Undocked Kerries can be shown in Canada and the US. But can they win?
Right: Fin & Est Ch Slievemish Flash of Irish ("Lassi") Bred and owned by Tiina Paukku , Kennel Slievemish, Finland
In short, I don't think that any judge who really knows the breed and judges with integrity and honesty would be the least bit reticent about putting up an undocked Kerry if it was the best specimen in the ring.
The problem arises when you stop and try and decide which judges fit that category. Many judges are so-called fault judges....they ignore any dog with an obvious fault, real or perceived. It makes judging so much easier doesn't it? Those judges, along with the ones less familiar with our breed, may be afraid to put up a superior Kerry with a long tail for fear of being criticized.
It has been our experience that the poor judges will always find a way to dump your dog if they want to. They'll come up with all kinds of sorry excuses, and if you're not careful they may even be able to make you question the quality of your dog, even though you really do know better.
While we were showing our Piper we were told he was too big, too small, too dark, too light, good bite, poor bite, bad tail set, good tail set, small ears, good ears, good top line, bad top line...etc. Piper was top Kerry in Canada for 3 years, won 5 best in shows and had over 100 group placings. The good judges will judge fairly, be unbiased and will do their utmost to find the best specimen before them, and the poor judges will cost you an entry fee.
Before showing an undocked Kerry, I recommend you speak to a couple of terrier handlers and/or breeders you can trust and have them give you their honest opinion on the quality of your dogs and how they feel they will stack up to the competition in the U.S. If the dogs are considered to be capable of competing with the American Kerries, they'll do so with or without a long tail.
Will a Kerry with a long tail win at Montgomery or Westminster? I doubt it, but how many Kerries have won those huge shows? Do I believe that a Kerry with a long tail can earn their championships in the U.S. or Canada....absolutely! It will be harder perhaps, but it has been done.