Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Is this becoming our aesthetic ideal?

We´ve all been witness to ever-younger Scotties winning best of breed, groups and even winning places in BIS-finals of late. 

What´s happening? Is all the older, more mature, competition crap? Are Scotties in general maturing more quickly than before? Or has the aesthetic ideal amongst our judging corps shifted - away from the breed standard - to a new, fresh approach?

I´ll grant you that bitches often mature sooner than boys, but I think this new trend of putting up (barely more than) pre-teens everywhere is scary. I don´t like it at all and I doubt if it can be for the breed´s best.

What do you think?


  1. FROM DAN ERICSSON (RAGLAN) RECEIVED TODAY, 03/07/2013. I say again, what do you think?

    Over the years, many young Scotties have won major awards all over the World proving that really outstanding Scotties are capable of winning from a very young age up until veteran. One example is the famous show- and stud dog Ch Bardene Bingo who made his debut under Max Singleton (Walsing Scotties and for decades President of The Scottish Terrier Club in the UK and a leading judge of the breed) from the puppy class. Bingo was entered in EVERY single dog class and finished the day as BEST IN SHOW at the very prestigious National Terrier show in the UK. As we all know, his career rocketed and he finished up by winning BIS at Westminster once having crossed the pond. There are many other examples of young dogs that have scored major wins from an early age, e g Ch Stuane Florette and Chs Mayson Canasta nd Monopoly in the UK, Ch Raglan Royal Commander and Ch Raglan Rory here in Sweden, Ch Raglan Roselin Williams, then in Italy, who won BOB at the World Show in Dortmund from the junior class beating well over 100 opponents. All these dogs have retained their quality, so there has never been a shift of "aestetic ideal", just a matter for judges to do what is their job, namely to put up the best dog regardless of everything else and, in this case, age. Nothing to be scared of at all and exactly what judging dogs is all about: finding the best dogs!

  2. IF you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
    And treat those two impostors just the same

    These are a few sentences in Kipling's poem IF.

    There are a lot of IFS that arise in my mind when reading your comment, Dan.

    Sometimes it is not WHAT but WHO is in the ring on the day that becomes triumphant. Everyone knows it is not always the best dog that goes forward.

    You are adovcating a theory in which judges are infallible, never persuaded my others (fellow judge or breeder friends group pressure) to put forward the dog - (too) young or old - that 'everyone else' is. Are you honestly telling me that you agree with all your fellow judges decisions?

    IF only judges always were honest, and didn't bend the breed standard in all sorts of directions, things would be perfect.

    Here in Norway we have judges judging groups who themselves are in the run for top of group, and even top dog all-breeds. This doesn't exactly build confidence in the system. Nice, isn't it?

    IF only...

  3. One of the UK greats, either Dorothy Casperz or Betty Penn Bull (I cannot remember which & am too lazy to look it up) wrote that a judge should be cautious in awarding a puppy, lest the judge be embarrassed as the dog matured.

    In the USA I would advocate for Junior Championships...and not being able to finish a championship prior to maturation. I think this is a good thing...for breeding & also to keep a really worthy dog in the show ring -- which might otherwise be kept at home. In the USA it costs approximately $250,000 to campaign a Special - so many quality breeders finish their champions, and that is the end of their show career. We have a big country & it costs a lot for professional handling here.

    Of course there are precocious puppies who should be awarded, and will be at the top of their game all their lives. But more often there are puppies who develop early, and fade.

    I think the European way of judging is superior to the USA.

    Judy Shaffer
    Bozeman, MT

  4. Thanks for your comment, Judy!

    Reading your description of the situation in the U.S., I think we are quite fortunate to live and show dogs in Europe.

    In some European countries a junior dog can compete for a junior championship. I don´t know enough about the situation is these countries to have a very opinionated opinion about it, but one would assume that this generates interest in showing and presenting young dogs, which only can be a positive thing.

    All the best - Peter