Roundtable Discussion: The Foundation Stock Service


  • August 01, 2018

We talked with some people in the Foundation Stock Service (FSS) community about the breeds they love, and the future. From the July 2018 issue of ShowSight. Click to Subscribe.

MEET THE PANEL

Temple Dasilva

I live in North Stonington, Connecticut. I also breed and exhibit chickens as well as have a dressage horse that is shown for me by a good friend.

Mary Dixon

I live just outside of Ann Arbor, Michigan on three wooded acres in an old farmhouse on the edge of the 500 acre Pittsfield Preserve. I am a porcelain artist and sell on Etsy. I sing parody songs for the comedy news show “The Stephanie Miller Show” on SiriusXM Progress 127 as “Mary in Ann Arbor.” I run Michigan’s only animal talent company for the film/video industry (Ann Arbor Animal Actors) and have worked with Eminem, Ohio Lottery, Sam Goldwyn, Minnie Driver, Alexander Skarsgård, Hillary Swank and many others. I enjoy ‘zone pushing’ gardening and have hardy banana trees, bamboo and palms that overwinter outside. I am a koi pond enthusiast and have a small 300 gallon waterfall pond with 15 friendly fish that come up to say ‘hello’ my dogs! I have had egg and meat chickens for 22 years. I enjoy going to smooth jazz concerts and am a proud “Parrothead” (Jimmy Buffett fan). I collect dog-theme Swatch watches, indie nail polish, perfumes and used to collect antique Disneyana. I love learning new languages piece by piece. I have been a horse owner, with a Morgan Horse, a Morgan/Quarter Horse cross and a Norwegian Fjord. I liked the Fjord the best! I cook my grandfather’s Lebanese food and am currently learning to make highly decorated sugar cookies.

Ashley Hammack

I live in Goochland, Virginia where I work for Allianz Partners in Richmond as a Fulfillment Delivery Analyst. I create specialty insurance documents across a vast product line to ensure state and corporate compliance.

Hamiltonstovare have been in the Foundation Stock Service since 2011. Prior to the Foundation Stock Service recognition, the breed had a small but devoted population in America. Hamiltonstovare were first developed in Sweden in the 1860s by Count Adolf Patrick Hamilton, who went on to found the Swedish Kennel Club. The breed was developed using English Foxhounds, Harriers and now extinct German hounds. The purpose of the breed is to hunt native foxes and hare, singularly and never in a pack. They are devoted to their people and have a high prey drive. Their hunting style is to drive game to the hunter instead of driving the game to a den. Hamiltonstovare are very popular within Sweden and Norway, where they are still used to hunt hare and foxes. When Hamiltonstovare aren’t hunting, they are expected to be perfect family pets and do whatever is asked of them.

Hamiltonstovare should be versatile family pets ready for anything. They love watching TV but are ready to go on a 10 mile hike at a moments notice. Hamiltonstovare in America excel at just about anything but they are currently known for being great service dogs and show dogs. The breed has been within the UK for a while and they have a devoted following there. Hamiltonstovare are not like other more popular scenthounds in America in that they are more business-like in demeanor within the show ring and total goof balls outside of the ring. The are very serious about their work be it performance sports, conformation, service dog work, therapy dog work or hunting. At home, they are very smart and arrogant clowns. They constantly make their owners laugh with their antics, from their extensive vocabulary to their upside-down sleeping habits. The breed are notorious back-talkers to their owners, be it a hum of pleasure to a roo of indignation. Hamiltonstovare are incredibly perceptive to their owners and form incredibly close bonds to their people. Once they have bonded with their people, nothing can break that bond. Hamiltonstovare have been known to alert to impending medical issues and panic attacks instinctively.

Judging the Hamiltonstovare should be treated as a privilege to be able to see a national treasure from Sweden. They should never be lumped in with other scenthounds as they have many features that make them completely unique from other related breeds. First, they are a markings breed in that they are suppose to be a very specific pattern of tricolor. However, a dog that is more correctly built should always place over a dog with perfect markings but cannot perform it’s job. Second, Hamiltonstovare should never carry their tails above their back and should always be presented with the tails down during examination. The tail should only elevate in motion but never above the back. Third, Hamiltonstovare have height disqualifications for both over and under, the height disqualifications are different for males and females. So if in doubt, please use a wicket. Finally, Hamiltonstovare should look like they can thrive in the cold. If you cannot picture this dog floating over snow, chasing a hare while screaming its head off in a cry that can be heard for miles, then do not award it. Everything about this breed should be about efficiency, versatility and endurance.

Hamiltonstovare are generally a healthy breed and have had their hips evaluated and recorded with the Swedish Kennel Club for close to 40 years now. They have an average lifespan between 14 and 16 years old. Many Hamiltonstovare do no start to go gray until after they are 10+ years old. As Hamiltonstovare are such a visually striking breed, the main issue impacting the breed is that more focus is being placed on markings instead of structural soundness. This is a breed built on a series of rectangles so body proportions, muscle tone and movement are starting to falter in certain lines.

Valerie Kessler

We currently live in Sacramento, California. I am a 911 Police Dispatcher.

Brian O’Connor

I live in Spokane Washington. I am a Chief Master Sergeant and Squadron Superintendent for the U.S. Air Force with almost 30 years of honorable service. Additionally I am a Co-Founder of the Drentsche Patrijshond Club of North America (DPCNA), currently I am the Editor for the DPCNA newsletter, Club Treasurer and Registrar. When I am not goofing around or hunting with my dogs I love to road bike, hike and read.

Debra Pereira

I’ve been involved in purebred dog sports (AKC primarily) since the 1980s and I currently compete in agility, conformation, rally, obedience and field events with my Bracco as well as my English Pointers. My Bracco is the first female AKC Certificate of Merit recipient and is the first (and only) Bracco competing in AKC agility. She has qualified for the AKC Agility Invitational in Orlando this December. She was also the first Bracco to earn a Trick Dog title and she has her Junior Hunter title. I wanted to give that introduction to highlight I am committed to the sport of purebred dogs and am committed to seeing the Bracco advance towards AKC recognition.

I live in Connecticut and outside of dogs, I’m a retired pharmaceutical researcher.

Marilyn Vinson

Live in Glendale, Arizona (northwest of Phoenix). We are retirees so almost all our activities involve or/are about dogs. We hunt, show, do therapy dog activities, involved as general member or Board member in a number of breed and all breed clubs. My breed is the Bracco Italiano.

 

Q & A 

1. Working towards AKC recognition is a long process. How are you keeping yourself and your fellow fanciers enthused? 

TD: While our breed club isn’t as active as we would like, we do keep interest in the breed through the use of social media and meeting up at AKC open shows whenever possible.

MD: I believe the principles of positive reinforcement are useful in keeping my fellow fanciers interested and involved. Handmade tokens by myself or other artists at important events are fun and interesting club meetings and fostering friendly relationships is of high importance. Acknowledgement of photos and accomplishments in our Facebook group or on Instagram are also ways we get to know each other and build trusted relationships, be it show people or pet owners. Honesty is absolutely the most important guide to my operation of the Kromfohrlander Club of America and taking care of little problems before they become big ones is also important. We are one family.

AH: Social media, the Hamiltonstovare Club of America has a facebook group where we celebrate new titles, Meet the Breeds Events, rescue adoptions, educate people about dog sports, and provide guided feedback to those with Hamiltonstovare related issues

VK: We have hosted regional gatherings every year for 10 years at Hastings Island Hunting Preserve in Rio Vista, California. This is a weekend event that includes a day of field work and a fun dog show on day two with AKC Judge Nitsa Trayler to help introduce conformation to those new to the show world. The Bracco Italiano Club of America has held National Specialties since 2007. We have flown judges from Italy to teach owners and judges about the importance of the Italian Standard. We have hosted judges education seminars in Michigan, California and Florida. We attend different dog show across the country, including the Golden Gate Kennel Club bench show in San Francisco. We have also participated in handling clinics put on by AKC Judge Nitsa Trayler. Our members enjoy getting local owners together and meeting at different dog show venues and AKC hunt tests across the country.

BO: The DPCNA holds an Annual Meeting where we invite membership to attend. We also offer hunt tests and 
conformation exams to those who can attend. We publish our newsletter twice a year, and in each issue we highlight Drent success stories and happenings. For example, we have a Drent doing Search and Recovery, one working to become a personal assistance dog and one who has done quite well at AKC open shows. There are also a couple involved with Barn Hunt and another that has achieved a Lure Coursing title. Many have achieved their Canine Good Citizen and even excelled at Dock Dogs. We of course also share hunting stories and what ever else may help inspire an owner to get their Drent involved.

DP: This is a difficult one—with two clubs vying for Parent Club status I feel things have unfortunately stalled.

MV: It is difficult when we are limited on activities and we are so spread out across the US. Social media has helped in many respects such as getting to know each other, get the word out when there are open shows, hunt tests that we can participate in. We (BISA) have been doing our National specialties with the Spinone Club each year. They have helped us so much and they make it more fun for people and dogs. We have been fortunate to be asked to present judges/breed education at a number of venues. We include our members and their dogs. It is a good way to expose them to AKC workings and its hard to blame judges you helped educate! BISA has done the Sporting Group seminars in Michigan the last few years and loved it. This year it didn’t workout so we invited the other parent club (BICA) to present the breed. Again, participation of as many as possible, in as much as possible, is important. Inclusion and fun are the key.

2. How is your breed club coming in its effort to become AKC recognized?

TD: We could be doing better. We acknowledge we need a “reboot” for the club since we do have people who have expressed interest in joining.

MD: I have helped two other breeds on this journey (I helped the Berger Picard club import their foundation dogs and was the USA founder of the Portuguese Podengo Medio) so I am very aware of the process. We have dogs in almost all the states we need and are very attentive to obtaining AKC representative observation at events we attend. We hold club meetings about once a year, I put together a sporadic newsletter on our website and our most important tool is the regular updates and social activity shared on our Facebook group, Kromfohrlander North America. We are about to welcome the 5th litter in the USA and the count should be to almost 65 (we started in December 2012 with just two male puppies!). One day at a time.

AH: We have a solid US membership base and are supported by the Swedish Hamiltosntovare Club and the Norwegian Hamiltonstovare Club. Our members cover many countries and backgrounds but all motivated by seeing the Hamiltonstovare succeed. The main thing we need is more dogs registered and competing in the US.

VK: The Bracco Italiano Club of America is close. We have taken a slow steady approach to AKC and have built a strong breed club with approximately 145 members who own the breed.

BO: The DPCNA is the recognized Club in North America for the Drentsche Patrijshond. We also manage our own registry which helps us to monitor and advance our breeding program.

DP: The “fanciers” who support AKC recognition have done their best to ensure all the requirements to move into Misc class have been met, the only thing holding us back is getting the two clubs to agree which will be the 
Parent Club. 

MV: We basically have met the requirements but at the moment we have two parent clubs.

3. What is the biggest difficulty you face at this time?

TD: As mentioned above, we are struggling with creating an active parent club. The vast majority of Portuguese pointers are pets so spayed and neutered. While it’s wonderful that folks find them ideal family members, it also means we don’t have a lot of dogs eligible for showing and fewer still actually being bred here in the US. At this time, we don’t have any active reputable breeders here so all new puppies here are imports.

MD: We have some unique problems- genetic non-diversity and lack of puppies. There are simply not many breeders or bloodlines in the world. Waiting lists are years long overseas and many breeders simply do not wish to allow their puppies to be exported to the USA. Some breeders overseas are involved in FCI-sanctioned outcross programs that we are watching with interest. Breeding restrictions overseas has resulted in severe popular 
sire syndrome.

AH: Getting new people who want to be active in dog sports involved in the breed. Myself and those breeders that import have a waiting list for pet homes but have struggles finding show or performance homes.

VK: We have not really faced any difficulties since we have taken our time to develop our breed club. We have focused on educating new owners and judges on the breed standard. We have made numerous trips to Italy and have attended the International Bracco events hosted by the Società Amatori Bracco Italiano (Bracco Club of Italy). We have brought the top judges from Italy to attend our National Specialties. And we have imported some high quality dogs from working kennels in Italy so we can continue to develop healthy diverse bloodlines in the USA.

BO: The number of Drents in North America is very 
limited, most likely less than 225. The DPCNA has 
established strict requirements for breeding as each 
dog used will contribute greatly to establish the breed on this side of the Atlantic. Since many kennels operate closely, a three-generation pedigree is not adequate information to determine if the COI is safe. Because of this we must use our database, and confer with Vereniging de Drentsche Patrijshond, to ensure compatibility and COI 
are appropriate.

DP: Individuals putting politics and history aside to do what’s best to move the Bracco forward towards AKC recognition. The current fear is the (older) club members would let the breed stagnate in Misc instead of moving towards full recognition, because most officers feel AKC recognition “ruins” hunting breeds.

MV: Having two parent clubs. We pretty much have the same vision for the breed but some differences on how to apply that vision.

 

4. Are people coming together as a team for the good of the breed?

TD: Yes, I think so. We have had our share of folks in it for the novelty of a rare breed but it seems we have moved past that now, thankfully.

MD: So far, so good! Problems are dealt with as they happen, not allowed to ferment and create animosity. My experience with many other clubs and groups has given me some good insight on how clubs work (or don’t) and juggling personality types and people with different kinds of goals. I figure out what a person is good at and allow them to use their own skills to help the group. Everyone is important and has value.

AH: Within the US, the breed community is very strong and connected to each other. The breed community within other countries have severe factions that could impact the future of the breed in that country.

VK: Yes, I think so. We have built the Bracco Italiano 
Club of America with people who own the breed so 
they are a very dedicated group of people who have a vested interested in the health and welfare of this rare breed in the USA. We have also developed a database 
and a health foundation which is a 501c3 for the breed, 
www.braccodatabase.org  

BO: By in large the answer is yes. There are however differing views on how to best manage this rare breed’s health for the long term and its growth in popularity. Most are settling in on the use of genetic testing for various health issues, then adopting appropriate breeding practices to reduce incidence rates. The biggest debate is determining what is the most significant issue and thus determining the most appropriate and effect method to adopt in order to reduce or eliminate incidence rates. The Drent does have a very dedicated following, and as a community most everyone wants to see the breed thrive.

DP: In my opinion definitely not. The issue is what people see as the definition of “for the good of the breed”. Some see moving towards AKC recognition as for the good of the breed, others see it as detrimental to the breed.

MV: For the most part they are. Both clubs have formed a committee to work with each other to smooth out the rough spots. We are hopeful! My goal is that The United States becomes known for having the best Bracco in the field and the ring.

 

5. Your opinion of the current quality of your breed.

TD: We attend the breed specialty in Portugal every year and have seen what I feel are steady improvements in type, hunting ability, temperament and health. The breeders there are becoming more aware of the need to health test, as in the past, that wasn’t done with any regularity. As mentioned before, there really aren’t any reputable breeders in the US.

MD: We have been very fortunate to have been entrusted with valuable bloodlines that reflect some of the best quality dogs in our breed overseas. On ‘this side of the pond,’ we are using what we have with an eye to 
conformation, temperament and the breed standard (and health testing, in particular footpad hyperkeratois, for which we have a DNA test), that is inclusive of all variations of the two coat types (wire and smooth). We cannot afford to ‘kick out’ a lot of dogs from the breeding program that is here in the USA. Almost every one of them has something to offer the North American breeding program. We aim to have consistency in hair coat variables eventually but for now, we are concentrating on the important aspects of the breed—health, temperament and structure.

AH: The Swedish and Norwegian lines are incredibly strong and really are driving the breed forward with regards to structural soundness and instinct preservation. The US population that is still intact is also very strong but it needs more genetic diversity to truly thrive.

VK: We have made great strides in the quality of dogs we are importing and breeding. The judges at our 2018 National Specialty in Grinnell, Iowa (which included two judges from Italy and two AKC judges) said they have seen much improvement in our dogs.

BO: The Drent is a unique breed. It has been around now for nearly 400 years, but only received recognition at the time of World War II. Before formal recognition, the Drent, was a farmer’s dog, and while considered pure, the reality is the Drent most likely has bits and pieces of its closest relatives all mixed in: most notably the French Spaniel and Small (Kleine) Munsterlander. The German Longhair pointer was developed much more recently in Germany, but just across the border from the Dutch province of Drenthe. Meaning there is a good amount of acceptable variation within the breed be it in build, coat, or color. There are definite Drent qualities to look for: the two most prominent types are the Nimrod (what the actual standard is based off of, and describes a slightly lighter bone/build) and Clovis (heavier build/bone). There are plenty of amazing Drents of either type 
out there.

MV: This is the second breed I have been party to ‘bringing into AKC’—Shar-Pei was the first. The Bracco has some weakness to work on but overall I feel they are extremely strong. The rare times you see more that four or five in the ring the quality break down is about the same as established breeds.

6. The biggest concern you have about your breed, be it medical, structural, temperament-wise, or what. 

TD: This is by nature a “soft” breed. We have seen shyness in some lines but that seems to be on the decline now.

MD: Dogs in the USA are expected to be outgoing and friendly and the “Kromi” just isn’t, typically, in fact this 
is in the breed standard. It loves its owner and other familiar people but in reality, it is a highly sensitive 
breed and has an aloof or difficult temperament with strangers and new situations. We are working very hard to develop the social skills of Kromfohrlander puppies so that they can be better North American citizens by with good success. Continued socializing is absolutely emphasized to new owners.

AH: Within the US it is genetic diversity, most of the dogs are from UK bloodlines and very few are from Swedish or Norwegian bloodlines. Outside of the US, it is certain countries developing a look of the breed that varies from the one within Sweden.

VK: We have some concerns about kidney problems in the breed that we are keeping a close eye on. Umbilical hernias (which are genetic) are also a big problem in the Bracco so we hope people will not breed those dogs.  

BO: Like all breeds the Drent has its issues. Epilepsy has become an increasingly important topic within the breed community, and there are efforts to identify where the disease resides in the genetic code to make testing possible and management realistic. Von Willdebrand type-1 is surprisingly common in the breed, and Paw Print Genetics here in Spokane has spent considerable resources investigating this. Interestingly dogs positive for vWD-1 do not present clinically even though we know they also lack the antigens for proper clotting. This is a conundrum, but not a crisis for the breed. The DPCNA is striving to reduce the number of affected dogs through management of its breeding program. Outside of that, it is really education of new potential owners. The Drent is a handsome athletic dog with a great temperament and personality; even so, they aren’t for everyone.

DP: I see the biggest issue being persons breeding dogs at a fairly young age, as soon as they get hip/elbow/eye clearances at age two. This breed seems to have a much higher than average incidence of young onset kidney disease, including amyloidosis, and in most cases issues aren’t apparent until middle age (4-7 years). I’d like to see more people wait to breed until a little later after normal kidney function had been established in middle years, which wouldn’t be a guarantee of no kidney issues but should hopefully lesson the incidence. I also see a very high incidence of severe allergic skin reactions that impact the dog’s quality of life - I’d also like to see people come together to identify if there is a genetic influence and breed away from issues by (again) waiting to breed until the dog is a little older and only breed individuals who themselves, as well as close relatives, do not show signs of skin sensitivities.

MV: Has to be medical/health. Temperaments are wonderful, structure is the same issues as any breed. I hear about so many allergies and that scares me as it can be so miserable for dogs and heartbreaking for owners. Next is trying to ensure it remains a dual purpose breed; they are wonderful hunting dogs!

 

7. The biggest problem facing you as a breeder.

TD: I am no longer a breeder (just not cut out for the stress of whelping puppies and letting them go!) but I am the main point of contact for breeder referral. My challenge is to be able to more easily facilitate import of puppies from breeders abroad. Many buyers are put off at the idea of import, buying a puppy without actually seeing it in person, and the language barrier. New regulations by airlines regarding the necessity of a rabies vaccine—despite that not being an import requirement for the US—have made it more difficult to bring puppies in before they are five months of age.

MD: The lack of genetic diversity and getting potential puppy owners to understand that this ‘family’ of concerned Kromi fanciers comes with the adoption purchase of a puppy…and our ‘all hands on deck’ situation in saving this wonderful, endangered breed.

AH: Getting unrelated stud dogs and the process of relying on incredibly expensive frozen AI breedings for the foreseeable future.

VK: The biggest problem is people wanting them because they look like a hound and/or the love their long ears. They are not a hound and don’t act like a hound! They are an active upland bird dog so we have to be careful they are placed in the right homes.  

BO: Rare breed hunters wanting a Drent to be the first “fill in the blank”, or people looking to get into the breed only because it is rare and they see an opportunity to make money off of the situation.

DP: I’m spoiled by the relative healthiness of my Pointers; with the Bracco there is so much unknown about kidney disease and skin sensitivities it requires due diligence, including waiting to breed.

MV: Limited gene selection in the US at this time and having people tell me they don’t breed to the standard because they breed hunting dogs; not show dogs.

 

8. Advice to a new breeder? Advice to a new judge?

TD: Actually go to Portugal to see as many dogs of this breed as you can!

The same thing... though that is clearly not practical so spend time looking at photos of the breed specialties (monograficas) over the years. The breed’s parent club page in Portugal is a wonderful resource to see a multitude of dogs, both in the conformation ring but also in the field where their conformation can be appreciated as it is applied to their work.

MD: You need to know the history of the breed, about the lack of genetic material worldwide and the intense problems we face in this great breed. For judges, please understand that most founders of FSS breeds are usually very experienced AKC exhibitors (not newbies), who have enjoyed decades of AKC exhibition and now want to get a new breed on the right track to recognition. I find that ring stewards and judges frequently make that mistake. Also, please look at our standard from FCI. Understand that the temperament is to be aloof and sensitive and that the coat is not necessarily one type, presentation or texture. Wire=beard. There are currently no smooth Kromis exhibiting in the USA.

VK: Those new to the breed should learn about the Italian working standard and how the breed should move in the field. It does not just “trot” but it should move with passion and desire in the field. That movement should translate into the show ring. The breed is so ancient and there is so much history behind the breed. I got my first Bracco in 2004 and became deeply involved in the Bracco Italiano Club of America and learned everything I could about the breed. I studied the breed for nine years before feeling confident that we had a bitch of such high quality that she was worthy of breeding.  

AH: For a new breeder, import from Sweden or Norway, bring in new dogs and embrace the Swedish club as they are the true experts for the breed. For a new judge, read the standard and remember their original purpose and climate they were developed in.

BO: Join your breed club, know its policies, be active, be an advocate. Advertise your approved litters early and screen your prospective clients—will they be a good ambassador for the breed? Will they be an ambassador 
for your kennel? Don’t focus on fancy and fad (in our 
case large dogs). Really take the time get to know the breed and its purpose to include engaging breed authorities to see how it all applies to the standard. Know what a good Nimrod dog looks like and know what a good Clovis dog looks like. Drents are really graded on a scale of desirability and many subtle but key points can affect 
said desirability.

DP: Advice to both—study the standard, learn what a proper Bracco is and don’t award “generic” sporting attributes. Judges—be vigilant about withholding awards from Bracchi that show any tendancy towards shyness—that is not the personality that should be awarded.

MV: To learn the standard, to meet as many people as possible in the breed, see the dogs and form your own opinions based on what you think need to get your vision of the breed. Advice to a new judge: enjoy the breed and don’t get hung up on any one thing. Judge the whole dog.

 

9. Anything else you’d like to share—something you’ve learned as a breeder, exhibitor or judge or a particular point you’d like to make.

TD: Be your own harshest critic. Honestly evaluate your dogs’ faults and attributes and endeavor to correct what you can, even if it means not being able to use the dog that you have the easiest access to. Always look to improve the breed with every breeding. 

MD: One person’s victory is all of our victories, to be enjoyed, shared and congratulated by all.

AH: Hamiltonstovare a surprisingly slow to mature in certain lines, with some bitches not having their first heat cycle until nearly two years old. Hamiltonstovare are routinely called Beagles or other hounds so educating 
the public is a must whenever at shows or out in public 
with them.

VK: I would like to stress that this is a working dog. We don’t want the breed to be just a show dog but also a working dog. For those who don’t hunt, the breed would excel at search and rescue, drug detection etc. Breeders and judges should look for the qualities that make this dog a good hunting dog as well as a good companion.

BO: We all have great dogs, and the best dog doesn’t always win every day, but it doesn’t change the greatness of 
your companion.

DP: Since my focus is primarily agility, I want to highlight how truly special this breed is. My girl is a great ambassador for the breed, friends with every dog and human she meets at all breed agility trials. I’ve found her drive in the field transfers to drive in agility. She is very biddable, can be a bit independent a times, and is a dog for the entire family (not just a one person dog). She thrives on positive training methods, and only wants to please me (and get her cookies!). She is happiest when she has a job to do, but is perfectly happy to also cuddle on the couch. She exudes joy is the only way to explain her personality.

MV: Only that the issues are the same as any breed and so are the people. We have our share of not so nice, control freaks—same as any breed, But a huge proportion of really wonderful people. Most have little to no experience with AKC or showing dogs and it has been so much fun to be with them as they discover and get that first ribbon of addiction.

10. And for a bit of humor, what’s the funniest thing that you ever experienced as a breeder?

TD: Years ago we were attending a dog show (not AKC). The ring steward was calling for Labrador Retrievers in the ring. We noticed her tone of voice was getting louder and more insistent and that she was looking our way. Finally we realized she thought our Portuguese Pointer was a yellow Lab! The joys of owning a rare breed!

MD: My first night with my first Kromi puppy, he was so indifferent and ‘not into’ me that I wondered if I had made a big mistake. Now he loves me with his entire heart and is the most loyal, loving friend I could have (they all are!). I look back and see that my acrid cynicism from decades of dealing with difficult situations and people in the dog world could actually be proven wrong. How nice!

AH: My puppies have truly lived up to their names, one puppy was the smartest puppy in the litter, she learned how to climb out of an ex-pen at five weeks old and has been using her brain to get her in trouble ever since.

VK: In 2017 we had a litter with our female, Lia. I went outside to visit with all the dogs and our other female Ellie was trying to nurse the litter.

BO: About the funniest thing I’ve had happen is witnessing my toddler son’s underestimation of the power that a swarm of eight-week-old Drent puppies can wield. As most breeders know, pups at this age will grab hold of just about anything, to include hair and clothes. While playing with the pups, he got first hand experience with this. While running with the puppies, he began squealing, which brought the pups’ excitement to a higher level. Then in the blink of an eye they had all latched on to his denim shorts. I told him to run for it and as big smile broke out onto his face, that is just what he did, and viola! The boy was free in his diaper sprinting across the lawn, and the pups where left holding the shorts. Everyone had a good laugh with the Grand De-Panting.

MV: My husband retired on January 31, 2017. On February 1, 2017, our Bracco girl, Mia, presented us with 12 pups. That was hysterical for a couple of 70 “ish” folks! 

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