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The Judges View – David J. Kirkland

336 – Annual, 2012-13

by Kimberly Silva Garrett

What made you decide to become a judge?

I started to judge matches and sweepstakes back in the early ‘80s. I found I enjoyed learning about new breeds and searching through an entry for the one that really pleased me.


Who, if anyone, has influenced your style of judging? 

I have tried to become the kind of judge I wanted to show to. One that possesses breed knowledge, is decisive, is impartial and is kind to both the dogs and their handlers. This is an aspiration that one must continually work towards achieving.


Describe your favorite dog show memory or moment. 

I think my fondest memory was a defining one as it got me hooked for life. I finished my very first home-bred Miniature Schnauzer with two specialty BOB wins, two Group placements and a Group First. What a way to start!

What breed do you feel has the most depth of quality? 

This is a really tough question. I do believe that quality can sometimes be regional in that we have pockets of some really great breeders in specific areas of the country. I also believe that quality in a breed can be cyclical in that a breed may hit a real slump for a period of time. Pugs do jump into my mind though. I typically find ones in the classes that please me and there are currently several really nice champions out.

If you had to pick just one show to judge, which show would it be? 

I really enjoy every show I judge from the prestigious events like Westminster and AKC/Eukanuba to the small 400 dog shows. I learn something new at each and every one of them. This is what keeps it exciting and makes me want to keep doing it. Since the question forces me to make one choice, I would have to say any National Specialty as the quality is always so much higher and it is a real joy to sort through this kind of entry.

In your opinion, what is the best dog you have judged to date and why? 

My first answer is “Mick”, the Kerry Blue Terrier. I remember judging him in the Group at Devon (he won it) and it was electrifying to go over him. Since I know this choice is shared by many, I am also going to name two Schnauzer greats; the first is the Standard Schnauzer, Ch. Charisma Jailhouse Rock, and the second is the Miniature Schnauzer, Ch. Regency Twist of Fate. Both of these dogs were the embodiment of Schnauzer breed type.

What do you enjoy most about judging? 

It’s all good– except for the travel part of it! But this is a small price to pay for the joy of spending time with some really great dogs and great friends. I feel I’ve led a privileged life in the dog fancy and look forward to a lot more of it!


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Posted by on Jan 10 2013. Filed under Current Articles, In The Spotlight. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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