The New Owner
Over time how we perceive our breed, changes as our knowledge of the breed improves.
In the beginning we are interested in this little lively clown who wants our undivided attention, In between destroying everything that we have left within its reach, it craves to be close to you, It's like a wayward child, but you love it anyway.
Occasionally the local school has a fete where there are classes for dog showing, if you enter your pet and it wins a prize your thinking you may turn to showing in a bigger arena.
Assuming that you have been fortunate and bought your pet puppy from a top class breeder you could find it develops into an animal who would not disgrace you in the show ring.
The novice show person and most all breed Judges have a common purpose, they are busy fault finding, the owner because in his eyes his pet is perfect, the judge because he lacks the specialist knowledge to put up an outstanding animal for its virtues, it is much easier to put down an animal for an obvious fault.
Over the years one will see a lot of petrol Champions, dogs that have been dragged around the show ring until they gain enough points to be classed as an Australian Champion, (some of whom I have bred and sold as pets) I would describe them as good all round animals who have no bad faults but lack obvious virtue.
In my opinion a good breeder consistently improves the standard of his breeding stock, not only knows the standard of our breed, but understands the thinking of the clever people who contributed their knowledge to produce the standard. (Forgiving their one mistake in Miniatures in having dogs and bitches the same height at the shoulder, they forgot that in nature the male of the specious is always bigger than the female this has caused so many problems for breeders.) Contrary to popular belief the Bull Terrier or Miniature is not one dog, there are three distinct types, the ability to see and blend type is a gift that all good breeders possess, the forth type is that complete mixture of the other three, for which, we should all be aiming. Dogs that possess outstanding virtue, regardless of their faults are essential to a breeder, faults are not difficult to breed out, great virtue is impossible to breed in, if at least one the animals does not possess the virtue that you are trying to acquire.
When watching the dogs go around the ring, our eyes are sending messages to your brain showing all the good and bad points in the dogs, we observers often are prejudiced, our brain can modify the images that our eyes are transmitting depending on whether we like or dislike the owner.
Some years ago I was sitting watching the judging of the Bullterrier Open Bitch Class, the bitch the judge had in first place was beautifully made but with more of a plain head, a well known breeder who is now a judge was sitting next to me commented, (look at that terrible bitch she is putting up) bar for her plain head she was a lovely bitch, in those days beautifully made animals were rare, I do not know if she did not like the lady owner, or that she was so busy looking for faults she could not see the virtue that bitch had to offer our breed. (the lady owner has proved to be a gifted breeder of Bullterriers) The critic has had less success.
That great breeder and judge Raymond Oppenheimer wrote, a good judge, judges with the progress of the breed in mind.
A good breeder has the same objective.