THE UNITED Kingdom Toydog Society moved to the midlands for the third of its Group Judges Development Workshop weekends, this time held at the Garth Hotel, Stafford, on May 24 and 25 2003.
The same format was used as previously with breed experts giving a presentation on their breed each day, followed by questions and hands-on opportunities. The presentations were backed by booklets with relevant literature and pictures. then the candidates were asked to go over five dogs, different from those used in the explanation of the breed standard, and place them mentally in their order of preference writing critiques on each exhibit explaining the reason for their placings.
Assessors on each day were the United Kingdom Toydog Societys chairman, Ellis Hulme; secretary, Tom Mather; president, Ferelith Somerfield and the breed expert. They listened and watched throughout and then, after each breed, met each candidate individually, noted their placings and reasons for them, looked at their critiques and when appropriate, asked questions. The assessors then decided whether the candidates should be given a pass with credit, a pass or a fail.
Also in attendance were several members of the committee to see that things ran smoothly, to help those bringing dogs and sometimes to handle the dogs for the assessment.
On the first day, the breeds covered were the Affenpinscher, presented by Mrs A J Teasdale, and in the afternoon, the Lowchen presented by Mrs E Spavin Harrison. Mr Mather withdrew from being an assessor for the latter as he is judging the breed with challenge certificates later in the year.
On the second day, the morning saw the Griffon Bruxellois presented by Mrs M Higgins and in the afternoon the Yorkshire Terrier presented by Mrs M White-Thomas.
The society is very grateful to all the experts who worked so hard to help the candidates understand their breeds and who arranged for some very good dogs to be present, with the kind of variations in type, structure and presentation which would be met by judges at a proper show. It was also appreciated that the owners of these dogs should be willing to give up so much of their time to help toward the improvement of future judging.
The fourth workshop is planned for Saturday and Sunday, October 4 and 5.