Ruth H. Zimmerman
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...)
Balance is # 1 when judging the rotties.......I see too many long backed dogs, that appear short legged........this is getting to be a problem in many working breeds.......they lack proper proportions,that make them appear fine boned, and lacking substance......I also am seeing dogs with poor feet, lacking thick, harsh pads, and weak pasterns.......I also see poor eyes, that are round, and or light colored....also see what I call bubble gum
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 find that dogs with correctly proportioned heads, with broad back skulls, free of deep wrinkling. generally will also have correctly proportioned bodies, with good bone, and feet. Dogs with narrow heads, lacking cheek and broad back skulls often lack the substance and bone we like to see
If judging two very similar dogs, what is the one characteristic that you'd look at twice to differentiate?
If both dogs in question were balanced, and met the standard in every category, then it would be narrowed down to movement, or markings.
Do you consider clear markings a high priority component of judging or more a cosmetic characteristic?
Markings are important to me! Your standard is pretty clear too......I have seen some great dogs, correct in every way, except they have markings that are smutty, not rust , mahogany, or clearly defined. I of course will use them if there isn't another dog better than them..........to me thou......color is icing on the cake!
As you have judged over the years, what have breeders improved upon? What is still lacking?
I see different types in different parts of the country........right now there are a couple of truly great rotties being shown in the eastern part of the country! It would appear breeders are breeding better dogs than yesteryear........Many dogs are correct in proportions, toplines are better.........seeing fewer bubble mouth mouths....temperaments definitely are improving!..............I am still seeing dogs with heads that are too narrow in back skull and or muzzle, eyes that are rounded and or too light in color. I see bad feet on occasion, and poor movement can also be a problem.
How important is the role of the handler in presenting a dog?
Does the handler play a role? Yes...absolutely! That doesn't mean an owner can't handle his dog to perfection! Professional handler over owner makes no difference at all to me! Many of my own dogs were finished with my husband handling them.........HOWEVER............I have seen so many owners take a perfectly wonderful dog in the ring and totally destroy it! One needs to learn how to show their dog so it looks it's very best.........the dog should be trained at home or handling class, NOT in the ring! Train your dogs to look and move the way they should! I have seen many wonderful owner handlers take their dogs to the very top, and it can and should be done! I love putting up the owner handler.............make your dog look good thou! Don't show me all the faults! I can usually find them thou!........
When judging the Best of Breed class, how do you balance judging the dogs vs. the bitches?
I always put the dogs up front over the bitches, that may be in season.....that however does NOT mean I won't give the breed to a bitch! I have seen many wonderful bitches, and have given them the breed. Right now in our area, the boys rule!
What is your procedure when a tailed Rottweiler joins in the competition in the AKC ring?
This is a big question! I will not award points to a dog that has not been cropped.! Your standard clearly says TAIL DOCKED SHORT.......However...........I would not excuse an undocked tail......I may even award it a blue ribbon, if I knew it was a large entry, and I would not be forced to award points. There are many nice dogs imports of course, that will be good dogs for breeding purposes. I think their progeny should be docked, and shown!Some owners try to finish their imported undocked dogs, and it is ok for the public to see their dogs, but they should not be awarded points, UNTIL and IF your standard changes to allow uncropped dogs.
Any additional comments?
You should know thou, I take judging very seriously, and always try to do a good job...........I truly love your breed, and love to judge them!