Posts by Mary Albee

159 – Dana Cline: 2018 Judge of the Year|Pure Dog Talk

DANA CLINE – 2018 JUDGE OF THE YEAR

AKC judge and Great Dane breeder, Dana Cline, was voted by the purebred dog fancy as Judge of the Year in the Dog News/Purina awards announced Feb. 10, 2018.

CLINE’S PASSION AS A CHILD

Cline fell in love with his breed as a child “when the Great Dane was taller than I was.”

As a young boy, gardening and fishing were his past times and he wasn’t sure dogs were something he wanted in his life. Then his step dad took him to see a litter of Great Danes.

“These two incredible creatures came trotting out of this back yard,” Cline said. “My life changed in that moment.

“We brought home a puppy. It wasn’t necessarily a show dog but I pretended like he was. I did 4-H with him. We practiced and I got better dogs. I was probably 11 or 12 years old. I’ve loved them ever since.

“4-H was so important as a young boy. (It) gave me the confidence to think I could go out and do something with this dog.”

Cline credits Ray Cataldi of Rojon Great Danes with having the most influence on him as a boy. Edd Bivin, Michelle Billings and Frank Sabella form the powerful trifecta that encouraged, mentored and supported Cline’s dreams of “having fabulous Great Danes.”

His passion for the beauty of his breed and the purebred dog world drove him early on to success handling Great Danes and eventually all-breeds for about 20 years.

Ch. Rojon's Mystify Me

Ch. Rojon’s Mystify Me

 

TYPE IS ESSENTIAL

Cline feels that one of the most important lessons from his mentors is that “type is essential.”

“(In Great Danes) a dog has to be beautiful. It has to stimulate your senses. Otherwise I don’t find value in them,” Cline opined. “I feel that the artistic expression and technical merit is where you begin to judge. A Great Dane, without a proper head, will never achieve greatness.

Movement is only a tie breaker. I absolutely want them to be beautiful in motion, but it doesn’t define them. The Great Dane must fill your senses and must stimulate you in its beauty. Its purpose is absolutely in its beauty. That’s just what I’m committed to.”

He also acknowledges that this same standard applies differently in different breeds.

“(For example) the Brittany is different. The standard describes a medium sized dog and fancy is not encouraged. Each breed needs to be judged on its standard,” Cline said.

JUDGING “HALLMARKS OF THE BREED”

Judging dogs, for Cline, extends this understanding of looking for the “hallmarks of the breed.”

Ch. Rojon's Rumor Has It

Ch. Rojon’s Rumor Has It

“A judge has to open themselves to accept the limitations and expectations of the breed specific things,” Cline said. “(I use examples of) the Doberman and Great Dane. (Some) judges have expectations of a Great Dane that aren’t realistic. They don’t always stop square and perfect. A Doberman is watchful and aware of its surroundings. You should expect that from them. (You have to be) willing to accept that performances are not all the same based upon the nature of the breed. I can’t expect a Tibetan Mastiff to stand there and use his ears for a piece of liver. It’s not what the breed does. You cannot add showmanship as bonus (to a dog in the ring) unless they have the other elements to go with it.

“I tolerate misbehavior. They’re dogs. If the dog gives an adequate performance for you to judge it, for me, it still can be the winner. One of the lesson Mrs. Billings always taught me was to ‘make the best dog win, within reason.’”

DANA CLINE ON OWNER HANDLERS

On the question of level playing fields and the OH vs PH debate, Cline is very emphatic.

“There’s a clear path for (owner handlers) to be successful,” Cline said. “You have to want it enough. Hang in there. Keep the bar high. I came up through the ranks, not a real wealthy young man who had to spend every dime he had to be successful. I’m one of those stories that those folks should look at and say he did it. It can be done. I’m living proof.

“You don’t achieve high levels of success in anything without determined effort. I truly believe that it’s possible for anybody. It may not happen as often for one as another. But that does not exclude a person that works really hard and does it right. Especially in our sport. Everything is possible.

“There aren’t many sports that allow a 12 year old child to compete directly with a 35 year old professional in the sport. That alone is an opportunity to hobnob with those people all day long. There’s not a better opportunity if you are willing to learn. There are always people to learn from. You have to be willing to take advantage of it. That doesn’t mean go home after you lose your class of two dogs. Politics plays a very small part.

Ch. Rojon's Oh Boy v MeccaDane

Ch. Rojon’s Oh Boy v MeccaDane

“I think the owner handler should reach for the top. Never think they can’t get there. Every person that walks in the door at 8 a.m. should be able to dream that they could be a Best In Show winner today. If anything interferes with that dream, there is something wrong with the dog show. My dream was always to go Best In Show, but I’m ok if I win my class.”

“The sport has certainly changed,” Cline noted. “There are those of us that lived in a time when the sport was greatness. Big kennels, big breeders, the opportunities were just endless. We have to try and share that with people. It’s not the same as living it, but something to bring forward.”

“It’s how important it is to you and much you’re willing to give, how much you’re willing to put into it. I can’t think of anything else that would drive anyone to do this crazy sport. Just a whole lot of passion.”

“That (passion) is what drove me from the very minute I stepped out of the car and saw those dogs (as a kid).”

http://www.rojongreatdanes.com/danelinks.com/archive/featureinterview/cline/cline.htm

ALLISON FOLEY TIP OF THE WEEK: FEET – HOT AND COLD CARE

Allison Foley of Leading Edge Academy is back with tips on what to watch for, and how to care properly for your dog’s feet in hot and cold conditions.

PUREDOGTALK25

Allison Foley’s Leading Edge Dog Academy offers 25% off courses for Pure Dog Talk listeners.  Just use the code PureDogTalk25.Leadingedge Dog Show Academy

158 – Sioux Forsyth on Judging Dogs and Anne Rogers Clark|Pure Dog Talk

SIOUX FORSYTH, PART 2 – JUDGING AND ANNE ROGERS CLARK

Sioux Forsyth, daughter of dog show royalty, handled dogs professionally herself and is now judging, following in the footsteps of her parents, Robert and Jane Forsyth. This is part two of our conversation with her.

 

“I started with six breeds,” Sioux said. “It’s not cheap to become a judge. My mother loved judging, she lived for it. Father said ‘you gotta be kidding me.’

“I wanted a little experience in different groups. To see if I like it. Turns out, I love judging. The people in my ring, they come in the ring, and we laugh at ourselves and each other. A lot of people take this or themselves entirely too seriously. It’s just a dog show. There’ll be another one tomorrow. If it’s not enjoyable and you’re not having fun, what’s the point? Take the dog seriously. Work your hardest, present the dogs at their best. But it’s not the end of the day if you lose. You’ll get somebody else’s opinion.”

While it took Sioux two and a half years to get a group, her memory is that her parents both acquired their all-breed status within about 10 years of their retirement. But it wasn’t without a small battle.

“We had a tiff with the AKC when (my parents) retired,” Sioux laughed. “(They) refused to move away from the kennel. The only dogs boarded there were pets, but AKC refused to give them a license for a year. Eventually, they each got a group. Mom got sporting, dad got working. Each got separate groups until they couldn’t anymore, then they started doubling up.”

ADVICE FROM SIOUX FORSYTH

Sioux’s best advice for folks who are just starting out in purebred dogs is to “talk to as many people in the breed you’re interested in as possible.”

“Do your homework,” Sioux noted. “Find out who’s been successful. Follow them. Talk to them, ask them questions. If you don’t understand something, ask it again. A lot of people that are in this for a year are suddenly experts. It really doesn’t work that way. To me, I always say, find somebody you admire that you want to resemble, to present yourself like, and watch them.

“I love to help new people. To mentor people. I was judging last year at a Boxer specialty and I asked a young lady to come talk to me because I wanted to know who was helping her, who had been guiding her. The young lady said no one. Two years this young lady had been showing her dog and no one tried to help her. I got ahold of a couple people and told them ‘I’m assigning you this young lady. She’s very interested and nobody is helping her.’ It is amazing she was still plugging away.”

THE NEXT JANE AND ANNIE?

Reflecting on the rising interest in performance events, Sioux noted that her mother, Jane, got started in dogs when she was 16 years old and took her Airedale to an obedience class. It was there Jane met her lifetime best friend, Anne Rogers Clark.

And who are the next Janey and Annie? Sioux observed that purebred dogs have some very talented women rising through the ranks.

“Katie Shepherd Bernardin, Angie Lloyd, Laura King, Laurie Jordan…. I don’t think it’s all about winning,” Sioux said. “It has a lot to do with the person you are. The way you help and teach and share your knowledge. If we don’t share our knowledge it’s going to be lost. I don’t understand not wanting to share knowledge. It helps everybody. It helps you to give it away. It helps others that look up to you.”

“One thing my father always taught me,” Sioux reminisced, “is that you’re no better than anyone else, you’re just you. You may be different, but you’re not any better.”

BOB FORSYTH INTERVIEW ARCHIVE – MENTIONED BY SIOUX FORSYTH

Read Full Transcript

Laura: Pure dog talk is the voice of purebred dogs. We talked to the legends of the sport and give you the tips and tools to create an awesome life with your purebred dog. As strong supporters of the American Kennel Club, we talk about everything from confirmation to preservation, breeding from competitive obedience to field work, from agility to therapy, dogs, and all the fun in between. Your passion is our purpose. Tremendous thanks to our sponsor, Royal Canin. Every day more top breeders are choosing Royal Canin. Join the winning team.
Laura: Okay, crew, before we get into today's show, I am super excited to tell you about something new here at Pure Dog Talk. We know breeders are the lifeblood of our sport. We celebrate and honor our master breeders, so we're bringing you Breeders Voice. Breeders Voice sits down with top breeders, sharing their secrets, how they got where they are, the joys, and maybe even the heartbreaks. If you haven't had a chance, click the don't miss an episode button so you'll get these in depth articles delivered free along with your podcast. Sign up on our facebook page, or at puredogtalk.com.
Dog: Bark, Bark!
Laura: Welcome to pure dog talk. I'm your host, Laura Reeves. I am so honored to be joined again by Sioux Forsyth in part two of this conversation that we had. Sioux is talking with us today about the knowledge that she acquired as the child of one of the profoundly legendary couples of purebred dogs, Jane and Robert Forsyth. From showing dogs in proper condition, to the transition from handling to judging, and spoiler alert, she gives us her thoughts on some of our future legends.
Dog: Bark, Bark!
Sioux: So you were raised by the best in the sport and you know what top condition looks like. You understand the importance of this and I would love to have you pass on that wisdom about what proper condition is and isn't. I can remember having an Akita client many years ago whose dog had gotten a hotspot smack in the middle of the top of his head between his ears. They were quite insistent that I should show this dog to Michelle BIllings of all people. And I said "nahhh...no".
New Speaker: Yeah, probably not a great idea. First of all, and I don't understand this form of thinking that... oh, we can't let our Great Danes because they'll hurt themselves. Well, what were they bred to do? They were bred to run after and take down wild boar. Laying on the couch is not the best thing for any animal or human in my opinion. So our dogs, were always out in the paddock all day long. There were certain dogs that we'd road work - those that didn't really condition themselves. And we would always mix two Smooth Fox Terriers with each one of our Boxer bitches, because Boxer bitches are bone lazy and Smooth Fox Terriers are not at all.
Laura: No, not lazy.
Sioux: They would be just annoying enough to keep a boxer bitch real. So if they didn't self exercise, yes, we roadworked them, which meant using a bicycle and having them run next to a bicycle. Sometimes we used a car where somebody drove the car and then there was somebody sitting on the tailgate of the old station wagon as we went down the road, and later on in years we had the dog with dog type of thing. That was first and foremost.. that dogs had muscle and were kept in good weight. In my opinion, there was one breed in particular... we never showed a Boxer that had his ribs showing and now you see it every time you walk in the ring.
Laura: So...what are you judging now? What did you come in? What are you working toward on your own personal judging career?
Sioux: Well, I started with six breeds because, you know, it's not cheap to become a judge. And I wasn't sure... I could go one way or the other. My mother loved judging and lived for it. My father said, you gotta be kidding me!
Laura: He was the one with a sense of humor when I saw them. He was always laughing and made me laugh. Every time I saw him,
Sioux: My father had the best sense of humor to the very end, very dry. He was hilarious. And if you didn't know him, I think that's when people would be a little afraid of him, because he would come out with some remark and then just have this little tiny grin in the corner of his mouth and you would know he was kidding. Because if the grin wasn't there...you better run!
Sioux: So I started with six breeds, I started with pointers, which are the breed. I bred with my dad for 40 some odd years, and which I showed a ton of, especially for Ben and Barbara Zhan (Barben). Then I did Boxers, Great Danes and Newfoundlands -- all of which I showed a lot of. I really enjoyed those breeds. And then I also went for Cavalier King Charles and Junior Showmanship. So I could get some experience in different groups and see if I liked to judge and I do, I LOVE judging. With the people that come in my ring and we can laugh at ourselves and laugh at each other and have fun, which to me, a lot of people take this entirely too seriously or take themselves entirely too seriously. And it's just a dog show. There's gonna be another one tomorrow.
Laura: Exactly. We're not solving world peace here people.
Sioux: Exactly. And if it's not enjoyable and you're not having fun, what's the point? That's what this should be. It should be fun. Now... do you take your dog seriously? Do you work your hardest and present them at their very best? Absolutely. But it's not the end of the day if you lose, there's another one tomorrow and you'll get somebody else's opinion. So I love to judge and I'm working towards getting the working group first, and the sporting group will be second. It's not as easy as some would like to say because it's probably gonna take me about two and a half years to get one group.
Laura: Wow. It's definitely a difference from when your folks retired and started judging to today. Just the judge's approval process is radically different.
Sioux: Yes. Well we had a little tiff with the American Kennel Club when they first retired, because my parents refused to move away from the Kennel, even though the only dogs that were boarded at the Kennel were pets, none of them were show dogs. The AKC refused to give them a license for the first year of their retirement. But when they did give them a license, they each got a group. My mother got the sporting group, my father got the working group and they each got separate groups until they couldn't get separate groups anymore. And then they started doubling up. And I honestly don't remember how long it took either one of them to become all-arounders. My mother was the first one and that's mainly because they almost had to force my father to apply for the toy group. He said it was because those little old ladies scared him, which just goes to my father's personality.
Laura: Yes.
Sioux: It was interesting. I came across my father's letter from the American Kennel Club for all or part of the Non-Sporting Group -- and it seems to be the only letter of acceptance from the AKC. And this letter was in June 12, 1991. And they had retired 10 years previous to that.
Laura: Definitely the times they are a changing. But what would you say? Again, as someone with such depth and background, what's your best advice? What's your best advice for new People? People that are just getting started. People that don't have this history. What can we give them to bring that history forward?
Sioux: Talk to as many people in the breed that you are interested in as possible. Do your homework. Figure out who's been successful. Follow them. Talk to them. Ask them questions. If you don't understand something, ask it again. We have a lot of people that are in this for a year and suddenly they are experts, it really doesn't work that way. I just had a discussion about something in a standard that is unclear to some. Some people feel that it is a hound trait in a sporting breed, and I said, you know what, I need to talk to a geneticist, because I don't know. And if there's something wrong with continuing to learn and it happens to be a question about pointers, and it's been argued back and forth by all these people. So instead of not knowing. Go ask a genetic expert that can give you the absolute answer... and go from there and see what happens. So to me, always find somebody that you admire, that you want to with resemble or you want to present yourself like and WATCH THEM. I mean it makes me laugh. I've had a long time friend say to me... "Do you have any idea how long I watched you show dogs when you were a kid"? And I was like, uh, no.
Laura: Right, Right?
Sioux: But she became a great handler. She's now judging as well. It was just very flattering to me because I don't think of myself that way. I love to help new people, mentor people. I was judging last year and I did a Boxer specialty and Junior Handling, and this young lady walks in my ring, and she looked at me, and she was terrified. She had shown to me in Junior Showmanship and then again in the Specialty. I asked her during the regular breed judging... I said, would you please come talk to me after I'm done judging? So she and her grandmother came to me and the grandmother acted a little afraid, like there was something wrong when I asked her to talk. And I said..." Well, I asked her to come talk to me because I'd like to know who's helping you, who is guiding you along this journey in purebred dogs"?
Sioux: And the young lady looked at me and she said... no one. I said... "Okay, and how long have you been doing this"? And I'm thinking ...a couple months???. Two years this young lady had been showing her dog and no one tried to help her. I got a hold of the club president and another young lady that had used to show in Junior Showmanship that had gone on to working for him, whereas now she just shows dogs whenever, she did not make a career out of it. She has another career and I said, "The two of you, I'm assigning you this young lady because she's very interested in doing this and no one's helped her and it's amazing to me because she would still be plugging away at it when nobody's shown any interest".
Laura: But I think Sioux that is just so important and as people who have been in the sport for our lives, that's our job. And we should ALL be doing that. And if you're queen for the day, how are you growing our base? How are you advancing the sport?
Sioux: Exactly. My parents started a kennel club here in Pinehurst, Moore County Kennel Club of North Carolina. We have a Kennel Club meeting tonight. My husband is the president. I'm the secretary. We're trying to give back and get people involved. We have agility as well, which seems to have grown its own following and it's huge. We have two weekends of agility shows a year that are each four day weekends and it is to capacity every time we have a show.
Laura: So I mean that's kind of an interesting observation. Again, coming from your background really entirely in conformation, the rise of some of the, not non-competitive, but the performance events, right? Agility, scent work, all of that sort of thing. How do you see that? Do you see that helping save us? What do you make of that?
Sioux: Well, it's hard to say that it is helping save us because you don't have to have a pure bred dog to do the performance events. So I will give you a little background information that you may not know. That's how my mother got into dogs. She got an Airedale and started in obedience when she was 16.
Laura: That is awesome. And I have said this before, the number of really amazing dog people that get started because they got a dog and took it to obedience. I just think that's awesome.
Sioux: She showed the this Airedale in obedience and that's when she met Annie Clark.
Laura: Okay.
Sioux: Her best friend from the time they were 16 years old
Laura: When I was a kid, I didn't grow up on the east coast. I didn't have your bounty.
New Speaker: I grew up out here on the west coast and when I was a kid, there was "the troika" out here, that's what we called Annie, Janie and Mike. Right? Michelle Billings Ann Rogers Clark and Jane Forsyth -- that was the troika these were the three. These were our idols, these were our gods as little girls growing up in dogs.
Sioux: Oh yeah.
Laura: Because of their knowledge, because of their wisdom, because of their power...realistically. But I look at that, and I think ...you tell me? Who's coming up? Who's our next troika, if you will.
New Speaker: Oh God really? I don't know. We have some really talented ladies out there. Katie Shepherd Bernardin. Angie Lloyd. Laura King. Lori Jordan. And I don't think that it's all about winning. I think it has a lot to do with the person you are, the way you help others and teach others, share your knowledge. Because if we don't share our knowledge, it's going to be lost. And I really don't understand not wanting to share knowledge. I think it helps everybody. I think it helps you to give it away. It helps your self esteem. It helps others that they look up to you -- when they are like... WOW, she talked to me for five minutes. You know, what really baffles me because I just think I'm kind of a regular person and I really hope I never change that. That was the one thing my father always taught me...your no better than anybody else, you're just you, you might be different, but that doesn't make you any better. And to me that was one of the best life lessons I could learn.
Laura: That is awesome. Well, so I could literally sit here and talk to you all day. I thank you from the bottom of my heart and I think that the dog fancy thanks you as well... at least our listeners do.
Sioux: Thank you for having me. I was flattered when you asked me and I don't know if you would be interested, but I do have some recordings.
Laura: Yes.
Sioux: I have a pet connections talk from 2010.
Laura: Oh my gosh. Yes.
Sioux: Then I have Rick Rutledge.
Laura: Yes, yes. Somebody had mentioned some of the stuff that he had done. I just have never run across it. If you would be willing to ship that to me, we would love to include that on our website and offer it as an archive location for people to come in and listen to it. Thank you so much, Sioux, for joining us. I really, really appreciate your time.
Sioux: Well, thank you for having me.
Laura: Okay. Crew. We're all continually striving expert level,
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The Dog Shows Superintendents Association is a proud supporter of Pure Dog Talk. Our dog show superintendents are the hardworking people who make the dog show function. They are advocates for education and mentorship in the purebred dog fancy. So stop by the Super's desk at your next show. Tell them how much you love Pure Dog Talk and give them a shout out for their support. That's all for today. Thank you for joining us on Pure Dog Talk.

157 – Sioux Forsyth: On Legends Robert and Jane Forsyth|Pure Dog Talk

SIOUX FORSYTH: ON ROBERT AND JANE FORSYTH – WESTMINSTER LEGENDS

Sioux Forsyth is the modern day “keeper of the flame” in the memory of her parents, the late, great, Robert and Jane Forsyth. The only husband and wife team to this day to both win Best in Show at Westminster Kennel Club, the Forsyth’s were formidable handlers in the Golden Era of large kennels owned and operated by wealthy benefactors. In the 1980s, they both retired and turned to judging, eventually each acquiring the coveted “all-breed” status.

“I was lucky,” Sioux said. “The things I learned on a daily basis that I took for granted, I probably shouldn’t have. Because not everyone had those opportunities. I saw amazingly good dogs that people today never got to see. And I saw them on a daily basis.”

SIOUX FORSYTH’S “LEONARD” THE WHIPPET

Her favorite, though, of all of those famous and fabulous dogs was a Whippet her father imported from England, Charmoll Clansman. A dog who hated the show ring, but sired the famous Ch. Sporting Field Clansman, who was a two-time group winner at the Garden.

“Leonard hated everyone in the kennel including my mother,” Sioux said. “He hated to show. He was one of the few who lived in the house. They gave him to me because I was the only one he liked. Mom forgot him in the house twice. It was that unusual to have a dog live in the house. They were kennel dogs. When they retired, they went home to be a pet. Until then they needed to know their job, and their job was to be show dog.”

12 BEST IN SHOWS IN THE TRUCK

Sioux related a story about her parents, who were assisted by George Alston at that time, and George Ward, the famous terrier man, taking a dog show trip to Texas “uninvited,” as they say. “They had 12 Best in Show dogs on the truck. They left after 10 shows with one group win,” Sioux marveled. “They laughed about it. But, really, today, how many handlers have 12 best in show dogs on the truck? Most of us are lucky to have one or even a group winner.”

“It was very different for me than for my parents (as a handler),” Sioux noted. “Part of that was personality. Part of that was also the era. When you hired my parents, you hired them because they were professionals and the best at what they did. When I started showing dogs, I would have people hire me and tell me where I needed to go show their dog. Trust me, no one ever told mother where to show their dog. Very few people told my mother anything, never mind how to do her job. To me it’s a lack of respect. That when you hire a professional that’s exactly what you’re doing. Just like hiring your personal doctor or the person who cleans your house. You hire a person, it’s because they’re good at what they do. When you hire a handler you should be hiring them because you respect them and you believe they will do the best job for you and your dog. And that seems to be lost.”

JANE FORSYTH “SUFFERED NO FOOLS”

Those of us who didn’t encounter Mr. and Mrs. Forsyth until later in their careers were under a misconception that “Janey’s” unwillingness to suffer fools came with an advanced age, Sioux laughed outright.

“Don’t ask unless you want the truth,” Sioux said. “My mother was brutally honest. An amazing dog person. Someone that, she’d judge a class and I’d ask her why did you put that one up. She’d say something like ‘did you see those feet? Those were the best feet in the class. You can’t build a great big house on a faulty foundation.’ That was one thing, she always looked at some things that we may pass over. I cannot tell you how many people come to me with hilarious stories of my mother…. how many of them have to do with toenails… I have got to tell you the best Janey story… my mother was judging standard poodles in the midwest. She called out to this handler by name, ‘you know you probably have the best one here, but I can’t stand those dead baby hands’…. What are dead baby hands? Flat feet…”

QUALITY OF SHOW DOGS TODAY

Sioux talked about the quality of dogs in her parents day and today, noting that, in her opinion, the loss of the large breeding kennels has led to an overall decline in depth of quality in breeds.

“First of all, when my parents were showing dogs, especially in the ‘50s and ‘60s, …. they both worked for these huge kennels before they went out on their own. They’d have 50 head of greyhounds, 100 head of whippets. We don’t have that any more. That’s one big reason we have lost a lot of depth of quality. We don’t have huge breeders anymore. We don’t have kennels of 100-200 dogs anymore that are just breeding kennels.

“These kennels were owned by very wealthy people. Mrs. Dodge for example. We always had 45-50 Smooth Fox Terriers for Mrs. Ferrell of Ferrell shipping lines. They would hire someone like my parents to run their breeding program and their kennel. (The handlers) would take these people’s dogs to the show and show them. Instead of having to go out on your own and have 10-20 clients to pay bills, you’d work with one kennel to gain experience breeding, whelping, raising and taking them to dog shows. It was these people’s golf or their tennis. That was their identity. When Peter Green first came to this country, he worked for individuals with very large kennels. That’s how a lot of our professional handlers earned enough money to go out on their own and show dogs for multiple clients. We’re losing quality and depth of quality because we don’t have those kennels anymore.”

BOB AND JANE WINNING AT THE GARDEN

The two most famous of the dogs her parents showed, Sioux added were the ones they each won with at the Garden.

“Dad won in 1964 with the Whippet Ch. Fleetfoot of Pennyworth. Mom won with the Boxer bitch Susie in 1970 (Ch. Arriba’s Prima Donna),” Sioux said. “I sat with mom for a lot of hours before she passed. I asked her what was the best boxer you ever showed. She said it would have to be barrage (Ch Barrage of Quality Hill).

“We carried 10-15 boxers to every show. There were two in every class. They would switch off which one they showed every day.”

PART TWO ON THURSDAY ON PURE DOG TALK

Enjoy these amazing memories and more during Laura’s interview with Sioux today.

Join us for part two of the interview when Sioux talks about showing dogs in proper condition, her mom’s lifetime friendship with Anne Rogers Clark and, spoiler alert, her thoughts on the future “legends” of the sport.

ALLISON FOLEY’S TIP OF THE WEEK

TOENAIL TRIMMING AND CARE

Perfect for our Jane Forsyth Day!!! Jane was a stickler on toenails… so listen up folks…

Leadingedge Dog Show Academy

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Laura: Pure dog talk is the voice of purebred dogs. We talked to the legends of the sport and give you the tips and tools to create an awesome life with your purebred dog. As strong supporters of the American Kennel Club, we talk about everything from confirmation to preservation, breeding from competitive obedience to field work, from agility to therapy, dogs, and all the fun in between. Your passion is our purpose. Tremendous thanks to our sponsor, royal canin. Every day more top breeders are choosing Royal Canin. Join the winning team.
Laura: Okay, crew, before we get into today's show, I am super excited to tell you about something new here at Pure Dog Talk. We know breeders are the lifeblood of our sport. We celebrate and honor our master breeders, so we're bringing you Breeders Voice. Breeders Voice sits down with top breeders, sharing their secrets, how they got where they are, the joys, and maybe even the heartbreaks. If you haven't had a chance, click the don't miss an episode button so you'll get these in depth articles delivered free along with your podcast. Sign up on our facebook page, or at puredogtalk.com.
Laura: Welcome to Pure Dog Talk. I'm your host, Laura Reeves, and I have a very, very special guest today that I know I'm super excited to talk too and I think you guys will be quite excited to hear what she has to say. Sioux Forsyth Green is the daughter of two of America's legendary dog show judges. I guess I would say Jane and Forsyth. So Sioux, welcome so much. I appreciate your time.
New Speaker: Well, thank you for having me.
Laura: So give us the 411. I mean you had a pretty, I would think, amazing childhood,
New Speaker: A lot of people think that!
New Speaker: And it was in a lot of ways -- to be able to grow up with two unbelievable dog people -- I was very lucky. Now that I've gone through handling and now I'm judging... the things that I learned on a daily basis that I took for granted, I probably should not have, because a lot of people didn't have those opportunities.
Laura: They didn't Sioux... and that's fine. I'm so excited to have you talk to our listeners because I think that the opportunities you have, I personally am jealous of.
New Speaker: Well, I grew up around some amazingly good dogs that many people today never got to see, and I saw them on a daily basis. My parents tell of a story that before they were married, they went to Texas uninvited.
Laura: Oh Lord.
New Speaker: It was them, and George Ward, and this was when George Alston was working for my mother. They had 12 best in show dogs in the truck and they left 10 shows with one group win.
Laura: Oh Lord! and I think why I say Oh Lord, and maybe I think it still exists today, but I think it's eased some. I've heard these stories about coming to Texas -- as they say -- uninvited. And we talk about the independent republic of Texas.
New Speaker: Oh. And they laughed about it. But the important thing to me is how many handlers have 12 best in show dogs in their truck? You know, a lot of times we're lucky if we have one or even a group winner.
Laura: Exactly. So your parents showed some of the top dogs in the country, like you say, 12 best in show dogs in the truck. Think of those dogs. Who is your favorite?
New Speaker: I'm a little biased because a Whippet that my father had imported from England from the Charmoll Kennel, his name was Charmoll Clansmen. He sired Sporting Fields Clansman, who was a two time group winner at The Garden... and his father was a bit of a better Whippet; however, Laird did not appreciate dog shows.
New Speaker: As only a Whippet can.
New Speaker: Yes. He was definitely a purebred and he hated everybody in the kennel, including my mother, because they either stuffed him or did his nails. He was one of the few dogs that my parents showed that lived in our house, because if he didn't, he wouldn't have given even my father at the time of day. And when this dog was retired, they gave him to me because I was the only one that he liked, so he spends the rest of his days on my bed. And I can remember two times that my mother forgot him in the house and we had to go home and get him after we had left for the dog show. But that's how unusual it was for us to keep a dog at our house. They were kennel dogs, they were show dogs, and when they retired they went home to become someone's pet and until then they needed to know what their job was... and their job was to be a show dog, which is very different than the way we look at it today.
New Speaker: Absolutely. I was just thinking, wow. Yeah. Back in the day. So you, you handled some before you started judging. How different is it now for you, or was it for you, as a handler than it was for your folks?
New Speaker: Oh, it was very different and part of that was personality. Part of that was also the era. When you hired my parents, you hired them because they were professionals and they were the best at what they did. Well, when I started showing dogs, and even after I had started, I had been showing dogs for 20 years. I would have people hire me and then tell me where I needed to go show their dog. Trust me...no one ever told mother where to go show their dogs!
New Speaker: The image just....
New Speaker: Very few people told my mother anything, but they really didn't tell her how to do her job. And to me, it's almost a lack of respect that when you hire a professional that's exactly what we're doing, just like hiring your personal doctor or the person that comes to clean your house, you're hiring that person because they're good at what they do. Right? And when you're hiring a handler, you should be hiring them because you respect them and you believe that they will do the best job for you and your dog. And it seems to be law.
Laura: Yes. I think there has been a number of those sorts of things that have gone by the wayside for lack of a better term. So I have to tell you, I enjoyed your parents very much. The times that I got to show to them, I didn't know them well. You talk about your, your mother. Nobody told her what to do. I can remember her telling me what drink she would like at the Wirehair Pointer National. I better get it just right. I was like, oh my God, I got her a proper white wine spritzer. And that was what I got.
New Speaker: There you go. She was a big Campari drinker and when she passed whe had six cases of Campari. Have you ever tried it?
Laura: No. No. Compari is not one of my favorites.
New Speaker: Compari is italian glue. It's made from pomegranates, so it's bitter and it's a very thick, syrupy liquor and then she mixed it with grapefruit juice.
Laura: Yeah, exactly. Let's talk a little bit more about, I think too many people in the sport today, perhaps only remember your mom, particularly towards the end of her career, by which point she was not willing to suffer fools gladly. How is that?
New Speaker: A lot of people think that came with age. Not really!
Laura: Well, there you go.
New Speaker: And I get told this a lot... that don't ask unless you want the truth. And..my mother was brutally honest.
Laura: Yes, yes she was,
New Speaker: But she was an amazing, amazing dog person. She would judge a class and I would ask her, why did you put that one up? And she would say something like...did you see those feet, those were the best feet in that class, and without good feet, how can you build upon a poor platform. What's the word I'm looking for. You can't build a great big house on faulty foundations and that was one thing she always looked at some things that we may pass over.
Laura: The beauty in the details.
New Speaker: Yeah. I cannot tell you how many people come to me and many, many people have hilarious stories of my mother. She really was a very funny lady... and how many of them have to do with toenails.
Laura: I just saw something about that. I was, I was stalking you, you know, so I could get a little enough information to feel comfortable and there was somebody had posted about their Short Hair and... Look I did it's toenails and it won.
New Speaker: Yeah. And she would make these statements... it was hilarious. Especially right after she passed, people would call me or text me or facebook me or whatever, and there was a Poodle handler that said I have got to tell you the best Janie's story that I have. And My mother was judging Standard Poodles in the midwest and she called out to the handler... which, God forbid we call a handler by name now.
Laura: Yes.
New Speaker: Oh, the ring of a judge. And she said, you know, you probably have the best one in here, but I can't stand those dead baby hands. And I died laughing
Laura: and then.
New Speaker: The comments started... because this was posted on facebook publicly.
Laura: Yes.
New Speaker: The comments started... Well, what are "dead baby hands". And in my mother's era dead baby hands were flat feet and she would tell you... that's what they look like.
Laura: Yes... from people of your mother's era, that was frequently commented. And the first time I heard it, the same thing. I'm like, oh dude, Jesus, what is she talking about?
New Speaker: Yes. Yeah. So for those of you that don't know what dead baby hands are, they are flat feet
Laura: Flat feet are not attractive. So go back and think about some of the super top winners that your folks showed and because you have such a great scope of time in the sport, talk about the overall quality of the dogs that were being shown at the time that your parents handled and some of our top dogs today. Can you make those kind of comparisons?
New Speaker: First of all, when my parents were showing dogs, especially in the fifties and sixties and then on into the seventies and the retired in 1981, they both worked for these huge kennels before they went off on their own. My father worked for Mardemere which is a Whippet and Greyhound kennel. They kept at all times 50 head of Greyhound and a hundred head of Whippet... ALL the time. We don't have that anymore and that's why I believed for many reasons, but one big reason that we have really lost a lot of quality and depth of quality in a lot of these breeds is we don't have those huge breeders anymore. We don't have kennels of 100, 200 dogs that are just a breeding kennel.
Laura: Right? And if we have them they are puppy mills and they're bad. So help people understand how that just the sheer numbers enabled these breeders to create dogs with that depth of quality that you're talking about.
New Speaker: Well, first of all, they were owned by very wealthy people. "Dodge"...we always had 45 to 50 Smooth Fox Terriers for Mrs. Ferrol of Ferrol Shipping Lines. So we're talking quite wealthy people and they would hire someone like my mother or my father to run their breeding program and their kennels. So of course they would then have other people under them. It keeps the kennel up, but then they would take these people's dogs to the dog show and show them. So then you're cultivating your private handlers. So instead of having to go out on your own and have 10 to 20 clients, able to pay your bills, you can work one kennel and gain experience breeding, whelping, raising dogs, and then taking them to the dog show every weekend. That's what these people did. It was their golf or their tennis or whatever someone may do for their relaxation and enjoyment, have these huge kennel of dogs. And that was their identity.
Laura: Right?
New Speaker: I know when Peter Green first came to this country, he worked for some individuals that had these very large kennels and that's how a lot of our professional handlers then, how they earned enough money to go out on their own and become independent professional handlers and show dogs for several different clients, instead of the one that they worked for. It's not only the quality, but it's the depth of quality that we're losing because we don't have these kennels anymore.
Laura: They were able to do more breedings, keep more dogs, evaluate more dogs, run on more dogs. They didn't have to fight with co-owners and all of the kinds of things that we have to deal with in the sport today because society has changed so drastically.
New Speaker: Yeah. And a whole other discussion will be the animal rights people who have done a whole lot of no good for this business, but you asked me probably the two top winning dogs that my parents showed. The first two that come to mind would be the two that they won The Garden with, and to this day my parents are the only married couple to have everboth won Best in Show at Westminster.
Laura: Absolutely.
New Speaker: The whippet that my father won in 1964 -- Courtenay Fleetfoot of Pennyworth.
Laura: Pennyworth...Yes.
New Speaker: Then you have the Boxer bitch, "Suzie" -- Arriba's Prima Donna. And packing my parents' house that I had to pack up because we remodeled the entire house and moved back into it. I came across a book CH Barrage of Quality Hill -- and he was shown by my mother. And I sat with my mother for a lot of hours before she passed and I did ask her what was the best Boxer you ever showed? And she said it would have to be Barrage.
Laura: Because she showed an awful lot of boxers. That's impressive.
New Speaker: Yes. Well, I can tell you when I was growing up, we carried, I would say 10 to 15 Boxers to every show. There were two in every class and they would switch off which one they showed each day. Like Bob would show it Saturday and Janie would show it on Sunday.
Laura: That's an awful lot of boxers. Thank you Sioux, I really appreciate you sharing your memories of two incredibly influential people in purebred dogs. It's very timely and very powerful on this first day of 142nd Westminster Kennel club judging. Listeners, join us again on Thursday for Part Two. Sioux's going to talk about what it means to have dogs in proper condition, about her transition from handling the judging, and very interesting... the future greats who may someday walk in the footsteps of her parents.
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Laura: All right crew. We are back with Allison Foley from the Leading Edge Dog Show Academy with our tips of the week. Allison, welcome.
New Speaker: How are you today, Laura?
Laura: I am excellent. Excellent. Is it cold and freezing and yucky out there in far eastern Canada?
Allison: Well it WAS cold and icky and yucky yesterday and it will be tomorrow, but today it's 10 degrees Celsius and raining.
New Speaker: Okay. Alright. So there you go. Could be worse. Yeah. So talk to me Allison. What are we talking about today?
Allison: Well, today I wanted to talk about different toe nail trimming techniques. So this is something that I learnednot right away. I was told a couple of different ways on how to tell like on a dark-nailed dog where to trim the nail, but this is basically my favorite ways to figure it out. So it's really useful, especially if we have a dog who's nails grow really quickly or we have a dog come into us to be shown or a dog that we've bred that's come back that maybe their nails are a little bit longer and we're trying to get as close to the quick as possible without cutting the quick. So I always recommend that you do have quick stop with you when you cut nails because accidents do happen, and I think it's really important. And you know, if you do accidentally cut the quick, I think it is very important to just stop that flow of blood right away.
Allison: So as soon as you cut the quick and you see a dot of blood, just put your finger on and press really hard. And then with your other hand or with a friend, have them open the quickstop. Apply the quick stop as quickly as possible and again, press with a lot of pressure. That quick stop right into the quick so that it does cauterize the blood flow right away. You know, I see people and blood's dripping out of the toenail, they're trying to add it to the blood that's actually dripping out and the quick stops just landing everywhere, right? But more importantly, what we want to talk about today is how to avoid that. So my favorite foolproof method that works on every color of nail, every length of nail, is this... I want you to look and you have to work with me people here. This is radio, right?
Allison: So I want you to LOOK at the underside of your dog's nail. And when you look at the underside, imagine that, that shape that's underneath there, looks like a canoe. So if you, if there. So the underside of the nail will be kind of hollowed out a little bit and it will look like a canoe. So then look closer again and you might see a fleshy part that I would refer to in your imagination as the waterline. So the canoe is filling up with water and where that waterline is in the canoe, that where the quick is. So ideally what you want to do is... looking at the underside of the dog's nail, remembering to keep the dog foot in a natural position. Part of the problem people have is when they're clipping nails, is that they're doing it where it's convenient for them to be so it could be higher in the air or more out to the side. Then it's comfortable for your dog and your dog isn't actually pulling the leg away because it doesn't want you to do the nails. It's pulling the leg away because it's uncomfortable.
Allison: So think of a natural position for your dogs nail. So I like to do the front feet with the paw flipped underneath towards the back. I like to do the back leg the same way. Or is if your dog was maybe cocking his leg to pee. So you're going to look for that waterline in the canoe and you're just going to simply make... I prefer to use the old-fashioned Miller's Forge Scissor type toenail clippers because they have two cutting edges that just like quickly slice the nail. I don't like the guillotine type. I find it's one cutting edge. So you're doing twice as much work, they're twisting the nail. So quickly with your scissor type nail clippers, you're going to get as close to that watermark as possible.
Allison: So that's your first clip. And then maybe you could take a couple very thin "shavings" I call them of nail and then you could see either a black dot or a little opaque piece of skin and that's really the piece of skin that just protects the quick inside the nail. So once you've gotten to the either that black dot or that little opaque silvery piece of skin.. that's as close as you can get to the quick without actually cutting the quick. If I have a dog whose nails are long, too long, and I'm trying to get them shorter with a dremmel, like a nail grinder, I will just dremmel that little piece of silver skin off just so the quickest exposed and usually it doesn't even bleed, but you just take off that little silver piece of skin and that kind of pushes the quick back a little bit because a quick kind of shrinks up because you've done that. And I find if I can do that like every three days, twice a week, then you can really get the quick back without having a blood bath on your hands. So I actually learned that about the canoe method as I call it about 15 years ago. And it really changed my life from the first 15 years of me doing nails and looking for different landmarks. But I find it super foolproof and it works really, really well.
New Speaker: Absolutely agree with you. I learned that particular method when I was working in a pet grooming shop and we had 40 dogs a day going through and everybody else and their brother's uncle. I started out doing nails and anal glands and baths. Right. That's how everybody started.
New Speaker: And when you have to trim toenails on 40 dogs a day, boy you get real good. All right, well thank you Allison. and listeners, don't forget to use your Pure Dog Talk 25 code when you sign up for one of your Leading Edge Academy courses with Allison. And that gives you a 25 percent discount on your course. So have a latte on us. Yeah. Yeah, we'd love to have you. Awesome. Thanks very much, Allison. Thanks Laura.
New Speaker: The Dog Shows Superintendents Association is a proud supporter of Pure Dog Talk. Our dog show superintendents are the hardworking people who make the dog show function. They are advocates for education and mentorship in the purebred dog fancy. So stop by the Super's desk at your next show. Tell them how much you love Pure Dog Talk and give them a shout out for their support. That's all for today. Thank you for joining us on Pure Dog Talk brought to you by the Aramedia Group, Publisher of ShowSight magazine, your home for purebred dogs.
New Speaker: .

SPECIAL: Who to Watch to Win Westminster|Laura Reeves|Allison Foley

WHO TO WATCH? INSIDER’S TALK ON WESTMINSTER KENNEL CLUB

Recorded TODAY in NYC: Laura Reeves and Allison Foley Talk Who to Watch to Win Westminster Kennel Club the night before the show.

Allison Foley, Professional Handler and Pure Dog Talk’s Tips of the Week host, gives the Canadian perspective and rumors from the hotels and piers.

Laura Reeves, PHA handler, and host of Pure Dog Talk tosses some good ones in too.

Let us know who you think will win!!!

Leave a comment

156 – David Helming – At The Helm of Westminster|Pure Dog Talk

HELMING THE GARDEN – WESTMINSTER KENNEL CLUB

Westminster Kennel Club’s newest show chair, David Helming, has certainly experienced this prestigious events from all ends of the spectrum. Helming took over as show chair for Tom Bradley last year. But he has judged his breed, Newfoundlands, there and, he and his wife, Peggy, bred and owned Josh, the 2004 BIS winner, shown by Michelle (Ostermiller) Scott.

Westminster Kennel Club

The Helmings whelped their first litter of Newfoundlands 50 years ago. Their Pouchcove dogs are iconic in the breed, earning AKC Breeder of the Year accolades in 2005.

“I’m very excited for this year,” Helming said. “I got an email from Tom Bradley the year we moved to the piers asking if I’d be the grounds chair.” From that point, Helming transitioned to several years as assistant show chair to Bradley before taking the wheel last year.

“This is a show of many people,” Helming noted. “We have tremendous staff working on it. It’s a true production.”

ENTRIES AT WESTMINSTER KENNEL CLUB

Helming noted that this year’s 3200 total entry include 201 of the 202 possible breeds and varieties, 95 junior handlers and a conformation entry that reached its limits for the first time in several years.

“This is the second year televising with Fox,” Helming added. “This is a great group to work with. These are experienced sports people. This year we’ll have new coverages, better camera shots and interviews.”

Westminster Week will air on three parts of the network: Agility Finals, recorded Saturday night, will air on the main Fox channel Sunday afternoon. NatGeoWild will offer *live* coverage of breed judging at the Piers from 1 to 4 p.m. Eastern. And FS1 will return with live showing of the groups and best in show at Madison Square Garden on Monday and Tuesday evenings.

LIVE AT THE PIERS

“We’ve expanded this quite a bit over last year,” Helming said. “It’s exciting for exhibitors and adds a twist that at some point exhibitors and judges at the Piers might be on live television. It’s great coverage for our sport and the event.”

DOG SHOW 101

Another program Helming touts is Dog Show 101, designed to educate the public and spectators about what they are seeing in the ring. The program, debuted last year to rave reviews. It features judges such as Jim Reynolds, Bradley, Dottie Collier and David Haddock talking to groups of spectators to explain ring procedures, judging criteria and more. Exhibitors receive educational materials along with their personal guidance from some of the sports luminaries.

Helming added that the junior showmanship participants are going to be put to work helping with the Dog Show 101 programs and even the live filming at MSG.

“Cliff Steele (best junior showmanship judge) is going to have a lot of fun and very tough choices,” Helming said.

Listen to Helming talk about the memories of the Garden, the mystique, the essence of what it means to “get out there on that green carpet, get your dog set up and start looking around. The excitement is incredible.”

“It’s hard to find someone who doesn’t have a story”

TODAY ON PURE DOG TALK – WESTMINSTER

Join David and Laura as they talk about the intense, exclusive experience that is “The Garden.”

155 – Claire Ctibor – Junior Versatility Award|Road to Westminster|Pure Dog Talk

JUNIOR VERSATILITY AWARD – CLAIRE CTIBOR

Claire Ctibor started showing dogs when she was just 8 years old, with a six month old Chinese Crested. At 12 years old, Claire decided she didn’t want a “little dog” anymore, so she took over the training and exhibiting duties for one of the family’s Brittanies.

Five years later, Claire is headed for her first Westminster Kennel Club show and was one of the first kids honored under AKC’s brand new Junior Versatility Award program.

“Dog shows have been a part of my life since I was 8,” Claire said. “So that’s something I never want to give up. I know I’ll have to age out of juniors in six months and it’s really sad. It’s a huge part of my life. I’m really proud of this. It’s something unique that I get to have that not many other people have. I love my dogs more than anything. Doing the versatile stuff with Sailor… he’s so smart, can pick up on anything so quickly. I trained him when he was a puppy. It’s something I got to do with him, something I get to treasure the rest of my life. We accomplished that together.”

CLAIRE’S ROAD TO WESTMINSTER

Claire said she started doing field work with Sailor because he was so energetic and the dog show really wasn’t his happy place. “This dog gives me so much, does everything I ask for in the show ring. But it isn’t what he wants to do. He would much rather be running like a lunatic finding birds. So this gives him a chance to do what he wants to do also,” Claire said.

“I’m really proud of the what Sailor and I have accomplished because I did it all myself. And I bred him. He’s even got an Achiever Dog award from AKC,” Claire added.

As she preps for her first trip to the Garden, Claire is “super excited” and making up for lost time. “I qualified a couple times before. This is a really sad story. I qualified two years ago but missed entries. I missed qualifying by one point the next year.”

While Claire can’t miss much school, she and her family are driving up and have plans for a day of sight-seeing on Sunday.

Her partner in crime, so to speak? Her old reliable, Captain.

“Captain will be 12. It’s like brushing my teeth in the morning. I know him and he knows me. He’s my old man. He sleeps in my bed every night. I take him everywhere and put him in his pajamas when it’s cold. He’s spoiled rotten,” Claire said. “I know what he’s going to do. I can trust him. I know every move he’s going to make. Sailor, I was worried he wouldn’t be able to calm down enough.”

VALUE OF JUNIOR SHOWMANSHIP

Junior showmanship and purebred dogs, Claire said, are great teachers.

“If you have a dog when you’re 8 or 9 yrs old, that’s a ton of responsibility. It teaches good sportsmanship. You’re not going to win every time you walk in the ring. I certainly have been humbled more than once by that,” Claire said.

“If you love it, it’s going to pay off in the end. You have to be willing to do some things you may not want to do. Wake up at 4 in the morning, drive all night. Do what you have to do to make it work,” Claire noted.

The opportunity to work with dogs in multiple venues is especially rewarding, she added.

“When you’ve got dogs, young dogs especially, you need to have something to give them an out. We ask dogs to do a lot for us. They weren’t bred to be show dogs,” Claire said. “It’s good to build a relationship outside the show ring with your dog. Do something maybe he likes. You build a different relationship, it teaches you something new. It’s breathtaking to see him out there in the field.”