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EASY MAGAZINE: He’s the top dog

Heather-Lynn Evanson

EASY MAGAZINE: He’s the top dog

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THE QUALITY of local show dogs was so high that it sent tingles up his spine.
This glowing accolade has come from veteran British judge Keith Nathan, who completed judging his first show, the Barbados Kennel Club’s All Breeds Championship Dog Show, at Waterford Woods, last Sunday.
Speaking after critically looking at 64 dogs in breeds ranging from Akitas to Yorkshire Terriers, Nathan said the quality was surprising given the few numbers which were on show.
“But the quality was outstanding in certain breeds. As an example, I judged French Bulldogs at the Scottish Kennel Club last May. There were 95 and I struggled to find one dog that I liked,” he recalled.
“And here there were two French Bulldogs entered and both of them are fabulous.”
He said the same of the winner and reserve in the Bull Mastiff breed.
“You wouldn’t see dogs that good in Britain with so many numbers,” he enthused.
“The Akita bitch puppy was great. The Lab (Labrador Retriever) winner was beautiful. There were so many that were really lovely. The Irish Setter is fabulous and you could mention most of them.”
The judge, who has over four decades of experience and who has presided in the world’s largest dog show at Crufts, held annually in Birmingham, England, as well as shows in such far flung places as Latvia and Lithuania, said it was exciting to judge the local show.
“The numbers weren’t great here but the quality was. I got tingles going up my back when I saw them move,” he said, as he explained he held the local dogs up to the same rigorous international breed standards set out for judging.
“Then there’s always that little bit extra that they’ve got. Some dogs have got it and others haven’t. For example the Ridgeback certainly has it, the Bullmastiff has it, the French bulldog yes, certainly,” he said.
President of the Kennel Club Gillian Leach was also pleased with the quality of dogs on show.
“The Best in Show was a locally-bred dog so that speaks volumes to the local breeding, while the reserve was imported. That just about says it. There were a lot of nice imported dogs here but to have a locally bred dog come through . . .” she said.
Leach admitted there had been a recent fall-off in the numbers of dogs exhibited at shows, even though there was no corresponding decline in the numbers of dogs being bred.
“But we do our utmost to get dogs to the show. And for every show, with three Sundays leading up to the show, we do show handling classes so anyone who is interested in showing, but who doesn’t have the skills for handling, we take them through the paces,” she explained.
 After the competition Spike, a three year-old Rhodesian Ridgeback, was adjudged the Best Dog in Show.
He was owned by O’Neal and Khalid Holder who enthused that Spike “became a champion today”.
The next dog show is slated for October.