Leah D Lange
Judging Approval Dates
As a judge, what are your personal preferences as they relate to the priority of judging this breed (movement, balance, head, front-end, rear-end, eye color, markings, etc...)
When I first see an exhibit, I look at the overall dog; a level topline, the balance and how the pieces fit together. I want to be sure the dog can move to do it's job. Of course, a masculine/feminine headpiece is very important, but the Rottweiler is a working dog first and foremost.
Some judges look as the Rottweiler as a "head breed", although there is so much more to the animal, what specifically do you look for in a correct head-piece?
I want a nice broad skull, with ears high up on the head; good deep stop and well filled under the eye.
If judging two very similar dogs, what is the one characteristic that you'd look at twice to differentiate?
Topline and movement, movement, movement!
Do you consider clear markings a high priority component of judging or more a cosmetic characteristic?
Markings certainly contribute to the overall eye appeal of a dog, but they are secondary. If everything else is there, markings are insignificant.
As you have judged over the years, what have breeders improved upon? What is still lacking?
Fronts are much better than they used to be, but I'm seeing some dippy toplines, which is not a good thing.
How important is the role of the handler in presenting a dog?
It's important that the handler keep proper control of the dog, i.e. proper gait speed, baiting, etc. If the dog is jumping around all over the place, it is almost impossible to judge it. If the dog is under control, I don't look up the lead!
When judging the Best of Breed class, how do you balance judging the dogs vs. the bitches?
I judge to the Standard; whether it's a dog or bitch, if it's the best one, it'll win!
What is your procedure when a tailed Rottweiler joins in the competition in the AKC ring?
The Standard describes a docked breed. However, it does not list an undocked animal as a disqualification. Therefore, I will examine the animal, but will not place it.
Any additional comments?
The parent club should make it clear to judges what to do about a tailed exhibit. As it now stands, there is no clear cut instruction written in the Standard.