AKC, UKC, Int'l Judge, Kennel Review publisher and dog magazine columnist
Rick Beauchamp Judged The
Pleasanton, CA - Saturday, October 20, 2001
1. Mr. Beauchamp, you have been largely instrumental
in helping several breeds through Miscellaneous Class and
into full AKC Recognition. One of them, the Bichon,
is a very popular and prestigious breed today. Based on
your knowledge of the Toy Fox Terrier and of the AKC show
world, where do you think the Toy Fox Terrier will be in say, five
RGB: Given the concentrated educational effort of
the ATFTC, the Toy Fox Terrier could easily become one
of the Toy Group's most imposing competitors. However,
this assumes the parent club will be able to provide the
dog world with an ideal to aim for. If not provided
with same, judges and new fanciers will interpret the breed
to their own liking and the first dog "out of the
starting gate" with the biggest win record, whether
of correct type or not, will set the style.
2. Do you think AKC Judges will have enough educational
opportunities to learn about the Toy Fox Terrier before those who have
the Toy Group are called upon to judge them?
RGB: Probably not. In their
enthusiasm to gain acceptance, new breed people are inclined
to send the cart in well ahead of the horse and then
try to "re-educate" those who have already
made up their minds. Allowing every Tom, Dick and
Harriet who loves the Toy Fox Terrier to present their personal "interpretation" of
the breed is like inviting all your best friends in to
pick up a scalpel and join your surgeon in performing
your open-heart surgery.
New parent clubs need to seek
the advice of those who have had long-time and overall
experience in the dog game. Breeders have intimate
knowledge of what constitutes breed type but those with
overall experience know what the judges and new people
need to know and they know how to present that information.
People in new breeds are inclined to believe their breed
is entirely unique and that basic canine principles don't
really apply to their breed. The principles of
anatomy and movement that govern all canines are constant,
it is only the manner in which each breed has adapted
to them that differs.
3. How can the American Toy Fox Terrier Club help judges
fine tune their understanding of breed type?
RGB: I think that's pretty well
covered in the answer to Question 2 but well thought
out seminars using good photographs and illustrations
help tremendously. And along the seminar lines--I
am adamantly opposed to the use of half a dozen "acceptable" variations
of the same breed being presented. I think that
is extremely confusing. I can safely speak for
myself and a good number of other knowledgeable dog fanciers
who advocate the same thing--show us WHAT YOU WANT, not
what you don't want. We don't like to leave a room
with a dozen different mental images of a breed--some
good, some bad, some indifferent. That clouds the
4. You had in your Toy Fox Terrier specialty ring some very sound, showy
dogs that were elegant and racy and some equally outstanding
dogs that were more muscular and heavier boned. Did
this present a problem for you in assessing the classes?
RGB: I look at these as variations
of the "ideal." There's that perfect
TFT that should be firmly placed in mind and that is
what we should be breeding for and looking for as judges.
Naturally we're going to have some very good dogs falling
slightly to the left of that ideal and others that fall
slightly to the right but the picture we have in mind
is what we're looking for from among the dogs entered
or puppies in a litter. The ones that come closer
to the center are the best ones. Too much bone
and body mass and the Toy Fox Terrier loses its maneuverability
and elegance--too little and you develop a fragile caricature
of the breed.
5. That is interesting because ringside felt your judging was very consistent and your critiques to the observer-judges
right "on-the-mark." Could you tell us what you
therefore consider to be the three most important characteristics
judges (and breeders) should look for in the Toy Fox
RGB: I have 5 things I apply
in judging and they are the same 5 things that every
dog fancier must know about every breed he or she is
breeding or judging. The seminar I give ("Unveiling
the Mysteries of Breed Type") to both breeders and
judges instructs both groups to apply the 5 Basic Elements
of Breed Type in making their selections. They
are: 1) Breed Character, 2) Silhouette, 3)Head,
4) Movement, and 5) Coat. Understanding what
excellence is in respect to a breed is what leads us
to understanding breed type.
6. Do you think of this breed as a "toy
dog" or as a small working terrier?
RGB: Well, I think it's important
we keep both aspects of the breed in mind. The way I
view the breed is that the temperament must be all Terrier
while respecting the integrity of its Toy status.
7. Based on the first National, do you think breeders
are on the right track?
RGB: Oh, definitely! Don't
forget, the TFT wasn't invented last week. There are
some people involved in the breed who have been registering
their dogs with the United Kennel Club for decades and
they have established lines that consistently produce
top notch quality. My Best of Breed and Best Opposite
winners both come from long established bloodlines and
it shows. The quality of those two are on a par
with the finest being shown in AKC Toy Group competition
8. You appeared to genuinely enjoy judging the
Toy Fox Terrier. What attracted you to this breed?
RGB: Probably the same thing
that has attracted me to all the other breeds I've been
involved with -- I can't get by a good one!
9. Having been at this point in history with other
breeds, what words of advice can you offer to Toy Fox
RGB: Don't confuse your show
dogs with your breeding dogs. We always hope
they will be the same but they aren't always. When
it comes to the whelping box a pile of Best In Show ribbons
only tells you one thing--the dog has won a pile of blue
ribbons, nothing more, nothing less.
Thank you for taking the time to share your knowledge with us. We
are also grateful to you and the current board for helping
this great breed over the recognition hurdle.
Thank you! Rick Beauchamp
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