What does a Judge look for?

The simple answer is they look for the dog that best fits the standard – the way THEY interpret it.
The more difficult part is understanding why they select what they do.

It’s not just a matter of reading the words, it’s interpreting the words with an eye on past history and uses of the breed in the past, in the case of our breed. Here’s an example:

Neck length and shape/neck is fairly long, crested and widens gradually into the body/good length gives reach, crest and wide base for use as catch dogs and retrieving.

Knowing that the Ridgeback was a multipurpose dog – used for guarding, herding, hunting various game including small game and birds, catching wounded large game, for example, a judge would not want to see a long, elegant neck that you’d find on an Ibizan or Afghan. Neither would a judge want to see a heavier neck like you’d find on a Mastiff or Labrador. Remembering that the RR standard was poached from the Dalmatian standard, we would expect to see something similar, except just a bit heavier on the RR as the hunting and catch aspect would require a stronger neck. The gradual widening into the body is evidence of strength, yet allows for elegance in length and cresting.

POP QUIZ: Find the correct neck for a Rhodesian Ridgeback.





Go to the next page for the answers!