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One Man’s Opinion

Judges Ric Chashoudian and Maxine Beam

From the archives of The Canine Chronicle, September, 2009

By Ric Chashoudian

I went to a small show in Kenner, Louisiana. Ken-ner is a small town next to New Orleans in South Louisiana. This show had about 636 entrees. These smaller shows are a pleasure because everything is so relaxed. You can talk to people and there is no rush to run to another place. There was a symposium on Terriers called Terrier Talk with Ric Chashoudian. I was requested to do this by Mrs. Bisso, the president of the New Orleans Kennel Club. There were people with their exhibits that I requested to use as part of my symposium. We had a discussion about long-legged Terriers, short-legged Terriers, breeds that are hand-stripped and breeds that are trimmed with scissors and thinning shears.

There was an outstanding Airedale bitch at this show. She was the only one entered but she was outstanding. The Airedale is the king of Terriers and she was a queen. The Airedale is one of the stripped breeds. There was an outstanding Bedlington entered in the show and the owner/breeder/handler of this Bed-lington let us use her to show the people. This breed looks like a little lamb but they are far from it. The Bedlington is a lithe, quick-on-their-feet hunter. This particular Bedlington has won groups (and good ones) and was bred by the owner. It is shown and trimmed by the owner, too. I told the people that this lady personifies what can be done by people who are not professionals. There was a beautiful Kerry Blue Terrier that had perfect coat and color, soft and wavy and the color a steel blue. This one could go anywhere and would have to be accounted for. The Kerry Blue is another scissored breed.

There was a handsome Staffordshire Bull Terrier. This breed gets a bad rap as they are one of the nicest and most loyal of breeds. If this breed is taught to fight they will. They are used for fighting because they are impervious to pain. They are what we call a Bull breed as there is the Bulldog in their background. This particular specimen is shown by a man who is very loyal to the breed and always comes up with a good one. This is a short coated breed that is shown fairly natural. There was a very good Norwich Terrier there which is a stripped breed. This is a smaller, low-legged Terrier. They are playful and an ideal kids dog. They are a perfect vermin dog and are seen around horse barns.

There were no Scottish Terriers entered in the show which is unusual because they are such a popular breed. President Roosevelt, back in the 30s and 40s, had a Scottish Terrier called Falla who helped make this breed so famous. President Bush has one that goes with him everywhere. People who have owned a Scottish Terrier usually would have no other breed. The Scotty is a low-legged, stripped breed and a big winner at many dog shows. One of the most famous Scottish Terriers was a dog called Bardene Bingo who I have written about before. This dog was shown by a master of the breed by the name of Bob Bartos who now lives in the state of Washington. I personally have never seen a man the equal of Bob Bartos in this breed. Bob was Best In Show at the Westminster in 1967 under one of the most famous dog men, Percy Roberts.

There was an outstanding West Highland White Terrier at this show. I have never seen a Westie shown in better form and trim than this dog. He was shown by a man who was one of my pupils. He is doing very well for himself in professional handling.
There was a very good Lakeland Terrier that came to the symposium at my invitation. This Lakeland won the Terrier group both days at these back to back shows.

There was a Wire Fox Terrier bitch shown by a very young girl from Dallas and bred by Mrs. Lorene Kegel of Florida. It is shown out of Dallas, Texas. This Wire bitch was as good as anything in the group and shown expertly by this young girl. This girl is paying her dues and is learning how to trim this stripped breed. If she sticks with it and doesn’t quit like so many young people do she can be really good. She is a sophmoore in high school and has a very good attitude; easy to teach and very keen.

The Wire Fox Terrier has to be presented in the highest order of all Terriers. This is a breed that, if the presentation is mastered, enables a person to have a leg up trimming any breed of dog. There is less than one percent of young people coming up that are willing to put in the work it takes to master this breed. I don’t remember seeing a Parson Russell, Irish Terrier, Welsh Terrier, Manchester Terrier, Smooth Fox Terrier, or many other Terrier breeds.

When the Terrier group came in I was amazed to see what a top quality group it was for a show of this size.
There was a new judge judging Terriers there. Her name was Mrs. Virginia Latham Smith and she was good. She was fast, sure of herself, and placed the dogs properly as far as I was concerned.

I know the people who have breeds in other groups don’t want to read me rambling on about Terriers but that is the group I watched mainly because of the new judge. There were four or five dogs who could have won this group which is unusual in a show of this size.

I know you read in my columns a lot about the Westminster dog show. In my days of showing dogs professionally in the late 40s, 50s, 60s and 70s this was the dog show to win. Ever since the first time I ever went to Westminster I dreamed of winning Best In Show at that show. I exhibited at the Garden many, many times, probably about thirty times before everything came right. I had the dog, along with three judges who liked this dog and it all came together in 1976. I showed many top dogs there and won some groups but never a Best In Show. The Westminster show is a tough one to win because of the crowd noise and the three judges you have to get through. When I finally won this show there was a tremendous letdown. Like “is that all there is?” It took me a long time to get the desire back. I did win a group there with a Smooth Fox Terrier after that but the noise got to him and I couldn’t get him to use his ears. I had Lang Skarda judging Best In Show and he was crazy about this Smooth Fox Terrier that I had but he could not put him up. The dog would not use his ears because of the noise of people clapping. When I look back on my career, winning it more than once would have cheapened that first win at the Garden.

Maxine Beam was judging at this show and it was great talking to her about old times when we were both handlers. Maxine is one of the really good dog judges that we have. She does not push herself and what you see is what you get. I love to watch her work because she is so methodical and knows what she is doing. People who have had that many good dogs through their hands and were successful are people that I tremendously respect in this sport. Maxine is one of the very few.

From the archives of The Canine Chronicle, September, 2009

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  • August 2020