Interview with a Toy Group Judge Cathy Gish
Where do I live? How many years in dogs? How many years as a judge?
Cathy Gish: I live in Henderson, Kentucky. I got my first show dog in 1969. He was an Afghan Hound. I started judging in 2005.
What is my original breed? What is/was my kennel name?
Cathy Gish: My original breed is the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, under the affix of Flying Colors.
Can I list a few of the notable dogs I’ve bred? Any performance or parent club titles?
Cathy Gish: Ch. Flying Colors Maxima is a notable dog, but really there are so many special notable dogs over all the years. I am the first person to finish all four colors in AKC and the first and only person to breed champions in all four colors, in the original parent club. No performance titles, but many Best in Show wins at the old club.
What are some of the qualities I most admire in the Toy Breeds?
Cathy Gish: The qualities that I most admire are size and cuteness.
Have I judged any Toy Breed Specialties?
Cathy Gish: I have judged specialties in Cavaliers, Poms, and Chihuahuas.
Can I offer any advice to exhibitors regarding the presentation of these “table” breeds?
Cathy Gish: Train your dogs to free-stack so that you don’t have to get on your knees.
Some longtime exhibitors have “downsized” to Toys. In my opinion, has this had an impact on quality?
Cathy Gish: I’m not sure about large dog breeders in Toys now, but I do see a lot of changes in the Cavaliers—and it is not for the better. They are not supposed to have a huge, heavy coat. And the heads are so extreme now, with domed heads and low set ears. Ear-set is supposed to be high to make the slightly domed head appear flat. Ears are to fan forward and frame the face.
In my opinion, how do today’s exhibits compare with the Toy Dogs of the past?
Cathy Gish: I think breeders have worked on structure and movement, and these have improved, but it can be different from coast to coast.
Why do I think Toy Dogs can become outstanding Show Dogs?
Cathy Gish: With proper breed type, structure, movement, and attitude, any dog can be an outstanding show dog. It’s hard to get it all right.
If I could share my life with only one Toy Breed, which would it be and why?
Cathy Gish: I love the Cavalier. They are so laidback and are not yappy. I have also shown and bred Chinese Cresteds and they are very affectionate and funny dogs. They have the ability to make their handler look absolutely stupid by not doing what they should do. Sometimes, they absolutely have a mind of their own and are very stubborn.
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