Mrs Robert D Smith
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...)
I first want to look at the dog in profile, is he in balance and then moving. The first thing you see when going up to a dog is his or her head I want to see that it has type and looks like a male , or a bitch. The front assemble is the hardest part of a dog to fix, if the dog has good shoulders and stride you are half way home.
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?
All breeds are head breeds as it is the part that defines a breed when you see the dog. I want a strong head that shows character masculine in the dog and feminine in the bitch.
If judging two very similar dogs, what is the one characteristic that you'd look at twice to differentiate?
The one who shows the best type.
Do you consider clear markings a high priority component of judging or more a cosmetic characteristic?
Yes, high because if you are not careful you can lose the markings and have a total black dog.
As you have judged over the years, what have breeders improved upon? What is still lacking?
I think they have improved on size. I would like to see the dogs in better condition.
How important is the role of the handler in presenting a dog?
The handler can make a good dog look bad and on the other hand a gifted handler can make a bad dog look good. The judge has to work harder when the dog is not presented well.
When judging the Best of Breed class, how do you balance judging the dogs vs. the bitches?
As a breeder I try and be very careful to give the bitch an equal shot. I showed a number of bitches when we were breeding and had many judges not even look at them .
What is your procedure when a tailed Rottweiler joins in the competition in the AKC ring?
I understand where the Rottweiler club is coming from in their standard and as a hound and terrier breeder I am very concern with the animal rights program. On the other hand I do feel in this age of the ability to show dogs here and then return to Europe etc. one must look at the overall dog. I would be more concerned with proper tail set.
Any additional comments?
I must say overall I enjoy judging Rottweilers, I must add I prefer that they be trained before coming into the ring.