Whether you are reading this issue on a plane or on the ground, en route to a dog show, or perhaps kicking back in your hammock on a rare non-show weekend, we’ve gathered together articles to entertain and engage you.
As this is the month in which we celebrate the beautiful and versatile Sporting Group, we invited Doug McFarlane to get “Back to Basics” with an authoritative look at Cockers and English Cockers (page 98). Doug explains how the two Cocker Spaniels evolved historically, until registering bodies on both sides of the pond formalized those differences with separate breed designations. While the two should share a merry temperament and birdy instinct, Doug explains the nuances of each breed in word and picture.
“Grooming and Presentation Trends Over the Decades,” our popular series, continues in this issue with Sporting Group specialist Jeffrey Pepper addressing the changes he has witnessed over 40 years’ involvement in the sport (page 112). Jeff’s comments are illuminated by photos of some of our most unforgettable Sporting Group winners, presented in pairs by breed. If a picture is worth 1,000 words, then Jeff’s feature is truly invaluable.
Rick Beauchamp started in dogs with Cockers, and in his column this month (page 10) he answers the question of when he began judging by thinking back to that first litter of Parti-Color Cocker babies that he held, examined and compared to their littermates many times daily. Good breeders judge dogs on an ongoing basis, although not all will choose to eventually assess dogs in the ring.
Have exhibitors become more confrontational lately, or is it simply that social media give them a broader audience and more exposure than the allotted 15 minutes they would have enjoyed before the Facebook-and-Twitter revolution? That’s the topic columnist Jason Hoke explores this month in “From My Perspective” (page 18). Constructive discourse can get personal, subjective and ugly very quickly. As judges’ buttons get pushed, the situation escalates … and these days, there isn’t always an AKC rep on the showgrounds to turn down the heat. Are exhibitors too busy texting to remember sportsmanship?
Few breeders today have scaled the heights and achieved the notoriety that Michelle Santana of Foxfire Dobermans has. Michelle earned another milestone in February when she won the Winkie¨ award for 2012 Breeder of the Year. Read her insightful interview on page 84, with more questions and answers posted online.
Far too many esteemed judges have left us in recent months. This is a sad occurrence for their friends, family and the sport; and an important wake-up call to the powers that be governing dog shows in this country. We have many talented judges in our midst, each with a Group or two under their belts as they approach middle age. Realistically, they will not live long enough to become all-breed judges, given the current process. We desperately need change. For now, we acknowledge the passing of some judging greats, with poignant tributes written by their close friends, beginning on page 68.
Correction: The Top Sire Profile (Treeing Walker Coonhound) on page 135 of the June 2013 issue should have been labeled Alexander’s Color Me Bad Rio. The photo is of Alexander’s Color Me Bad Rio, an American English Coonhound, who is also a top sire of 2012. Please visit DogsInReview.com/2012TopProducers to see the profiles of Amanda Alexander’s top sires and dams of 2012: American English Coonhound sire Alexander’s Color Me Bad Rio, American English Coonhound dam Alexanders Color Me Bad Cinn, Treeing Walker Coonhound sire Gold Dust Excalibur and Treeing Walker Coonhound dam GCh. Alexanders Gold Dust X-Otic.
From the July 2013 issue of Dogs in Review magazine. Purchase the July 2013 digital back issue or subscribe to receive 12 months of Dogs in Review magazine.