Life devoted to animals
It’s a dream career where you get to work with dogs
SHOW DOG JUDGING: Born in Bushy Park at the Derwent Valley in Tasmania, Jane Armatys had a yearning to be involved with animals and began breeding and exhibiting quality show dogs and pets.
It all started with the weekly television hit show Lassie that inspired her idea of getting a collie.
“We would always watch Lassie, it used to be on TV in black and white but I couldn’t have any until I got married,” Armatys said.
“Soon after getting married I bought a whole lot of dogs and the people I bought them from said ‘oh you’ll have to show it, it’s a really good show one’.”
Despite being a show judge for the past 30 years, fate took a different turn earlier on.
“I studied and worked, went to university and studied geology and loved it,” Armatys said.
“I couldn’t work any more as a geologist because they ran out of money then began work in the commonwealth government.
“As soon as I was 32 I began attending shows with my now ex- husband. I thought how good it was.”
Her show judging career began soon after in 1990.
“It isn’t an easy job judging the animals, you’ve got a standard for each breed,” Armatys said.
“It’s like a blueprint, you’ve got a standard with the dog’s picture there and you’ve got all the parts of the body and what it’s got to be like.
“It tells you the shape of the eyes, the shape of the head, ear sets and like, collies should instantly appeal as a dog of great
beauty. Well, if it’s got mean squinty eyes, that’s not beautiful.”
As well as show judging, Armatys mentors dog owners from all across the world.
“I’m mentoring this girl in India and she sends me all the photos and I tell her what needs to be done to the dogs,” she said.
“She’s really excited because later on this year she’ll get to meet me because I’ve been mentoring her for ages.
“I’m currently in charge of judges training for the whole Wide Bay area so I train all the trainee judges.”
“I live by myself now and I’ve got the dogs and I talk to the dogs, I talk to the birds and I have a scrub turkey which I’ve trained, it’s a pet now.”
There is a procedure on judging the winner.
“You come up to the dog and firstly you go over the teeth and check the teeth and you feel the shape of the head and the side of the head,” Armatys said.
“You then feel the ears, then you move around to the side and you have to feel where the shoulder bones are and you feel for an angle and then you come back, and feel the rib cage.
“How I used to teach my trainees, ‘imagine that’s the front dog’s legs, and that’s the upper leg, if you have a nice angulation in the front you’ve got good reach’.”
“There’s always different things you have to learn for each breed, you just have to follow the features so there’s a lot to learn.”
She said show dog judging was a “dream career”.
“I love dogs and my hobby is one that lets me see many beautiful dogs and meet so many lovely people,” Armatys said.
“After 17 years of exams and training I became an International All Breeds Judge.
“I moved to Queensland in 2003, I judge all over Australia and overseas, from New Zealand, the Philippines, Thailand, USA, Canada and have appointments in China and Japan this year.”
Armatys will be at the Mundubbera Show on Saturday.
❝ I love dogs and my hobby is one that lets me see many beautiful dogs and meet so many lovely people. — Jane Armatys
PASSION FOR JUDGING: Jane Armatys and her dog Puff at the Eidsvold show at the weekend.