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“Author Archive”
Stories written by ralbee

Breed Priorities – German Shepherd Dogs

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German Shepherd Dogs are in a class by themselves. In 2014, they had over 150 independent specialty shows, not including designated specialties or supported entries or herding group shows. Some dogs can and do show only at specialty shows. And since there are over 200 breeder-judges, specialty judges at specialties usually outdraw the entry at all-breed shows.

September 6th, 2020 | Posted in Current Articles,Editorial,Featured | Read More »

Old Roads

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In 1920, the late, great poet Robert Frost published a book of poetry titled Mountain Interval. Contained within this slim volume was his famous poem, “The Road Not Taken,” which virtually every high school English student in the 1960s and ‘70s and probably to this day had to read, analyze and sometimes memorize.

September 4th, 2020 | Posted in Current Articles,Editorial,Featured | Read More »

Breed Priorities – Shiba Inu

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The Shiba Inu is the smallest of the native Japanese breeds. It shares many features with the Akita, also from Japan: triangular eyes, erect triangular ears that tilt forward following the arch of the neck, the high-set tail carried over the back, and clear and rich color. (Note: The Shiba is not and should not look like a little Akita.) The Shiba has distinct breed type characteristics.

September 1st, 2020 | Posted in Current Articles,Editorial,Featured | Read More »

Dogs of North America

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America is the land of opportunity and it’s never been limited to humans. A surprising number of obsolete Old World breeds regained their momentum on these shores. Primarily, this occurred within the context of the East Coast show scene that dominated America’s purebred paradigm for over a century.

August 24th, 2020 | Posted in Current Articles,Editorial,Featured | Read More »

Judges Hospitality – An Essential Element for Creating a Successful Show

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What can I tell you? It was a dog club meeting. Blah, blah, blah… As the old saying goes, everyone has an opinion and most of them… well never mind. So we were discussing the Welcome Reception for the judges ad nauseam; the room, the food, the wine, the signage, the decorations, the size of the tables. Finally, I looked at a couple of the biggest complainers and said what I believe (I always tell the truth because that is the way my Mother raised me). “I don’t mean to be rude, but it is not about you. It’s not about the show chair, the photographer, the super or any of the committee members. It’s about the judges. It is a Welcome Event for them.” The reply left me speechless.

August 13th, 2020 | Posted in Current Articles,Editorial,Featured | Read More »

The $50,000 Hunting Dog

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A few weeks ago, a guy I know called, more or less out of the blue, to ask if I might be free for lunch that week. I said, “It’s possible.” and added, since the guy is a CPA, “What do you have in mind?” He said he wanted to talk with me about getting a hunting dog because he knew I’d bred, trained and hunted with both retrievers and pointing breeds for more years than I care to admit. He then added the magic words, “I’m buying.” That sealed the deal for two reasons: First, it would be a violation of the journalists’ credo to turn down a free lunch. Secondly, I’ve known this particular CPA for a number of years and I can count the number of times I’ve seen him pick up a check for any meal on the fingers of one hand. To describe him as “frugal” would require a complete redefinition of the word. So, it was with both some amusement and a considerable amount of bemusement that I headed into the lunch meeting, knowing as I did that over the years, he had seemed perfectly content to hunt over other people’s dogs thus sparing himself the expense of actually keeping one.

August 9th, 2020 | Posted in Current Articles,Editorial,Featured | Read More »

Old European Hound Breeds

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Following a trail certainly applies to breeds in FCI Group 6 – Scenthounds, Leash (scent) Hounds and Related Breeds – that possess a great passion for game and rely on their keen noses and sense of detection.

In Europe, different names are used for scent hounds, such as chien courant (France), Bracke (Germany, Austria), Laufhund (Switzerland) and brak (Netherlands).

Various old European hound breeds share the same history as old French hounds or other breeds that have vanished: they became extinct or merged into one of today’s breeds.

August 9th, 2020 | Posted in Current Articles,Editorial,Featured | Read More »

Looking Back With Lee – Two Distinctive Ladies from Long Island

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As I was getting in the zone this morning, getting my material together for the next CC column, I received an email from my old friend Terry Hundt. She reported the sad news of the passing of our mutual friend Natalie Stebbins. Now, many of you present day folks may ask, just who was Natalie Stebbins? Well, let me tell you who she was! In the “glory days” of dog shows in the northeast, Natalie was one of the strong, clever and quietly powerful forces behind some of the top winners of the time.

August 2nd, 2020 | Posted in Current Articles,Editorial,Featured | Read More »

An Eye for a Dog

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“She sure has an eye for a dog” is a compliment and an expression of respect. This honor and accolade is reserved for those few people who seem to be able to identify unerringly the highest quality dogs coming closest to the standard in many and even most breeds. Is this eye for a dog a natural gift, is it developed over time, and can anyone acquire it with enough time and effort?

June 21st, 2020 | Posted in Current Articles,Editorial,Featured | Read More »

It’s Not What’s Wrong With Dog Showing… It’s Who’s Wrong!

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Dog showing is an interesting sport, or game, or as many call it, a fancy. It brings together a melting pot of people who are rather obsessed with dogs and in particular their breed and their dogs. It showcases fabulous dogs and you get to meet friends who share your crazy passion. It sure is something which can be tons of furry fun!

June 20th, 2020 | Posted in Current Articles,Editorial,Featured | Read More »

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