, oversized one with substance; yet, too often, I see oversized ones win because of their size. Go figure!
What about breed character? Can I share my thoughts on sparring in the ring? Terriers should be “UP,” always looking around to see what’s going on. Obedience judging is in another ring! Grooming is important, but it should never be THE overall factor
Sparring is an excellent way to get dogs to NATURALLY pull themselves together for judging. If the judge asks for sparring, he/she must consider this in the dogs’ placements. Of course, not all Terrier breeds can be sparred. Sparring does not mean baiting the dog in the center of the ring. It’s simply letting the dogs look at each other.
Many Terrier breeds are known for their singular expression. Can I offer a few examples? Expression is very important. Many breeds can be identified by their facial expression typical of their breed. With Wires, it’s that intense stare. If at another animal, it’s: “If you move one inch, you’re dead.” (Not really, but almost!)
How would I assess the overall quality of the “newer” Terrier breeds? Some of the newer Terrier breeds are nice and may move well, but can’t produce the expression indicative of their breed. For example, the ear placement, size, etc. is not correct. Sadly, this
In my opinion, what makes a Terrier the ideal companion? Terriers never fail to lift you up; always ready to make you happy (and by doing so, it makes them happy too— and they know this). They have the ability to stare into your eyes all the way to your stomach.
Why is “Montgomery” a significant show for so many breeders/exhibitors outside of Terriers? Montgomery never fails to be a new experience, rain or shine. It is the only show with guaranteed large entries in every Terrier breed. This gives one the opportunity to evaluate the overall breed quality. It allows one to see/evaluate dogs previously viewed only in ads.
Lastly, it allows people to reunite and have a good time.
The Terrier Judges | Jay Richardson
I have been involved in purebred dogs since the age of 10. I am a second-generation dog person; my parents exhibited Poodles. I assisted by showing the usually untrained Standard Poodle puppies and I participated in Juniors.
In my teenage years, I worked after school for Lynn and Dorothy Welsh in a kennel full of Poodles and Rough Collies.
In my late teenage years, I went to work as an assistant to Denny Kodner, an all-breed handler, and worked for her for about six years. Mrs. Kodner showed primarily Working and Sporting breeds, including a large number of Best in Show winning German Shepherd Dogs. I then went out on my own as a professional handler.
I was a handler for about 25 years, showing a wide range of breeds. I have finished dogs in every Group and have had Best in Show dogs in Sporting, Working, Hound, Terriers, and
I began judging about 1996, being approved for 13 breeds, primarily Terriers. I am now approved for all Sporting, Working, and Terrier breeds, the majority of the Non-Sporting Group, and
I have judged throughout the United States, including five times at Westminster, including the Terrier Group and the Working Group. I also had several assignments at the AKC Royal Canin show. My experience also includes shows in Canada, China, Taiwan, Poland, Finland, Columbia, Venezuela, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Mexico, and Spain.
Where do I live? How many years in dogs? How many as a judge? I live in Elgin, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. I have been involved in dogs for over 50 years. I’ve been a judge for about 24 years now.
Do I have any hobbies or interests apart from purebred dogs? I like cooking—sometimes it turns out. I also play around with home organization. (I don’t know if that qualifies as a hobby.)
Can I talk about my introduction to Terriers? As a young assistant for Denny Kodner, we showed a few Norwich and one or two Australian Terriers, but I did get to watch George Ward in action many weekends. The first Terrier I remember showing on my own was a Dandie named Arnold Palmer.
Have I bred any influential Terriers? Have I shown any notable winners? Not really. I owned a SCWT bitch that had a couple of litters, and a bunch of those finished, though I wouldn’t describe any as notable. I suppose I showed several Dandies that won a lot; the Luther dog being the biggest winner.
Can I speak a bit about breed-specific presentation and coat conditioning in the Terrier breeds? I think you have the breeds that are trimmed with scissors/thinning shears, such as Kerries and SCWT, and the ones like Amstaffs that are more the spit-and-go sort. And then there are the WFT, Scotties, or Airedales that are time-consuming; a lot of hand work that requires an artist’s touch. Coats vary, of course. I would rather see a dog that has good quality hair, that is maybe not as fancy trimmed, than a dog with bad hair. Today, I believe, many times, dogs are not shown in the best coats.
What about breed character? Can I share my thoughts on sparring in the ring? I think the one word that describes character in Terriers is “confidence.” They stand over themselves and watch their world go by. Sparring is a lost art, most of the time. The majority of people who walk into the ring don’t seem to have much knowledge of how to do it; and a person who doesn’t know or can’t “read” their dog can get a dog into trouble easily.
Many Terrier breeds are known for their singular expression. Can I offer a few examples? A few examples are the Bull Terrier with its keen, determined, and intelligent expression, the Dandie with a soft and wise expression, and the Fox Terrier, keen of expression.
How would I assess the overall quality of the “newer” Terrier breeds? I don’t see much difference between newer breeds and established breeds. And in my opinion, this covers not just the Terrier breeds. The overall quality is not outstanding; it is rather average to below average. This is a question more suited for the breeders. As a judge, I can only deal with what walks into the ring at that moment.
In my opinion, what makes a Terrier the ideal companion? Speaking broadly, they are intelligent and independent. They are so good at entertaining themselves.
Why is “Montgomery” a significant show for so many breeders/exhibitors outside of Terriers? I think it’s an example of what can be for a Group of breeds; where they all come together and compete. It is also a great learning place if you’re interested in a breed. You sit ringside and you will see the difference in type, the different looks, and have a chance to see the best dogs in a breed at the same time; a chance for one to determine what they think the breed should look like.
Which Terriers from the past have had the greatest influence on the sport? How do you measure influence? The number of champions they produce or the number of BIS? So many of the great sires didn’t have large numbers of BIS. A dog like the SCWT of Gay Dunlap, “Doc,” had a tremendous influence in the breed as a sire; his son, the Song and Dance Man of Jackie and Cindy Vogels, put SCWT on the map as top-winning show dogs. There are so many dogs like that in so many breeds.
Is there a funny story I can share about my experiences judging the Terrier breeds? I honestly can’t think of one. I’m sure I will as soon as I hit “send.”
The Terrier Judges | Claudia Seaberg
Where do I live? How many years in dogs? How many as a judge?I live in Summerfield, Florida, having moved down here (from Middle Tennessee) to be closer to the grandkids about two years ago.
I got my first dog in the late 1950s. He was a Miniature Schnauzer with a CDX. I got started in the “dog world” from there, and started judging in 2002.
Do I have any hobbies, or interest apart from from the purebred dogs? Well, my interests include the grandkids and their activities (when I can get to them), traveling, fixing up my house, TV, going out to eat frequently, and loving on my cat.
Can I talk about my introduction to Terriers? Well, I never had a choice. I had wanted a dog for a long time as a kid. In fact, I wanted a Shepherd, but a relative had a litter of Minis, and my dad got me a puppy. From there, I was in the dog world.
Have I bred any influential Terriers? Have I shown any notable winners? I have bred several Mini Champions under the kennel name of Seacrest. I own a Schnauzer bitch, Ch. Wynmore Summer Song, with two BIS, multiple Groups, and a Specialty winner. I showed the noted winners, Ch. Penlan Peter Gunn, Ch. Shorline Dynamic Flash and his son, RBO’s Victory Flash, to multiple BISs, and Group wins and placements. These three dogs produced many champions and are in the background of many Mini pedigrees. I also showed and finished multiple Bichons, Kerries, Fox Terriers, Cairns, Yorkies, Am Staffs, Standard Schnauzers, and Brussels Griffons. Except for the Brussels, the majority of these dogs were shown in the late 1960s and ‘70s, and there are not many people around who can remember or have even heard of these dogs. (And most people do not equate me with Mini Schnauzers.)
Can I speak a bit about breed-specific presentation and coat conditioning in the Terrier breeds? If you look up the definition of Terrier, it says: “Terrier is a type of dog originally bred to hunt vermin; typically small, wiry, game, and fearless.” But, wait a minute. You also have the Bully breeds that probably started off in Great Britain as bloodsport dogs for dog fighting and bull-baiting that were eventually outlawed in the early part of 1800s, and through the breeders working on refining the looks and temperament, became companion dogs, competent working dogs, and family pets.
There are about 31 dogs in the AKC Terrier Group. They range from big to small, hairless to soft-coated to hard-coated. There are dogs that were bred to be pack dogs, allowing them to be in closer contact with others, and breeds that have fiery and fearless attitudes that allow them to show off their fire and control. And then there are the dogs that are simply left to show off themselves without mingling with the other dogs.
With some of the standards, it is written that they need to be shown on a loose lead. For others, knowing the proper way to spar is important for the judge and the handler… done properly, it can bring out the best in a dog. (Some standards specially state, “Do not spar.”) And as part of the judging process in a few breeds, spanning and pelting is a critical and significant part of the judging examination. Each breed standard needs to be recognized individually by the judge and by the exhibitor presenting these dogs.
As far as coat conditioning, when someone says Terriers they automatically think of stripping and hard coats. But remember, there are plenty of Terriers that are not stripped. I feel that an individual who has not been with coated Terriers really needs to put in the work with these coated dogs and learn about staging, stripping, rolling, undercoat, and “junk coat” that, to the un-educated, can look like a coat. Then, of course, you have the Kerries and Soft Coated Wheatens that do not have a harsh, wire or bristle coat. In Kerries, the coat should be soft, dense, and wavy, and in Soft Coated Wheatens, the coat is a single coat, soft and silky with gentle waves. Oh, I forgot about the length of coats on particular breeds, i.e., Dandies where the coat is about two inches long with 2/3 hard and 1/3 soft hair, which is termed “penciling.” They should not have a tight jacket and it takes a lot of knowledge to put a coat like that on the Dandie. But I venture to say that many are not aware of this. So, grooming is a very important part of presentation.
What about breed character? Can I share my thoughts on sparring in the ring? I think breed character was addressed in #5. And I am a true believer in sparring in the ring! Done right, it is truly a sight to see.
Many Terrier breeds are known for their singular expression. Can I offer a few examples?
Scottish Terrier—Keen, piercing, “varminty” expression;
Airedale Terrier—Should be dark, small, not prominent, full of Terrier expression, keenest and intelligence;
Wire Fox Terrier—Character is imparted by the expression of the eyes and by the carriage of ears and tail. Eyes are dark, moderately small, rather deep set, not prominent, and full of fire, life, and intelligence;
Miniature Schnauzer—Eyes small, dark brown, deep set, oval and keen in expression;
Cesky Terrier—Slightly deep set with a friendly expression;
Border Terrier—Dark hazel and full of fire and intelligence.
How would I assess the overall quality of the “newer” Terrier breeds? I think they are coming along quite nicely:
Glen of Imaal Terrier—Years ago, just before the breed came into the AKC, the AKC had an “institute” with Bruce Sussman who was instrumental in bringing the breed to recognition. And, of course, he brought examples—oh my goodness. I cannot even write the comments we, the judges, had. The progression of this breed has been remarkable and they have been quite competitive in the ring.
Rat Terrier—When they first came into the AKC, they were all over the board as far as type and quality; not much consistency. But they are much better and I am seeing quality dogs in the ring. There are pockets of them in the country, and some parts are better than others.
American Hairless Terrier—Originally coming from the Rat Terrier, they are doing very well and have more consistency to them. They do have a coated variety, but you very rarely see one. They do not carry the same gene as Xolos or Cresteds, so expect to see teeth. Plus, their skin is so smooth and warm to the touch.
Cesky Terrier—This is the “outlier” of the Terrier Group. First of all, they are not from England, but from Czechoslovakia—a cross of Sealyham and Scottish Terriers. The most interesting part is that the breed is not stripped; it is clippered, and certain parameters are stated in the Standard on how this is to be done. I do not see too many of these, and when I do, it is not a big entry. I think the quality, according to the Standard, is pretty good.
What makes a Terrier the ideal companion? Well, in my opinion, I do not think most people turn initially to a Terrier for a companion, unless somewhere in their past history they have had some experience with a Terrier. Miniature Schnauzers have been popular pets for years and, of course, there are several Terriers that are noted to be on the calmer end of the spectrum. But it all boils down to investigating the breeds and assessing what would fit into the
Why is “Montgomery” a significant show for so many breeder/exhibitors outside of Terriers? Well, it’s the history, ambiance, the grounds, the people, the outstanding collections of dogs from all over the US, Canada, and Europe (prior to COVID restrictions), groomed “to the nth degree.” It’s excitement in the air, remembering the feeling—early in the morning with the sun coming up over the grounds and the dew rising up in a mist around and under the empty tents—that soon the rings will be filled with great enthusiasm and eagerness to show the best of the best.
Which Terriers from the past have had the greatest influence on the sport? There was a Smooth Fox Terrier bitch, Ch. Warren Remedy, who was Westminster’s very first BIS show winner and who captured the title for three consecutive years. No Smooth has since won BIS there, though plenty of Wires have achieved this top spot. There are the Kerry Blues, Chances Are, and of course, the other big winner, the incomparable Mick.
And the hardest of all the Terrier breeds to coat were two Sealyhams, Ch. Dersade Bobby’s Girl, piloted by Peter Green, and Ch. Efbe’s Hidalgo at Goodspice, shown by Margery Good.
Is there a funny story I can share about my experiences judging the Terrier breeds? I love judging the dogs, but at this time, I cannot think of anything in particular.
The Terrier Judges | John Ward
My wife and I live in Baltimore, Maryland. We are, and have been, a team, usually agreeing, sometimes agreeing to disagree. We purchased our first show dog, the Westie, Suncrest Little Audrey, in 1962. We listened and learned hands-on and went on to groom, handle, and finish her. Over the course of the next fifty-five or so years, we bred well over 100 AKC Champion Westies, and about seven or eight Norwich Terrier Champions because our son didn’t want to have to compete in the ring with his older sister. We chose Westies because they were the right size (I was an officer in the US Coast Guard, frequently being transferred) and they were REAL DOGS, no babying needed or wanted. Our Westies and Norwich were almost always owner-handled.
We have been fortunate to have had some notable Westies, and more recently, Affenpinschers. Our Donnybrooks George won the Breed at Montgomery County two out of three years, second time from the Veteran Class under Annie Clark. The year between “George’s” wins, CH Donnybrook’s Connor won the breed. George also proved himself to be a wonderful stud, passing along good heads, level toplines, and high tail sets. He won thirty-two Terrier Groups and eight All-Breed Bests in Show, all owner-handled. Although we never counted up all of his regional specialty wins, there were many. We also owned the wonderful CH Whitebriar Jalisker and CH Donnybrook’s Miss Trisket, a top-producing dam.
As time took its toll, it became increasingly difficult to keep up with the Westies. We fell in love with a smaller and easier to show Toy breed; the Affenpinscher. It turned out that these guys are also REAL DOGS. They are very Terrier-like; hard coats and attitudes alike. Some of the Affens we’ve bred have done quite well, including MULTI BIS BISS GCHG CH Tamarin Tailback and American, English, and International CH Donnybrook Jack Tamarin. “Jack” won Best of Breed and the Dog CC at Crufts 2018 and the breed at several European shows.
I began judging in the early 1970s when I was approved for Westies and Scotties. I think it was 1976 when I was approved to judge the full Terrier Group. I am presently also approved for most of the Hound Group and for two Toy breeds, and I am proud to be the only judge elected by the Westie club membership four times to judge at Montgomery. My other hobby for years was fly fishing.
I have tried to limit my comments to answering the questions you posed, but feel that I have said too much. So, briefly, my observation is that fewer and fewer folks are willing to put in the work required to produce great coats and to study the basic principles of good dog breeding. It is too easy to just go to the top-winning or top-producing stud. By just going to the shows, watching their dog/breed and then going home, breeders/exhibitors are wasting a rapidly diminishing asset—the accumulated knowledge of their predecessors. There are still a few old-time “Terrier Men.” Take the time and make the effort to learn from them.
Where do I live? How many years in dogs? How many as a judge? I have 60 years in dogs, and 47 years judging.
Do I have any hobbies or interests apart from purebred dogs? I used to fly fish, but now I don’t trust my legs.
Can I talk about my introduction to Terriers? I have always been around them.
Can I speak a bit about breed-specific presentation and coat conditioning in the Terrier breeds? It is consistent work.
What about breed character? Can I share my thoughts on sparring in the ring? Sparring should only be done by a judge experienced with the practice.
How would you assess the overall quality of the “newer” Terrier breeds? Most are improving over time.
Why is “Montgomery” a significant show for so many breeders/exhibitors outside of Terriers? So many longtime breeders come from all over the country.
The Terrier Judges | Linda Wells
I was born in Portland, Oregon, and grew up on the westside of town. I graduated from Sunset High School. Ballet and dance were a large part of my life. I started lessons at the age of four and continued until my mid-thirties. I was accepted to a professional dance company, but declined since I had two small children. I taught ballet, jazz, and tap, and I really feel that dance helped me with grace, strength, posture, and showmanship in my dog handling career.
I started showing dogs in 1983, and I really fell in love with the sport and, of course, the dogs. I was also a hairdresser and went to work right after high school. Eventually, I owned my own shop. I feel doing hair and having an artistic eye helped me enormously. I learned how to groom and hand strip Terriers by watching others and asking lots of questions. I tried to emulate my favorite professional handlers and I never gave up!
I was married to my late husband, Rick, for 46 years. He encouraged me and traveled to the shows with me most of the time. He even beat me a few times! I showed only dogs that deserved a championship and, of course, that made the job easier. I have two grown sons, Kelly and Rick. They are very successful in their fields and are great fathers and family men.
Where do I live? How many years in dogs? How many as a judge? I live in Prineville, Oregon, which is in central Oregon and is known as the high desert. I got my first “show dog,” a West Highland White Terrier, in 1983; 38 years ago. I was a professional handler for about 35 years and belonged to the Professional Handlers Association. I started judging 11 years ago. I judge the Terrier Group, some Toy, Working, and Miscellaneous Breeds, Junior Showmanship, and Best in Show.
Do I have any hobbies or interests apart from purebred dogs? My hobbies are spending time with family and friends. I love all animals, and in central Oregon they literally find their way to your doorstep; deer, coyotes, bobcats, and I even saw a wolf, to name a few! There is a pair of Golden eagles that live in the cliffs behind my house, and I enjoy feeding the many birds in the area.
Can I talk about my introduction to Terriers? My introduction to Terriers came through my friend and mentor, Mary Lou Ludlow of O’Riagain kennels. I purchased my first show dog from her, a beautiful West Highland White Terrier, Ch. Seacrest Laird O’Riagain. I finished his championship quickly, and Mary Lou had such faith in me that she hired me to show her English import, Ch. Audacious From Arnholme. That was the start to my handling career!
Have I bred any influential Terriers? Have I shown any notable winners? As a handler, I showed my own dogs and had some really good ones, but the client dogs came first. I remember, one time, I had won Breed with both my Westie and the client’s Smooth Fox Terrier. I had to hand my dog off and stay on the Smooth Fox. My dog won the Group, and I think that was the last time I showed my own dogs. I had the pleasure of handling the multiple Best in show Cairn, Ch. Misty Meadows D-Day, bred by Marcella Cobb. Also, a wonderful Norwich, Ch. Nobest Take A Chance At Ji-Ro, and a National Specialty-winning Norwich bitch, Ch. Ji-Ro’s Zig Zag. I named her because as a puppy, she would never walk a straight line. She was quite feisty and had no “quit!” Both Norwich were bred by Jill Rourke.
Can I speak a bit about breed-specific presentation and coat conditioning in Terriers breeds? There are 31 AKC-recognized Terrier breeds. Eighteen of the Terriers are wire-coated and, of course, there are also smooth coats, soft wavy coats, and curly coats. They all require their own specialized trimming. Some of these are the Soft Coated Wheaten, Kerry Blue, Cesky, and Bedlington. The eighteen that are wire-coated require hand stripping flat work. Longer-legged Terriers, such as the Airedale, are kept in a short jacket with furnishing on the legs and head. Short-legged Terriers are kept in a longer, stylized coat; for example, the Westie, Cairn, Scottie, Norwich, and Dandie Dinmont. The dogs’ coats are worked constantly to keep them in a “rolling coat.” Proper conditioning of their bodies is a must to keep them in tip-top performance level.
What about breed character? Can I share my thoughts on sparring in the ring? Terriers are strong, alert, inquisitive, courageous, friendly, and playful, but they are also excellent workers. The West Highland White Terrier is said to have “no small amount of self-esteem.” Sparring should only be done in the show ring with a judge who is very familiar with what is to be accomplished and [one who is in] control of the ring. The dogs are brought into the center of the ring to take a look and pull themselves together. I call it getting tight; arched neck, tails up, and giving “eye.” No lunging, barking or fighting. The handlers must have their dogs under control at all times. There are some Terriers that are not sparred. These are the American Hairless, all Bull breeds, Border, Bedlington, Cesky, Dandie Dinmont, Glen of Imaal, Manchester, Parson Russell, Rat, Russell, and Skye.
Many Terriers are known for their singular expression. Can I offer a few examples? A Terrier that comes to mind is the Irish Terrier. He is known as the “Daredevil.” He is full of fire and animation. The Wire Fox Terrier has a keen expression that fills the eye. The Glen of Imaal possesses antique features. The Scottish Terrier has a keen, piercing, varminty expression. The Norwich has a slightly foxy expression. The Border Terrier has an otter head, with a keen eye. The West Highland White Terrier has no small amount of self-esteem.
How would I assess the overall quality of the “newer” Terrier breeds? The new Terriers that come to mind are the American Hairless, Rat Terrier, and Cesky. I have judged them all and have found that their quality was quite good. The conditioning and trimming of the Cesky was very good and according to the breed standard.
In my opinion, what makes a Terrier the ideal companion? Most Terriers have a very long life and are easy keepers. They are also good pets for people who have allergies; they are non-shedding. There is never a dull moment and they are loving family members.
Why is “Montgomery” a significant show for so many breeders/exhibitors outside of Terriers? Montgomery County Kennel Club is the premier Terrier dog show worldwide. You will find excellent examples of all AKC-recognized Terrier breeds; the cream of the crop, the best of the best, and the top of the line.
Which Terriers from the past have had the greatest influence on the sport? To name just a few: Smooth Fox Terrier, Eng. Am. Ch. Ttarb The Brat; West Highland White Terrier, Ch. Whitebriar Jeronimo; Wire Fox Terrier, Eng. Irish. Am. Ch. Galsul Excellence; and Kerry Blue Terrier, Eng. Am. Ch. Torums Scarf Michael.
Is there a funny story I can share about my experiences judging the Terriers breeds? The funniest thing that happened early in my judging career was when my ring steward fell sound asleep! I called for “backup” on the walkie-talkie. Didn’t think I had worked her that hard!