Dogs In Review Magazine October 2016 - Page 41

do not make good judges, as we all know. Judging is about summing up the essence of dogs in a very short time. Actually, in order to succeed as a judge, you need an instant eye for balance and beauty. When breeding, you can use years to come to your decisions. For this and other reasons, breeding and judging are quite different ballgames. Espen Engh judging the Greyhound Club of America National Specialty in 1991. BOB went to Ch. Lochinvar Leaps & Bounds, a bitch breeder/ownerhandled by Maureen Lucas. AS: What is your judging philosophy? Has it always been the same, or has it changed slightly from the time when you started? EE: What has not changed is my outlook on the role of the judge in the sport of dogs. Some judges seem to believe that dog shows are organized for them and that they are the most important ingredient of the show. I strongly disagree. Without the dogs, their AS: How is the knowledge and experience you gain from breeders and their owners, there would be no dogs to judge. The breeding reflected in your judging? breeds, the breeders and the owners would probably survive just EE: I do think a breeder will have a different approach to fine without dog shows and dog judges. As a breeder, I have to be judging than non-breeders. As a breeder, I may be more aware able to evaluate the breeding results myself and cannot rely on of the fact that my choices in the ring may have consequencthe judges to do so more accurately than es on future generations. Yes, I do subme. Sure, a second opinion can always be scribe to the Scandinavian notion that we are judging the result of breeding, I can get an emotional valuable, but I could always ask another for his or her opinion. In a way, but we also need to step up to the fact high ... from watching breeder that is what I am doing when I show my that our decisions, at least collectiveand touching dogs at specialties. ly, do influence the selection of future Another thing that has not changed breeding stock. A lot of people breed to outstanding dogs. is the quest to learn more. [When] judgwin, and they will breed to winners. I ing dogs, you are constantly studying think that longtime breeder-judges will and learning, and this is one of the main reasons why you be less tempted to go with fads and fashion. want to do it in the first place — to keep learning and improve. I think they will often focus more on type and construction at When I started out as a judge, I was convinced that I would the expense of presentation and showmanship. The fact that I only judge a few selected breeds, naturally the ones I had the very often end up with bitches for BOB is a reflection of my being most experience with. a breeder, recognizing the value of good bitches over sometimes For a long time, I stuck to sighthounds and just a few perhaps more imposing but less correct or less typey males. more breeds as that felt very comfortable and safe. Then I came to a point where I did not find the judging all that AS: So, would you say that a clever breeder will no challenging anymore. The learning curve was not as steep, doubt make a great judge as well? EE: Unfortunately, no. There are many clever breeders that CONTINUED ON PAGE 42 JOHN ASHBEY 38 ENGH, CONTINUED FROM PAGE 34 into their eyes gives me a lot of satisfaction. Consequently, I can enjoy judging even quite ugly dogs, if we connect. But laying my hands and feasting my eyes on truly outstanding dogs gives me an aesthetic kick like no other. I can get an emotional high and physical reactions in terms of goose bumps and a few tears in my eyes from watching and touching outstanding dogs. So judging dogs is a very gratifying experience. I was and still am attracted to the intellectual challenge of judging classes of outstanding dogs, and I have been lucky to judge some truly wonderful entries over the years. AS: How do you prepare for your judging assignments? EE: I read a lot before judging assignments. I have an extensive dog library and two four-drawer cabinets full of illustrated standards and compendiums that I have collected over many years and that are put to use before appointments. By reading through these, I get mentally prepared and attempt to sharpen my radar for breed type. I will often bring a lot of reading material with me on the trips and spend the waiting time in airports and on board airplanes reading about the breeds I am about to judge. I also read up on show rules and regulations for the country in which I will be judging, if available. And I make sure to get a good night’s sleep.