Q & A: The Miscellaneous Group


  • September 04, 2019
  • Various Experts

We asked the following questions to people breeding and showing dogs in The Miscellaneous Class. Below is everyone’s responses, which are taken from the August 2019 issue of ShowSight. Click to subscribe

 

Pictured above: From the article “Bracco Italiano” by Marilyn Vinson, ShowSight January 2019. Photo by Lauren Till.

  1. Where do you live?
  2. What do you do outside of dogs?
  3. How is your breed faring in its quest for full recognition?
  4. Do you expect a surge in popularity once you’re in the regular show ring? Will this help or hurt your cause?
  5. Getting a breed recognized is hard work! Are there enough workers to go around?
  6. What activities do you do with your dogs?
  7. Do you show in other registries?
  8. Would you breed more litters if you were fully recognized by AKC?
  9. What is the funniest thing that ever experienced at a dog show?

 

Stacy Able

I live in Indianapolis, Indiana. Outside of dogs, I’m a professional wedding photographer.

How is my breed faring in its quest for full recognition? Great! The Barbet moves into sporting in January 2020! Hard to believe we are almost there! It has been a journey.

Do I expect a surge in popularity once we’re in the regular show ring? A slight uptick as I imagine several people who have been on the fence of showing will come out and show. I don’t think it will hurt our cause as long as the standard is followed and the dog is not over groomed.

Do I believe there are enough workers to go around to get my breed recognized? More would always be helpful, but I think we have had a really great group of people for the past decade working together for the breed here in the states. It would be helpful to have more showing on the west coast, but we will get there.

Would I breed more litters if we were fully recognized by AKC? No, we will not change our breeding plan. For us it is a beloved hobby and our families are happy to wait a year or so for a pup from us.

The funniest thing that I’ve experienced at a dog show? The first dog show I ever attended was in France in french. My male Barbet, that I was importing to the states, peed on my leg outside of the ring. He went on to win best male puppy at that show, but it was quite the experience. He also earned the first Certificate of Merit in the Barbet breed and is a cherished therapy dog who visits 
hospital patients.

 

Debarah Billings

I live in Bristol, Tennessee.

How is my breed faring in its quest for full recognition? Very well, we are now in the Miscellaneous Group and will be applying for full AKC acceptance within a year.

Do I expect a surge in popularity once we’re in the regular show ring? Yes, a big surge.

Do I believe there are enough workers to go around to get my breed recognized? Yes.

Would I breed more litters if we were fully recognized by AKC? No.

The funniest thing that I’ve experienced at a dog show? Owners having to hide behind something in order to watch their dog go in the ring Some dogs like to look for their owner.

 

Beth Borchardt

I live in Florida and I am a zookeeper.

How is my breed faring in its quest for full recognition? We are making slow but steady progress, which is how most of us want it to be. The Mudi isn’t a breed for everyone, so slow growth is good in my opinion.

Do I expect a surge in popularity once we’re in the regular show ring? I’m not sure to be honest. The Mudi had gained attention as being a good potential performance dog, a lot more people now know that they are when they first see us walking around. But, I think most breeders are committed to keeping the breed growth slow.

Do I believe there are enough workers to go around to get my breed recognized? It comes in waves it seems. A lot of people in the US have worked really hard to get the breed to where it is. There are now more people getting involved which is great.

Would I breed more litters if we were fully recognized by AKC? No. I pretty much have only breed my dogs when I am ready for another puppy myself. I don’t see that changing when we gain 
full recognition.

The funniest thing that I’ve experienced at a dog show? Most funny stories revolve around people not knowing anything about the breed and are several years old. A person who insisted my dog was a terrier mix even after I explained that she was a rare breed from Hungary. Or another favorite is the person who repeatedly insisted that the other Mudi at the agility trial could not have been one of my puppies because she was a different color...even after I told her I knew the other Mudi was out of my bitch as I had helped her be born, since she was a bit stuck. The woman walked away still not believing me!

 

Colton Cheney

I live in Angora, Minnesota. Outside of dogs, I’m involved with the Minnesota Dept. of Transportation and a hobby farmer.

How is my breed faring in its quest for full recognition? Progress has been slow.

What activities I do with my dogs? We do Conformation, Nosework, Trick Dog and hunting.

Do I show in other registries? I show in UKC, as Portuguese Podengos are fully recognized.

Would I breed more litters if we were fully recognized by AKC? Yes! Until PPs are fully recognized people do not know about the breed as televised shows do not show Misc. breeds. Until we get fully recognized exposure is a huge problem.

The funniest thing that I’ve experienced at a dog show? Constantly being called Berger Picards is amusing. My big male PP met a lady on the first day of a show that fawned over him. The next day at a very crowded, busy show he picked her out of the crowd and drug me over to say hello to her. He tried climbing his 80 lb adoring mass onto her lap clearly saying remember me?

PPs are highly intelligent, independent, not always easy to live with but very amusing and always entertaining.

 

Kellie Cosby

I live in Ball Ground, Georgia. My request to my parents for a German Shepherd Dog puppy and Obedience lessons as a nine year old was granted. From there we were involved in AKC trials, we took a high in trial and several high in trial juniors and that led to a lifelong love of dogs, events and people who attended those events and bred dogs for a dedicated purpose. We have built our lives and professions around our dogs. Since 1990 our passion to bring dogs and people together in the hospital setting is our number one activity. In order to provide the best outcome for our patients, we train dogs in their intended venues. For example Hannibal our Lakenois was taken to herding lessons and worked on the IPO/Schutzhund field and just for fun dock diving and lure coursing. All of this training made him an incredible Therapy Dog. So, to say we have a life outside of our dogs is unknown to us because our dogs are almost always involved with our activities.

How is my breed faring in its quest for full recognition? There is a light at the end of the tunnel! We can see that the numbers are within reach. Such a Rare breed as the Laken has provided fewer numbers and a longer time to acquire them. Breeding the Lakenois is no easy task as much thought and research has to be done to find mating’s that will not only produce numbers but the best of qualities like health , structure , and temperament . Dedicated club members and Lakenois fans are all working together toward that goal of recognition. it is closer than ever before.

Do I show in other registries? YES

Would I breed more litters if I was fully recognized by AKC? No, personally it would not matter to me. However The Belgian Lakenois would benefit greatly. The prestige that AKC lends is wonderful but, certainly the exposure AKC will provide to others can only bring the breed numbers up. The Lakenois is sure to be admired and adored by a public who has no idea, yet.

The funniest thing that I ever experienced at a dog show? Walking into the Misc. group class at a show and being asked by the Judge “what in the world do you have on the end of that lead? He’s fantastic, now tell me all about him.”

 

Judy Descutner

I am a ten-year breeder and board member of the Barbet Club of America and helped lead the club/breed through all of the steps to full recognition. Barbet will enter the Sporting group on January 1.

I live in Hickory, Pennsylvania, near Pittsburgh. Outside of dogs, I like to travel, go boating, cycling and gardening.

How is my breed faring in its quest for full recognition? The Barbet will enter the Sporting group January 1, 2020.

What activities I do with my dogs? Breeding, conformation shows, dock diving and lure coursing.

Do I show in other registries? UKC and CKC while waiting for AKC Full Recognition.

Would I breed more litters if we were fully recognized by AKC? No, my breeding program is focused on my own show dogs. I’m not interested in producing high numbers.

The funniest thing that I’ve experienced at a dog show? I have long admired Michael Canalizo and his way in the ring with Afghan Hounds TR and Tryst. When I finally got to show my good Bred-By bitch to him in Louisville, I was so nervous that I dropped her lead on the down-and-back. Fortunately she stopped and posed just as beautifully as if I was holding her and we won Best in Miscellaneous.

 

Carole Goetzelmann

I live in Cincinnati, Ohio. Other than my employment, I like to bicycle, hike and play the harp.

How is my breed faring in its quest for full recognition? Doing well, we have the numbers, but most owners aren’t interested in conformation, so meeting the ten CM requirement is going to be the most difficult part.

What activities I do with my dogs? My dogs get to try everything to see what they like best. So far, Lure Coursing and Agility seem to be my girl’s favorites.

Do I show in other registries? I occasionally show at UKC and IABCA. I usually enter a UKC show to practice for an upcoming AKC show.

Would I breed more litters if we were fully recognized by AKC? I don’t know if that would make my flavor of Dutch Shepherd more popular. The Rough-haired variety is the most fun of the three, but most people don’t think of Dutch Shepherds as a companion animal. In the USA there is a lot of focus on protection sports, when actually, the Dutch breed club’s educational materials state they are a companion and herder foremost.

The funniest thing that I’ve experienced at a dog show? I pulled a tendon on the “down and back” and needed somebody to finish showing my dog. A friend was there and took over for me showing my bitch running in her flip flops. Of course I was in too much pain to even notice at the time.

Another friend and I have a running joke about Chihuahuas, but I don’t know if I should tell you about that. The standard Dutch Shepherd is a friendly dog, still protective, but I’ve had children clamoring about my bitch and she hardly notices. However, people are still afraid of the breed because of large number of bridle sport-bred dogs in this country. We were scheduled to show at 8 am on a Sunday morning, and the show committee got a complaint from a Chihuahua exhibitor because we were using the same ring. It must be difficult owning a tiny dog like that, however, I know at least four people who own both Dutch Shepherds and a Chihuahua.

 

Carol Houlihan

I live in North Carolina and I’m a CBD industrial hemp farmer.

How is my breeding faring in its quest for full Recognition? Full AKC recognition is imperative for the breed to be successful in the US. I am also a breeder of the Portuguese Podengo Pequeno, the Pequenos have been in AKC since 2013 and we still get asked what breed the dog is. Many people do not know the Pequeno very well but when there are in televised shows, like Westminster, we always get calls after those show because they have seen them on TV. If the Podengo Medio/Grande, both wire and smooth, were seen on TV more people would become interested in the breed. They are great dogs and most do well in a family environment. But they can be a challenging. They definitely need training, especially recall.

What activities I do with my dogs: I mostly show in conformation but I’m starting coursing and maybe scent work.

Do I show in other registries? Sometimes I show in UKC.

Would I breed more litters if we were fully recognized by AKC? Yes, right now it has been very hard to place Medio or Grande pups. But the wire coat ones, for some reason, are usually more in demand. I raise the smooth coat medio. They are beautiful and elegant dogs.

The funniest thing that I’ve experienced at a dog show? While outside a ring and talking with a judge about the breed the male pup I was showing decided to hike his leg and pee on the judges leg. It was funny but also very embarrassing. Luckily I got him stopped before it was too bad.

The PP medio is a great size for someone who doesn’t want a small dog and doesn’t want a big heavy breed, with the avg. height 18” or so and usually 25 to 30 lbs they easily fit in with most families. So contact a Podengo breeder and help support getting these dog into full AKC recognition.

On a side note the powers that be in AKC really need to make the process easier for breeds to be fully recognized. This breed and many others are centuries old and are shown all over the world, AKC should be welcoming new breeds that are already in foreign registries. We are NOT A DOODLE.

 

Sharrii Hunt

I live in a small town of Newton, North Carolina. I am President of the American Belgian Laekenois Association—the AKC Parent Club for the Belgian Laekenois. As such, a large percentage of my time is working with the other club officers in gaining full recognition for the Belgian Laekenois. Then you count in all the fun performance sports a Laekenois owner can do with their dogs—Agility, Rally, Obedience, Herding, Scent Work, Tracking, Barn Hunts, Lure Coursing and Fast Cat, Dock Diving, tricks, Therapy, IPO work—you name it and this breed can do it! Then when I have spare time on my hands,I garden, travel, bake, read and enjoy the company of friends and family.

I’ll be the first to say—the road to full AKC recognition has been an uphill journey for the Laekenois and ABLA members. I am so very thankful for those members—those who have been into the Belgian Laekenois for years as well as our newer members who have thrown their love and devotion for the breed into the effort. They have not worked in vein—as the Laekenois are on the very cusp of being fully recognized and moved into the Herding group.

What activities do I do with my dogs? It’s easier to answer what I don’t do with my dogs! The breed is versatile and able to do anything you ask of them. One thing I learned a long time ago with my first Laeken—always think outside the box—never limit your dog with your own insecurities. I had the honor of having the first Laekenois to ever do Barn Hunt as well as the first Laeken to Dock Dive I could also “send” my girl out into a pond to retrieve a floating object on a directed retrieve.

Do I show in other registries? I used to show in UKC and probably still would if they had more shows and performance events in the area that I live in.

Would I breed more litters if I was fully recognized by AKC? More litters will be whelped in the US when the breed is fully recognized. The demand for such a versatile breed will increase once the secret of the fourth Belgian is out. Breeders will have to be diligent in producing healthy, intelligent, sound puppies produced from parents with good health clearances. We have to do our best to preserve the standard of the breed. It will be the integrity of ethical breeders that will preserve the heritage of the Belgian Laekenois.

The funniest and yet the most alarming was at a multi venue trial—I came back to my crated dog, only to find a two to three year old in the crate with her. Dyna had never been around small 
children—and to find the two of them snuggled up in her crate sharing a lollipop was heart stopping. All I could think of at the time - what if that child had climbed into one of the surrounding crates where the dogs were crate protective.. the parent was located on the opposite side of the arena taking it in stride that a perfect stranger should walk up with their child in hand. Another time, a group of nursing home residence came to the show—one elderly lady was hugging on Dyna who dearly loved anyone in a wheelchair. She patted my hand and said I had a wonderful Chihuahua. Beautiful temperament - She was so sorry I had spent the money on a Chi that had the wrong ear set. She knew all about the Chi’s because she used to raise them. In the face of elderly knowledge, it was best to thank the woman for showing my dog a kindness and seeing the good in her.

 

DL Hyatt II & R Margaret Hyatt Currier

We live in the New Orleans, Louisiana area. Luke is an Attorney practicing Employment and Civil Rights Law, Zan is a retired pilot, now home with four of our five kids and some dogs.

How is my breed faring in its quest for full recognition? We are very close, down to the last 15 dogs and two litters, all of the other AKC criteria have been met . Hopefully the litters and numbers criteria will be met before the end of 2019 or at the latest first quarter of 2020. The goal being Morris & Essex as the National Specialty as a fully recognized AKC Breed, October, 1, 2020. The American Belgian Laekenois Association has worked hard to get across the finish line by putting on really fun events, showcasing the excellent temperaments and versatility of the Laekenois. As well as including other FSS/MISC and all breed clubs to enjoy dock diving, fast cat, herding, temperament testing, judge’s education and conformation. Laekenois are an incredibly capable breed able to quickly move from the herding field to a dunk in the stock tank to cool down and then immediately off to the conformation ring, with nothing more than a shake off to be dry enough for conformation exam. As it should be, a breed with purpose, capability and beauty all at the same time appearing in all events in a natural coat condition.

What activities I do with my dogs? What don’t Laekenois do is more the question, Herding, Agility, Obedience, Barn Hunt, Fast Cat, Dock Diving they can do it all and still have an off switch where they are easy to live with. At Chiens de Rafale we work a lot in herding as it is our daughter’s favorite as well as being one of the most challenging of dog sports. We also travel and have fun hiking and swimming with our Laekens. Also we enjoy them at home and at the office.

Do I show in other registries? Some of the Laekenois folks are active in UKC, some more than others.

Would I breed more litters if we were fully recognized by AKC? Yes, The breed would be seen as a viable option for folks, as Laekenois are the best kept secret in the world of dogs and not being accepted by AKC has kept it that way. The key here is preservation of the breed, we really cannot afford to not breed or the breed will vanish, we do not want to go the way of some of the rare breeds nearing extinction. The biggest obstacle has been the lack of availability of the breed here in the US, causing people to make another choice in breed, missing out on an incredible opportunity for a spectacular relationship with very special breed.

The funniest thing that I’ve experienced at a dog show? When our daughter’s dog rolled in a dead opossum just before loading her in the van for National weekend, after two days drive with the lovely fragrance, we arrived at the show with 30 minutes to spare due to weather delays. We rolled out of the van like clowns out of a tiny car and got her dog bathed and dried with two minutes to spare. She got Reserve Winners Bitch in a large entry and the judge never knew it was a true “Southern Dead Opossum Rolling Dog”. We have laughed about this often, as those who saw it unfold thought it was hysterical.

 

Rebecca Ingersoll

I live on 15 acres in Benson, Arizona, a very rural location. Is there a life outside of dogs? I am fortunate to now be able to live my dream. I love showing my dogs, herding with my dogs and breeding and raising puppies. In addition I still work full-time for the USPS to help fund my passion and am fortunate to have my parents living in my guest house to help me. I am also looking forward to the birth of my first grandchild in November. That will probably rival the “dogs”!

How is my breed faring in its quest for full recognition? Our growth has been slow and steady. We are achieving our markers and hopefully will move up in the average 2-3 years in misc. I am looking forward to it!

Do I expect a surge in popularity once we’re in the regular show ring? Our breed is already gaining in popularity and I am sure as there are more out there it will continue. I do not think it will all be due to just the show ring-although I am certainly doing my part to promote and educate about the breed via the show ring. My goal is to go to Westminster and The National Dog show the year we reach full recognition with my best dog and bitch. I do believe that more conformation people might be interested in our breed once we achieve full recognition. Not everyone wants to do the “misc.” thing. At one of my recent shows the judge was very complimentary about my dogs and said they were sound and a good foundation for my breeding program. He told me he looked forward to us getting recognized and more popular so that he would have the opportunity to judge more of them. (Mr. Charles Trotter) I appreciated his kind words. I appreciate getting feedback from judges immensely.

Do I believe there are enough workers to go around to get my breed recognized? Our club numbers ebb and flow as most clubs do. There is usually a core group of people who do the majority of the work. We could always use more workers, but you go with what you have.

Would I breed more litters if we were fully recognized by AKC? I am already continually growing my program with the future in mind. I am currently the only “regular” breeder I guess you could say. All of my dogs are health tested and all puppies are recorded with AKC FSS. I strive to breed true to the standard with sound structure and temperament. I currently have the top winning Mudi with five CMs and Multiple Best in Open Shows and Best in Misc. and he was the first Mudi to win Best Of Breed at the AKC Nationals in Orlando. I also have the youngest Mudi to earn a CM. My plan is to have a litter with them next year. I do not think that achieving full recognition will impact my breeding plans. I have already imported three puppies last year—two more this year and am looking to bring in three adult males. All these dogs are solid color dogs as we have too many merles and a huge lack of quality males to use for breeding. I also currently have three bred-by dogs out of my bitch. So my growth has been with the future of my breeding program in mind as well as what will help out the other breeding Mudi we have here in the states. So far I have been very fortunate to be able to bring in some very nice examples of the breed to add to my program. I am also very proud to say I am the first AKC breeder of Merit for the Mudi. I absolutely adore 
this breed.

The funniest thing that I’ve experienced at a dog show? Well the most memorable was in December of 2017 at the AKC Nationals Week in Orlando. In the last Open Show of the week on Friday my Bred By Boy Ryder got Best of Breed. In the FSS Group Competition as we were doing our individual go round for the judge a lady was sitting ringside with two Barbets who proceeded to jump over the ring barrier right in front of us. I still do not know how we avoided falling over them! I said a quick oops! and side stepped to miss them. My wonderful boy Ryder looked at them-looked back at me and kept going without missing a beat. What could have been a disaster turned into a blooper on the video. Ryder barely missed placing in the group, but received some very nice comments from the judge as he left the ring. He said he really liked him, but felt he was a little immature and that it was between him and the dog he picked for fourth place-out of a big line-up of dogs. In April of this year I had the privilege to show again under this same judge (Mr. Jamie Hubbard). My Ryder has now filled out and matured at over two years old and Mr Hubbard gave him Best in Misc. After wards I asked him if he remembered Ryder and he said he certainly did!

 

Tracy Kaecker

I live in Petersburg, Illinois. I work for the State of Illinois as an Accountant Supervisor. And I actually have one hobby outside of dogs, I like to paint in my spare time (and I don’t have much of that!) I also compete with my dogs in conformation, Scentwork, Herding and FastCAT.

How is my breed faring in the quest for full recognition? Slow but steady. Globally there are roughly only 5,000 purebred Dutch Shepherds of all three coat types. So meeting the required number of registered dogs is probably the biggest obstacle to full recognition.

Do I expect a surge in popularity once we’re in the regular show ring? I do think it will attract more people to the breed and I think the demand will increase. But I don’t foresee a huge surge, at least I hope not.

Will this help or hurt our cause? That is the double-edged sword. Again, the numbers in the breed globally are very small, and for the sake of genetic diversity and the breed itself, it would be nice to see an uptick in the number of dogs.

But with the small numbers comes a small number of breeders. And these breeders are working together, desperately trying to preserve the historical value of this breed, both physically and mentally. Our greatest fear is the breed falling victim to the latest trends and fashions in the show ring.

(A top winning Dutch Shepherd today should look like a top winning Dutch Shepherd of the late 1800s and early 1900s.)

In addition, this breed is relatively healthy, despite the small gene pool. As breeders we are also trying to do everything in our power to maintain the health of the Dutch Shepherd.

All of this is much easier to control with the smaller numbers. A huge surge in popularity could be extremely detrimental to the breed, as it could draw people who simply want to “cash in” on this rare breed by breeding just about anything simply because it’s a Dutch Shepherd.

Do I believe there are enough workers to go around to get my breed recognized? No! There are never enough workers to go around. However, we do have a very dedicated group of people willing to do the work as well as some very knowledgeable people both in the US and overseas to draw from.

Would I breed more litters if we were fully recognized by AKC? No, not necessarily. I breed based on how I can improve the breed’s genetic diversity and how I can improve on my dog’s weaknesses based on the breed standard.

Full recognition could lead to increased demand, which could lead to a bit more genetic diversity in the US. This diversity would make it easier to breed without having to turn to a dog overseas. For that reason, I might be inclined to breed one or two more litters than I would otherwise.

The funniest thing that I’ve experienced at a dog show? Well, I have two stories, actually.

The first happened early in my dog showing days, before I learned the art of proper dog show apparel. I was wearing a flowing skirt with an elastic waistband, and showing a young, fractious dog. During the down and back, my dog decided to have a game of tug-of-war with my skirt, pulling it down to my ankles. I can’t tell you how embarrassed I was, but I did make the judge laugh out loud! I never wore anything with an elastic waistband again.

The other story occurred during a huge Coonhound show. The show started like any other, with the playing of the National Anthem over the PA. One Coonhound started howling, then another, and soon about 300 coonhounds were all howling (singing along) to the National Anthem. They were so loud it drowned out the PA and no one knew when the song was over. So we just stood around for about five minutes, until we were sure the song had finished.

 

Diane Koontz Bresee

I live in Knoxville in Eastern Tennessee. I am retired from my family’s real estate investment company, and am an Irish Wolfhound owner/breeder (currently inactive) since 1971 and judge since 1983.

How is my breed faring in its quest for full recognition? The American Belgian Laekenois Association board of directors and several of the club members have been working extremely hard to comply with the AKC’s requirements for regular acceptance into the herding group. It’s been a long process and difficult undertaking. We are, however, nearing the finish line to recognition. I’m chairman for the ABLA’s committee working in concert with the AKC to develop the Belgian Laekenois course for the judges’ education online Canine College. It’s an important component for judge’s education as well as a requirement towards the breed’s regular recognition into the herding group. Thanks to generous Laeken owners at Orlando last December, we were able to organize dogs for photographs and video taping to be included in the Canine 
College course.

What activities I do with my dogs? Herding is my central interest at this point. I have a small farm and use my Laekens to manage the livestock. I have handled my Laekens in AKC, ASCA, and AHBA herding trials for about 8 years. My male is the first Belgian Laekenois AHBA Herding trial champion. He also is the first of the breed to earn the requirements for the AKC herding trial championship, but because the Laeken is a miscellaneous breed he is not entitled to bear the HC prefix title. I’ve also done rally, and trained in tracking and scent work. There is nothing a Laekenois can not do. The breed is an incredible partner in any activity that requires intelligence, athleticism, and work ethic. They derive much joy and satisfaction in working, and pleasing their owner.

Do I show in other registries? No. There are no area UKC shows that are open to Belgians.

Would I breed more litters if we were fully recognized by AKC? The breed being fully recognized would not be enough to compel me to breed a litter. We were always hobby breeders and produced litters only when we had sound reasons to produce puppies for ourselves. It will be a wonderful thing when the breed is finally recognized, and Laekenois will be eligible for more opportunities and titles in AKC competition.

The funniest thing that I’ve experienced at a dog show? Not Laekenois related, but pretty funny none the less. Our English import and foundation Irish Wolfhound bitch resented being shown and cooperated begrudgingly. Her favorite person was my cousin, a tall redhead. Cameron would do her best to hide from Lulu and peek at her being shown from a distance. Without fail Lulu would find any redhead in the crowd of spectators and lock eyes woefully while my cousin did her best to hide. Lulu was quite the actress.

 

Scarlett King

I live near Huntsville, Alabama. What do I do outside of dogs? Nothing really, as I was a certified award winning groomer by trade, dogs have always been my life. Now I’m retired—they still give me hope for the future.

How is my breed faring in its quest for full recognition? The Russian Toy is enjoying a slow steady growth with a dedicated group that truly loves this unique toy breed. The long coat variety is more popular but the smooth coat is the most comical.

What activities do I do with my dogs? The Russian Toy is super smart, has a zest for life and has a retained prey drive. They are comical and have a bit of an attention deficit. They become bored easily and can be a challenge but really enjoy fast paced activities, such as lure coursing and agility. They are excellent for therapy work, great at scent work and did I say fast?! Yes they love to run. Being disabled, many of my toys have self taught themselves useful tasks to help me out....such as alerting when someone knocks, when alarms go off etc., retrieving—one even alerts when I have a sleep apnea problem. But general comforting companions are their forte!

Do I show in other registries? In the past prior to AKC acceptance, yes. Once the Open Shows were implemented, nothing but AKC events.

Would I breed more litters if we were fully recognized by AKC? No! I am a generational breeder and only breed for myself, friends and the preservation of the breed. My preference is to help others with importing other quality dogs to help with the diversity of our very small gene pool.

The funniest thing that I’ve experienced at a dog show? Years ago (in the 70s) I was watching the Working group while waiting for BIS competition, as the group was all moving together, an older lady showing a Samoyed, had her underwear come down. She never missed a beat—stepped right out of them and the Siberian Husky behind her picked them up shaking them as they all continued to move. The crowd roared and laughter echoed throughout 
the audience.

Thank you for letting me share some of my experiences with your magazine audience. I have been involved with the Russian Toy for 15 years. I am considered the mother of the breed here in the USA. Not the first to have the breed but its beginnings towards AKC recognition started with me. This year I was surprised and honored by the club with being named its first Breeder of the year 2018. My humble and heartfelt memories that I shared had everyone in tears—tears of joy from someone who truly loves these guys to the moon!

 

Kelley Lewis

I live in Rathdrum, Idaho. I am a certified professional groomer and trainer. Dogs are what I do outside of dogs.

How is my breed faring in its quest for full recognition? We are not as far along as I would have hoped for two years after entering the Misc class.

What activities do I do with my dogs? We train in what is currently known as IGP, aka Schutzhund, which includes tracking, obedience and protection. We also have dabbled in herding, shed hunting, nose work, agility, dock diving, coursing, and trick training. The Dutch Shepherd is an incredibly active and versatile breed that can do just about any activity.

Do I show in other registries? We are just getting our feet wet with showing in IABCA.

Would I breed more litters if I was fully recognized by AKC? Probably not. We are focusing on quality and improving the breed, so our decisions to breed are based on the access to quality 
breeding stock.

The funniest thing that I ever experienced at a dog show? We are only just starting to show, so I have yet to build my log of funny experiences. I am sure it won’t take long though!

 

Diana McCarty

I live in Buffalo, Minnesota—just a little west of Minneapolis. I am a retired Special Education Teacher, I sub and also judge in AKC and IABCA.

How is my breed faring in its quest for full recognition? We have a couple of bumps in the road where rules change and we have been working toward one set of criteria and then the criteria changes.

What activities I do with my dogs? Personally I have shown in AKC conformation, UKC, IABCA, Coursing, LGRA, NOTRA, etc. In addition if there is something new I will take a dog and try it.

Do I show in other registries? Yes, I do as in other registries we can compete for real titles. In AKC once a MISC breed moves to regular status—we have to start all over with zero points.

Would I breed more litters if we were fully recognized by AKC? Almost every conversation for people interested in the breed starts with “when will you get into the hound group” and then—well when you are closer we’ll get one. Unlike Poodles or Pugs that people know—we have to deal with a 40–70 pound dog that no one has ever heard of so a lot of what we do is to get visibility and educating the public and judges. My first litter of Grande Smooth I had 11 puppies of a big dog that no one had heard of. A challenge.

The funniest thing that I’ve experienced at a dog show? That is a toss up. I am well known for three stories in Basenjis. One is the second time I ever stepped in the ring the judge had us running so much that the last go around my pantyhose slid down to my knees so I couldn’t move (I did however win breed). Earlier that morning the same judge indicated that she could not see my male puppies boy parts and I should make them drop. Had not a clue how to make them drop. Another incident involved being chased by a squirrel in the ring where I ended up breaking both ankles jumping out of its way.

 

Mary Mytych

I bought my first Mudi in 2008 and now have nine, five as a result of breedings with one of more of my own dogs. I just whelped my first litter of second generation Flyaway Farm Mudis this April.

I have been involved in Judges Education at an increasing rate over the last two years and especially now that the breed has moved to the Miscellaneous Group. AKC judge Kitty Steidel has organized a Judges Education event at the Golden Gate KC show the last few years for FSS breeds and invited me to present the Mudi. Only because I am so passionate about this breed, was I able to share my knowledge of the Mudi with these judges that I so respect. This year I’ve done my first one on one tutoring or mentoring with judges and that has been a very positive experience, as well. Some of their questions and observations helped me to see the breed in a new way, through fresh and experienced eyes.

I live on a walnut and rice farm in the San Joaquin Delta, west of Lodi, California. Outside of dogs, I do very little! I enjoy reading mysteries, I do a little sewing and gardening, but the more dogs I have the less time I spend on those activities.

How is my breed faring in its quest for full recognition? I believe it is doing well in some ways and possibly not faring as well in others. The philosophy of the Mudi Club of America has always been to grow the breed in numbers and new owners at a “slow and steady” pace. Educating those new to the breed has been a priority in an effort to prevent Mudis from ending up in rescue. As a herding breed and all purpose farm dog, the Mudi is athletic, intelligent and hard working. Without the appropriate physical and mental stimulation they can become destructive and noisy, a nuisance 
to neighbors. So far we have seen very few Mudis in need of rescue or rehoming, but it does occur.

I would like to see all Mudi owners follow the health testing recommendations and respect the Mudi Standard. We are still in need of solid color Mudis for a healthy breeding population here in the US. Solid black is traditionally the most commonly seen color in the country of origin, Hungary. But the popularity of the merle color pattern has resulted in a US population that lacks solid color breeding dogs in sufficient numbers.

Do I expect a surge in popularity once we’re in the regular show ring? I really don’t see that happening. That may just be wishful thinking. I believe that if breeders are honest with prospective puppy buyers about the reality of living and training with a Mudi, those who shouldn’t own one won’t buy one.

The only negative I can see that may come with full recognition are the possible changes to grooming and ring preparation that have been suggested by professional handlers and groomers. The Mudi has a naturally very easy care coat. It’s curly, deflects debris and is not to be scissored. They have curly whiskers that are not to be trimmed. My hope is that the judges will be our allies in keeping the presentation as natural as it has always been.

I’ve been showing my Mudis in Open Shows and the Misc. classes since Open Shows began being offered. Some Mudi owners object to earning a CM and then being required to earn a CH after full recognition, so they wait. I see the importance of having Mudis in the ring for judges so that they may begin developing an eye for the breed. It’s also important to give other exhibitors and spectators access to these breeds at dog shows. Every show we enter becomes a Meet the Breed of sorts.

Do I believe there are enough workers to go around to get my breed recognized? Are there ever enough? lol Our club was formed in 2004 with three individuals. Those three people are still members and we have grown to about 70 members currently. After spending eight years on the MCA board, I think we could do a better job of including newer members in the work of the club and breed. We are fortunate to have enthusiastic and talented members who are as versatile as our beloved breed. In order to continue growing and maintaining those newer members, the club needs to be a fun, safe place to learn, celebrate and indulge in all things Mudi.

Would I breed more litters if we were fully recognized by AKC? The status of the Mudi with AKC really doesn’t impact my breeding plans. In addition to showing in the breed ring, I train and compete in AKC agility, obedience, scent work and rally. So, I breed litters for two reasons, to have my next training partner and to provide a few puppies to appropriate homes. My time, space and energy are what limit my litters. I do love raising these active and intelligent little farm dogs!

 

Jeffory Neale

I live in Loveland, Ohio and I’m a Human Recourse Director for manufacturer of automated machinery.

How is my breed faring in its quest for full recognition? We have full recognition starting January 1, 2020!

Do I expect a surge in popularity once we’re in the regular show ring? The dog-fancy loves big moving dogs with lots of hair—whilst the word “rustic” is in our breed standard I’ve already seen dogs sculpted to look like a giant Bichon. Barbet are a retrieving breed in the sporting group, we need to preserve that heritage. We have a generalist performer developed in a time before the inventions of guns. My fear is we will become a sculpted breed where grooming prevails over functional purpose, a doodle for the breed ring.

Do I believe there are enough workers to go around to get my breed recognized? No, but I think that is a phenomenon that isn’t just a Barbet problem. It is difficult working long hours and giving up scarce vacation time to work an event where I may not 
even participate. I’m guilty of it, there is just never enough time. Google gives the illusion that all the world’s knowledge is at our fingertips. I ended up being a bird boy over a very long and hot weekend when all the kids quit. I learned SO much just from watching the dogs run—it was invaluable. The truth is there is a wealth of knowledge to be had just by working events and talking to people. I’ve got to give back more than I do and we’ll have to work across breed lines for all of us to survive.

Would I breed more litters if we were fully recognized by AKC? Absolutely not; more litters isn’t the answer to preserving the Barbet or its health.

The funniest thing that I’ve experienced at a dog show? Not exactly funny, but a tornado warning in White River’s Golden specialty one year, 200+ wet Golden Retrievers in a humid basement till the storms passed. The dogs had a grand time in the break from the show; we were all packed riding out the warning. After it was over, the building’s floor was covered under a couple of inches of water. Otherwise, intelligent people standing water with submerged extension cords flipping on dryers not once giving thought to the possibility of electrocution.

 

Gayle Pruett

I live in Alabama. RV’ing and fishing are my passion since retiring. As an ex-carpenter I still enjoy a little remodeling from time to time.

How is my breed faring in its quest for full recognition? It is presently the fastest growing new breed and we are making history on many levels. It is the first breed to be accepted as a purebred due to a genetic study and not the customary pedigree documentation. It was accepted into the AKC FSS, eight years after applying and moved into Misc. five years later.

Do I expect a surge in popularity once we’re in the regular show ring? With it already growing quickly, it is hard to tell. We saw a lot of breeders that had attained Biewer Terriers, waiting for Misc. There are just as many, if not more, with perfectly groomed and trained dogs waiting for us to hit that full acceptance into the Toy group. The BTCA has helped many countries with recognition and we have recently been contacted by numerous others, requesting information on the standard, the name and the results of the genetic studies on the breed.

It is always good when you have more people involved in a new breed. The BTCA requires all dogs to be DNA profiled and Wisdom Panel tested for exclusion of mix breeds. Not all countries require any testing and that can present a problem in keeping the purebred Biewer Terrier free of mixes. So far we are doing great with the other countries and look forward to a good relationship as we all work together to improve the Biewer Terrier.

Do I believe there are enough workers to go around to get my breed recognized? We are seeing a growth in membership with people eager to help move the breed forward. At the moment the BTCA is working over time to prepare for Toy Group acceptance. We are fortunate to have a membership of passionate, dedicated people willing to put in the time to meet the AKC requirements for full acceptance.

Would I breed more litters if we were fully recognized by AKC? Although there is a need for quality litters, a person can only have so many litters. I believe everybody is stepping up their game both in the ring and breeding programs. With the breed being so young and the need for dogs growing, we have to be careful not to be putting pet puppies into breeding programs.

The funniest thing that I’ve experienced at a dog show? My dogs are very attached to me and they pretty much stay by my side at all times. I carry a loose lead in the ring because they are so obedient. While sitting outside the ring one time, someone had called me to help them with some grooming. I got up to help and as I walked away, people started yelling, “Loose dog, loose dog” so I’m looking around for a loose dog as people come running towards me hollering, “Get her, get her”. I am still looking before I realize they were talking about my dog. I started laughing as I picked her up and said, “She’s not loose, she just goes everywhere with me.”

 

Juan Sabogal

I live in Denham Springs, Louisiana. I’m a loving father and husband. I have a full time job as a restaurant/commissary manager.

How is my breed faring in its quest for full recognition? We (the dog and I) are doing everything we can to help the Laekenois to meet the goals of the ABLA. We are new to this and have a long way to go. But with the help of our ABLA we have accomplished a lot in so very little time.

What activities I do with my dogs? She is a companion to our family but mainly to our child with special needs. She does Herding as well.

Do I show in other registries? Not at the moment.

Would I breed more litters if we were fully recognized by AKC? Yes, once people learn more about the breed, they will not 
be disappointed.

The funniest thing that I’ve experienced at a dog show? If you haven’t seen how much money people spend in a “hobby”, go to a dog show. My mind was blown away the first time we participated.

 

Ann Schultz

I live in Maryland and I consider myself a professional dog groomer.

How is my breed faring in its quest for full recognition? Outstanding! Amazing story of the journey and the end is in sight.

Do I expect a surge in popularity once we’re in the regular show ring? The surge has already occurred. People ask me at the shows all the time. The surge in popularity will only hurt if people don’t breed to the standard.

Do I believe there are enough workers to go around to get my breed recognized? The core is a nice working nucleus, but more participation will be needed as we grow and expand as a parent club.

Would I breed more litters if we were fully recognized by AKC? I personally, am limited to the number of dogs that I can have, so honestly; I couldn’t breed more. Hopefully only better the breed.

The funniest thing that occurred; happened at BWI Air Cargo. Had my 4.5 year old granddaughter with me to pick up a Biewer Terrier. Granddaughter was talking up a storm about the Biewer Terrier and the dog’s name to anyone that asked. Upon leaving the building the three USDA Inspection ladies asked her “what’s in the crate?” Of course, she proudly replied a “BEAVER” (not Biewer Terrier as before). That stopped them all in their tracks knowing that they just inspected all the air cargo. They were relieved to know it was a dog and not a wild beaver. I explained that granddaughter was correct in her pronunciation of “beaver” and that she left off the terrier part. Their parting comment was that would be conversation for the office and walked off laughing as did I.

 

Debra Side

I live in Jonestown, Pennsylvania on a horse farm and I am owned by horses and my wonderful Biewer Terriers. I have five children and seven Grandchildren whom I adore. My Husband and I had been the owners of a Honda, Yamaha, and Suzuki Motorcycle Dealership for 35 years but recently sold the dealership. I also ride and show horses in Team Sorting and Penning.

How is my breed faring in its quest for full recognition? Biewer Terriers are now in the Misc. class and hopefully a year from now will be fully recognized.

Do I expect a surge in popularity once we’re in the regular show ring? I do think our awesome little breed will become more and more popular once in the regular show ring and once you meet them you will be hooked!

Do I believe there are enough workers to go around to get my breed recognized? I think there are enough diligent workers pushing the breed ahead but we could always use more young workers involved with the breed.

Would I breed more litters if we were fully recognized by AKC? As far as breeding more litters, I myself will not be as I already am at my max as far as amount of puppies as too many pups doesn’t allow you to spend the necessary time socializing them.

Funniest thing in the show ring to me is the fact that my dogs always know what to do so much better than me.

 

James Star

I live in Pennsylvania. I currently have a full time job so between that and my dogs I’m busy.

How is my breed faring in its quest for full recognition? Excellent. I serve on the Board for the Biewer Terrier Club of America as Secretary and we have been working with AKC to stay on course for full recognition.

Do I expect a surge in popularity once we’re in the regular show ring? We are already experience the surge. Our breed is extremely popular with regular pet families and show people.

Do I believe there are enough workers to go around to get my breed recognized? Absolutely. The members of the Biewer Terrier Club of America has very dedicated members both show and pet and are rolling up their sleeves where every they can to help.

Would I breed more litters if we were fully recognized by AKC? No. I concentrate only on one to two litters a year.

The funniest thing that I’ve experienced at a dog show? Well shame on me but at our very first introduction at AKC I put my badge on the wrong arm! The thrill and excitement for our breed being introduced for the first time in Orlando I became overwhelmed and lost all concentration.

 

Myrna Torres

I live in California. I am retired and help with watching my granddaughter, I am also a notary.

How is my breed faring in its quest for full recognition? The Biewer Terrier is doing extremely well in its quest for full recognition. We have moved from an established breed and breed club in 2006 to Miscellaneous Class in the AKC in record time. We are working towards full recognition and are confident that we will also see this happen in record time.

Do I expect a surge in popularity once you’re in the regular show ring? Absolutely! We are already seeing a surge and a high amount of interest amongst show people, handlers and breeders.

I believe that this will help our cause as the more people that are interested in our breed and showing the more likely it will be that AKC will move to full recognition of the Biewer Terrier. I also believe that it will help to have the breed recognized by the FCI.

Do I believe there are enough workers to go around to get my breed recognized? At this time, we have had enough but as we grow, we will be needing to rely more on our members. We have been very lucky as we are now having many members joining that want to roll up their sleeves and get to work.

Would I breed more litters if we were fully recognized by AKC? Probably, but I am a very careful breeder and do not want to breed just to put out dogs.

The funniest thing that I have seen at a dog show is; a puppy going in the ring for the first time, the puppy got away from the person showing the puppy and seeing the handler running around the ring trying to catch the puppy was hilarious. I kept the video as it put a light hearted side to a sometimes-tense situation.

 

Joke Tucker Van Den Berg

I live in Carr, Colorado. I don’t do much outside the dogs, I have another breed Irish Wolfhounds, 46 years, and the Podengos and Irish Wolfhounds are my passion.

I do a lot of research, am a Pedigree Junkie and most of my friends are dog people. I do have land, for the dogs to run and chase rabbits, that I need to take care of, some fencing, mowing and have veggie garden, mostly grow for the dogs. I also still work two times a week and do some church activities.

Do I show in other registries? Yes, I show UKC and IABCA.

Would I breed more litters if we were AKC recognized? Yes, I definitely would breed more litters, that is part of the passion to see what I can produce better than what I did before, that is the fun part, love it.

The funniest thing that I’ve experienced at a dog show? I can’t recall anything really funny at a dog show, maybe a chuckle here and there.

How is my breed faring in its quest for full recognition? I think that this breed has done everything AKC requested and more. The President of the club has done so much out of love for this breed, her last adventure was going to Portugal to attend a breed seminar with Portuguese, mainly, hunters. It was done for the first time and was successful. She has done so many Open Shows, I believe 26, she may correct me on that. She has helped other clubs with holding Open Shows. She travels and shows.

The other activities I do with the dogs are Lure Coursing, Fast Cat, Rally, Conformation and I am working with my eight year old male to become a Therapy dog, he is awesome with people and very gentle. Some of my friends call him the “Gentleman” of my pack.

In the 13 years that I have had these dogs I learned a lot, made mistakes, thinking the Irish Wolfhound way but now I am totally committed to this breed.

They are funny, loveable, loyal, they are diverse, who would have thought a Podengo in Fly Ball, Dock diving, one of my puppy buyers does it all, she is new to the breed and loving it.

There is so much more I could tell you but here are my answers to your questions. Thank you so much for the interest in the Misc and FSS, it is a well deserved mission with hard working people loving their breed.

 

Samantha Van Buren

I’m a Mudi owner as well as have a litter planned for the spring. I have been involved in AKC dog shows since 2011 with Chihuahuas and Australian Terriers as well. I compete in conformation, agility, and trick training, and did junior handling for many years.

I live in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Outside of dogs I am a student at the University of Minnesota. I also am doing research in the Canine Genetics Lab at the UMN veterinary hospital and teach as a dog agility instructor.

How is my breed faring in its quest for full recognition? In just the past couple years we have seen quite in influx of interest in the breed as not only are they are a very unique dog that is a nice size, they also excel in agility and other events.

Do I expect a surge in popularity once we’re in the regular show ring? I do think we will have a surge in popularity once we are in the regular show ring as this is quite a unique and beautiful breed. I am personally worried about the increase in popularity as Mudi’s have a very quirky temperament, are very barky, and are not suitable for everyone. Many people are drawn to the Merle, which is why education on the breed is very important so the general public who is interested will know what they are like temperament wise. They are wonderful and fun dogs, yet very quirky.

Do I believe there are enough workers to go around to get my breed recognized? I believe so. The Mudi Club of America has a lot of dedicated owners and breeders who are working very hard.

Would I breed more litters if we were fully recognized by AKC? No. I only have a litter every couple years and very thoughtfully plan out my breedings. My worry is for the breeds numbers to exponentially rise too quickly upon full recognition.

The funniest thing that I’ve experienced at a dog show? I once got hit in the forehead by a hot dog when a German Shepherd handler was baiting his dog in the ring and tossed it out to get the dogs ears up!

 

Marilyn Vinson

I live in Glendale, Arizona, My husband and I are retired. Outside of dogs, dog clubs and activities I spend time trying to sort out stuff, so my kids will stop calling me a “hoarder stage 1”.

How is my breed faring in its quest for full recognition? Its been quite a journey but we just entered miscellaneous this July. The parent club is more cohesive in our goals and looking forward to completing the requirements for full recognition.

Do I expect a surge in popularity once we’re in the regular show ring? There may be an initial surge but I don’t think it will last long. These are big dogs and they have big litters. Two things many people do not want to deal with. Plus, our breeders are still very discriminating where their pups go. Trying very hard to keep this a dual breed.

Getting a breed recognized is hard work! Are there enough workers to go around? Yes, it is hard work! Like most clubs there is a core group of workers and more behind the scenes. Because we are a dual breed we have some more interested in hunting and others in conformation. Most will do some of both and try to support others in their chosen activities.

Would I breed more litters if we were fully recognized by AKC? Depends on how fast we get there as I am old! I hope to see that!

The funniest thing that I’ve experienced at a dog show? Many years ago while watching a brace of a toy breed doing a down and back. On the way back to the judge one was “pushing” the other. The judge and the crowds reactions were wonderful. 

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