John Buddie part 2: Respect, Reverence and Romance
Master Breeder, John Buddie, Tartanside Collies, talks about the three “Rs”: Respect of the individuals who went before, reverence of finding and holding these people in high regard, and the romance of the history and studying the lore of the breed.
“If it’s all statistics and numbers and cut and dried, I think you burn out,” Buddie said.
In the second half of our interview, Buddie talks about maintaining virtues, the importance of selection and having heroes.
“You can lose the existing quality in a line by not maintaining emphasis on virtues, especially when you are trying to achieve improvement in an outcross,” Buddie said. “Don’t put so much emphasis on that new added characteristic that you lose sight of what you’ve worked so hard on to date”
“You don’t always get the results you were aiming for until the generation after what you’ve done. The key is what you do with the outcrossed generation that makes or breaks you.”
Selection, selection, selection
- Take time to really observe and evaluate puppies at various ages.
- Don’t get rid of a puppy too early or too late.
- Good, but not good enough. Is it the best of the best or the best of what you have?
- Make a list of virtues of sire/dam… Identify what you most want to keep a puppy for from the litter.
- Watch puppies in a pen. Too many folks want to just pick up and look at profile.
- I take my time when evaluating puppies. People rush to judgement.
- Photos give you a static picture and can be inaccurate based on how legs are placed.
- More important to see in a natural position.
Back in the day, the optimum time to finish a dog was three years old, Buddie noted.
“I’m afraid too many people are just getting the points, not really appreciating the dog show itself, the evaluation process, who you showed to and what a difference it made.
“Be stimulated by being inspired. Just make sure you’re inspired by the right person who really believes in the sanctity of the breed and the sport,” Buddie said.
Listen to Part 1 of our conversation here.
Pure Dog Talk is sponsored by:
Pat Trotter, Dorothy Macdonald and Kim Meredith Speak at Forum
Today’s episode is part one of a Pure Dog Talk Friday Night Forum at Del Monte Kennel Club in 2017. The panel features Pat Trotter, Dorothy Macdonald and Kim Meredith addressing the topic of the “Judge-Exhibitor Relationship.” Learn about the background and priorities of these legends in the sport.
This Forum was originally available as a livestream video. We’re now bringing everyone all of the information in a three-part series on the podcast.
Topics in this section of the forum include background of the judges, what the judges want to see in the ring, how to ask judges about a dog, the judges’ opinions of the National Owner Handled Series and withholding ribbons.
Learn From the Source
In a current moment that features social media commentary pages on which exhibitors “report” on the judges, often with great vitriol, the value of hearing directly from the judges and what matters to them cannot be overstated.
A highlight of the conversation is Dorothy Macdonald’s description of coming to the US with her family in 1941 and bringing the dogs they could with them, including a Kerry Blue Terrier rescued from Dunkirk.
Macdonald is noted as one of a handful of judges who judge both conformation and field trials.
“I judged field trials as many years as dog shows,” Macdonald said. “I put up the first English setter running in the field that was a show champion.”
“As long as you’re more interested in the dogs than the people, there will never be a split (between exhibitors and judges),” Macdonald said. “I want an exhibitor to be happy in the ring. I’m interested in the dog, not the exhibitor’s ability. Just need them to control the dog. It’s the dog I want to see.”
“We all had a first time in the ring,” Trotter said. “I do want them to have a dog that’s somewhat prepared for the event. I want to have a dog we can go through the process … see the bite, see the dog move.”
“I’m always happy to talk about the dogs I’ve judged,” Meredith said. “Attitude and how the question is approached are everything.”
Commentary: Fun Matches and Rethinking Rankings
Host Laura Reeves sat down with Lori Wilson-Paust to talk about fun matches, the need for “picnics in the park” that build the sport from the ground up and rethinking the “rankings rat race.”
For more thoughts on the topic, following is a reprint of an article Laura wrote for the online magazine Best in Show Daily a few years ago. Sadly just as applicable today…
As the Wheels Turn
by Laura Reeves, PHA
The latest statistics, for the first half of 2015, hit the airwaves today. Everyone from junior handlers to owner handlers to the top dog in the country of any breed is ranked in every possible format.
While I acknowledge the appeal, and certainly am not immune to bragging on the success of the dogs I show, I wonder, along with almost everyone I know, if this system is not a huge part of the problem we are all complaining about in modern AKC Conformation dog shows.
Simultaneously, I received an unexpected gifty from AKC in the form of a Grand Champion certificate for a dog I own. I am terrible about counting GCH points and frankly tell every one of my clients to count themselves or simply wait until the certificate shows up.
At this point in my life, I have a giant file full of certificates I never even look at. So what was special about this one? First, I wasn’t expecting it, even remotely. Second, the dog was shown a *total* of 16 shows (days, not weekends) since finishing his championship in January. He was shown three weekends to earn his championship, all at specialties or supported entries. He also earned a group placement at a large show in January and is still ranked, from that one day, #11 in all-breed competition.
This story isn’t about bragging, but rather about percentages. This dog was shown eight weekends out of 56 (May 2014 – June 2015). As this is a breed and group well outside my norm, in many cases he was entered under judges I had never even heard of, never mind shown to previously. Of the 28 entries, he won points toward his Championship or Grand Championship roughly 50 percent of the time.
Which begs the question — if a dog wins 50 percent of 30 shows, should it be ranked higher than a dog with 20 or 30 wins which was entered in 100 shows (ie only 20 or 30 percent winning average).
This also applies to the concept of stud dog/brood bitch success. For example: Brood Bitch A (an actual case) was successfully bred once. She produced, out of 12 live puppies, a BIS/BISS/DC/AFC/JH/CD (a breed first), a Ch/MH/RN/TD/MX/MXJ, a BISS/CH/group placer and a CH/regional specialty WD/BOW. This bitch, in her breed club, is not eligible for a Register of Merit award as there were not seven titled get, even though the allotted point total is more than sufficient. Brood Bitch B (fictional), who would theoretically qualify for the ROM, is bred four times, makes 32 live puppies, of which six become champions (perhaps by beating four or more of their littermates), three with a Junior Hunter, one with a Companion Dog and one Novice Agility titled dog. So, seven titled get out of 32 live puppies is a 22 percent “success” rate, versus four out of 12 which is 33 percent.
While perhaps a bit belabored, you begin to see the point. Statistics are great fun. Who doesn’t want to be #1? Are they particularly useful in identifying the “best” or most successful dogs being shown or bred? Maybe not so much.
As with anything else, take your month-end stats reports with a grain of salt. Better yet, perhaps AKC or even one of the dog sport mags could invest in the computer programming skills required to create a “percentage-shown” ranking system, which addresses so many of the issues in today’s fancy. All it takes is registration numbers and a good algorithm. The basic information necessary is already utilized in the existing rankings.
In such a system, successful owner-handlers with a really great dog who can only make it to a couple shows a month could well rank higher than dogs campaigned week in and week out who win less consistently. This at least attempts to provide for the long sought level playing field in the rankings race (which, sadly, is never going away). This novel concept could lead to increased satisfaction and overall improved entry numbers and fancier retention that does nothing but benefit the sport as a whole.
Living the dream out here on the left coast, to be sure, but still, something for the “powers that be” to ponder.
As always, this is JMHO.
David Frei on Televised Dog Shows - In His Own Words
David Frei hosts the NBC televised National Dog Show Presented by Purina, happening today at noon across the country. David talks with Pure Dog Talk about HIS favorite Thanksgiving snacks, benched dog shows, judging in Shanghai and the power of national television to reach the “outside world” with information about purebred dogs.
David’s favorite snacks… there are doggie treats in a bowl! Say what? And, he reminds our dog show aficionados “No cheating! Don’t take advantage of your insider knowledge to win bets with your family at the dinner table.”
National Dog Show Month
The National Dog Show MONTH kicked off in Philadelphia with a dog walk for charity that benefited multiple different organizations in the city. It also featured the inaugural National Dog Art Exhibit, “The Perfect Dog” children’s musical and a National Dog Show Gala, along with the famed Kennel Club of Philadelphia dog show, which is taped for broadcast on NBC Thanksgiving Day following the Macy’s parade.
“This event really allows us to reach out to public and promote purebred dogs,” David Frei said. “I always feel the pressure of representing our sport to outside world. I want to show the outside world that these great show dogs are real dogs. That the people showing them are real people, engaged in a great family sport. And that we want them to have fun watching the show, learn a little bit about the different breeds. Maybe appreciate their own dog more. The real best in show dog is the one sitting on the couch by them.”
Two Hours of David Frei "Talk"
With so much public opinion against purebred dogs, the National Dog Show gives Frei a two hour televised platform to talk about what makes them so great. “Purebred dogs are all about predictability,” he noted. “Somebody brings home a ball of fluff, if it’s purebred you know what it will grow up to be. If it’s a Pomeranian, it’s going to stay a four pound ball of fluff. If it’s an Akita puppy, that’s a whole other story. It keeps dogs out of shelters because people know what to expect.”
“If you’re somebody who sits at home every night and watches tv, don’t get a Border Collie,” Frei observed wisely. “On the other hand, if you get out and run every day, don’t get a bulldog. Joe Garagiola once asked me, ‘Don’t you wish they could talk.’ I said NO! First, I’d get in trouble. But, second, I know what they want to say. They want to be with us. They want to go everywhere. Dogs are permanent companions for anything we want to do.
“Who can’t look at a dog and smile. If you aren’t that person, there’s probably not much we can do for you. Either on the tv show or in life.”
Judging Televised Dog Shows in China
Frei recently had the opportunity to interact with what is a growing worldwide community of purebred dog lovers. He was invited to judge in Shanghai at the first live televised dog show ever in China.
“We were on TV for two days,” Frei said. “This was the largest pet expo in the country and Purina was a major sponsor for the dog show.”
Frei commented that both dogs and handlers have gotten better since he judged in Beijing a number of years ago. And, even more noteworthy, “Dogs have become more important in the culture. We had huge crowd at the arena. We had enthusiastic commentators. They didn’t speak English, but they addressed the crowd over the PA system the entire time. Every chance we have to promote our sport, which in turns promotes dogs and dogs in our families, is important.
The Dog World is International
“All seven group winners were owner handlers, some were breeder owner handlers. The best in show winning Sheltie had just been in the US, where he won an Award of Merit at the US National,” Frei said. “The world’s gotten to be a smaller place. It helps us get dogs around the world that can maybe help influence breeding programs and the quality and the health and temperaments of the dogs everywhere.”
As the world gets smaller, the historical aspect of some of our traditions grows in importance. Benched dog shows, like the Kennel Club of Philadelphia, while there are now only three remaining the US, were standard operating procedure until the 1970s.
Need for More Benched Dog Shows
“Benching is important for public outreach,” Frei said. “It’s a whole different experience for spectators. Not only can they see all the breeds, see the dogs, get up close and personal. Touch them, pet them, talk to them… You can’t do that with any other athlete in any other sport. But they can also talk to breeders to find about temperaments and care that are important for the breed. This is the greatest thing we offer in terms of an educational opportunity for people to find the next dog for their family.”
And it’s important for the dog show fancy as well. “In this short attention span age we live in, people show, if they don’t win, they pack up and go home,” Frei commented. “This is not good news for our sport. I can’t tell you how many things I learned from Pat Craige (Trotter) sitting next to her on the bench waiting for the hound group.
“Most of my social friends are from the dog world. It’s a great place to be, a great place to have friends, a great activity that you can do with the dog you love.”
David Frei’s Parting Words?
“Hug your dog!”
Dogs Til 2
Don't Miss the National Dog Show on NBC Thanksgiving Day following the Macy's Day parade!