This was the first time that a non-British judge has judged the cocker spaniels at Crufts. How did you feel about this? How did you live the experience?
I felt very honoured, I have visited Crufts 36 times and to judge Crufts one day has always been a big dream which I was sure will also stay just as a dream – therefore it was a great thrill when one day I got the official invitation apprx 4 years ago. Also this “ waiting time” has felt very exciting.
I did expect a pleasane experience and the day certainly fuullfilled all my expectations. The atmosphere has always been very special for spectators, but the organizers had made all judges feel the extra special atmosphere too – we all were really doing something special…
In general, how did you see the quality of the dogs you
I would like you to reflect upon the quality of the cockers around the world,
Have you seen a major difference between British cockers spaniels and those from the rest of Europe? Which country now has the best quality cockers ?
The quality varies so much not only from country to country but also from show to show. The best type is usually found in Britain, best cobby bodies and you hardly ever see exaggerated cockers there.
Sweden is a strong country, there the cockers are often very stylish and can move, but there you see also dogs who have too much of everything ( too much neck, quarters, and coat…) I think that we have in Finland also a very wide selection of typy dogs with excellent movements. I have seen many lovely dogs also in Spain, Italy, Netherlands , Norway and Denmark, but I think that the number of the real top cockers is not very numerous.
But it always depends what show you have judged, and if the best breeders have entered or not, therefore it is dangerous to say anything in too strong words.
As it concerns the exaggerated cockers, I must say that it very often is not the dogs fault but the handler or groomer who overhandle or do everything to make their dogs look like something between an American cocker and swan!! – too many think that the more coat, the more quarters and the longer neck – the better !!!
A cocker should always be happy, cockery, short and compact dog, with strong neck, strong none sloping topline and good balance, moving easily, using his hocks, with good reach and proper drive and carrying himself proudly. An ever wagging tail should not be forgotten.