Meet the Dog Judges: Victoria M. Jordan

In this recurring column we present some of our judges: their background, how they started, who their mentors were, which breeds they have been involved in, and their thoughts on how our sport can be improved.

By Bo Bengtson |

Victoria M. Jordan

Judge Victoria Jordan

Judge Victoria Jordan with her champion Labrador and love, 'Jesse.'

AKC approved to judge BIS, the Working Group, Junior Showmanship, German Shorthaired Pointers, Labrador Retrievers, Weimaraners, Dalmatians, Pomeranians, Australian Shepherds, Briards, Bouviers des Flandres, German Shepherd Dogs, Old English Sheepdogs, Pulik, Pyrenean Shepherds and Shetland Sheepdogs, and was recently approved for 10 new provisional/permit breeds (Afghan Hounds, American Eskimo Dogs, Keeshonden, Norwegian Lundehunds, Canaan Dogs, Cardigan Welsh Corgis, Icelandic Sheepdogs, Norwegian Buhunds, Pembroke Welsh Corgis, Polish Lowland Sheepdogs).

Home City: Columbus, Ohio; now residing in Delaware, Ohio, and The Villages, Fla.

Background: I owned my first purebred dog in the mid-1960s, when I rescued an Alaskan Malamute puppy from being sold to a pet store. She was my toddler son's constant companion. I took her to obedience classes and was informed by the instructor that she could be "show" material. After asking the question "What does show material mean?" and learning how to fill out an entry form, the rest is history.
I was first approved to judge in
February 1997.

Mentors: The importance of a mentor cannot be stressed enough! As a judge, I try to seek mentors who have been in breeds for at least 30 to 40 years. Why? Because they know the genetic backgrounds on their breeds, how they've changed and why, and what the important nuances are in a breed. How else are we to keep our breed types from being lost forever? What will our breeds resemble in 20 or 30 years if we don't take advantage of the myriad of knowledge that can be gleaned from their vast years of experience? Sit with your mentors at ringside, go to their kennels, sit down with the dogs, look at the veterans, watch, listen and learn...

Breeding and showing: I bred and whelped my own litters, picked out puppies (after reading books on anatomy and anything I could get my hands on to learn), found training classes, watched professional handlers at shows, and then began finishing my dogs to their championships. Like most breeder/owners I began grooming during the week, loaded dogs after work on Friday and set out for the shows. Alaskan Malamutes I owner-handled to their championships included Ch. Zeus Midnight Special, Ch. Zeus Royal Gemini, Ch. Zeus Mirror Image, Ch. Zeus Double Trouble Touche, Ch. Zeus Top Gun and Ch. Zeus Ace in the Hole, to name a few.
I was not a professional handler by definition but rather preferred to concentrate on showing dogs of my own breeding, as well as other breeds for friends.

How many AKC shows do you judge per year? I judge approximately 10 to 12 shows a year, as well as specialties.

Foreign judging: I look forward to judging abroad as it would be a great learning experience to view dogs that breeders present from other countries.

Any pet peeves you wish to make exhibitors aware of? I don't really have any pet peeves; I just enjoy interacting with exhibitors and their dogs. I have enjoyed every one of my assignments because each time you judge there is something new to learn.

Biggest problem currently facing the sport of dogs? The biggest problem facing our wonderful sport of purebred dogs is the sport itself. WeÊneed to seek and welcome newcomers and take them under our wing, guide them in the best breeding practices and sportsmanship, and encourage young members into our sport.

My daughter, Michelle, was a junior handler and qualified for Westminster. I believe she was one of the first to pioneer the Alaskan Malamute into the juniors ring in our area. As a former junior's mom, I realize the importance of nurturing and encouraging our juniors in this sport and helping them whenever we can. Teach them about kennel club operations, how to put on shows and let them be involved in the workings of your kennel club. If a junior does not have access to a dog, please lend them one, or encourage and financially support a junior in your area who has qualified in any system. They are our future!

From the October 2012 issue of Dogs In Review magazine. Purchase the October 2012 digital back issue or subscribe to receive 12 months of Dogs In Review magazine.


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