top of page

Reprint_May/June 2004  AWSA Times

A Survey of AKC Judges
From Jean Reeves, Breed Recognition Committee Chair, Mona Persson, assisting.

The German Shepherd Dog Club of America has suggested that our club put together comments and opinions of AKC judges that
have judged our dogs in recent years.  Here are some of those comments.

Jay Richardson 3/19/04: Overall quality: Pretty good.  Nice top lines, no exaggerated angulation. Great, strong hocks.
Some in this group had muzzles that were not strong, too long and narrow. He noted a couple of “for- eign examples” in coat (long
hair) and color. Some didn’t like to be gone over, but were not fearful. Sounder coming and going than the GSD. Overall
sounder than the GSD.

Joe  Hedl  3/20/04:  They’re  quality  dogs!  Beautiful bone, very good pronounced chests, good shoulders, very good rear
angulation. Heads very nice. Very good move- ment. Many good quality dogs. Very good self-confidence. Compared to the GSD:
“They are a throw back to the old time dogs. Broader chests, better bone and substance.”

Camille LaBree 3/20/04: Good heads, good consistency in bone, some a little long. Very good fronts, good coats, good color. Some
of the young dogs rears were wobbly. Good temperaments, except in some of the younger dogs who were shy. Better
temperament than the GSDs.

Frederick Simon 3/19/04: A number of excellent quality dogs, even for FCI or AKC. Well tempered dogs, but was surprised that
several younger dogs were “backoff- ish.” Suggests the dogs get out more; they should be more outward and social. Participants
should work more with the dogs for the ring. (Considers himself not qualified to compare to GSD since he’s not qualified to
evaluate GSD’s)

Marsha Shively 3/29/04: Very nice quality dogs. Good bites. Good dispositions, consistent cross the field. No eye or structure
problems. Tails are better now than at first. Notices that consistency in bone is not as it used to be. Thinks about 40% of
the dogs are lighter weight now. Better dispositions than the GSD, no roach backs like the GSD.

J. Ray Johnson 3/29/04: Overall quality has greatly improved. Haven’t lost the in-depth quality, which has remained through the
years. The last show he judged, he found the bitches to be better than the dogs. Thinks a few breeders  are  showing  things  today  
that  they  wouldn’t have a few years ago (pet quality). Thinks we should be careful for this. Impressed with the rear ends (as
opposed to the GSD). Much, much better quality than the GSD!

Sue Barlow 3/31/03: In response to your call here are my comments. The overall quality of the WGS has improved over the
years, noticeably in the last five years. The depth of quality in a class or a show is still not at the level of the colored dogs,
perhaps this is because of the smaller gene pool. I see a lot of dogs that are slightly more square in body proportions than is
called for in the standard. However, I also find that the movement on most of these is acceptable. Speaking of movement, most are
generally sound, perhaps more so than the colored dogs. Eye color is often lighter than called for but not a fault. I personally put
a lot of emphasis on the base coat color. Temperaments are generally excellent. While the  ideal coat color is white, I often find
the qualities I am looking for in the dogs with cream shadings. I often find out after judging that my winning selections are related
individuals so evidently the type I seek is connected to a background of dogs with color in the coat. It is a real thrill to me to
find my winners with the white coat the standard prefers. I enjoy judging WGS and as a breeder of white collies I admire your
breeders who continue to strive to breed a quality dog given the limitations of the gene pool. If you have other specific questions,
please call me, I am happy to talk dog at anytime.

Sulie Greendale-Pavesa 4/9/04: It took me a few days to mull this over, but here is a synopsis of my overview of the breed in
general: Although the White Shepherd and the German Shepherd have common roots and are similar in appearance, it seems to me
that the aficionados of the White Shepherd have evolved the breed to continue to meet  the   standard  without  over-
emphasizing  certain traits, thereby keeping this breed versatile and capable of doing a variety of tasks. Rather than emphasizing
one particular aspect (head, rear-angulation, etc) as seems to have happened in German Shepherds, my observations of the
breed are that more emphasis is placed on a middle of the road dog; a dog who could do many tasks, and not be hampered by
extremes of any feature.

Barbara Burns 4/17/04: Really good quality overall. Most really clean coming and going. Very nice side gaits. Too much leg on a
few. Bitches in this group better than the dogs consistently. Compared to the GSDs: Better quality. Better pasterns, hocks and
toplines than GSD’s, not  the  gangliness.  More  bold temperaments than  the GSD. Things that could be improved: Need better temperaments on younger dogs.

Kathleen Davenport 4/18/04: Very, very good quality. Good bone and good toplines. Very good overall expres- sion and
heads. Several with strong pigment. Most all in this group were very, very sound, correct and properly angulated. One borderline
bite and a few tied-in at the elbows.  Difficulty  judging  those  with the  biscuit  color since white is emphasized in the standard, also
with a 3-6 month pup whose ears were not erect. Compared to the GSD, better bone and body substance. GSD’s are not as
structurally sound.

2014 AWSA National
A letter from our AKC Judges…..

Deborah and I wanted to thank you and the entire club for your hospitality this past weekend. We thoroughly enjoyed
adjudicating your National and were so pleased to see the quality that your breeders have produced.

The American White Shepherd has proven to us that there are dog people out there that truly believe in form and function for
their breed. This misnomers that abound concerning this breed are sad. We had hesitation in accepting the assignment but
were truly impressed with what were seeing in the ring.

The standard is well written and afforded us the opportunity to easily apply it while judging. The dogs were generally very well
behaved and none of them were unacceptable in any manner. Surprisingly, none of the examples we had were what we would
consider pet quality. Each was certainly deserving of a championship title at some point in their career.

We were disappointed to learn of the obstacles that you face in getting recognition from the AKC and the hurdles that the
German Shepherd Dog Club has presented. We found the breed to be different enough from the standard GSD to warrant
the inclusion as a separate and distinct breed rather than a GSD with a white coat.

The structure  is  markedly different and movement is quite smooth and not the flying trot that GSD are striving for. The
sound coming and going of the breeds we examined was refreshing to say the least.

We wish you well in your quest to receive recognition and look forward to seeing you all again sometime soon. Again we
enjoyed the people the place and particularly the dogs. Good job to all of you and please keep us in mind for the future. We
will assuredly pass the word to other judges and show people that your breed is up and coming and one you can be proud to

David L. & Deborah L. Anthony
David (Judges #25447) & Deborah (Judges #25446) Anthony
are both AKC Conformation Judges.

bottom of page