Articles Index/Structure
Posted 09/02/08

Bridging the Gap Between Show Dogs and Working Dogs

This past April 5th, several terrier owners gathered in Stirling, New Jersey for a seminar with Richard Reynolds, an AKC licensed conformation and earthdog judge, who is also an ANTA board member and Norfolk breeder. His presentation was structured as a workshop and `beta test' of a multi-media program entitled: "The Structural Priorities of Working Terriers".

The atmosphere was informal which led to active participation among those attending. Among the breeds represented were Border Terriers, Norfolks, Skye Terriers and Airedales which gave us all a variety of viewpoints.

We watched Richard's presentation with his own photos to illustrate dogs that had both correct and incorrect structure. Hands-on activities included `spanning' (measuring) dogs, looking at tail lengths (too short may make it difficult to pull a dog out of a hole and too long can cause damage to blood vessels). Proper angulation in the front and rear can aid the dog in its attempts to reach quarry.

Occasionally, a dog may have wounds or `battle scars' from an encounter with angry game, as well as missing teeth. A judge should take these into account in the conformation ring and not penalize an otherwise structurally sound specimen.

This seminar is unique in that it uses locally recruited, proven working terriers to illustrate the structure of animals that actually do the work of real terriers. Some dogs are also conformation champions, but all excel in their intended function.

We all left the seminar after a long day with the thought, as one participant put it, "Now we will look at our dogs in a whole new light."

Vallie Beckwith

What Is Richard Really Thinking?

An attendee is shown above holding up a puppy for inspection at the working terrier seminar described above. the dog is a little hard to see in this photograph ... but our question to you is: Wkhat is Richard really thinking? Some sort of recognition will be given to the individual sending in themost plausible explanation.


ANTIC, June, 2008

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