Dogs In Review Magazine October 2016 - Page 45

to be recruited more and more from show organizers and officials. In the US, judges are mostly recruited from handlers, people who have been paid to win with other people’s dogs. When talking to many of my colleagues, I often get the same story. “Unfortunately I cannot keep any dogs any more, as I judge so much.” Well, most of them had a choice, and they made it. Am I supposed to feel sorry for them? I find it worrisome that we seem to be recruiting more and more judges from outside the ranks of real dog people. In my definition, real dog people keep dogs. That is what makes them dog people. And if they are not even dog people, why should I pay for their opinion? A most honorable appointment — judging Best in Show at the winter Helsinki International show in 2015. Engh awarded BIS to the Standard Poodle Ch. Da Maya Huffish Copyright Woman. TEXTERRI PHOTO 42 AS: Some breeds have deteriorated to a degree where it is almost impossible for judges to develop an adequate competence in judging them. Truly great examples of these breeds are difficult to find or simply do not exist. How would you advise both new and more established ENGH, CONTINUED FROM PAGE 38 judges to cope with these challenges? and I felt I needed new challenges. So, I gradually added EE: Fortunately, I do not find this to be the case in many more breeds until I was approved to judge all breeds in 2011. breeds, but there are sadly some breeds that [fit that] description, with two of the three Norwegian Hound breeds coming AS: What can upset you when you judge? instantly to mind. I do not think there is any other way to edEE: Dogs being roughly or badly treated in the ring, such as ucate oneself and train one’s eye other than to repeatedly see being strangled or kicked, dogs that are in bad muscular or coat and appreciate outstanding representatives of a breed “live.” condition, dirty or not in good health, sometimes looking really Therefore, a breed can easily get into a downward spiral, miserable. That makes me miserable as well. I am also not at which will be very hard to get out of. I guess carefully studyall charmed by people who try to tell me how much the dog ing photos, videos and reading material has won previously or trying to impress could get you somewhere when trying me with how far they have traveled to to learn how to judge a breed, but I am get to the show. I am easily provoked Breeders and afraid that it will not get you all the way. by bullies and bad losers and would not judges seem to recommend trying that tactic in my ring. live in separate AS: Judging appointments in 94 countries is likely the world reAS: Nowadays, we often describe worlds. The two cord. In what ways has officiating judging and breeding as two sepagroups have much in so many countries shaped your rate branches of the sport, despite to offer each other. outlook on the sport as a whole? the fact that they are extremely inEE: I have not joined any competition terdependent on each other. What to judge in more countries than anyis your take on how judging and body else, but if you tell me it is a record, you may be right. breeding intersect today? Being very fortunate to judge so many dogs in so many counEE: Yes, I think it is quite dangerous to the sport that too often tries has of course added to my perspective, both on my own breeders and judges seem to live in separate worlds. The two breeds and on the dog sport in general. As a breeder, I have groups have much to offer each other and need to interact been able to see close-up the results of combining different and learn from each other. If breeders and judges have simistrains and traits. My mother did the same thing for many lar ideals or have a common understanding, both groups can years, and I think our breeding has benefited quite substancontribute significantly to the progress within a breed. If the tially from this. two groups are pulling in different directions, quality is more I have met so many clever and dedicated dog people who than likely to suffer. have contributed to my knowledge and experience. In some of In years gone by, judges were almost entirely recruited from the smaller and less affluent dog countries, I have frequently the ranks of top breeders, and thus they were playing more on the same team. Now, in quite a few countries, judges seem CONTINUED ON PAGE 46