Approved for: All Sporting Breeds, All Working Breeds, All Terrier Breeds, All Toy Breeds, All Non-Sporting Breeds, JS, Best In Show (BIS), Groups 1, 3, 4, 5, 6.
Mr. Richard "Ric" Chashoudian, he's a former pro handler, now renowned Judge. But did you know he's a professional columnist and his bronze and ceramics sculptures are collector's items.
Interview by Fran Smith-Milteer, Meet The Judge Columnist © August 2006 - See what this Judge has to say...
FSM: In which type of judged dog activity did you first compete? Obedience, Conformation, or Performance such as agility or field work?
RMC: I first competed in confirmation and obedience when I was 15 years old in Los Angeles, CA.
FSM: About when was that and with what breed?
RMC: started competition in 1946 with an Airedale Terrier.
FSM: Did you owner handle? When did you begin to use handlers?
RMC: I always Owner/ Handled.
FSM: What is or was your primary breed and how long were you involved?
RMC: My primary breed is now Wire-Fox Terriers. My primary breed when I was young was Airedale Terriers. I am now 75 years old and have been involved in breeding these two breeds for sixty years.
FSM: In what single area has that breed most improved?
RMC: These two breeds are better than they have ever been, especially Airedales, which are getting close to perfection in a few dogs and bitches. Major faults are starting to disappear. The fronts in Airedales and Rears in Wire Fox Terriers.
FSM: What is the biggest problem you see in the breed today?
RMC: There are still some bad fronts in Airedales and some bad top lines and tail sets in Wire Fox Terriers.
FSM: Do you have a “personal” dog now and if so, what breed?
RMC: My personal dog that I call my house pet is a Wire Fox Terrier, called Target, we are very close to all of our dogs here in Baton Rouge, LA
FSM: Do you own other animals? If so, what?
RMC: We have a cat who lived to 19½ years old and just passed on a few months ago. His name was Jack.
FSM: Do you think the purebred dog is better today than it was 20 years ago? Why is that?
RMC: For the most part the purebred dog is much better off than twenty years ago, for the most part, but there are a few exceptions.
FSM: Which do you feel is more important in a breeding program, the dog or the bitch? Why?
RMC: I am a great believer in the power of a dominant stud dog. I have seen dominant stud dogs sire good with poor, mediocre, and good bitches. I do believe that you breed good ones to good ones. For the most part this is the best way but does not always work.
FSM: When considering a breeding, which do you look at first, pedigree or physical virtues?
RMC: When breeding, I first consider the physical and mental characteristics of both the sire and dam and then consider the pedigree. I believe in some line breeding, NO in-breeding. Out-crosses are my favorite if done from very good individual dogs and bitches. The three or four best dogs I have ever shown have been from outcrosses.
FSM: What is the single most important physical characteristic you look for in a dog?
RMC: The most important characteristic I look for in pure bred dogs is movement. How the parts fit for the job they were bred to do. Second is temperament. There should be no shyness, timidity or over aggressiveness towards people.
FSM: In what field are/were you employed outside of dogs?
RMC: I have never made a living outside of dogs except for a short stint with the US Forest Service, (when I got out of the Service) to save up enough money to purchase a piece of property in Sun Valley, CA and start building a kennel.
FSM: About how long have you been judging?
RMC: I started judging after my handling career in 1983, about 24 years.
FSM: How many breeds or groups are you currently approved for?
RMC: I am approved for 5 groups, Sporting, Working, Terriers, Non-Sporting and Toys.
FSM: Do you plan to apply for more breeds/groups?
RMC: I have not applied for more groups because I am doing as many shows that I want to do. The main reason is because of the wear and tear of air travel today.
FSM: Which breed (or group) do you personally enjoy doing the most?
RMC: Of course I enjoy judging Terriers and then I enjoy judging Working dogs next. I love good ones in any group or breed of dogs. I think the Toy group has the most quality of any group.
FSM: What is the most annoying thing exhibitors do?
RMC: The most annoying thing that exhibitors do is not concentrating on what they are doing while in the ring and staring at the judges.
FSM: What is the most important thing exhibitors should do?
RMC: Concentrate while they are in the ring on their dog. They are only in there a short period of time so they should not be talking r doing anything except concentrating on their dog.
FSM: Do you most often fly or drive to your assignments? Which do you prefer?
RMC: I usually have to fly to my assignments because of the distances involved. I used to love flying but since September 11th, flying has gotten to be an ordeal. I love to drive and prefer driving now than to flying.
FSM: Have you judged in another country, if so, where and which breeds?
RMC: I have judged in England, Ireland, Spain, Italy, Sweden, Canada, Wales, Japan, Taiwan, Finland, Australia, Argentina, Columbia, Puerto Rico, and probably some more that I can't remember.
FSM: Have you judged for another registry, if so, which one and which breeds?
RMC: I have judged many F.C.I., Canadian, European, and Central and South American shows.
FSM: What is the most inconsiderate thing a kennel club can do to its judges?
RMC: To put Judges in motels that have no in-house restaurants and no one to pick them up at the airport.
FSM: What is the most appreciated thing a kennel club can do for the judges?
RMC: Have good communications with judges as far as transportation to and from the airport, to and from the motel and dog show, good restaurant in the motel/hotel, good tenting in outside shows. Good hospitality while in the ring, carts if there are long distances to restrooms or lunch places.
FSM: What do you look at first when you turn to assess a class or group?
RMC: I look for side movement, outline and general appearance. Size differentials and general quality of class, good, bad, or in-between.
FSM: Do you evaluate puppies as puppies or as adults when selecting winners?
RMC: I ask the age of dogs I judge and evaluate while knowing the age of different exhibits. I am known to put good puppies up if I think they are good enough.
FSM: Are you a Delegate? If so, does your club instruct or do you vote on your perception?
RMC: I am not a delegate or a club type person.
FSM: Are you comfortable with Breed Take-Away and the Reps new authority in that regard?
RMC: It will be hard to take breeds from people who have a license to judge them. I am not sure that reps have the knowledge to take away breeds unless they really know those breeds or what the judges are looking for.
FSM: What advice would you give aspiring judges?
RMC: Aspiring judges should not take judging as a way to travel, to visit, to socialize and trade assignments. These people should know dogs because exhibitors are paying good money for their opinion and their opinion should be an educated opinion from people who take judging seriously. People that want to judge should have proven in one way or the other that they are qualified. People who want to judge should also have a talent for it.
TheJudgesPlace would like to thank Ric Chashoudian for his time and thoughts and hope these words of knowledge inspire all exhibitors, current and up-coming judges, and breeders alike to be the best you can be.
The Ring Steward says "You can now go back to Meet The Judges!" We invite you to Read interviews with previous Nominees, Judging Legends, and other great names in the sport. As you attend shows this year, make mental notes about who you will nominate next year!
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