Vickie asked me to do an article a couple months ago but I’ve been so busy that I haven’t had the time. Things have quieted down a little bit so I decided to put this together. Groomer, Handler, Breeder, Judge. In the late 60’s and 70’s I handled whippets, but not many of you know that I also bred a couple whippet litters.
First of all let me say that I think the Whippet breed is in very good shape around the world. I think that it is in the top 5 of the Hound Group in competition. I also think that it is dominated by bitches like most of the Sighthound breeds. Let me clarify what I mean by dominant in bitches. For instance if you have a class of 10 dogs, most times you will have 2 or 3 dogs that are strong in depth, meaning that they will be the best of the 10. And in bitches if you have 10 bitches, you will have possibly 5 or 6 of the 10 better in comparison. I think the breed standard is a very good standard. I think it’s very easy to follow and I think that breeders are doing a very good job of breeding to the standard. Breeders are the backbone of this dog game.
This is something that I have said many times before that I will repeat again. I would like to explain how I come up with my winners in judging. When I first started judging, I used to go in the ring and judge each dog against the competition that was in the ring...... until I went abroad to FCI shows. Where as at FCI shows you have to judge a dog against the standard first, then against the competition. It made it easier to come up with my winner. At the end of a class, you know where your quality is and it’s easier to further evaluate the stronger contenders in the class.
Let me go into another area here, as to how I come up with my winners. First of all, the most important thing to me in any breed is “breed type”. Someone may say, “What is breed type?” To me breed type is what the standard says the breed should be and my 50 plus years of being in dogs learning about different breeds.
The second most important thing to me is balance. And when I say balance, I don’t mean squareness. I mean what the standard calls for to be balanced in silhouette. In judging that means that every part of that animal fits together to make that breed.