Name: Pamela Bruce
Breed: Airedale Terriers
Kennel Name: Accolade Airedale Terriers ~ Afghans of Grandeur
Years Judging: 15
Licensed For: All Breed
1) Were you from a family involved in the sport of purebred dogs?
Yes I am the third generation dog show person. My grandfather bred and owned Boston Terriers, and Welsh Terriers. My parents bred Maltese and Lhasa Apsos.
2) There is so much seen on various social media pages on the subject of breeder/owner/or novice/exhibitors, whom can no longer compete with the professionals and be successful. As a Judge what are your thoughts on this subject?
Judges can only judge the dog they have in front of them, and the dog on the day!!!! I think people don’t know what they don’t know – case in point look at any of the CKC forums on Facebook etc. It becomes judge-bashing 101. See question #12 – I think this is one part of a larger issue…
3) Did you have a mentor in this sport?
Michael Canalizo – Carol Hollands – Harold Butler – Billy Milne – Garrett Lambert and Elaine Whitney. I also had great guidance from the wonderful quality breeders we showed for, especially Roger Rechler.
4) Name 5 things on your “bucket list” that you would like to do?
Get back to good health and good physical condition – show/own one last Afghan of Grandeur – Take a year and show one of my Airedales – Travel to Ireland – Travel to Mardi Gras in New Orleans.
5) Other than your life in dogs, what other interests do you have?
Travel, basketball, the NCAA and the NBA, interior design, and I enjoy gardening.
6) Name one thing about you that would surprise people to learn?
I am very shy if I don’t know you and soft tempered, (That’s if I am not at work or in the middle of the ring)
7) How many assignments do you normally do in a year?
I try to not judge more than 16 weekends a year.
8) What has been you worst travel experience to date?
My first trip to Mexico – not knowing what my assignment was until I walked into the ring, and then ‘surviving’ the alpha male handlers. I very quickly turned on the cop persona and got through my assignment. Everything – or maybe ‘everyone fell into place’ after that! I now truly LOVE judging there!
9) What would be your “dream” assignment?
Judging any National Specialty but especially the Airedale, or Afghan Hound Club of America – or Westminster KC – and then I wake up! LOL
10) What changes would you like to see at Dog Shows?
That exhibitors stay and watch the judging above and beyond their own class, and feel they have something to learn from respected breeders who have devoted their lives to their breed. That we go back to weekend events only, with one show a day (except in remote areas).
I also would like to see clubs hire decent panels – a mix of Canadian judges (including permit judges) along with American, and foreign judges to draw entries – like anything else you have to spend money to make money.
11) What are your thoughts on the Reserve Best in Show award, and do you think points should be awarded?
I detest telling someone they are second best – or almost good enough on the day. If RBIS was awarded half the points of BIS then it may be worth it for all involved.
12) Do you believe the top breed, group, and best in show rankings should be continued?
I believe top in one’s breed may be of some value, it gives everyone a goal for the year perhaps. The rest of the rankings often make it prohibitive for a breeder/owner/ handler to put in the time and effort to get their dog ranked, without the use of a professional handler who travels to shows for a living, and often has a backer for the dog being campaigned, as well as an advertising budget etc.
I believe that many top dogs are in fact of wonderful quality. I do not believe that in every case the number one breed dog is in fact the best representative of that breed however. In theory the strongest competitor is the breeder/owner/handler. Many breeders no longer even enter all breed events, and only attend specialties, or show dogs until they are finished champions.
I have had wonderful dogs that have never been campaigned because I can’t afford the time away from work, the expenses, and travel involved to get a dog ranked. I have also had top dogs’ records broken by dogs which, (through no fault of their own, nor their handler’s) chase one hundred dog BIS wins until they set a new breed record. It is a flawed system, as we in essence are comparing top winning dogs from the past, which had to beat hundreds and often thousands of dogs for a best in show rosette. Should that record be compared to today’s standards? It is comparing apples to oranges. I don’t know how this will play out in years to come.
13) Do you think clubs in the same area should cluster together to share the high costs of putting on dog shows?
Absolutely – I have said this for years – things never change and clubs have gone under because people refuse to work together and there are no new people to keep the clubs going. The best indicator of future behavior is past behavior.
Groups also take over clubs now to prevent them from folding.
14) What do you think are the biggest challenges facing the fancy today?
A lack of people willing to do the work – to learn the intrinsic qualities of their breed, and work with long time quality breeders so their lines can be continued in the manner in which they would want them to continue. Typical of our present day society – everyone wants instant success.
Thank You Pamela Bruce for taking part in the Judges Corner
For more information on Canadian Judges please visit
The Canadian Dog Judges Association http://www.dogjudge.com