Editor's Page: Terriers Front and Center

Welcome to our annual Terrier Issue. From humble beginnings working to earn their keep, these breeds have flourished to become consummate show dogs.

By Allan Reznik | September 25, 2013

Dogs in Review EditorWelcome to our annual Terrier Issue. From humble beginnings working to earn their keep, these breeds have flourished to become consummate show dogs. Their breeders, owners, handlers and supporters are among the most dedicated people in our sport, with determination and Terrier fire to match their dogs.

Our "Back to Basics" feature is a comparison of the Lakeland and Welsh Terriers, thoughtfully compiled by Connie Clark, a longtime Terrier breeder, exhibitor, professional handler, AKC delegate and judge, with valued input from the two parent clubs and senior breeders and judges of both breeds. While Lakeland and Welsh entries are never huge, the quality is deep, and both breeds have enjoyed enormous success in American show rings. As Connie points out, yes, the Lakeland is the one with the "fall," but please don't be one of those judges who tries to get by on "shortcuts" and cheat sheets. There is so much more that distinguishes the Lakeland and Welsh from one another. If you are currently licensed for these two breeds or aspire to judge them one day, consider Connie's article must reading.

"Grooming & Presentation Trends Over the Decades," the series we've been running this year, has been enthusiastically received. For this issue, we invited Terrier judge Gay Dunlap of the successful Gleanngay Soft Coated Wheatens to weigh in with her thoughts and observations. She delivered exactly what we expected: a direct, unvarnished assessment of what she sees in today's rings and how we got there. It is tough love, administered by an authority who cares about her Group and recognizes when a scolding might be in order. I have always regarded the Terrier people as purists who don't opt for the quick fix, so it was interesting to read Gay's comments on those exhibitors and handlers who have compromised on grooming traditions in the name of convenience. Very thought-provoking stuff.

Jason Hoke, in his column "From My Perspective," writes about the mood of negativity that seems to have pervaded our sport. With virtually everyone assuming a podium, be it writing a blog or monitoring a Facebook group, the rhetoric is flying and has gotten ugly.

In their "You Said It" contribution, Portuguese Water Dog fanciers Mike and Cathy Dugan ask, "What happened to the respect, appreciation and civility that used to be shown to our breeder-judges?" To exhibit to an individual with credentials in your breed, who knows it inside and out from the whelping box to the show ring, is always a great opportunity. To win is icing on the cake, but to have the expert assessment is the gift. When did that belief get replaced by finger pointing and conspiracy theories?

Finally, I am delighted that Kerrin Winter-Churchill is back with another compelling edition of "The Great Ones" — and in honor of this Terrier Issue, she looks back on the Wire Fox Terrier Ch. Galsul Excellence and his infamous owner, William MacKay, the subjects of a scandal that remains unforgettable to this day. MacKay's greed not only caused his own empire to crumble but took down a few AKC judges as well. A cautionary tale for the ages, told as only Kerrin could. Our thanks to those who shared their insight with her so openly.


From the September 2013 issue of Dogs in Review magazine. Purchase the September 2013 digital back issue or subscribe to receive 12 months of Dogs in Review magazine.


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