Approved for: Hound and Non-Sporting breeds, Basset, Borz,
Dach, PBGV, Ridgebacks, Am. Esk Dog, Bichon, Boston,
Bulldog, Shar-Pei, Chow, Dalmation, Fr. Bulldog, Keeshond,
Lowchen, Tib. Span, Tib Terrier, JS
Ms. Langlois, which breed was your first show dog?
BAL: The Bulldog was my original choice but when the litter
and the dam died, I was devastated and wondered if I even
wanted a dog, that is, until I saw an ad in the newspaper
about a Basset Hound puppy. Kennel visit was arranged;
Lemonade (that was her name) picked me out and home I came
with a wonderful, wriggly 5-month old Basset Hound whose
name then became BB. She and all those that followed were
the lights of my life. I got the Bulldog about two years
before I decided I could not show any more due to severe
back and knee problems. I bred one litter and then that
breeding program was sent to Pittsburgh to friends who
carried on magnificently with it. Ch. B's Iron Lady grp is
in the BCA Hall of Fame.
TDP: When, and why did you decide to become a judge?
BAL: I stopped showing when
I no longer could handle the dogs myself. That was always a
point of pride, to finish my own dogs. The last two were
finished by a handler and while I was happy to have them
finished, it did not give me the same thrill. I stopped the
Basset breeding program and was dormant for awhile keeping
somewhat in touch with the dog world through an all-breed
club and a Basset Specialty Club. But I wanted to do more
than that; I was retiring from teaching and judging was the
next logical step in the journey and I love doing it. No way
would I stand on my feet for 5-7 hours for just
anything, but to judge, absolutely.
TDP: Are you online and if so, do you find the
BAL: The Internet is such a tremendous stride in
technological advance. There is almost nothing one cannot
get from it. I am still trying to master many of the
offerings but even with my limited knowledge I do not know
how I ever got along without it.
TDP: Speaking of the internet, would a computer
generated match-up for assignments help judges?
BAL: Not being sure exactly how a computer generated
match-up program would work, I hesitate to make a judgment.
However, I do firmly believe that whatever form it might
take, it must be representative of all judges, from the all-rounders
to the one breed judge. Administration of such a concept
would seem to be a bit daunting.
TDP: Do you have an opinion on the future as regards
AKC and High Volume Breeders?
BAL: AKC and the high volume breeder have caused much
strident pro and con discussion. Personally, I
took tremendous pride in breeding a litter or two a
year, raising those, loving them, showing some, letting some
go to inspected homes--- that level of dedication to a breed
in a high volume breeder situation I do not believe can be
AKC is a registry to protect and
promote the value of a purebred dog. Argument: high volume
breeders produce purebred dogs. Response: I do not believe
that the puppies produced can be properly socialized. I do
not believe that the time is put in to breed carefully, to
advance the breed, to better it. Just producing a pure bred
dog does not mean that the dog was properly bred according
to the standard. My humble beliefs but I stand firmly by
TDP: On which do you rely the most, visual or manual
BAL: If there is a heavy coat I have to manually
"feel" the dog but basically it is a visual concept coupled
with the movement of the dog. I use the "down and back and
then around" to make my decision. I remember the first time
I stepped into the ring judging Bassets. I said, " Up and
down, please". The handler, whom I knew, laughed and said,
"How high up do you want me to go?" Well, talk about a good
joke on me. But you know, that was fun; and I insist on
having fun; judging is an enjoyment for me.
When I first look down the line, the dog that catches my
"eye" will be the one who most resembles the picture I have
formed in my head from long and intense study of the breed
and the standard of the breed. I look for those peculiar
assets that cause that dog to be more representative of the
standard than the other(s). Soundness and type…look for it
and hope all fits together. Compromises are made…comparing
causes one to choose what minor fault can be accepted, what
asset this dog has over the other(s)…a choice must be made!
It is the give and take, a balance that one strives to
create in choosing the winner. The standard represents
perfection; has that been bred? I must say I have found many
very close to it and what a joy it is to have them in the
TDP: Do you plan to apply for new breeds? Which ones?
BAL: At the present time I am regular status for five
Hound and ten Non-sporting breeds; I am provisional on two
more Non-sporting. I will continue in the Non-sporting so as
to have a group; after that, there are some Hounds that I
truly want to judge. The Non-Sporting and Hound groups are
my favorites. I have studied them for quite awhile.
TDP: Where would you go first to learn a new breed?
Judge? Breeder? Handler? Seminar?
BAL: To prepare to judge a breed takes a lot of study
starting with well-presented, informative seminars, to
ringside mentoring from top people in the breed to visiting
and speaking with many breeders from whom I can gather the
nuances, those seemingly minuscule points to help define the
breed. Different opinions are expressed but one may take
them all into consideration and then formulate one's
"picture". This is not a case where too many cooks spoil the
TDP: What would you like to say to each exhibitor as
they enter the ring?
BAL: When exhibitors enter the ring I would like to
say, "Please leave the liver or food outside the ring!" <G>
Kidding aside, I want each exhibitor to know I will give
individual attention to each dog and strive to do justice to
the standard of the breed. I want to enjoy my ring and hope
the exhibitor will, also.
TDP: We thank Ms. Langlois for granting us this
interview. It is difficult for owner handlers to know what
judges prefer and these candid conversations help us to know
the judges, their backgrounds, and hopefully to bring them
our best! We know you enjoyed meeting Ms. Langlois as much
as we did!
Ms. Barbara Ann Langlois 504-277-7301