The Working Group Q & A


  • March 08, 2019

We asked the following questions to various experts involved with the breeding & showing of the dog breeds of the Working Group. Below are their responses. From the February 2019 issue of ShowSight.  Click to subscribe. 

THE QUESTIONS

1. An overview of the Working Breeds.

2. Current overall quality of the Group?

3. Changes you’ve seen during your tenure as guardians of these breeds?

4. Largest challenge facing Working Breeds breeders and exhibitors at the present time?

5. Largest challenge facing up-and-coming Group III judges?

6. Any shift in the balance of popularity among breeds, and why?

7. Any particular challenges Working Dog breeders face in our current economic/social climate?

8. What attributes make your breed suitable as household companions despite size and original breed purpose?

9. Anything else you’d like to share?

10. And, for a bit of humor: what’s the funniest thing you’ve ever experienced at a dog show?

 

THE ANSWERS

Pamela Dehetre

I live in Loganville, Georgia, which is just outside of Atlanta. I am originally from Michigan and I have been in purebred dogs since 1962.

I started in Poodles, had a couple of Boxers prior to getting into Doberman Pinschers. I also have bred Manchester Terriers including several Group winners and two all breed BIS Toy Manchesters. I have also bred Champion Miniature Pinschers and Pointers. I also breed Brussels Griffons including having bred a multiple Best in Show winner.

Until recently I owned two bookstores. I own Bay Creek Boarding and Grooming Kennel which has been in business for 37 years in the same location. I have two adult grandsons and a great grandson.

Biggest challenge for breeders is bias against certain breeds by lawmakers.

Biggest chalenge for new judges is learning the 
new breeds.

Biggest challenge in our current social climate is our right to preserve our docked and cropped breeds. Homeowners insurance refusing insurance to homeowners with certain breeds.

My breed is Doberman Pinschers. Our reputable breeders follow the early socialization process using the “rule of sevens” to insure that our breed is social in all situations. We stress temperament in the ring as well never awarding poor behavior. I am a Doberman Pinscher Club of America JEC member and in all of our presentations we discuss the importance of correct temperament.

 

Dr. Anthony Dinardo

Sheila and I have been in dogs for approximately 45 years. Most of that time was the exhibiting of Great Danes, Doberman Pinschers and Bichon Frises. When asked about my hobbies I state: work, dogs, bowling and exercising. I began exhibiting dogs in 1970 and became an AKC judge in 1980. I am approved for all Hound, Working, Non-Sporting breeds, many Sporting breeds, and various Toy and Herding breeds. I include among my judging highlights the DPCA nationals, the Rottweiler Club of America’s Top 20 and judging Best of Best in Buenos Aires, Argentina. I am the founder and past president of the Connecticut River Working Group Association, the first AKC working-dog member club.

The Working Group is what I enjoy judging the most. I believe judges need to have an ideal template of the breeds in their mind; then form can be coupled with function. This is a challenge.

The breeds that I love the most still have exceptional specimens, but most do not have the depth of quality. However, when the individual breeds have depth of quality this creates a real challenge.

I will hold this comment to the Great Danes and Doberman Pinschers breeds. I believe the Great Danes decreased in quality when they were bred taller, producing less soundness resulting in loss correct function. As for the Doberman Pinscher, if a Doberman Pinscher had most of attributes listed in the general appearance for the Doberman Pinscher Standard, they it would look unique in today’s show ring.

I do not believe that there is any change in the popularity of the most desired breeds. Boxers, Doberman Pinchers, Samoyeds and Siberian Huskies are very popular.

With the decrease in the large breeder kennels and anti-breed legislations, etc., this hobby has become more in the hands of individuals. I believe that the Parent Clubs try to maintain the breed purposes if practical.

In my opinion, the original function of a breed does not keep the general public from owning such breeds. Dogs adapt, people adapt, society changes, the purist may hope to have a dog function as they were bred to do. However, dogs are great and give unconditional love to their owner.

As I originally stated when asked why did I get so involved in the sport of dogs, Sheila and I wanted a hobby to share with our children. We would not change our experiences in this hobby for anything.

Rick Gschwender

I have been active in the dog show world since 1979. First with Rombo Bouviers and later under Rendezvous Bouviers when I married Debra in 1989. I have produced National Specialty winners and multiple Group winners.

I am retired and was employed with Ford Motor Company for over 39 years.I’m a licensed to judge the Herding Group, the Working Group, the Sporting Group and Best in Show. I’ve had the honor of judging the Bouvier des Flandres National Specialty, Best of Breed at the Australian Shepherd National Specialty and Westminster Kennel Club, judging both herding and working breeds and the Herding Group in 2006.

I live in Nampa, Idaho with my wife Debbie, two Bouviers Des Flandres, two German Shorthair Pointers, one Anatolian Shepherd and two horses.

The Working Group covers a large variety in sizes. All were developed to work at various jobs. There are dogs used to pull sleds, both light and heavy in loads. There are the live stock guardian breeds that work independently living with the animals. You have dogs used to carry packs, pull carts, work in water from both land and from boats and you have the dogs used to protect and guard.

Lately, I have judged some Working Groups that have been deep in quality. These are usually shows with 
large entries.

The overall entry in Working breeds is lower today than in the past. You still see large entries in Boxers, Dobermans, Great Danes and Newfoundlands, but also in newer recognized breeds like the Cane Corso.

Most of the Working Group consists of large breeds. The breeders need to focus on temperament. The people who buy the puppies need to socialize the dogs and take them to training classes. There is nothing worse than a large out of control dog.

Most are loyal and protective and just want to be with their family.

I was judging at an outdoor show with a rather large class of dogs. One of the exhibitors had a very nice dog. After examining all the dogs, I was standing in the middle of the ring looking at the entry of dogs. The novice handler had the dog stacked correctly with the exception of the dog’s head; she had it level with the topline. I told her to “pick your head up” (referring to the dog). The handler looked at me and tried to raise her (not the dog’s) head higher. 
I looked at her and said, “Not you, the dog’s head.” Needless to say, the dog won its class and was Winners dog.

Judy Harrington

My first show dog was a Great Dane purchased as a companion from a breeder of quality. She turned out to have some outstanding attributes that eventually led to her being shown, owner-handled, with great success. When she was awarded Winners Bitch at the national specialty I knew that I had begun a lifelong devotion to the sport of purebred dogs.

Under the kennel name of Justamere I concentrated on breeding Great Danes that were sound and typey show dogs and good family companions. Eventually my owner-handling led to a career as an all breed handler. I had the opportunity to represent clients that entrusted me with dogs that to this day remain as outstanding representations of their respective breeds. I finished the first uncropped Great Dane in the US and was also awarded WD with the first natural eared Great Dane to win at a national specialty.

Due to economic concerns; entries, handling fees, advertising, vet bills, travel expenses, etc., I find that there are fewer breeders, lower entries at shows that eventually translates to lower numbers required for points to finish champions and too many shows that thin the herd of competition. Add to that, All Breed clubs now have all time low memberships with the same, often ageing members, doing all of the work. It was the meetings where we would have speakers and communication with fellow exhibitors sharing experiences and accomplishments.

I had fallen in love with the Australian Shepherd breed and have had them in my home for many years now. The pleasure of having my companions also be highly competitive, BIS and specialty winning dogs is proof that you can have it all.

I have served as an officer, board member, judges education chairperson, show chairperson and several various committees in a number of clubs over the years. It has been my pleasure to judge, on a number of occasions, outside the US; France, Sweden, Finland, Germany, England and Australia with a future assignment in Brussels. It has also been an honor to be invited to judge a number of national and regional specialties of various breeds, as well as four Top 20 competitions at various national specialties. Among previous assignments are the prestigious Westminster Kennel Club and The Eukanuba National Championship Shows. I am currently licensed to judge BIS, all Working and Sporting breeds and various breeds in the Hound, Toy and Herding Groups.

I have enjoyed volunteer work at the Women’s Center at a local hospital and also worked with the Equine Program for the Handicapped. Prior to my involvement in the sport of dogs I had trained and shown Morgan Horses (the old type).

Wishing all exhibitors, breeders and spectators a most enjoyable show! For all of us the passion for our sport has enriched our lives with friendships, support and fond memories. May they continue. Thank you for the invitation to be a part of this event.

I live in Monson, Massachusetts and have been involved in the sport of purebred dogs since 1969.

Outside of dogs, I enjoy everything: gardening, travel, enjoy theater and movies, horse show spectator and fancier, construction oversight on a personal basis, power equipment and tools, Brimfield (for those of you who know what that is).

With my foundation breed being Great Danes, I find a high level of confidence, as it should be, in the Working breeds that I have judged in this country and abroad. With the purpose of the Working breeds requiring this to do the job they are bred for it pleases me to see this quality being respected by breeders. In my opinion there are some outstanding examples of the various breeds in this group 
of dogs.

In my opinion, once again, I find a high level of acceptable to mediocre entries within the breed judging. The outstanding example generally stands out and finishes quickly. That said, I have judged a long day of entries weighing and balancing decisions and at the end of the day have an outstanding Working Group because in most breeds there was that outstanding dog representing its breed well.

I believe the largest challenge facing up and coming Group III judges would be the pressure of ratings, advertising and photoshop! When you walk into the ring to judge a breed you owe it to the exhibitors to judge the breed to the standard to the best of your ability and have the confidence to do that. There are highly advertised dogs that deserve every single win they have received and others not so much. The true, knowledgable breeder knows which ones 
they are!

I don’t see any major shift in the popularity of the breeds at this time.

I don’t find any particular challenges beyond what we all face in making good priorities and choices in what our goals are for our dogs and ourselves.

When I did have Great Danes they were amazing home companions that were dependable, sound and very loyal. They made very good choices and never seemed as big as they were. Like most breeds, they enjoyed their owner being the pack leader. It is an outstanding breed, magnificent to as much as we all like to talk dogs, I would encourage you to step into other areas of the sport that your specific breed is involved in and learn about it or take part in it.

After we’ve been doing something for a fairly long time and very confident it is pretty humbling to go into a new area of the sport and be “the new kid on the block”. I remember the first obedience trial I went to not all that 
long ago.

I know we laugh endlessly at shows but can’t think of one thing that stands out! observe—will always be like going home for me.

Eric Liebes

Joan and I live outside of Colorado Springs with our three Samoyeds, two Komondors, a Greyhound and an Ibizan Hound. I got my first dogs, an Ibizan and a Komondor in 1981. The Ibizan got his Ch. and a CDX, the Komondor still holds the All-Breed BIS Record for the breed (seven). A couple of generations later I bred and owned a Best in Field, National BISS and Pedigree Award-winning Ibizan. Now, through Joan, I am also a Samoyed breeder! I retired last year after 30 years with Chevron as a Geophysicist, sometimes doing oil exploration, sometimes research. So now I am a “Gentleman Rancher” on our place with a great view of Pikes Peak. I’m even learning to ride Joan’s horses. I was first approved to judge in 1992. My first breeds were Ibizans, Greyhounds and Komondors. I am approved to judge all Hound, Working and Herding breeds, Brittanys, Misc., Junior Showmanship, and BIS. I have judged in China, Sweden, Ireland and Mexico as well as for AKC. I continue to study and learn more about all of the breeds and my goal is to bring a breeder’s eye to my judging every time. I’m a breed mentor in Komondors, Greyhounds, Ibizan Hounds and Pulis and I’m currently the Judge’s Education Coordinator for the Ibizan Hound Club of the US.

The Working breeds are varied, strong, beautiful and fun to judge. As a Komondor breeder, I am especially attracted to the solid and steady caring personalities of the livestock guarding dogs. I find the other guarding dogs bright and fun—ready for action and with personalities that shine in the show ring. The companion and farm dogs in the group, like the livestock guards, are sometimes hard to excite in a show situation and should be appreciated for their calm stature. Finally, after handling several of the Northern breeds in the 80s, I’m now a breeder and exhibitor of my own Samoyeds. They, and their cousins, are fun and single-minded.

Quality in breeds ebb and flow in regions. The Working Group stays strong in most parts of the country. Right now, based on weighted statistics of the Working Groups I’ve judged in the past year, I’m placing Dobes, Newfs, Mastiffs, Boxers, Rottweilers, Standard Schnauzers, Kuvasz, Pyrs, Sammies, Greater Swiss, Porties, Cane Corsos, Danes, Anatolians, Malamutes, Akitas, Black Russians and Sibes with the most frequency. These numbers are undoubtedly skewed by coincidences of where I judged and who showed to 
me recently.

I’m most pleased with the quality of some of the rare breeds that have joined AKC’s Working Group in the past few years. Cane Corsos came in with great quality and showmanship. As German Pinschers have come to the ring with proper toplines, they have been recognized for that and their other positive traits. The few Boerboels I’ve judged have been quality exhibits. I’ve seen a couple of great looking Leonbergers, though I was not judging the groups 
those days.

I’m saddened to see how few Komondors are being shown. As in our whole sport, some of the best breeders are retiring from active breeding and no one has stepped up to fill the void. Extremely rare breeds are endangered by this trend. I’ve judged some nice large Dane, Rottweiler and Cane Corso entries recently and am glad to see that dedicated fanciers continue to breed and show those great breeds.

While we in the fancy argue about imported dogs with uncropped tails and ears, some of our breeds are headed towards illegality. Legislatures and home insurance companies make it harder to own guarding dogs that enrich our lives. The animal rights folks who would take our freedom to breed from us are behind these attacks.

Big but calm, loyal to their families and great with kids there is a strong place for our working breeds in today’s society. For more than 30 years, Komondors from our show lines have thoughtfully protected their families and kids in cities and suburbs.

Years ago, one of our puppies placed himself between his four-year-old son and the neighborhood’s five-year-old “bully”. He did it without laying a tooth or claw on the “bully”. The call we got from the child’s dad, who was just feet away washing the car, was that his 18-month-old dog was a genius. In a way he was right: more than two millennia of breeding with the goal of protecting without injuring came through in this moment of truth, protecting his kid. Dogs of the same breeding lines, when faced with goats, ducks or any livestock, have remembered their traditional roles to guard and gather immediately. The old dog asleep at my feet right now is better than any house alarm, because she has a great brain.

Great breeders set a style, but then if they are not careful about out-crossing the quality in their wonderful style fades. Great stud dogs appear and improve a breed both by their own get and by raising the level of competition in the breed. The use of long frozen semen ties us to the past in a good way. All of the breeding advances our great repro vets offer to us are tools to use to preserve and advance our breeds.

When “funny” and “dog shows” are mentioned in the same sentence I think of Lou Harris. Every time I judge some exhibitor considerately lets me know that their bitch is in season. I heard someone say this to Lou once. His reply, “Well, I wasn’t going to breed her!”

Helene Nietsch

I live in Newtown, Connecticut. I got my first Bullmastiff in 1969 and finished his championship in 1971. He was used at stud a few times, and I acquired two of his daughters, a fawn and a brindle, and that was the beginning of my breeding program, Banstock Bullmastiffs. My first dog was sired by a BIS dog in Canada and #1 Bullmastiff handled by Jeffrey Brucker out of a very prominent English kennel (Oldwell). The dam’s side of my dog was also from a prominent English kennel (Bullstaff), so although the quality was not exemplary, it was a great start to my bloodline. I am recently retired from GE Capital Business Development after 33 years. But now outside of dogs, I have three children, Helaina, Mathew and Julia and four granddaughters and spend as much time with them as possible, and several other hobbies to keep me busy in my free time.

Coming from the Working Group in the early 1970s, which included the now Herding dogs, there has been an evolution of the Bullmastiff over the years. I imagine that most breeds in the working breeds have also made style changes, some for the better as in structure and soundness. Breeds go through phases of style, but overall, good breeders concentrate on the importance of preserving breed type.

Most dogs seems to be professionally handled, so does that make them better than the overall quality of the breeds? I’m not sure. But the quality in the working group is strong, breeders raising the bar in their breeding programs to compete with the highly campaigned dogs.

Although the Bullmastiff standard has not essentially changed in all these years, the type of Bullmastiff has evolved into a much different dog than when I started. I believe the Bullmastiffs of today are essentially sounder and move better and type has changed from a more “Mastiffy” style to what the Bullmastiff Illustrated Standard depicts. Dogs had sharper temperament than now, and with consistency of stable, sound, family-friendly dispositions make the Bullmastiff today an ideal family pet. Although we see far too many Bullmastiff that are hyper-typical, too big and with the breeds most serious faults of splayed feet and cow hocks, we have many serious breeders who have concentrated on correct type and structural and mental soundness.

Generation Y and millennials seem to have slightly shifted from designer dogs to the rescue dogs. Before that it seemed that the “pedigreed” dogs were in vogue. My hope is that the guardians of our breeds can thrive and leave fewer dogs in rescue and pounds.

Most Working breeds are big dogs and with young couples in the work force leave less time to exercise a large breed. Also, there are dogs in the working group that have been unfairly criticized for temperament issues, when in fact it is the bad owners that make bad dogs. Our litigious society also has provided restrictions in breeds in many communities and in insurance companies, albeit unfairly. Again, the good breeders always have temperament on the top of their list of priorities.

Bullmastiffs were bred for protection against poachers. They combine tremendous physical strength and guarding instinct with an affectionate nature and devotion to their family. They are an intelligent, independent breed and need structure and rules. However, I always say that a Bullmastiff only needs enough space around your feet to lie around. They don’t require a lot of exercise, but enjoy the occasional walks and being around their family and do not make good kennel dogs.

Maybe not at a dog show, but I love telling this story about Anna Katherine Nicholas. When Anna became a resident of a nursing home, because she was just in the next town from me, I became acquainted with her and thoroughly enjoyed her company and dog trivia and visited her regularly. On one occasion when I came by she announced that in a few days she was expecting visitors for lunch that she was not particularly fond of with most “unfortunate” personalities. She was such a lady and what a great way to disparage her prospective visitors. I believe she cancelled the visit with them. I use the term “unfortunate” personalities now on many occasions!

Walter Sommerfelt

I am from Lenoir City, Tennessee (suburban Knoxville). I am a full service agent specializing in financial planning with Nationwide Insurance. I have been involved in the sport of purebred dogs since acquiring my first Old English Sheepdog in 1972. I am a former professional handler, as well as a breeder and exhibitor of breeds in all seven Groups, most notably Vizslas, Old English Sheepdogs, Pointers, Bearded Collies and Weimaraners. I have been judging since 1985 and I am approved for all Sporting, Working and Herding breeds and Groups, Junior Showmanship and Best in Show. Along with my wife, Carol, I have bred more than 75 AKC champions, including Group, Best in Show and specialty winners, dual champions and multiple performance-titled dogs.

As with all of the groups the working group has many breeds that are in very good shape and others that have some work to do.

I think the current overall quality with the top exhibits in each breed are very good, however I do think there is a larger difference between the top and the bottom. I feel there are more of the mediocre to average specimens than in the past.

Other than the overall decline in numbers of exhibits I think the biggest change is the lack of true attention to breed specific type in many breeds. There is more of tendency toward a showy, sound animal at the expense of breed type.

I think the more popular breeds continue to be the Dobermans, Boxers and Rottweilers, but I see a rise in the number of exhibits and quality in some of the previous lower entry breeds such as the Tibetan Mastiffs, Black Russian Terriers, Mastiffs and Bullmastiffs.

All breeders in today’s climate face numerous challenges due to regulations, higher cost, and the ability to house large numbers of breeding stock. On the other hand, with the improvements in many of the reproductive tools and processes available today breeders have a better chance at success and fewer excuses for not breeding to the best available stud dogs than ever before. The various genetic and health testing tools available now as opposed to many years ago give breeders a better opportunity to eliminate health issues that at one time effected many breeds.

All breeds have a place in our society. While some of the larger breeds may be more difficult for the apartment dweller all of these breeds have breeders and owners that truly love and appreciate them no matter what their size and their original purpose. Each has a unique temperament and other characteristics that endear the breed to their owners. These differences are part of what is so great about there being a breed out there to fit the lifestyle and preferences of their owners.

I wish that more exhibitors and breeders would find a way to work together to educate and share ideas. Many of today’s exhibitors are looking for instant success both in the ring and in the whelping box. While on occasion some enjoy quick results the truly consistent and successful ones are those that continue to study and understand the strengths and weaknesses in their dogs and their breeding programs and work tirelessly to improve them.

I also would love to see a return to a more sportsmanlike behavior at all of our competitive events. Everyone loves to win but there is a proper way to both win and lose and we do not see the high level of sportsmanship that one would expect. At shows and trials, we must all remember we are the face of our sport and someone is always watching, poor behavior may just be the reason the new person does not continue on in our sport.

I have always enjoyed this sport and have had so many great and funny experiences that I can’t just single out one.

Jane Treiber

I have just moved to Eastern Washington after living on the West (rainy) side for over 40 Years. I began in dogs in the early 1970s with Harlequin Great Danes and Basset Hounds. Outside of dogs, before my husband passed away, we were very involved in ball room dancing and taking cruises all over the world. I know like to garden, particularly growing flowers, and I have tried my hand at quilting, but I am not very good at it yet. My husband and I acquired our first Dane in 1972. He was a Harlequin, and was sold to us as “show quality.” Well, you can probably guess the punch line.” He was not show quality, but he was a wonderful companion and went everywhere with us: camping, sledding, hiking, swimming, etc. We bred Bassets and Great Danes for the next 20 years under the name “KIMO” which is a Mojave Indian word for Big Dog. We were very blessed to have the foundation stock that we had and the mentoring of my best friend. We have produced many generations of Champions, Specialty winners, group placing and group winning dogs in both breeds. I applied to judge Bassets first as I was specialing a Great Dane. When his career was finished, I applied for Danes. I am now approved to judge the Working group, the Hound group, Juniors, and BIS. I enjoy judging, and I try to make every exhibitor comfortable in my ring and feeling as if their exhibit was judged fairly.

I have judged Specialties for many breeds all over the country and in Canada. I have judged the Canadian National, and several years ago, I judged the Dane Specialty in New Zealand. I also judged a Dane, Basset, and Rhodesian Ridgeback Specialty in Australia. I was on the Board of the Great Dane Club of America for six years, and I was the Judges’ Education Chairman for the Parent Club. I completed the production of an educational CD on the Great Dane for judges, breeders, exhibitors, and anyone who wishes to learn about the “Apollo of Dogs.” I am a retired teacher, and I share my home with two Bullmastiffs and a 
wonderful kitty.

In my opinion, the overall quality of the working group is beautiful! When I first started in Danes, the Dobes and the Boxers were the important players in the group. The other two placements were up for grabs. Now, I see quality in many breeds that consistently place. I have particularly observed a huge improvement in the Mastiffs and Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs.

In my own breed, Great Danes, I have seen a huge improvement in the rears, top lines and heads. Fronts are still a struggle as it is with many Working breeds. Danes have become very beautiful and elegant, but sometimes at the sacrifice of soundness! I am so thrilled that as science progresses, we can now health test for so many diseases and problems. It is tantamount that the breeders use every test to ensure their future breeding stock and to protect the puppy buyers.

With Great Danes, I am particularly worried about temperaments. I have seen and judged many Great Danes that are nervous and spinning in circles with wide eyes of fear. This breed is to be “friendly, dependable and never shy or aggressive” (Great Dane Standard).

I do not know if some breeds are more popular than in the past. However, with the current demographics, it is more difficult to have a large number of some of the more giant breeds. There are many cities with zoning restrictions and buying land with property is more expensive and difficult in different regions of the country. Many of the 
Working breeds need exercise to stay sound, both mentally and physically, and a small suburban backyard is not ideal. An owner with multiple dogs, that is gone to work all day, has to be concerned with neighbors that object to 
any noise.

Many Working breeds do not ever do their original job. For example, the Great Dane does not hunt bear or bore, and the Bullmastiff will probably never get to hunt a poacher. However, the temperaments of Working dogs make them wonderful family pets and companions. They live to be with their owners and families and will show you each day how important you are to them. A trained Working dog in just basic house manners and beginning obedience commands will live well with its family and be a wonderful companion for their family, their families’ friends and a welcome quest at the soccer field, picnics, camping, hiking, etc. Most Working dogs do not have to be trained to protect the people they love, but will do it instinctively when it becomes necessary.

I was waiting for this question—I have spent many hours mulling over two things in my mind. With the current rating systems, it is much more difficult to campaign most of the Working dogs because they do not fit under the seat and are very, very expensive to ship as cargo. Here on the west coast, we do not have shows every weekend in a 
short driving distance and must spend hours and hours to reach shows. Coupled with that, is that I have seen many a show dog in the cabin as a “service dog.” For people who are working hard to support a special, money is a factor and many of them will not “cheat” and call their large Working dog a service dog. I do not have the answers, but I wish for a more level playing field for people with a great dog that has more difficulty getting to enough shows to compete.

I always tell obviously new exhibitors in my ring to relax because it will get better! Why do I say this? My first time showing a dog was with a harl bitch. I had gone to 16 weeks of handling class and I felt that I was ready. On the go around, I tripped over a sprinkler head, landed flat on my face and she completed the circle back to the judge and then came and stood over me! Luckily my dress did not come up too far. To further my humiliation, was the fact that my husband and Ric and Nancy Byrd were outside the ring to support my inaugural adventure. It was really funny, but it made me realize how important it is to be kind and supportive to new exhibitors.

Lynne & Bill Anderson

We live in Amsterdam, New York which is upstate in the foothills of the Adirondack Mountains. I have had dogs all my life, my earliest memory was of our family dog. I grew up hunting and fishing and bred Beagles for a short time which were great rabbit dogs. I was in love with horses and bought my first when I was 12 and later bred, trained and showed American Quarter Horses for about 30 years. I learned the importance of structure, breed type, pedigree and phenotype from my horse experience. We still have two AQHA mares for trail riding.

I decide to ‘go to the dogs’ in 1988 by fulfilling a life long desire to have a Newfoundland Dog. From that first Newf we built our line under the kennel name ThreePonds.

We have enjoyed success in our 31 year breeding program and have produced top winning blacks and white and blacks (Landseers). ThreePonds Newfs have won BISS at American, Canadian and European Nationals, BOB at Crufts, Westminster, the AKC National as well as multiple BIS, including the European Show.

We also have bred many who excel in working and performance events with NCA VN, WA and working titles, AKC obedience (including OTCH and OMs), rally and tracking titles as well as many certified therapy and service Newfs. We are also very proud of the many News who are ‘just’ wonderful family members.

The breed in three words: sweetness of temperament.

Newfs are #35 out of the 193 AKC recognized breeds. We have moved up mostly because of the introduction of many newer breeds as the popularity is based on 
annual registrations.

Newfs, while very trainable, great family dogs require considerable grooming, a larger vehicle to transport, and the costs of maintenance, preventatives and food is higher than smaller breeds. They also shed and can be messy.

Do we get our fair share of attention, yes and no. In more recent years Newfs have received more attention but they still don’t get as much as the showier breeds. At the Group and BIS level, the showmanship of the individual dog becomes a bigger factor given the fact that you’re are competing against many of the top dogs and handlers.

We still have concerns about SAS (subaortic stenosis) is still a concern but reputable breeders are screening breeding dogs so we seem to be making head way there. But we hope for development of a reliable DNA test and surgical correction to become available. I believe PDA (Patent Ductus Arteriosus) is too prevalent and needs more attention.

Overall, orthopedic issues seem to be the biggest complaint of many Newf owners and breeders. Because there are other causative factors even with screening it is a major concern to breeders.

I believe we have moved away from having as many long and low Newfs with too much ‘turn of stifle” but need to continue improving along these lines. Overall balance with correct angulation provides the power and strength for a Newf to haul on land and in the water and do the jobs for which they were originally bred.

We also need to better understand and educate on to what extent ‘massive’ is correct.

I think we need more attention on the excessive and incorrect coats we see so often now. The amount of trimming done and required by this incorrect coat to produce a pretty outline is a problem that needs to be addressed by both breeders and judges.

The Newfoundland Club of America (NCA) uses many avenues to educate and increase awareness about our Breed. We use web sites and various social media including ‘push’ tools to deliver e-newsletters, and network of Newf Ambassadors and Regional Clubs to educate and reach the public and Newf owners.

But we need to find ways to engages more young people and the empty nesters to develop more breeders and Newf enthusiasts as the current population is aging out.

Marg Willlmott (Topmast) shared so much of her knowledge and her line with me and is still a dear friend.

But as they say ‘it takes a village’, so there is more than one that stands out:

Louise Esiason (Ebonewf) was one of the first well known breeders I met and introduced me to the NCA and encouraged me to get more involved in the breed and the National Club.

Carol Brown and Gerlinda Hockla taught my how to properly groom, condition and present a Newf. Ruth March, Helen Munday, May Bernhart were early supporters of me and my Newfs.

And of course, Randy VanSoyc and Allen Ransom (Walden Pond/ Toad Hall) who sold this newbie that first truly good Newf and let me run with it.

For prospective judges it’s the time and cost of getting the necessary exposure at regional and national specialties and from breed experts and for their provision assignments. The cost of travel (airfare, hotels, food, etc) is not insignificant. If you wait for local events or limit yourself to only local resources you may not get as broad or complete and education about the essence of a breed.

New judges face the issues and pressure of putting up the ‘right’ dog versus the most correct one. They need get assignments to build their credentials, experience and confidence so they can move up to Group and BIS so they get enough assignments to pay their expenses.

The funniest thing I ever saw was when a well known handler, a dear friend, was running around the ring and her slip slid down around her knees. She simply stepped out of it, kicked it out of the ring and never missed a step! A 
true professional!

Maria Arechaederra

We live in Silverado, California which is an old mining town in Orange County. It’s a beautiful rural community.

I got my first purebred dog when I was in the 6th grade and never looked back. I became involved in the Kuvasz breed in 1987. I’m also involved in the Pumi breed since 2014 and the current President of their parent club.

My husband and I have a Law practice. We raised two amazing adult children Jacqueline and Michael. I am a Cancer Survivor and advocate and counselor for fellow warriors. This year volunteering to help victims of Sex Trafficking and providing Kuvasz to help these girls feel protected.

Hiking is one of my passions. I summited Mt. Whitney (the highest point in the contiguous United States) three months after my last chemotherapy treatment. It was one the most difficult and amazing experiences of my life. I would love to see Mt. Everest if only from a plane or basecamp. I love to make beaded jewelry and I sell it for a “Take the Lead” donation. We call it “Take the Bead”. My friends Brian Cordova and Kathy Bilicich-Garcia suggested I turn my hobby into a charitable endeavor and it’s been amazing

When I started breeding Kuvasz in the early 90s the breed was all over the board in terms of health versus type. The dogs with the best breed type often lacked health clearances. The dogs with health clearances often lacked breed type and looked more like Pyrs or Maremmas. I am proud of our small dedicated group of fanciers and I think our breeders have found their way to understand quality in both categories. Nonetheless there is always much work to be done.

The breed in three words: white, athletic, and loyal.

We’re very low in popularity I don’t have exact figures but we are considered one of the lowest entry breeds in 
the AKC?

It’s tough to campaign a rare, low-entry breed like the Kuvasz. Frankly, most judges haven’t seen enough Kuvasz to recognize a great one. At the group level, a mediocre Best of Breed winner of a high-entry breed will typically beat a truly excellent excellent Kuvasz or other low-entry breed. Judge’s try to do their best, but many lack confidence in their understanding of the Kuvasz breed. Many still don’t know they should look nothing like a Great Pyrenees.

The Kuvasz is actually fairly healthy at this point in history. Our breeders regularly test for Hip and elbow dysplasia, Patella, Thyroid and PRA (Progressive Retinal Atrophy)

I like that people are trying different performance events and taking advantage of the many titles AKC now offers. It truly helps showcase the intelligence and versatility of our breed. The trend I don’t like is seeing the Kuvasz moved quickly. This should raise the suspicion of any judge. Often times a Kuvasz moved quickly is trying to be made to look as if it’s covering ground when in reality it is often to cover short mincing steps.

I think our Parent club has done such a great job of protecting our breed but we’ve almost done “too good” of a job. Our registration and litter numbers are decreasing. I’m afraid that we’ve screened so carefully that we’ve missed a lot of potential Kuvasz owners. With proper mentoring a Kuvasz can be a great family dog for a lot of families.

I owe my father the most. He was not a dog man but he indulged my passion at a young age.

Although I did not have a single mentor, I have to say that the late Dr. Henry Nichols was a breeder with whom I had long and thoughtful conversations about the Kuvasz. We agreed on a lot and disagreed on even more, but I loved talking pedigrees, breed features and showing with him.

For our breed the biggest pitfall for a new judge is giving every breed (regardless of the registration/entry numbers) the same same devotion and effort they would a high 
entry breed.

I was showing a Kuvasz in group in the early 90s. Colonel Wally Pede was judging. The Kuvasz had a reputation at the time for being sharp and even a bit aggressive and many judges were afraid of our dogs. Although my dogs were always stready and well socialized I had to anticipate that many judges were still fearful. On that day, I stacked my dog and the judge Col.Wally Pede walked up to me and said “BITE?” I responded quickly “No SIR! He will not bite!” Colonel Pede stopped what he was doing, looked me deep in the eye and started laughing. He responded “I want to SEE the bite” We both laughed so hard it was hard to continue.

Brytt Boyle

I live in the beautiful town of Bloomington, Indiana. I have been into purebred dogs since childhood, but I have been in Portuguese Water Dogs since 1995. I come from a horse background, and my husband’s grandfather was an AKC all around judge. As an artist, I enjoy studying balance, structure and movement.

The prospect of becoming a breeder was a responsibility I did not take lightly. My first PWD came in 1995. I spent the next five years learning about the breed before breeding my own bitch. I volunteered to work for the PWDCA, and developed a support group of mentors from those inside and outside the breed. In 2000, I began breeding under the DoMarco kennel name. I continue to be dedicated to improving my breed as a whole, developing better 
breeding practices and decision processes, constantly studying pedigrees, genetics, and structure and planning years ahead. For example, in 2008 I researched structure extensively, interviewing many specialists in the field, which culminated in a series of educational articles for our breed magazine, the Courier. I was honored to receive the Maxwell Award from the Dog Writers Association of America for this work. For the past twelve years, I chaired the PWDCA Breeders Development Committee. This group offers mentoring to our breeding community and organizes annual educational seminars during our National Specialty. I seek to continually deepen my knowledge, particularly about professional care of dams and sires, conscientious whelping, and responsible placement of well socialized puppies.

The DoMarco dogs have experienced many All-breed show goals, including All-breed Best In Shows, numerous Group placements, and Top 5 All-breed status. National and regional Specialty wins include Multiple Best in Specialty, Best Opposite, Awards of Merit, Select Bitch wins, Best of Winners, several Best Bred By wins, Stud Dog and Best Veteran. My most meaningful contribution is in our therapy dogs. We now have over twenty teams working in hospitals, in school “read” programs, and in support of children with special needs.

I consider preservation breeding of purpose-bred dogs a passion and a form of science combined with art. To many of us, it is a never ending painting, always under construction as we work to perfect our vision of our breed standards. Each dog enriching the lives of humankind is bearing each breeder’s signature as their work of art.

I don’t think that’s possible for a breed as complex as the Portuguese Water Dog. We all know they are beautiful. I would describe the breed as spirited, noble, intelligent, biddable, but self-willed, intuitive, resistant to fatigue, and, as noted in the standard; they leave you with an indelible impression of strength, spirit and soundness.

According to AKC records, we are 57th in popularity with all breeds. I am not sure how we rank in popularity within the Working group currently. I think we are more popular than we once were due to a President, Senator and a Prime Minister owning our breed. However, notoriety is both a blessing and a curse.

Statistics (in this magazine and others) show that we don’t rank in the Top 20 in the Working Group. Our breed has received far less Group placements than Dobermans, Boxers, Rottweilers, Siberian Huskies, etc., and only earned two Best In Shows in 2018. So, I suppose we fall somewhere in the middle, not at the top of attention, nor at the bottom.

I think we need to work harder with our judges to help them truly understand our breed in order to judge them well. Words like “robust,” “strongly muscled,” and 
“substantially boned,” appear in our standard over 20 times. While we have an unexaggerated, functional conformation, our standard calls for a solidly built, muscular body. Light or refined bone lacking in muscle is listed as a major fault in our standard.

We invested dearly in finding the genetic markers responsible for many of the diseases that faced our breed. Thanks to financial support, many long term breeders’ sacrifices, and a willingness to necropsy affected dogs, we have tests available for most of the diseases of concern to our breed. There are two concerns that I think are facing us today and into the future. The first is cancer, perhaps in particular Hemangioscarcoma which is affecting many breeds in the USA. The PWD Foundation has joined forces with the parent clubs of the Boxers and Golden Retrievers to fund ongoing studies on this cancer. Also, we have a syndrome within our breed called Puppy Eye Syndrome for which we have no genetic test. I think we should consider the future impact of the number of dogs being bred today that come down-line from stock that produced this syndrome.

I think there are breeders who are currently showing dogs with sound movement, correct grooming, angulation, and muscling and I’d like to see that rewarded. As far as poor trends go, it isn’t correct to have long hair on the muzzle and rear end in the lion trim. We have two trims, lion and retriever, the lion trim should have a shaved muzzle and rear and the retriever is scissored. I hate to see them morphed into a combination of the two trims by scissoring lion trim muzzles and rears to attempt to disguise 
refined bone.

I am also concerned to see a lot of extremely straight angulation, movement from the elbow instead of the shoulder, and a strange kick out at the hock that seems to 
be prevalent.

We have enough popularity, but I would like to see a positive introduction and interaction with communities that host our National Specialty—perhaps a Meet the Breed type thing. We all need to do what we can to share facts with the public about who we are and what we do with purpose 
bred dogs.

I owe the most to Clay Coady. At the time, I had no idea how lucky I was just to learn about showing dogs from watching his management of dogs. They don’t make folks like him anymore. He is one of the best dog men I ever met and the best groomer I have ever had the pleasure to watch. Within my breed, Beverly Rafferty of Pinehaven Kennels, God rest her soul, and numerous breeders, judges and handlers that I’m blessed to be friends with and learn from every day.

We have a difficult breed to judge. We have two haircuts, two coats, and so many acceptable color variations. New judges need a good mentor, and most importantly they need to get their hands into the coat.

There are many but this one stands out. Our National Specialty had our Best of Breed ring within yards of a small lake. Yep, you got it—an exhibitor’s dog was eye balling that water, slipped the lead and made a B line to the lake, took a big swim while the exhibitor splashed in to fish the dog out in her show suit. She walked back to the ring, both of them soaked and showed the dog like nothing happened, dog dripping, shoes squishing and all. It was great! There was rousing applause!

Lesley Brabyn

I live in Northern California, about 90 minutes north of San Francisco, on the Sonoma Coast.

I have been showing dogs since 1964, so that is about 55 years, gasp. I have a Master’s degree in Research Psychology and for many years, ran a health education nonprofit. However, in my latest chapter, run a 400 acre organic livestock ranch, along with my husband of 40 years.Alas, running a ranch leaves very little time for much of anything else, although it is never boring!

I am primarily known for my Salukis, which I have own, bred and shown since 1967. In 2007, my husband and I bought the ranch and needed something to guard the livestock. That’s when we brought in the Anatolians, initially not thinking we were going to ever show them. However, we did and they’ve done quite well, winning specialties, multiple Group placements and most ending up in the Top Five when shown and until recently, usually owner-handled. Although we only have a litter every couple of years, between both breeds, we’ve owned or bred over 70 champions, 50 plus of which were bred under the Timaru prefix and have exported dogs to Japan, England, Australia and Canada. I have been licensed to judge Salukis since 2000 and have had numerous assignments in Canada, New Zealand, Australia, England, Finland and Sweden as well as at numerous Specialties and supported entries in the U.S. I also have regular status for Ibizan Hounds and am permit for Anatolians, Afghans, Borzoi, Scottish Deerhounds and 
Irish Wolfhounds.

The Anatolian: athletic, powerful and calm.

Definitely not a popular breed in the show ring. In fact, many judges tell me they hardly ever see them. I believe that the majority of Anatolians are solely working dogs and for every one seen in the ring, there are probably two or three out on a ranch.

A hallmark of a good guardian dog is quiet vigilance. Many of the characteristics rewarded at the Group level, showiness, pizazz, high energy are the antithesis of what one looks for in a guardian. Hanging out with the sheep day after day can get boring and a dog with a high activity level is going to find ways to amuse itself, like chasing the livestock, or digging out of the pasture, which we do not want. That is why a calm nature is essential in a livestock guardian. Plus, the Anatolian coat is pretty wash and wear, not all glamorous and shimmering, like some of the group winners. It is frustrating as the very characteristics we strive as breeders to keep in our dogs so that they can do their job can count against them in the show ring. Fortunately, there are some judges who understand this and reward accordingly.

The parent club did a health survey in 2012 and while the sample size was relatively small (N=397), the three most common issues reported were ear disorders (chronic otitis), orthopedic (hip dysplasia or arthritis) and skin disorders (demodectic mange or seasonal allergies). While the parent club requires hips, elbows and thyroid to be tested in order to receive a CHIC rating, I am puzzled by the number of Anatolians being bred who have either failed one or more of these tests or only rate “Fair” on hips. It’s as if they think getting the tests done is the important bit, not the results. In my opinion, only the best of each generation should be bred from and my criterion includes measures of health, temperament and conformation. Otherwise, the bell curve slips towards mediocrity.

The Anatolian is a unique balance of the Mastiff and sighthound: Too much of the former and you get huge, heavy, cumbersome dogs completely unable to rapidly pursue predators over mountainous terrain. Conversely, too much like a sighthound results in light bone, lack of body and nothing that a predator of merit would ever take as a serious threat. Breeders need to keep to the middle ground and aim for a large, powerful and athletic dog who can fly up a cliff in nothing flat, intimidate lurking predators by its size and when necessary, dispatch threats with lethal efficiency. Another issue is that the Standard calls for a level topline when moving, yet so many dogs in the ring move butt high, with fronts that do not match the rear, resulting in unbalanced movement. Unbalanced movement is neither efficient nor effective. And then there is the confusing issue of Anatolian tail carriage: the Standard states, “When relaxed, [the tail] is carried low and with the end curled upwards. When alert, the tail is carried high, making a “wheel”. Both low and wheel carriage are acceptable when gaiting…”. Some judges will penalize a tail that is not carried high and even curled over the back. Yet, is the dog supposed to be “on alert” in the show ring? My observation in the field is that the tail acts as a flag to the livestock. When there is reason to be alert, the dog raises its tail and the livestock see that and muster around the dog for protection. If the tail is always up and curled, it indicates nothing to the stock as it doesn’t change, whether there is danger or not. Judges need to be aware that the tail serves a critical function: to alert when there is danger. Hopefully, that is not in the show ring.

The Anatolian is not a beginner’s dog, so I am not so sure we want to increase its popularity. However, increasing awareness of its unique nature and requirements is definitely worthwhile. I think the parent club has done a good job with its written materials and I would like to see more public outreach targeting agriculturally related events: sheep and goat shows, community ag days, etc. And there is always need for more Judge’s Education in this breed. While we have one breed Standard, there is a wide variety of types and styles, so teasing out preference and fault can be challenging for the novice judge.

I did not have a mentor, only a longtime background in functional sighthounds.

Many Anatolians shown are also working dogs. As such, they do not appreciate being talked to during the examination. A livestock guardian’s job can be a lonely one and they are not used to chatter. Don’t talk to them like they were a household pet as they might find this disconcerting. Also, the Standard states “General balance is more important than absolute size.” I’ve seen an awful lot of large, but quite unsound Anatolians in the ring who would trip over themselves should they ever have to chase a predator. We cannot sacrifice athleticism and soundness for size.

It was at the Anatolian National one year when quite a nice 6-9 month old puppy was being shown. In the Winners Class, there he was, this little mite of a dog, in line with all these great big adult male Anatolians. The judge had the dogs move individually around the ring, but when it was the puppy’s turn, he was fine on the outside curve of the ring, but when he saw those looming, giant forms he needed to go past, he froze. Absolutely froze. His handler could not cajole, bribe or push him past the adults. No way, no how. You could see his reasoning quite plainly. His young handler was stellar and with good humor, managed to get him to go the last few feet to the end of the lineup, where he was awarded WD.

Denise & Mark Castoungay

We live in the province of beautiful British Columbia, about an hour’s drive east of the city of Vancouver. Currently, the dogs are our main focus and hobby. Other interests are the recent addition of twin grandkids.

Denise has been involved with dogs all her life and fell in love with the Newfoundland at the tender age of four. It was 24 years later that she finally obtained her first Newf. That was the beginning of a long and continuing love affair with the breed. Under the kennel prefix, CastaNewf, Denise and her husband, Marc bred their first litter in 1989.

Since then, CastaNewf Newfoundlands have earned 24 Newfoundland Club of America Versatile Newfoundland awards, six Newfoundland Dog Club of Canada Ultimate Newfoundland awards, Canada’s first Ultimate Newfoundland Excellent award, over 150 championship titles in several countries, and over 350 working titles, to date. Their kennel has produced multiple best in show, best in specialty show and group winners along with best puppy in show, best puppy in group winners, and bred by exhibitor show and group winners. Their kennel also has several Newfoundland Club of America Register of Merit Newfoundlands. CastaNewf was the breeder of Canada’s #1 Newfoundland and #3 Working Dog in 1999 and also the #1 Newfoundland in 2010. CastaNewf is a Master Breeder with the Canadian Kennel Club and a Gold Level Breeder of Merit with the American Kennel Club.

Denise loves the versatility of the Newfoundland and strives to produce dogs that can do it all—conformation, obedience, water rescue and draft. She is an AKC conformation judge for Newfoundlands as well as a water and draft test judge in the U.S. as well as Canada. Denise has judged at regional and national specialties in both countries. Denise is a breed mentor and currently serves as the chair of NCA’s Judges Education Committee.

We have been involved in Newfoundlands for the past 30 years. Our kennel has produced over 150 champions to date along with over 350 working titles. We are dual breeders—we show our dogs but also work them in water rescue, draft and obedience. We are most proud that our kennel has produced over 24 Versatile Newfoundland titles. A VN title is given by the Newfoundland Club of America to a Newf that has its Championship, Water Rescue dog title, draft title and a Companion Dog title. Newfoundlands really can do 
it all!

The breed in three words: gentle, giant, sweet tempered.

According to the AKC, in 2017 the Newfoundland is ranked 36th in overall popularity.

Yes, I believe they do get their fair share of attention now. Several years ago this was not the case but since Josh won Westminster, I feel the breed gets a better look.

In regards to health concerns, every breeder would answer this question differently but I would have to say cruciate ligament ruptures are far too numerous.

Responsible breeders are focusing on health as well as breed type and those two must go hand in hand. What I would like to see stopped is those who breed to the top winning dog simply because he is the top winner. A show record does not equate to the whelping box. Breeders, especially new people, must pay attention to their chosen stud’s pedigree. You should be able to picture at least the first two generations of dogs in that pedigree. If you can’t or are not familiar with that pedigree, speak to someone who is. Long time breeders are generally happy to talk about dogs of the past. Learn all you can and be brutally honest about your bitch before you breed her. The top winning dog will not necessarily produce top winning puppies. Breeding good typey, sound, healthy dogs is the cake. Winning with them is the icing.

I feel the NCA (Newfoundland Club of America) is working diligently on awareness of health issues, buying from responsible, ethical breeders, etc. We do not want our breed to get over-popular.

We owe the most to Betty McDonnell of Kilyka Newfoundlands and Peggy and Dave Helming of Pouch Cove Newfoundlands. My foundation bitch came from Kilyka.

Biggest pitfall is lack of breed type. Do not put up the dog that flies around the ring with its head held high. Remember that this is not an Afghan. It is a working dog bred to swim all day in frigid waters and pull a cart over tough terrain for long periods of time. Don’t be afraid to tell handlers to slow down and look for the dog with great breed type (heavy bone, substance, head) that moves at an effortless, easy gait.

My favorite story from many years ago was a friend’s granddaughter who was showing their very large 
Newfoundland bitch in juniors. I came by the juniors ring to watch and much to my surprise saw a large black Newf in the ring with no one beside her. The bitch just stood there calmly, in line. I was about to go ask the steward what had happened to the handler, when this little girl came under the dog, lifted up a rear leg with both hands, put it down in place, walked back under the dog and stood at its shoulders—completely hidden by this big Newfoundland! Needless to say, that little girl won her class.

Eric Conard & Leslie Ayers

I am Erick Conard of Lucky Hit Anatolians, Leander, Texas. I have owned quality working Anatolians since 1985. At one time I had thirty Anatolians; now I have fifteen. They all live in a true working setting guarding goats, geese, and various farm animals. (Never kennel an Anatolian!) I breed about one litter per year or less because I want to breed only the best of the best. It takes a large pool of dogs when one is breeding for both superior working ability and superior conformation. Before I retired, I was a virologist and then a health physicist. Leslie Ayers of Cedar Rise Anatolians is my valued breeding partner. Leslie lives in Lexington, Virginia. Leslie’s Anatolians are also active working Anatolians (guarding sheep and chickens) and top show dogs, many with Lucky Hit genetics.

My primary breeding consideration has been working ability, which can only be ascertained by raising an Anatolian with sheep and/or goats in a predator rich environment. However, excellent conformation is also essential in superior working Anatolians. After about 15 years of raising and working my dogs, I was encouraged to begin showing my dogs as well. I had raised a pup in the pasture until he was almost two. During that time (when he was about nine months old) he and four other pups 14 months and younger fought off and killed a large male mountain lion who was after my goat kids. Not one kid was lost! Just before he was two he was entered in his first dog show. After two show weekends he earned his Championship. He became a Champion Special taking many Group Placements and Group I’s. He was the number one All Breed Anatolian for three years in a row and also took Best of Breed at Westminister. Since then I have produced scores of Champions, many multiple Group Placing and Winning Anatolians, Top AKC producers, both male a female, Sire of Merit, Dam of Merit, and Dam of Distinction. All while maintaining my dogs in a true working setting and selecting for working ability as my primary breeding consideration.

Anatolians are protective, fierce, loyal, and, to their family and herd, they are above all else, loving!

I am solely focused on Anatolians so I don’t know how they rank. To me they rank as number one. To me no other breed can compare to an Anatolian!

I think Anatolians are overlooked frequently in the ring because correct working demeanor is criticized as incorrect show demeanor by most judges. Many times a judge has selected one of my dogs for Best of Breed and told me how much better the dog would do if I could just get the dog to hold its head and tail up and move around the ring with animation. Correct working demeanor in an Anatolian requires no animation and slow movements with the head held level or lower and the tail down. Since AKC judging should be used to assist in making good breeding decisions, rather than change my breeding practices to suit a judge who clearly doesn’t understand correct demeanor in the breed he/she is judging, I simply respond by thanking the judge for recognizing how diligently I have been breeding for correct Anatolian demeanor. Hopefully, AKC judges will eventually understand that excellent working demeanor requires low energy, low head, and low tail. Picking for 
the opposite traits (generic show dog behavior) will 
eventually greatly damage Anatolian working ability! And I won’t participate in that!

We have a small gene pool. Some breeders seem to think outcrossing is the answer. I believe it is even more important to be able to identify those dogs with genetic problems and eliminate them from your breeding considerations. Also, it is important to identify those dogs with no genetic problems and to focus your breeding goals through them.

I believe the Anatolian parent club wants to place a greater emphasis on the working aspects of our Anatolians in their decision making processes. This greater emphasis will help maintain a high level of working ability in the breed, including in our top show dogs! Also, I’d love to see more judges who understand and appreciate correct Anatolian demeanor and temperament! Knowledgeable judges understand that correctly bred Anatolians don’t like to be stared at, walked toward with a dominant attitude, touched with authority by a stranger, have their mouth grabbed by a stranger, or treated with disrespect in any way. Certainly nothing like the generic show dog!

Picking judges education coordinators who have an extensive working background will hopefully help educate our judges regarding how crucial it is that they stop picking traits antagonistic to excellent working ability! I’d rather not see Anatolians become even more popular. They are not a breed for everyone. They are so dominant with specific behaviors developed over thousands of years that many people are unable to understand them or work with them properly, as loving as they are.

Anatolians had only been in the United States a few years when I got my first Anatolian. Sadly, I was pretty much on my own. So I believe I owe the most to my very first Anatolian, Ebling’s Kasif (CASY). Casy was an incredible dog and taught me the essentials of the breed. I was so very lucky to have had an amazing and exceptional dog like Casy! His working ability was beyond perfection! As far as a human mentor in dog showing, Jo Lynne York, an amazing amateur handler who is perhaps more skilled than most professional handlers, helped me “learn the ropes.” She has successfully shown many different breeds from many different Groups. She is not only skilled at handling. Jo Lynne has one of the best “eyes” I’ve even seen at instantly spotting superior conformation and movement! If Jo Lynne York give you advice regarding your dog, listen closely and respect her opinion!

If new and novice judges don’t educate themselves regarding the true working Anatolian temperament, demeanor, and abilities, they will fail to understand the Anatolians in the ring and might be tempted to select for generic show dog temperament and demeanor (which is horribly incorrect) rather than correct Anatolian working temperament and demeanor!

One of my sweetest, nicest, and calmest males, Lucky Hit Shadow Zirva (ZIRVA) was waiting outside the Group Ring with me prior to being shown. A friend of mine was showing her dog in the Group currently in the ring and I got distracted and stopped watching Zirva (he was always so dependably calm). It was difficult to see; the crowd of dogs and people were so thick! All of a sudden Zirva leaped forward with a ferocious and terrifying bark/growl and then moon walked back in place beside and angled across in front of me! The crowd melted away immediately and I was standing in the middle of a 30 foot diameter area completely empty! No question whose dog had barked! A woman handed her Mastiff off to a friend, walked over to me, and apologized. She said her dog had been hard-eyeing my dog, creating Zirva’s reaction. Zirva was usually so calm and laid back he was sometimes overlooked but after that excitement he was quite animated (incorrect demeanor for an Anatolian). He took Group 2 that day!

Kasey Von Engel

Kasey Von Engel is a third generation dog enthusiast. She has been involved in the preservation of the Bernese Mountain dog breed since before she could remember. She showed her first dog at just four years old and garnered her first group placement at the age of seven years old with a seven month old Bernese Mountain Dog. From there, she went to work for numerous top handlers on the east coast. Kasey now has had the privilege to campaign two top dogs in their respected breeds, one being her Bernese Mountain dog she bred with her mother, that is now being co-owned and backed by Deborah Reams.

She live in Hampton Roads, Virgina and outside of dogs, she enjoys spending time with friends and family. It’s so important for a life spent on the road to have such a stable home base and group of people who remind her there’s so much more to life outside of dog shows.

As our breed has become more popular and the internet has opened the world to people with the desire to become a Breeder it has been a very hard task to educate new owners . Our breed can be heartbreaking but through the hard work of educated, experienced, conscientious breeders. We are making strides to extend the longevity of our beloved breed.

The breed in three words: Companion and Loyal.

We’re ranked 27 out of 193 breeds.

Yes, it does get its fair share of attention, better specimens are being shown and judges are being educated about the important aspects of our breed standard.

Sadly, inexperienced breeders breeding without knowledge of our breed. Breeding dogs together without pedigree knowledge. Cancers, degenerative myelopathy and 
digestive diseases.

Trends I’d like to see is rewarding breed type.

My mother, a breeder for over 23 years, taught me the ins and outs of breeding and general dog care. The past handlers I have worked for have each taught me different aspects of the show world. What it takes to care for dogs, what to do in emergencies, how to trim certain breeds etc. Markings and fault judging.

Loren & Laurie Freeman

We live in Madera, California. We have 17 years of Mastiffs and five years of Boxers. A life time of pet dogs. Loren is a winegrape grower and tree nut farmer. Laurel is a retired teacher and craft card designer and maker. Outside of dogs we enjoy traveling, wine tasting and golf.

We started breeding Boxers in the early 80s. Their life longevity was short at that time so we bought a Mastiff. One thing led to an other and we bought a show Mastiff in 2000. We’ve continue to show Mastiffs and for years we would always watch the Boxer ring if it was possible because of our history with that breed. We became acquainted with a couple of Boxer breeders through a common handler (Cheryl Cates) while watching the Boxer breed at shows. Those breeders were Lynda Yon and Debbie White and they did their final Boxer breeding just for us in 2014. We got a fantastic bitch (Savvy) that we eventually bred to one of their dogs through frozen semen. Savvy had a fantastic dog from that breeding that we are showing now as our 
current Special.

Our Mastiff breeding took off a few years ago when we breed a pretty little Mastiff to a top Canadian dog. We showed one of those puppies, Romeo, for three years. We are now waiting to breed him to our newest Mastiff puppy. We breed when the conditions are right and all of the health testing is complete and the pedigrees match up correctly. Healthy, quality, typie dogs have always been our goal.

The breed in three words: Boxer: intelligent, athletic and loyal; Mastiff: big, lovable and underappreaciated.

Breed rankings: Boxer: towards the top; Mastiff: towards the bottom.

Is our breeds getting their fair share of attention? Boxers: yes—Boxers are always hard to beat because they are energetic and alert, very “showable”. Mastiffs: no—large lumbering breeds don’t get the recognition they deserve because of their aloofness.

Health concerns: Boxer: heart, cancer and DM. Mastiff: hip displaysia, cancer and bloat.

Trends lately: Boxer: standardized health testing, acceptance of plain coloring and natural uncropped ears, bad sportsmanship and breeding non health tested dogs. Mastiff: certified health testing, intelligent breeding strategies, breeding for excessive size and breeding non “Mastiff” 
type dogs.

The parent club can increase awareness by: Boxer: standardize/require certain health tests that can be certified by a nationally recognized foundation or association. Mastiff: revise the standard.

We owe the most to: Boxer: Lynda and Jerry Yon (Rosend) and Debbie White (Conquest) the breeding side. Wendy and Jimmy Bettis the show side. Mastiff: Andie Williams (Mtn Oaks) breeding side. Barbara House (Britestar) breeding and show side.

Biggest pitfall for new judges: Boxer: breeder/handler intimidation—lack of breeder mentoring.Mastiff: the lack of a quality show entry—lack of breed consistency—lack of breeder mentoring.

Funniest moment: Boxer: The Balado Park in Hollister, California was infested with gophers. As the boxers were asked to go around the ring they were distracted by the gopher heads popping up and down. Wack-a-mole. Mastiff: A breeder/owner/handler used a drool rag to clean up his class bitch in season. He put the rag in his back pocket and forgot it was there until he took his BOB dog into the groups. That big horny dog knew there was something in that back pocket that he wanted. The dog mounted him and rode with all the way around the ring when the Working Group was introduced.

Tina Frey

My family and I live in Alexandria, Louisiana known as Central Louisiana. My entire life even as a child has been surrounded by dogs of all breeds most of which were used on our farm for ranch work 
and hunting.

Most folks are shocked to hear I drive a nine second drag racing car as a hobby. I was the only woman to receive a Rookie of the Year award at the track we ran most races in Baton Rouge. I have friends in the NHRA that inspired me to drag race and of course my husband is my biggest fan my manager and car builder.My other hobbies are riding horses. As a past breeder and trainer of AQHA horses I use this hobby to just relax and enjoy my life now.

ABCDT/APDT Certified Master Trainer, AKC CGC evaluator and ABC mentor obedience trainer. She is also a certified K9 handler in explosives, narcotics, HRD and SAR with nationally recognized agencies for law enforcement. Tina has over 25 years of training and breeding working dogs. Tina is commissioned and contracted with local, state and national law enforcement agencies with her K9 detection teams. Mrs. Frey also shows her Cane Corso in AKC, UKC and other registries throughout the country in conformation, obedience trials and protection sports. Her work with her dogs are her passion.

I have bred and raised several breeds in the past three decades. Breeding not only should be a passion but requires much knowledge and wisdom for the health and success of the breed. My veterinary experience has served me well when it’s came to the health of my dogs time and time again. Finding the right mentors with experience to support and help you is priceless.

The breed in three words: powerful, intelligent 
and protective.

Currently the Cane Corso ranks 40 out of 193 per AKC.

Oh yes. The Cane Corso look is just amazing and gets attention wherever the dog may go. The look is not only intimidating but powerful and majestic.

The two major concerns in the Cane Corso we facing are hip dysplasia and epilepsy within the breed.

I believe we all have our opinions on this topic however I hope they continue with the cropping and docking in our breed. It’s been a big debate in many countries and now banned in areas of Europe. I see this debate and issue coming here to the US in the near future.

Yes, in my opinion as a breeder the trends I don’t agree with continuing in our breed is allowing overly shy or soft temperaments, short Boxer muzzles and oversized fat dogs. Our breed was originally bred for “working” and that’s what I think judges should see when they look at our breed. A true working dog.

Most definately more public awareness and education for new owners or potential owners. Especially on the responsibility owning a guardian dominant breed.

That’s not an easy question since I’ve learned something from so many folks over the years. I’ve only had a few mentors and they’ve been great supporting me in this breed. My father was my biggest supporter and mentor and a couple of others included, Sandra Stephens and Jimmy Stanchio. They’ve honestly been open, honest and helped me through my years starting out in showing conformation and the Cane Corso breed history. My other friend Paul LeBlanc with LAK9 has also been there and mentored me with detection work and supported me in getting the Cane Corso into the law Enforcement sector.

The biggest pitfall I see coming is not understanding the Cane Corso history and its original use as a farm dog. 
These are working dogs that require respect and understanding of their temperament, structure and function.

Of course we always have a fun time at dog shows and there have been a few things worth laughing about one being the handler falling flat out on the floor during her down and back and the dog starts pulling her across the ring. I think it was more embarrassing then anything but when the dog took her across the floor and she stood up, she looked liked she’d mopped the floor with her suit. I don’t think they had mopped the floor in the past week. Everyone including her laughed about it afterwards.

Sylvia Hammarstrom

I bred my first Schnauzer Champion in Sweden in 1949, so this year 2019, is exactly 70 years in dogs. In those years I have bred over 1500 Giant Schnauzer Champions, many having won Best in Shows all over the world, at least 500+ times. Most of my dogs are family members, guarding adults and children, but many are active working dogs for police, customs, guide dogs, etc. Thirty years ago, I published the first book in English language about the Giant Schnauzer “The Giant Schnauzer in America”.

I have also bred champions in the following breeds: Standard and Miniature Schnauzers, Bouvier des Flanders, Rottweilers, Greyhounds and Silky Terriers.

In the last 25 years I have started to judge, and I am approved by the American Kennel Club to judge the three sizes of Schnauzers, Rottweilers, Doberman Pinschers,Mastiffs, Newfoundlands, Boxers, Samoyeds, 
Greyhounds, Portuguese Waterdogs, Great Danes, Bull Mastiff and Bouvier Des Flandres.

I have already had the opportunity to judge many of these breeds in Sweden, Finland, Denmark, England, Belgium, Japan, South Africa, Taiwan, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico and the USA. I also judge the Giant and Standard Schnauzer at Crufts in 2004, which is the highest honor offered to breed specialist in England.

I live in Sebastopol, California since 1960—before that in Stockholm, Sweden—where I bred my first champion Schnauzer in 1949. Except for dogs I read about three books every week.

I came to the U.S. and had plans to work as a handler’s assistant, instead I became an airline stewardess with TWA for 26+ years.

The Giant Schnauzer is physically and mentally a 
strong breed.

It’s popular with the public but not good if not being active, so between his high energy and coat care not in 
the top.

Yes, because it is a well-balanced breed, he gets plenty of attention if well-presented and groomed.

The breed has no special health concerns if fed correctly and well exercised.

I like a sound, balanced dog and no shy or fearful dog should be bred.

I think the breed has enough popularity as it is now.

Several top breeders in Europe like Mrs. Furst-Danielsson in Sweden Mme de Pret in Belgium and the Curnows
in England.

It is easy to be intimidated by the old pros when you first start—but trust your own skills and enjoy it.

Gene Hayes

I live in Memphis, Tennessee. I’ve been in purebred dogs for 25 years. I’m an attorney at FedEx and also play drums in a popular Memphis band.

I’ve been in the breed for ten years and have been breeding Kuvaszok for six years. I and my co-breeders have bred multiple champions as well as multiple performance titleholders.

The breed in three 
words: loyal, clownish 
and independent.

Breed ranking is low. The breed is one of the rarest in the United States.

No, I don’t think it gets its fair share of attention in Group, but probably all rare breeds think that. I do think that many group judges are not as familiar with the breed and therefore aren’t always sure where an individual dog should fall on the “scale” in terms of conformation to the breed standard. We’ve been very fortunate in that we’ve seen a fair amount of success in the group ring—without a lot of politics and advertising that seem to be so necessary for success these days.

Our breed is a relatively healthy one (knock on wood), and our core of reputable breeders does a good job of health testing and breeding away from genetic health issues. I do think that all breeds are seeing a rise in the incidence of cancers of all types, and so we as breeders and owners should be mindful to be aware of genetic and environmental factors that may be contributing to that trend.

I know I’m probably in the minority, but I’m a big believer that, in working dogs, form should follow function. Our dogs are livestock guardians, and so should be able to move efficiently but also need to be able to drive away predators. So, for example, many breeders are making a concerted effort to improve fronts, which I totally agree with. I think there’s also been an acknowledgement that we’ve lost some size in our breed, and so breeders are breeding somewhat more for size these days—which I agree with as long as it doesn’t mean sacrificing soundness, of course.

As for what I’d like to see stopped, from a breeding perspective that’s not really for me to say. Breeders have to make their own choices about what they think is important to the breed. I do, however, think many exhibitors are doing too much trimming of the coat on the back, particularly at the croup, to make the dog’s topline appear straight. It’s one thing to trim a wild hair or few that are standing up, but it’s quite another to do wholesale trimming and take the coat down to almost nothing. Judges ought to be able to put their hand on the rump and grab a good handful of hair, even after the dog has blown its coat.

We have big dogs that shed profusely on a daily basis and think independently—you’re bound to fall in love with them because they’re loyal, brave, and funny, but not everyone can live with them. I guess my view is that their popularity is always going to be limited, and there’s not really much that the Kuvasz Club of America can do to change that. That said, I do think the Club tries hard to increase awareness through outreach and education.

Lynn Brady and Connie Townsend were my initial mentors and I wouldn’t be in the breed without them. I also owe a great deal to Robin and Tony Miller, with whom I’ll continue to collaborate as a breeder.

Wading through all the political nonsense surrounding dog shows and all the hoopla surrounding whatever dog(s) is/are winning at the time.

When new judges ask me about the breed, I always tell them to try to picture how well the dog in front of them could do the job it’s bred to do. Sometimes it’s hard to translate the language of a breed standard into a description of how the dog functions according to the breed’s purpose. Our dogs are not just show dogs, they are “lunchpail” dogs, bred to do a job, and judges need to be mindful of that. For example, all-breed judges generally place too much of a premium on movement. Obviously, movement is very important in our breed, too, but the judge should also consider, once the dog moves to the predator, is it capable of driving the predator away? That’s where size and substance come in, and they are just as important as movement. Also, is the coat of sufficient thickness, correct texture, and proper distribution to protect the dog from the elements and from injury during a confrontation with a predator? We have some judges who know our breed very well, and I think they do a very good job of understanding that what makes a good “show dog” and what makes a good Kuvasz are not 
necessarily the same things. JUDGE THE DOG, NOT ITS 
REPUTATION! More judges need to understand 
the difference.

It happened to me, and wasn’t really funny at the time (although the judge, Roger Hartinger, got a laugh from it). My first time showing a Kuvasz in group, Zoe, our foundation bitch, shook the lead right off her neck during the down and back. I kept going with an empty lead and she just stood there, patiently waiting for me to come back and put the lead back on. I got all the way to the end before I realized there was no dog on my lead. We re-did the down and back; when we got back to him, Mr. Hartinger said “Are we having fun yet?”

Joe Hovorka

Joe Hovorka has been active in the breed since 2000. He has bred multiple champions and grand champions. He is the breeder of the: 2X Westminster Breed Winner 2012, 2013, 1st Cane Corso Best In Show in AKC History, #1 Cane Corso 2012 (All Breed), #1 Female Cane Corso 2011, 2012,2013(All Systems) the 1st Cane Corso in Canadian History to achieve both IPO and French Ring Titles, #1 Cane Corso Female 2017 (All Systems), the CCAA 2017 Bitch Of The Year, and the 1st Cane Corso to place 3rd in her division and 8th overall at the Dock Diving World Championships.

We live in upstate New York on 10 acres. I have some 30 years in dog’s 20 of that with the Cane Corso. Outside of the dogs I enjoy racing go karts - 125cc Shifter karts

I’ve been involved in this breed for 20 years. In those 20 years we have produce countless champions and grand champions. We have secured our name in the Cane Corso history books not only by winning Westminster twice and having the #1 Cane Corso in the country but also by becoming the 1st Cane Corso to win a BIS in the history of the AKC. Our dogs have enjoyed successes in every sport and arena they compete in. We pride ourselves on producing sound, stable, and functional dogs with an emphasis on quality over quantity.

The breed described in three words: presence, power and versatility.

I think over the last 9 years we have steadily climbed the ranks in popularity as you will see the Cane Corso routinely making the cut in the group and quite often earning placements in the group. We are still several years away from a BIS at a big show but this day is coming as well.

We are definitely beginning to make our presence felt in the group on a regular basis at shows every day across the nation. We’ve been appearing in this arena for just over 9 years now and I think it’s fair to say we have paid our dues and as a breed and we are getting a fair amount of serious consideration in most instances.

The same health issues plague our breed as seen in most large breeds it difficult to say with any conviction what is the largest health issue single health issue facing our 
breed today.

I would like the emphasis to continue to be placed on producing complete dogs that can perform with the form and function for which this breed was intended. I’m troubled by the large amount of dogs I’m seeing with Boxer like sloping top-lines and weak rears.

This is a difficult question as the breed clubs for any breed is a job done by passionate people that get little to no recognition for the countless hours of time and work they put in. Our breed is growing in popularity by leaps and bounds with every passing day. I think the main focus of the Cane Corso breed club today is in educating the public while keeping the breed interest under control and in the right hands given its current rise in popularity.

C.C Nicosia has been my biggest mentor not only in this breed but also in the difficult realities we all must face when dealing with the cultivation of animals.

With the breed being relatively new to the AKC and its judges the dogs presented in the ring can at times vary significantly in type and conformation this poses a significant challenge to all judges both novice and experienced.

KIM LEBLANC

You could say I was born with a dog at my side because I have never been without one my entire life. At the age of 16, my mom and I decided we wanted to have a kennel so off she went looking at Golden Retrievers and came home with a Siberian Husky. That was the birth of Snowmist Siberians and the rest is history.

Over the years I have been involved in many different aspects of dogs including competitive sled dog racing, a short stint as a professional handler and several years as a director for the Canadian Kennel Club.

I have had the pleasure of handling quite a few different breeds including Siberians, Samoyeds, Alaskan Malamutes, Standard Poodles, Great Pyrenees, Newfoundlands, Borzoi, and Salukis.

Siberians have been my main focus throughout my canine career. Snowmist Siberians can be found around the world and they have experienced considerable success. Perhaps the greatest moment for my Siberians was when Fizzy won the group at the 2012 WDS in Austria.

Judging was a natural progression for me as a breeder. The opportunity to meet new people, visit interesting places and to judge beautiful dogs around the world has exceeded all my dreams. I have had the honour of judging in my own country (Canada), Argentina Australia, Belgium, Brazil, China, Columbia, Czech Republic, England, Estonia, France, Finland, Germany, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Lithuania, Macedonia, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Spain, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, the Philippines, Thailand and the United States of America. My most treasured judging assignment has to be judging my breed at the 2018 World Dog Show 
in Amsterdam.

I am a graduate of the canine course “Dogs, A Hobby or Profession” created by the late Casey Gardiner. Included in this educational program was a course on structure that taught structure based on a measuring process. I have used this process to improve my own knowledge, to help others understand what they see and to evaluate litters of puppies and grown dogs. I have conducted all breed measuring clinics as well as seminars on this topic.

I bought my first Siberian in the spring of 1973 with the money I had saved to visit Great Britain. What do you do “outside” of dogs? I retired from my own conveyancing business in February 2018 and now I have time to focus on repairs and changes around my house and property. 
Any other hobbies or interests? I have two wonderful kids and two equally wonderful grandkids. I love to read. Traveling to new places and exploring them is a passion of mine. Walking in my forest. I have been breeding and showing Siberians for over 40 years. I have been blessed with dogs that have won BIS’s all over the world, won awards at SHCA Nationals and been number one in our breed in both the US and Canada among other things. For the most part I still show my own dogs as often as possible.

Describe the breed in three words: Ooh that is too hard. Siberians should always make you think athletic, with long smooth strides and a charismatic arctic expression.

When you say popular, are you asking as show dogs or family dogs? Siberians draw many people to them because of the arctic look both as family dogs and show dogs. Unfortunately not everyone should own this breed. They are not known for their recall or their ease of training which makes them challenging family dogs and show dogs.

When I first started showing dogs it was rare for Siberians to place in the group but that is certainly not the case today. Siberians are a common sight in the group placements at the shows today. I think the handlers/owners have done a great job at presenting this breed in a well-groomed state and for the most part they are fairly sound.

Siberians on the whole are a very hardy breed with almost no serious widespread commonly appearing health problems. Routine eye exams and hip certifications are the norm. Do Siberians have epilepsy, cancer or any of the other devastating diseases? Yes of course but not on a 
rampant level.

There is a strong anti-trimming trend in our breed that I support whole heartedly. This is not a Poodle that must be trimmed in a certain pattern or a terrier that needs it’s coat stripped but a more wash and wear natural breed. Don’t get me wrong there is no room for dirty dogs in the ring but trimming is just not necessary and it is in our standard that it be penalized. Of late I am seeing more leg under Siberians in general and that is as it should be.

It will always be important for breeders to watch that our dogs do not present as a 50/50 breed. In some parts of the world it is very common to see handlers race around the ring as fast as possible without any concern for the correct speed for their Siberian. It is not a sled dog race. Please gait your dog at the speed that best shows off your dog’s length of stride not how many steps in can take in the 
shortest time.

I am not a supporter of increasing the popularity of my breed. SHCA does a great job of trying to increase awareness of our breed by participating in the AKC Meet the Breeds program. Teaching the public about the wonders of our breed as well as the detractions like their massive hair loss when they shed.

There have been many people who have helped me learn the ropes along the way but my mom was my partner in dogs for many years and encouraged me every step of the way. Others who have been critical to my learning are Earl and Natalie Norris, Kathleen and Trish Kanzler, Betty McHugh, Casey Gardiner, Sue Bain and my friend Elsie Chadwick who taught me to love pedigrees.

The shows today do not always have rings of an adequate size for the Siberian to gait correctly. It is much easier for a dog with less than ideal angulation to look good in a small ring whereas a dog that needs more space may need a bit more time and space to get things together. Colour is irrelevant. Try and see all the dogs as the same colour. And for those that have trouble with blue eyes or eyes of different colours, stand where the colour is not so obvious.

Many years ago the Kawartha dog show was held on the grounds of a ski resort. It was a beautiful summer day and I was sitting on the balcony watching judging when to my surprise one of our senior lady judges had seemingly had her slip, slip and she simply stepped out of it and placed it on her judge’s table and carried on.

Katrina Maddux

I live in Hartselle, Alabama. I have been around dogs my whole life. My parents briefly bred Siberian Huskies. But with the Standard Schnauzers I have been in the breed for four years. I use to ride and compete on the hunter jumper circuit with my horses. I showed horses for 30 years.

Katrina Maddux grew up in Northern California and has had horses and dogs her whole life.

Katrina comes from the equestrian world with over 30 years of experience. In college she was an equine science major, so working with animals is very easy for her. She was a Professional in the equine world for a few years and also rode and showed her own horses as an Amateur. Katrina served as a USHJA Zone 4 Board Member from 2012 
to 2016.

Katrina got into Schnauzers because she has allergies to dogs that shed. Schnauzers don’t shed. In 2012, she and her husband Chris bought their Mini Schnauzer, Pierre. He was the first to kick off the adventure into the world of 
the Schnauzers.

After a year and a half of looking and waiting, Annie, GCHB CH Elkhart Terramar Suzanne Sugarbaker BN CA TKN CGC RATI came into Katrina’s life. Katrina has taken Annie to Westminster in 2018 and will show her again in 2019. In 2017 Katrina and Annie where #7 in NOHS and in the Top 20 for the AKC Grand Championship. Annie is the first of our 6 Standard Schnauzers at our house. Katrina owns, CH Elkhart’s Suddenly Last Summer CGC (Summer), CH Hidden Creek’s Indiana Jones CGC (Indy), Desdemona of Cindy Land CGC (Desi), Reign On Drops of Jupiter (Heggie) and Reign On Carolina Moon (Carolina)

Katrina competes in conformation, Barn Hunt, FAST CAT and CAT and Obedience trials with her dogs. They are very much a part of our family.

I am fairly new to breeding. My first breeding was this past spring in 2018.

The breed in three words: loyal, versatile and smart.

Our breed isn’t very popular with the working breeds. The Standard Schnauzer is one of the rare breeds.

We are the smallest of the working breeds in group. I think a lot of times are get over looked because we 
are small.

Cancers is one of the largest health concerns, its one of the most common questions I get asked from potential puppy buyers.

Right now I see many other breeders importing dogs from Europe, these dogs are bigger than what our standard calls for. It is creating an issue with size, there is no middle ground. The dog is either too big or too small. We need to get back to our roots over there.

I think they need to do more to promote new owners and get more people involved in our breed. I think that would help. Also we need more regional clubs. There isn’t one in the Southeast. The breed club also needs to have breeders work together more often and welcome new members.

I owe a lot to Annie and Summer’s breeder, Chris Faulk. He was hard on me but it gave me the backbone to be who I am and to have gone this far with my dogs.

The biggest pitfall for new judges is they need to really understand the breed standard and not just put up handlers. They may bot have the best dog in the class.

Funniest thing is doggie costume class—it’s a hoot!

Kristle Marangon

Kristle along with her husband David and two of their four children, live in Kent Washington, just south of Seattle.

Kristle has been involved in the sport of purebred dogs since 1987 where she got her first show dog, a Rottweiler named Ace. She then got involved with Newfoundlands in 2002 and acquired her first PWD in October of 2004 from Pouch Cove.

Kristle is an accountant and also grooms dogs part time. She continues to love showing her dogs in the breed ring as well as getting their working titles.

Kristle continues to serve on the board of the Newfoundland Club of Seattle and has served on the board of the Pacific Northwest Portuguese Water Dog Club. She has been the Show Chair for the PNWPWDC Regional Specialty and assistant show chair for the Mount Rainier Working 
Dog Club.

She is a member of the Newfoundland Club Of Seattle, Newfoundland Club of America, Pacific Northwest Portuguese Water Dog Club, Portuguese Water Dog Club Of America and Mount Rainier Working Dog Club

Together, Kristle and her husband David breed both Newfoundlands and Portuguese Water Dogs. They have bred 19 PWD champions so far, 13 Grand Champions, three in the top 20, one that won judges choice at the top 20. Best Bred By In Working Dog Specialty, National specialty: three Best Puppy, Reserve Winners Dog, Best Opposite and two Award of Merits. Best In specialty winner, Best Veteran in specialty and two Best Brood Bitch in specialty. Best In Show and Reserve Best in Show. Currently have the #1 in the group eight and top ten in all groups in the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg Europe.

I have always had dogs since I can remember but been showing dogs since 1986 when I got my first Rottweiler.

I work a full time job as an office Manager for a commercial roofing company. Whenever I have time or the opportunity arises—I love to decorate. I also like to do lots of crafts.

I bred my first litter in 2009 and honestly was so naive. Over the years and 12 litters later you realize that breeding is not for the faint of heart. As a breeder you need to be prepared for the possibility that you may lose your bitch. I had heard that before but until you are faced with it—you always think it will only happen to someone else. Well I came very close to that reality when my bitch needed an emergency C-section and then almost bled out on the table. There have been pups that haven’t made it and lots of tears. But then there is the happy side of it as well. The joy of watching these little bundles that you put so much time, love and energy into—grow, thrive, and as some of mine have done—go onto having amazing show careers as well. I have been blessed to find the best families for the pups that I have bred and many have become life long friends. That makes it all worth it!

The breed in three words: intelligent, loving clowns.

According to AKC for 2018—The Portuguese Water Dog ranks number 51 out of 193 in the working group.

Since the record-breaking huge success of Matisse—we are seeing more and more judges awarding Portuguese Water Dogs group placements as well as Best In Show and Reserve Best In Shows.

The Portuguese Water Dog has been plagued with lots of different health concerns such as GM-1, PRA, EOPRA, JDCM 1, Improper Coat, DCM and Puppy Eye Syndrome—but thankfully due to the dedication of breeders and owners we as a club have found so many markers and still working towards more markers for diseases that we do not have a test for. With these tests we as breeders are able to make sure we are doing our best to breed healthy sound pups. The one disease that eludes us all is Cancer. The biggest killer of our sweet dogs is Hemangiosarcoma.

I see most breeders trying to work together to preserve our breeds type, health and temperament. It is always a challenge to put aside your differences for the betterment of our beloved breed but so worth it.

The things that I would like to see stopped is in grooming. Many handlers and now owners are putting the dogs in the lion trim where the muzzle and rear are supposed to be shaved, but so many are leaving so much hair on the muzzle and hand trimming instead of using clippers that they are looking like a lion trim in the rear with a retriever trim head. Pick one trim or the other-don’t morph them together. It is a huge pet peeve of mine.

Our parent club needs to continue to educate people about our breed. They are definitely not a breed for everyone. People see them and think, “Oh look at that cute curly or wavy fluff ball”. Little do they know what it takes to be owned by one of these dogs. They are a working dog and a tough breed that is so intelligent who can easily outsmart you and needs a job or they will create their own job that tends to be destructive and usually not what you want them to do. Training and socialization is a must. But with that said—I love their quirky personalities. The way they are clowns, drama queens, loving, playful and very protective of their family. When you live with a PWD there is never a dull moment. You will either be telling them to stop pouting after reprimanding them for one of their jobs they decided to give themselves, smiling and laughing at their silliness or being amazed at their ability to love and comfort you when you need it most.

Well I suppose the people that I owe the most to is Peggy Helming and Milan Lint of Pouch Cove who sent me a very stunning girl that turned out to not only be a great 
representative of the breed but an amazing foundation bitch. Without them sending me Willow my breeding program would not be where it is today. Both Peggy and Milan helped to guide me in the early days which I am forever grateful. I continue to try to learn from all the successful breeders in our breed. I can’t thank all the breeders who have openly shared their vast knowledge with me and I try my best to help others. When you start thinking that you know it all is when you are destined to fail.

Biggest pitfall is not knowing the breed standard or being confident enough to put up the most deserving dog. Sometimes that dog that looks different than all the others in the ring is actually the closest to the breed standard. The new and novice judges need to really use their hands to feel the dog. Things can be visually altered with grooming techniques. Does the dog have the impressive head and muzzle that is called for in our standard? Is there a well-defined stop that creates that prominent forehead? Is the muzzle substantial? Does the dog have a good spring of rib so that they have the capacity to hold enough air in their lungs? Is the topline straight and firm? Do they have the correct shoulder assembly and rear assembly for that reach and drive needed to be able to swim efficiently? Do they have the muscling needed? Is the base of the tail thick and strong to be able to be an efficient rudder? Do they have substantial bone that is also called for in our standard? Now once they have used their hands to FEEL the dog—see if the dog moves in a forward motion with effortless power and well-balanced movement. Are they wasting too much energy, or would they be able to do that all day? These things translate to the dog being able to do what it was bred for. If a new or novice judge can do this and actually judge the dogs without doing favors or compromising—they will have a very long and successful judging career with large entries and will earn the respect of all that show to them.

The funniest thing that I ever saw at a show was actually at one of our nationals. It was during the brood bitch class and a breeder judge was judging it. Out comes the Portuguese Water Dog bitch and behind her—two Chihuahuas strutting their stuff. The crowd was in stitches.

Melinda Moyer, BellaCane & Cheryl Green, AlCher

Cheryl: I live in Brentwood, Tennessee. I am the Vice President of the Nashville Doberman Pinscher Club and a member of the Tristar Kennel Club. I retired from my company, Benefit Consultants, Inc. in 2014. Along with the dogs, I have bred and owed race horses and currently own a Warmblood Andalusian. I enjoy spending time with my grandchildren who live close enough that I can see 
them weekly.

Melinda: We live in Montpelier, Virginia. I have had dogs all my life but Dobermans for 35 years. My interests outside of dogs, well so much of my time revolves around my dogs, there is little time for anything else. Between training, showing, Treasurer and Show Chair for the Virginia Kennel Club and running a boarding business, I am also an accountant. With what little free time we have, I love to travel with 
my family.

Cheryl: I have owned and bred Dobermans since 1974 and have also bred Pointers, Great Danes, Shitzu’s and Whippets. I am a Gold Breeder of Merit for Dobermans and a Bronze Breeder of Merit in Pointers. I have bred and owned numerous Champions, Grand Champions, Group and Best-In-Show winners, numerous Best In Specialty Show 
winners, a DPCA Top20 Winner, bred 20+ Dobermans in the DPCA Top20 for conformation, numerous dogs in the DPCA Top20 Obedience along with Dobermans who have agility, fastcat, therapy, ROM and WAC titles. I currently co-own ABIRA, who finished 2018 as the #1 Doberman All Systems whose sire was from breeding program.

Melinda: I grew up with many different breeds of dogs but have had Dobermans since 1984. I bred two litters in the 80s but then took some time off from breeding and showing but continued to own Dobermans and study pedigrees while raising my children. Once my children were grown, I began my search to fulfill a lifelong dream of having my own breeding program. After almost three years of searching for my foundation bitch, I found a puppy who I named “Bella” which became the #1 Doberman in breed for two years and was the beginning of my breeding program. In the last five years, I have become a Bronze Breeder of Merit and have produced multiple Champions, Multiple Grand Champions, Group Winners, A multi Best In Show winner, Multiple Specialty Show winners along earning agility, therapy, obedience WAC titled dogs. We currently own and bred the 2018 #1 Doberman All Systems—Abira.

The breed is three words: beautiful, loyal and protector.

We both feel that Dobermans are very competitive in the working breeds.

The breed does get its fair share of attention because Dobermans have a certain presence about them that demonstrates strength and surety. When you have a Doberman who has beautiful movement, correct structure and the “look at me presence”, its hard not to point to that dog.

The biggest health concern is Dilated 
Cardiomyopathy (DCM).

Trends that need to continue are docking and cropping.

We believe the DPCA has done a wonder job promoting our breed but unfortunately due to the public media, there is still a stigma that Dobermans are a vicious breed. Nothing could be more from the truth if you have a well-bred dog.

Cheryl: I have had the opportunity to have had numerous mentors over the past 40+ years and its still a learning experience every day.

Melinda: I’ve learned so much from several people of the last 35 years but would have to say Esteban Farias has been an incredible teacher for me. When I got back into showing ten years ago, Esteban started showing our dogs. He is an incredible wealth of knowledge when it comes to Dobermans and has taught me about so much about structure, movement, training and showing this breed. We used to sit or stand ring side and talk through the dogs in front of us and he would go through and explain to me what was good, correct, and proper or not.

The biggest pitfall for new judges is not understanding proper form called for in our standard, correct movement and proper function. All breeds go thru changes, some good and some not so good and unfortunately some judges either don’t understand or know the correct standard and tend to judge dogs by what is in the ring, no matter if its incorrect, but because that is what they are seeing more of.

Marilu Novy

I currently live in Columbus, Georgia. Dogs have been a part of my life for about 30 years. Twenty of those years have been involved with Portuguese Water Dogs. My life outside of dogs partly includes dogs. I am a trainer at Harvard’s K9 Center. In addition, I have served on the Board of Portuguese Water Dog Club of America, PWDCA Rescue, Inc and am currently on the board of the USSPWD (a sanctioned PWDCA regional club), on the board of the Columbus Kennel Club and Show Chairman for the show in May of 2019. I have a small business where I create live and silk plant arrangements for the home.

A very short biography. I have a degree in Chemistry with a minor in Math. Have been a little bit of everything from working for a major chemical company moving up the ranks to management (when it was not common for a woman to do such) to owning my own needlecraft shop, now the queen of part time jobs. Columbus, Georgia is my home but have lived in the Northeast, Midwest and all over the south. Landed back in Columbus and here I’ll probably stay.

My breeding experiences are broad. My first three litters were very easy to whelp and we had 12 in each litter. Then we lost an entire litter during birth. Trying with a similar breeding with a different but down line bitch. we saw that litter be absorbed. Then at the suggestion of my vet we used the Theriogenetic services at Auburn University. AKC sponsors financially a Veterinary resident in Theriogenetics. Through this program, they were able to ascertain the problems and help insure that the litter went to term. They requested that we breed Bee back to back to see if the situation repeated. Unfortunately, it did, but thankfully Auburn was able to help us have a litter of three and then a litter of six. I cannot thank AKC enough for sponsoring this program. To the credit of these breedings, Honey (one of the litter of Three) won the Bred By Exhibitor Group at the AKC National Championship in Orlando 2018. Needless to say, I am very proud of these litters.

Describing a Portuguese Water Dog in three words: curious, strong-willed and silly.

Don’t know the exact ranking in the working group with popularity. With President Obama having two very prominent PWD’s we did see an uptick in inquiries about 
the breed.

We have had one spectacular dog in the breed that became the top winning dog in the working group in terms of Best in Shows. Prior to Matisse, we had several dogs that helped make the breed to be noticed in groups, LadyBug and Spencer to name two and before them SeaSea. Since Matisse’s retirement, we have not seen the prominence in groups. There are some beautiful dogs that are starting their careers this year so hopefully this will change.

There are several health concerns within the Portuguese Water Dog. We have a very small gene pool due to the breed almost being extinct in the early 70s. With that several genetic diseases are within the breed. As a breed club we have worked diligently to insure that these diseases are slowly being eliminated from the breed. Currently we face Addison’s disease, PES and cancer as the main problems for which we do not have good markers to minimize spread of these diseases. We are involved is several studies to work towards an end with these issues. Looking at various pedigrees and keeping everything up front and disclosed will help breeders select the best dogs to breed.

Over the years our breed has gotten smaller in size, our fronts are not as pronounced and rears do not have the strength to do the jobs they were designed to do. Reach and drive is so needed to insure that these dogs can swim for great periods of time.

There are quite a few who have helped me through my years in the breed. First and foremost is Colville Jackson, without his knowledge and love of the breed I would not be breeding. CJ Favre (my co-breeder) has guided me through many parts of breeding as well as the handling of our dogs. Barbara Cawley, Shelley Plucker and Barb Crowther without their long discussions I would not be enjoying all aspects of this wonderful, fun breed. And there are so many more, who by listening to their conversations I have gained so much information for all aspects of the breed from performance, conformation and breeding.

I must stress to all new and novice judges this is a hands on breed. We have two coat types as well as two styles of clips so you need to get through the hair to find the dog, please use your hands to feel the chest, topline and see how the rear is structured. Also watch the dog, reach and drive is critical for a balanced dog to perform their job. Finally, do not become distracted with color of the dog’s hair. Yes, there are times you will see markings that give you a movement optical elusion, it doesn’t hurt to ask for additional movement. As with all breeds, please new judges give each and every exhibitor in your ring equal time and courtesy that they deserve. Even if they are not your Best of Breed, they still paid the same entry fee and deserve the same time from you, the judge.

Finally, I would like to stress the importance of the program AKC has developed with having a Residency program in the various Theriogenetic programs at prominent Vet schools across the country. We do not always see the benefits of AKC for the fancy. Sometimes AKC is perceived as a “lets see what else they can do to get more money” this program is way that they give back to 
dog community.

CJ actually has the best story of a flashlight in the group ring in Brooksville this January.

Janet Oatney

My husband and I live in St Helens, Oregon, just outside of Portland. I’ve been in dogs most of my life, but the last three decades I’ve focused on performance and conformation pursuits with Doberman and German Pinschers. Prior to retirement, I combined my love of science and the outdoors and managed environmental and regulatory components of transportation projects. When not training or exhibiting I spend my time enjoying hiking in the forests of the Pacific Northwest with my husband and our three German Pinschers. Janet Oatney lives with her husband Ron Dunn and three German Pinschers in Oregon. They focus on breeding and handling multi ring dogs and also are the owners of RiverRAT Barn Hunt and active in many local dog sporting activities.

Selecting and developing mentor relationships was my first step to being a successful breeder. I focused on developing strong partnerships with other breeders and worked with them to develop the ideal dog, both physically and mentally. A pretty package without strong working traits or working dogs without beauty are one-dimensional dogs. While I breed very occasionally, my goal is to produce dogs that are functional, beautiful, and sound of mind and body. This is a long-lived breed, and maintaining that health and functionality is crucial for the dogs and owners quality 
of life.

Like most breeder-owners, my experience has been a series of highs and lows, beginnings and goodbyes. The promising new puppy, the aging veteran, the unexpected loss of a young girl you had high hopes for, the new import you didn’t know you had room in your heart for, that has taken you to new and unexpected highs. It is these “experiences” that shape who you are as a breeder and owner. Wins, rankings, and firsts in the breed are icing on the cake—and we’ve had quite a few of those—but it’s what happens between human and canine that matters most to me as a breeder. Breeding and nurturing dogs that are strong in mind and body, meet the breed standard, and are a credit to their owners and good citizens of their community is what I aspire to.

The breed in three words: moderate, active 
and determined.

I think our breed is in the bottom 25% of working breeds—and it’s a shame as they are hearty little dogs, with very few health issues, love to be active, and are very trainable. They make ideal sports dogs as they have great aptitude in all competitive dog activities, as well as being wonderful companions for those of us with skills to handle such an active breed. This is not the breed for everyone, if you do not have time or ability to properly train and exercise them, they can attempt a home “Coup d’état”. Experience with working dogs is a prerequisite for bringing out the best of the breed.

“Fair” is a subjective word—fair as in proportion to quality, I’d say yes. Fair as in equal representation in group placements, no, and there are several reasons for that status. First it’s a low number breed, so they aren’t represented in the group as much as others and with pockets of populations that have distinctly different views on the standard; what you are used to seeing in one area of the country may differ drastically in another. Many times the breed entry is limited to single exhibit that may not be a superior example of the breed. Finally, often presentation and conditioning are lacking in an otherwise exemplary exhibit which “masks” the quality of the dog in the high pressure group ring.

The German Pinscher is a hearty and healthy breed, initially there were concerns regarding juvenile cataracts, but breeders focused on minimizing breedings that had higher risk for that disease. This breed is sensitive to vaccines has can have adverse reactions, including neurological damage, however following a staggered vaccination regime, educating veterinarians, and conscientious breeding, have decreased this occurrence.

Temperaments have greatly improved; we need to continue that upward swing in behavioral stability. For me—size matters —size is a fundamental aspect of breed type—dogs significantly over or under the 17"-20" range drift into resembling other breeds and type is lost. The German Pinscher is a square breed, but in the pursuit of ‘square” we are losing angulation, fore chest, and gaining upright necks which greatly decreases the overall functionality of the dog and inhibits them from their original purpose, an all-around farm dog. Yes they may be square, but they are incorrect in other important ways.

Recently the GPCA implemented a versatile and versatile excellent German Pinscher award, recognizing and highlighting these working traits encourages owners to begin training and exhibiting their dogs. The more our breed can be seen in the companion rings as a viable working dog, the more respect will be given the breed in other rings.

In my opinion the parent club needs to have more outreach and less focus on those already committed to the breed. We tend to “preach to the choir” and do little if anything (as a club) to gain recognition for our underappreciated breed in circles outside the conformation ring.

I’ve had two main mentors, both strong and opinionated women who encouraged me when I needed it most and were brutally honest when I needed that even more. Linda Krukar of Dabney Dobermans and German Pinschers took me under her wing and with John Krukar’s help, molded me into an aware and responsible breeder and exhibitor. On the other side of the Atlantic (UK), Jay Horgan of Aritaur Doberman’s and German Pinschers provided advice, support, and comfort during heartbreaking and joyous times. My first foundation bitch was from the Krukars, my second from Jay Horgan. Not to be left out is a strong online presence that has shaped and reinforced the way I look at breeding and exhibiting dogs in general. Laura Reeves of Pure Dog Talk has provided the fancy with a virtual treasure trove of podcasts from greats in the game, and through those podcasts has become a “virtual” mentor to many of us that lack access to those at the top of the sport. The success of my current special GCh UWPCH USA UFR UKC/Int Ch Aritaur Bibi Dahl CAA FCAT RATI RATO FDC TKI CGC SPOT is in no small part due to these ladies support and advice.

It’s easy to say “understand the standard” but that is true for any breed. In our breed, or in any low number breed, it’s not uncommon for entire litters to be entered to build a major with similar relatives in the BOB class. Don’t be afraid to withhold on dogs lacking quality, yes even if it breaks a major. Our breed is easy to fault judge, which results in winners with no major faults, but little virtue. Learn what to forgive in our breed—understand what our breed needs to progress. Good strong fore chests, well let down hocks, and proper turn of stifle are being lost. Reward those attributes, even if there are other flaws—long in loin, less than ideal head—please avoid the generic showdog syndrome and favor those exhibits that are true to type, rather than the best of the mediocre.

Recently seeing Ed Thomason, Alpine ASTs, in a very creepy elf costume with a giant sequined hat at the Greater Clark County Kennel Club ugly sweater day is a funny—yet oddly disturbing image—that was burned into my brain.

Catherine O’Brien

My husband and I live on a small farm in Virginia and I have been showing since 2006. My first show dog was Duke, my heart dog and AKC Champion. He is greatly missed. We (my husband and I) would drive two vehicles to a dog show so that Duke could go with us even though he was too old to show. Outside of dogs, I am an accounting manager in a Richmond office. I really have two lives—my work life and my home life, which are total opposites sometimes. I rode horses for 35 years, so dog showing came naturally to me I think. My husband and I also have working Border Collies.

I bred my first litter of Anatolians in 2008. Since then we have finished 15 champions, 11 of which were Skyview dogs and many Grand Champions. We had the number one Anatolian in 2011. We have had dogs in the top ten for many years. I quickly became an AKC Breeder of Merit, so I have been very fortunate with my program. I believe in genetic diversity and I strive to make the best pairings possible while maintaining type, temperament and soundness.

The breed in three words: intelligent, powerful and stoic.

In the AKC show world, Anatolians are not common. Many shows never have an entry. Every show I get stopped and asked by an exhibitor or spectator, “What breed is that?” Of course, that gives me the opportunity to let them meet my dogs and I can explain their history and function.

For many years, group placements were few. However, in the last several years there have been some owners on both coasts that have really promoted their dogs—so the group placements and recognition has been increasing. An Anatolian finally won an AKC Best in Show in 2018—a 
huge accomplishment.

Fortunately, the Anatolian breed as a whole, is pretty healthy with an average life span of 10 to 12 years. As such a large breed, hip and elbow dysplasia should be screened for.

The Anatolian is still a rare breed. They are not a dog for everyone as they are livestock guardian dogs. They have a low prey drive, which is opposite of most of your breeds—so they think and view things differently. Their intelligence is off the charts, which can present a challenge to the uninitiated. The Anatolian needs to remain a closely 
held treasure.

Breeding should focus on the preservation of the breed and its traits. Don’t lose their natural abilities and temperament which is the essence of the Anatolian. In my opinion, when you “breed to improve” you are “breeding to change”. The Anatolian has existed for 6,000 years—I can’t improve that—my goal is not to lose that.

Two people had a huge impact on my knowledge and confidence. Shannon White (Leonbergers) taught me how to show my first dog. She took me to shows and rooted me on in the ring. She is a great teacher and excellent dog person. The second was Agi Hejja of Starhaven Kennel (Leonbergers and Kuvasz). Agi taught me the knowledge of whelping litters and evaluating pups. My first few litters she came over and we stayed up all night. That knowledge was not 
something that could be read about in a book, or gleaned on the internet. Agi is now an AKC judge. Much thanks to them for sharing their knowledge.

Here is a picture of me with my first Anatolian and my first “show dog” Duke. When the invitations went out for Westminster in 2007—he was ranked sixth. He was an AKC Champion and a champion of a dog. We lost him in 
February 2018.

Well, I entertained everyone ringside one day. I was showing Aloysius to Bob Busby. I am stacking my puppy for the exam and I hear “Crunch Crunch”. I think a pen or something plastic must have been dropped so I try to get it out of Aloysius’ mouth. Mind you, he is over 120lbs at eleven months and it was “game on”. I could hear laughing outside of the ring as I am wrestling with him and sticking my hand in his mouth to get this item out—much to my surprise, Aloysius had swiped Mr. Busby’s judge’s badge off of him (without him even knowing) and was proceeding to use it as a chew toy. I guess the look on my face was pure shock when I realized what he had in his mouth—and I looked up at the judge and he cracked up laughing. I apologized profusely and we could not figure out how he got it.

Donna Patterson

I live in Wiggins, Mississippi and have always owned dogs but became involved in Black Russian Terriers in 2005. Working full time and grooming my family of Black Russians occupies most of my time.

I had not considered ever breeding dogs until my first Black Russian was sold to me on a show and breeding contract. Unfortunately she neither had the health checks or temperament that I would require to breed. My next acquisition was my male, GCHP Zilya’s Chicago Blues Fusion at Runes, CD, RN, TT. I was primarily searching for temperament but got so much more than I ever expected. He is currently still the only Platinum AKC Grand Champion in the breed is almost 11 years old and still managed to receive an AOM at our 2018 National from the Veterans Class. He also passed all OFA health clearances, as did my third BRT, GCHB Danika for Midnight Rider Iz Chicasovo, who came from Russia. My breeding program was born. Zil and Dani had two litters, producing five AKC Champions, all with OFA passing healh checks which is a phenomenal accomplishment in this breed where 48% sill fail OFA hips and 30% fail elbows. Dani’s 3rd and final litter was born last July and sired by the 2017 and 2018 #1 Dog in Canada, also with all passing OFA tests. The first litter produced Boots, currently a 3 1/2 year old female out on the show circuit who was the #1 Black Russian Terrier Bitch last year and won the AKC 
National Championship.

Three words to describe the breed: tough working dog.

Our breed is not, and should never be one of the most popular. They are a strong, powerful, determined breed that requires extensive socialization and training. I would never want to see it become an “in demand” breed because many people who get them are not prepared for the work involved in raising them to be good canine citizens. Potential buyers need to be selected pretty carefully and I will always prefer one who has had either a BRT, Doberman, or Rottweiller over any other breed.

I don’t think they receive a lot of recognition in the Group. There are really only about four or five showing who get any group recognition. I think part of the problem is the dog itself, solid black, long hair covering any facial expression. Movement is supposed to be strong and efficient, not necessarily big and flashy. I think the second problem is that there are really not that many out showing in the United States, so judges don’t see a lot of them.

I think the primary health concern continues to be hip and elbow dysplasia. There has been very little improvement in OFA statistics since 2005. The breed club averted a disaster in the making several years when JLPP, a fatal neurological disease in puppies, first started surfacing in litters. Funds were quickly diverted to a genetic study, the gene was isolated and now all dogs are tested and I have not heard of a puppy death from JLPP in about four years now. It’s hard to get a lot of health non-OFA related health information because there is no good means for breeders to share that information, or as problems come up people don’t want you to know about them.

Tthe one trend I have seen is dogs getting bigger and bigger. Breed Standard calls for dogs between 26 and 30". When I first got involved in the breed a 28" dog was a very large male. Now that would be considered a smaller male. Dogs over standard continue to be put up in judging, 
causing breeders to want to breed even bigger dogs. If 
the over 30' dogs were given the serious fault in the standard I think we could keep them in the current size range which I think is ultimately best for avoiding the heart problems that many of the giant breeds have. We have a good long life span of 10-12 years and I would like to see 
that continue.

I look at the parent club job as being more of education than making the breed more popular. Education in healh matters, and education of judges to the 
breed standard.

I think the best mentor I had and continue to rely on is Christine Skrinjar of Tara’s Sarja Kennel in Germany. I met her around 2008, and she is a very valuable resource both health issues, pedigree information and the older 
European lines.

One of the problems for new and novice judges is that there are not a lot of entires, so they don’t get their hands on many and the breed club does not offer a lot of judges education seminars and mentoring programs.

The funniest thing; all I can say is that it involves a large male with a tail, a junior handler, and a bitch in season in the ring. The tail was used as an extra lead by the lady next in line behind the junior to try to control the very 
unruly male.

Jackie Payne

I live in Jacksonville Beach Florida. I’m a workaholic. Massage Therapist, Dental Hygienest and real estate. Travel was my hobby until dogs came along. I’ve been in dogs about 13 years.

I’ve bred enough litters to know I still have a lot to learn! I’ve bred the #1 and #2 dog in the same year. I’ve had a #1 bitch and other top winning dogs! I’ve also come to understand with even getting some beautiful healthy dogs, that breeding will teach you humility quickly as Mother Nature has a way of taking you off the cloud.

The breed in three words: smart, tough and intuitive!

I believe we are in double digits like 10 or 11 in breed ranking. I think that is a good thing as this breed, just isn’t for everyone.

I think the dogs do get their fair share of attention but the bitches just don’t get there due. Campaigning a great bitch is like hitting your head against the wall over and over!

The biggest health concern is cancer! Rottweiler health foundation just doesn’t do well with finding studies and resources! Cancer is killing our breed!

I feel like we are definately breeding dogs to fit into our environment. More social. Breeding these short snouts and overdone exaggerated heads needs to stop. It’s simply not the standard and it’s not needed to do the job the Rottweiler was bred to do.

Our parent club does very little to increase breed awareness. I do think our participation in all breed events to promote the breed is a positive.

I owe the most to Suzan Guynn, Vicki Weaver, Pam Marsh, and Wendy Lewellen(sp). These people have been amazing! The most influential has been Suzan Guynn!

The biggest pitfall for new judges is poor mentoring! You can tell that the mentors are not helping them to understand our breed.

My foundation bitch was Ch Cammcastle’s Hollywood First Lady and she was the most beautiful moving animal. She loved to set the pace and space with her handler. 
One day she ran him so close to the tent stakes he had to jump over the ropes over and over on one of the tent! It was hysterical! She had the most mischievous look about her after it was done!

Tom Ryan

I live in eastern Pennsylvania and we have had Rottweilers since 1985.

You have to be ready to stop what ever you are doing for the next three to five days. Very little notice based on when the bitch is ready. The breeding could be local or hundreds of miles away. We usually meet around half way. I prefer the breeding is done at a Vets. Lots of work for the Bitch’s owner. I have met some very nice people with beautiful Rottweilers. We have only bred our dog two to three times a year to improve the breed.

The breed in three words: loyal, intelligent 
and affectionate.

On a scale of one to ten: we rank three to four.

No, they don’t get our fair share of attention. We’re not as popular as other breeds.

The biggest health concern is cancer.

I would like to see the cropping of tails continue in the United States.

Our club works hard at socializing and obedience training. These dogs must be trained to obey by the owner.

I’m very fortunate to have Victoria Weaver as my mentor. Victoria was named AKC Working Dog Breeder of the year for 2018.

We were showing outdoors and the dogs were all in a sit/down when two robins flew in and landed on a Doberman’s head. He jumped and barked and all the dogs broke and ran all over in and out of the ring.

Steven Sansone

My wife, Cynthia and I have owned and shown Giant Schnauzers (GS) since 1994. Some of our accomplishments to date include: Owner of MBIS, GCH (Bronze), CH Skansen’s Bacchus ll. Bacchus was the first GS to earn GCH status. He was the number one GS male in the United States in back to back years. Bacchus has sired a Canadian BIS, Grand Champions and Champions in the United States, Canada and South America. Cynthia and I campaigned, GCH (Gold), CH Skansen’s Havannah. Havannah was the 2014 number one GS in the United States according to the AKC.

In 2014-2015 we campaigned, Skansen’s Lola who earned her Champion status in three weekends. She retired as a RBIS GCH Bronze Grand Champion.

Member of The Morris and Essex Kennel Club, Director and Vendor Chair of the Kennel Club of Philadelphia. In my position of Vendor Chair increased vendors, exhibit space, and revenue by 15% in 2015. As Vendor Chair in 2016 increased the growth in Vendors and revenue by 10% over the prior year.

In 2017 sold out all available Vendor space, first time in the history of the NDSC. 2018 sell out and exceeded sales over prior year thus having the most Vendors at any dog show in U.S. history.

My wife, Cynthia and I along with our Giant Schnauzers live in Willistown, Pennsylvania. Each of us have had dogs our entire lives. We have owned Giants for over 15 years. We both enjoy horses. We met at a horse show. Cynthia is a nationally ranked eventer. Her horse of a lifetime is named, Pippin Vl. I just purchased a toy for me, a 2004 Thunderbird.

Our kennel name is, Long Grove Kennel. We bred our first litter just three years ago. What an experience. There were ten puppies. From that first litter two outstanding individuals emerged, GCH Long Grove’s Saint Louis (Louie) and a CH Long Grove’s Prada.

Our second litter was raised last year. Another large litter, eight puppies. The puppy we kept is named, Long Grove’s Bellaecarina (translation is “beautiful and cute” in Italian). She earned her CH three weeks ago at the age of seven months in Virginia. On the same day her sire, Louie, earned his GCH in Florida!

I have bred and raised horses for years and apply the same theories when selecting matings for dogs. I always consider both genotype (inbreeding, line breeding) and phenotype (physical characteristics) when selecting matings. If I had to select one element it is the, phenotype. I have learned if one breeds to similar, desired conformation traits one has a good chance of success. Breeding two very different types, for example a tall male to a short female, is a recipe for disaster. Mother nature rarely gives you a blend. Rather you end up with one or the other or worse—traits that don’t match.

The breed in three words: beautiful, loving 
and courageous.

The breed is not well known. When the public thinks of a Schnauzer they think of the miniature or the standard. The breed is growing in popularity because of it being nearly hypo allergenic.

In Group competition a great Giant will never 
be overlooked.

The largest health concern today in the breed, like many others, is cancer. Why? I wish I had the answer.

A breeding trend that I prefer is that we have Giants that are robust, strong, well balanced, with a lot of bone. Dogs that have healthy double coats, full furnishings. 
Recently there has been a trend to rough coated dogs without a double coat. They also have less furnishing and bone.

I do not want to single out our parent club. I feel that all breed clubs should engage and educate the general public about the strengths and weaknesses of their respective breeds. This can prevent puppies from being purchased by people for the wrong reasons.

When I think of Giants, there are two people that I owe a huge debt of gratitude. The first person is my wife, Cynthia. She carries the load. The second is, Sylvia Hammarstrom of Skansen Kennel. I have asked many times, where would our breed be without Sylvia?

The problem facing new and novice judge is focusing on one component of our breed—the coat. Nowhere in our breed description does it dictate if a dog should have a hard or soft coat.

The funniest thing I have witnessed at a dog show occurred at the International Kennel Club Show in Chicago about 12 years ago. The incident involved one of our dogs, MBIS Bronze GCH Skansen’ Bacchus. I was walking and talking with our then Handler. Suddenly we heard people yelling “loose dog!” We looked up and she gasped, “it’s Bacchus!” He was confused, scared, running down one of the large aisles looking to his left and right. I quickly caught him and walked him back to his setup unscathed. Cynthia had taken him to an ex pen and did not clip the lower part of the gate. She was more upset than the dog. While all of this was unfolding our Handler’s husband was showing a Group entry and witnessed the entire event.

Kimberly Schiff

I live in Tenino, Washington and have been in dogs for 26 years. Outside of dogs, I am a Psychologist. I have no other hobbies as this hobby takes all my disposable income, I rescue, head up Judges Education and Health for the breed club which keeps me rather busy.

My first dog was a Lab. I trained and competed in Obedience. My first show dog was a Doberman followed by a Manchester Terrier. I bred and showed Manchester Terriers initially and got my first German Pinscher in 2001 about six months prior to their entry into AKC. I have bred 62 Champions to date.

The breed in three words: versatile, dedicated 
and addicting.

The German Pinscher is still a low entry breed with pockets of regional breeders and exhibitors, but areas where the breed is not represented at AKC shows. The population and popularity of the breed is slowly increasing as quality and temperament improves.

Do we get our fair share of attention, yes and no. Yes, in that we do see some German Pinschers awarded in the group, which is a great thing, but no, in that there are quality examples of the breed being exhibited who are not getting the attention in the group they deserve. The good ones are few and far between and when they show up, it would be nice to see them awarded.

There has been a recent increase in heart problems in the form of Persistent Right Aortic Arch as well as Sub-Aortic and Pulmonic Stenosis and Ventral Septal Defects. The breed does have a higher than average incidence of cataracts, but in the grand scheme of things, the cardiac issues are life threatening and the cataracts are not. The breed has nearly eradicated von Willibrands and is not prone to 
Hip Dysplasia.

Toplines and tailsets are improving and this needs to continue. Issues which continue to need work are movement and breeding for a square dog. More recently I have seen dogs with excessively long elegant necks which may look good standing but terribly upsets the balance of the dog when on the move. This is a moderate breed and the neck should be moderate in length and elegantly arched, but not long.

The club is working to have a positive and user friendly web presence as it is through the internet that most people discover our breed.

My first mentor was a Lab breeder who set a wonderful example for me as a responsible breeder; emphasizing health testing, temperament and conformation as the combination for a great breeding program. I had no formal mentor in German Pinschers but have continued to apply what I learned from my first mentor when evaluating my bitches, my choices of stud dogs and in evaluating every litter I 
have bred.

The first challenge many judges will face is finding an entry. The two biggest pitfalls new judges face in judging the German Pinscher is finding a dog who has the proper topline, tailset and movement. Topline is level standing and on the move. The croup is only faintly rounded and the tail is set and carried above the horizontal. The word “faintly” is critical. An overly rounded croup or low tail set is not desirable and will impact movement. Judge movement on the down and back—this is where you will see the serious movement faults. Dogs with serious structural movement faults often have flashy side gait and handlers move the dogs out fast to hide the faults.

I attended the World Dog show in Sweden in 2008. The dress is far more casual there. One woman arrived in a tank, cut off jeans and heels. She struggled to run in her heels when asked to gait her dog, so she stopped in the middle of her go around, kicked off her shoes into the crowd and continued to run in her bare feet. She made the cut in the class and on the next go around, her shirt came off and she ran with just her sports bra.

Stacey & John Seibel

We currently live in Brooksville, Florida. I have been a breeder of Neapolitan Mastiffs the past 35 years. But have loved many breeds as well. Outside of breeding and showing Neapolitans we (Stacey and I) run ICKC dog shows. This venue has been in existence over 25 years. This is where breeds such as the Neapolitan, Cane Corso, Dogue de Bordeaux and many others competed prior to AKC acceptance. We also both have a love of all types of animals, old cars 
and travel.

I started in the early to mid 80s with the purchase of two Mastini. Originally I had just wanted a guardian breed, with no thought of breeding or showing. After experiencing the incredible draw this breed has I started to build a breeding program from dogs in the US, Canada, Hungary and Italy. Friendships developed with a number of US breeders and at that time few shows existed. In the late 90s I happened upon an unwanted male Neapolitan. At 11 months old I could see the future of my program and the breed. This dog CH Justa Call Me Wally dominated shows for the next few years. Winning everything he was entered in. He gave me wins in the US ( Nationals and Specialties) , Canada ( Nationals and Specialties) and Mexico ( World and Central American shows). Currently we have GCH. Maximus del Vezuvia Mastino on the show circuit. He has won multiple groups as well as a number of placements.

The breed in three words: ancient and awe inspiring.

Neapolitans aren’t the most popular breed for a judge 
to award.

They tend to be overlooked as sloppy and not flashy. Even though their standard calls for a dog that is not flashy judges want more flash for placements.

The breed is still a mess in many cases. We continue to see heart, hip, elbow issues. Entropion is quite common.

Breeders are starting to see the value of showing and movement has improved. The emphasis of more weight needs to end. The breed has been a 110 to 160 pound dog for the entire time I have been involved. We now have breeders boasting of 200lb dogs. Usually we find out either they just exaggerate or the dogs can’t walk properly and their structure is horrible.

The parent club In this case needs to promote a healthy sound dog. Judges seminars need to push away from excuses for bad fronts, toplines, etc. and start to emphasize form 
and function.

My breed mentor was Rene Evans ( past President of the USNMC). He taught me so much about the breed, and was the driving force of the breed club for the majority of my beginnings. He was humble, soft spoken, but a great teacher.

Throw out the book judging Neo’s. Don’t expect a head in the air. Don’t expect expression. Appreciate an ancient breed resembling a panther or lion commanding attention in the ring.

It’s tough to pick out one funny thing. But years ago I had the pleasure of having a judge come from Croatia to judge one of my shows in New Jersey. We had a number of Fila Brasiliero entered. They are aggressive and require hands off exam. After briefing him on the class I had him go to the rings center. Within seconds of the dogs lunging and barking he walked quickly back to me. “Call the police, these people are crazy” were his exact words. Those words have stuck with me for decades.

Jeff Shaver

Jeff lives in Magnolia, Texas and has been in Rottweilers since 1984. Other than the dogs, he enjoys fishing.

Jeff Shaver is currently Vice President of the American Rottweiler Club and is a recent past president for a five- year period. He is also past president of the Rottweiler Rescue Foundation and currently on the Board of the Rottweiler Health Foundation. He and his wife Lew Olson (an AKC Conformation Judge) have a combined 75 years of experience in the breed, and using the “Blackwood” Kennel name have produced dozens of champions, multiple advanced agility, obedience tracking, and working titled Rottweilers. They have also owned and/or shown multiple Best-In-Show, Best-In-Specialty show and Top Ten Ranked Rottweilers. Jeff is currently an all-level AKC Tracking Judge. They live in Magnolia, Texas with their Rottweilers, Brussels Griffons, and horses.

Over the last 35 years, my wife and I, under her kennel name, have been involved with breeding Rottweilers. We have produced over 50 AKC breed champions and owned and shown multiple Best in Show and Best in Specialty Show winning Rottweilers including Rottweilers ranked in the top ten. We have been fortunate enough to also produce dogs with multiple dozens of working, performance and other titles ranging from therapy dogs to tracking champions.

The breed in three words: strong, agile and adaptable.

Our Rottweilers have consistently been ranked high in popularity among AKC breeds overall since the late 1980s. Looking just at registration numbers they remain one of the top working breeds as far as popularity.

I believe the Rottweiler does get a fair share of attention in the working group. Over the last 30 years group placements, group wins and best in shows have increased in number based upon my observation.

The biggest health concern is cancer.

There are trends in the Rottweiler that have been positive, including greater public perception in a positive light of the breed and an increase in focus on health and a return to the working ability of the Rottweiler. As far as trends I would like to see end, it would be rewarding any exaggeration of traits in the Rottweiler, whether it be head type or over all structure. Straight fronts with over-angulated rears, long backs and short on leg are overall structure issues that need to be improved.

The American Rottweiler Club does a good job of promoting the breed and involving itself in situations where negative publicity is a problem. I would like to see the 
parent club continue to promote an increase in membership and involvement in all AKC activities as well as any other activity that owners may want to be involved in that places our dogs in the public eye to see what a versatile and adaptable breed they really are.

I would like to credit my wife, Lew Olson, who has been in the breed longer than I have, along with some “old school” breeders including Catherine Thompson, Gwen Chaney as well as our AKC delegate Peter Piusz.

One of the biggest problems I see for up and coming judges is that with lower entries in many breeds including the Rottweiler, the selection at times does not give that judge a good overview of what correct type and structure should be. There are certainly good specimens of the breed out there being shown, but in some cases the wrong impression may be given by seeing lower number entries and basing one’s opinion of what the breed should look like on some of those entries. Please don’t make the mistake of putting up dogs that in any way appear exaggerated compared to the Rottweiler breed standard which calls for an almost square dog (nine to ten, height to length) with 50/50 proportion from withers to elbow and elbows to ground, as well as a correct Rottweiler head—not overly done such that it looks “Mastiff like” in any way.

One of my first Rottweiler’s competing in open and utility obedience who, for a good laugh, would continually leap out of the ring and back in the ring just to say hello to those sitting ringside.

Norina Shields

When I was 12 years old, I started my journey on the “doggie trail” and began showing Collies in confirmation and obedience in my home town of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I later fell in love with Poodles and shifted my focus to that particular breed. As a young woman, Ann Rogers Clark served as my mentor, and she was inval-uable in teaching me about the art of showing dogs and about the Poodle breed. In 1956, I founded and was president of the Greater Pittsburgh Poodle Club that was registered with the AKC and is still in existence to-day. I also attended an AKC Judging Seminar to become a professional judge and became a stewart of many shows throughout the country.

In the late 1970’s, I moved to the beautiful state of Wyoming and established Geyser Creek Kennels along with my partner, Butch Shields, in the small town of Dubois. We began breeding and showing Samoyeds and bred seven champions until we were introduced to the Alaskan Malamute breed. Not only did we breed and show Malamutes, including four champions, we also trained them to work as sled dogs for our commercial sled dog touring business during our long winters! We are forever grateful for Ann 
Storniolo’s guidance as she taught us much about the Malamute breed including how to groom and show them.

It was in 1996 that we discovered and fell in love with the Great Pyrenees breed. Not only was I immediately attracted to their beauty, I was drawn to their gentle disposition and loyal nature. I soon learned why the Pyrs were referred to as “gentle giants”! Many handlers and breeders have offered their expertise and assis-tance throughout the years, and we are thankful for them all! In the past 20 years, we have bred 14 Great Pyrenees champions and are proud of each and every one of them. Our most recent champion, Cowboy Chrome, is handled by Kelly Miller of Arvada, Colorado. 
She has led him to Grand Champion #3 in the country as well as an All Breed Best in Show, Awards of Merit, and 
Working Groups.

One of the funniest experiences we’ve had in the ring occurred with our champion, Chess. Chess always showed exceptionally well, and it surprised us when on one occasion he began to misbehave in the ring in front of the judge. In an effort to lighten the moment, Butch, who was handling him, stated that it must be the smell of the judge’s aftershave that was making him crazy. At that moment, Chess bolted from the ring! The following day, Chess was again shown in front of the same judge. This time, he performed flawlessly, and the judge remarked that he had made sure not to wear his aftershave that day!

As far as the AKC is concerned, it is my opinion that new judges to the breed should carefully review the standard. The Great Pyrenees breed should always show in natural coat (not trimmed), and when in the ring, should display more personality, joy, and elegance in their showing. In addition and as is customary, all Pyrs, without exception, should be certified for good hips and patellas. I do not believe the breed gets the recog-nition it deserves in the group ring due to lack of breed popularity and ring politics which ought to be ad-dressed. As a word of advice to breeders, co-ownership of dogs is challenging at best and is not recommend-ed. It is also my belief that in order to promote this wonderful breed as well as others, the Parent Club needs to promote unity by practicing tolerance and encouraging progressive thinking amongst those in leadership positions. Above all else, we must remind ourselves, as Ann Rogers Clark would say, to “have fun, and enjoy the sport”!

Breeding, raising, and showing dogs has brought me immeasurable joy throughout my life. The dog industry has brought me many treasured friends and rewarding experiences, and I intend to stay involved as long as I’m able—I can’t imagine life without it!

Patty Bartley Shonts

Colorado Springs, Colorado with my husband of a year and a half on his cattle ranch, I got my first pure bred dog at 13, and went to my first dog show at 16 so over 40 years. Now that I am retired we enjoy traveling and happy hour with our friends,

I had to learn to groom my Poodle, my first job in a show kennel the groomers helped me learn more. In the 70’s I showed Borzoi and horses. In the I got my first Doberman to show and a Germany and started in the sport of Schutzhund where I titled three dogs to a schh 3, In 1990 I bought my first Min pin To show. I am a breeder of merit with my Min Pins. I have had sire of the year and damn of the year.

In 08 I got my first Black Russian Terrier, I way retiring my Doberman from the sport and was looking for a New working dog to train. That is when “Flea” (GCH Filimon RBK IZ Galikih Zemel) He has been one of the top producers in the country. He is like an Ambassador to our breed. He changed my focus on what breed is in my home.

The breed is three words: guardian, impressive 
and courageous.

We’re ranked 23 out of 30 working dogs and 116 overall.

No, we don’t get our fair share of attention, I think Judges are still cautious of them. They don’t see enough of them to know if it is a good one or not.

Biggest health concern is hips. We are in the top ten so it is a work in progress. Our gene pool is so small.

I think our temperaments have really become more stable and consistent. But I see more over Angulation. This is a true working breed that should be a moderately 
angulated breed.

The parent club could help with more judges education. The newer illustrated standard is really good.

I owe the most to Louise Lertora in California who was a Pug breeder. She also bred Ridgebacks with many national specialty winners. When I wanted to get serious about showing and breeding she was to person that taught me so much. Even today I follow many of her practices.

The biggest pitfall for new judges is again not seeing enough of them.

Funniest thing was I was sitting watching the group. A lady in the ring standing in front of us dropped her bait down her dress. Her hand goes down the front of her dress to retrieve the bait but she cannot reach it and starts squirming to get it loose. Then she bends over her backside to us and her hand goes up the bottom of her dress in search of freeing the bait, Then the bait drops to the ground like she left a deposit. We all couldn’t stop laughing.

I would like to share that this is an amazing breed. The high intelligence and very stable nerve make him very easy to train. But you must be clear the first time as they learn quickly and don’t forget. In meeting they appear with great confidence and easy gong but if needed can change in a second with lightening speed. Although they pick their person they are great with the whole family.

Lorraine Shore

We live in Sequim, Washington and have been involved in dogs for over 30 years. We both work in law enforcement and have no hobbies other than dog breeding, training and showing at this time.

We have bred Papillons and German Pinschers. We have achieved the Bronze Breeder of Merit status due to the 
success of our German Pinscher breeding program. We have learned quite a bit over the years by attending great reproduction seminars, breed mentors and just plain old experience in the whelping box. Our breed has very low genetic diversity which has resulted in our importing several dogs from overseas as well as exporting dogs overseas for breeders to use. Our dog community is very committed to improving our breed and it has been extremely valuable working with breeders in other countries to improve our breeding stock. As breeders we believe in giving our pups the best start in life which means great nutrition (including supp with Folic Acid) and exercise for all our dogs and utilizing Puppy Culture protocols raising the litters. We feed a combination of raw and high quality kibble. Vetting puppy buyers is a lot of work but pays off with great homes for our dogs. We have had a few returned over the years due to owner issues that cropped up and thanks to the great relationships with our puppy owners we are able to re-home dogs if needed with no issues. We require all puppy buyers to visit our home and they must pick up their puppy or adult directly from us even for those breeders who live overseas.

The breed in three words: loyal, energetic and intelligent.

Our breed is ranked very low and is still unknown to much of the general public. Our parent club and local breeders work hard to hold Meet the Breed booths and educational events for both judges and the public.

Do we get our fair share of attention, no, our breed is almost always the last dog in the group and rarely seems to get looked at. Discussion in our breed club on making it a “ramp optional” breed for the benefit of judges who do not like bending over to exam our smaller dogs is in the works. Concern is that judges will view our breed as less than other working breeds if we are the only ramp optional 
working breed.

Our biggest health concern is early onset cataracts which generally appear between the age of three to four years and that is normally after the dogs have been used in breeding. Conscientious breeders conduct yearly eye exams but there is no marker at this time.

Importing new breeding stock is essential and breeding for stable temperaments as well as continuing to health test all breeding dogs needs to continue. I would like to see the trend toward trying to make our breed look like a Doberman stop. There are some breeders who are breeding German Pinschers with longer necks, less bone and moving their type more toward the Doberman rather than what the German Pinscher Standard calls for.

Our parent club can help by increasing Meet the Breed events, using Social Media to promote our breed and creating more events centered around our breed.

We owe the most to several breed mentors both in the U.S. and overseas have been instrumental in educating us on this breed.

Not having examined many German Pinschers is the biggest pitfall as it is still such a rare breed that generally judges seminars only have a couple of dogs available for examination and we have very few mentors for judges so they may hear conflicting information depending on which mentor they speak with.

Funniest thing was an extremely tall, big woman wearing farmer overalls walking into the ring showing a Chihuahua.

Leslie Shriner

I live in Virginia horse-country, in Warrenton, Virginia. I’ve had dogs my whole life and most of my adult life, 25 years, I have devoted to Standard Schnauzers. I’m a professional groomer by profession so that’s a lot of “dog time” but I’m also very interested in general wellness and am a 
BEMER distributor.

I bred my first litter in 1996 and so I have had ample opportunity to see many different top winners, great specimens and how they have impacted the breed and led to where we are today. It is a constant challenge to preserve what’s good in the lines I am working with, safeguarding the health and integrity of the breed while still maintaining or increasing genetic diversity as I move forward. It’s imperative to keep looking for heritage virtues outside my own lines and not be drawn into black and white superlative thinking that dogs are only either “fantastic” or “horrible.

The breed in three words: confident, athletic and sturdy.

Do we get our fair share of attention, I don’t think so, because being smaller in stature than most of the group, they are usually at the end of the line and since, unlike groups such as Hound and Sporting where there are numerous smaller breeds in the lineup, I think they are sometimes considered only as an afterthought.

Our biggest health concern is Dialated Cardiomyopathy (DCM) kills young dogs and can’t be allowed to spread through the gene pool. I am very grateful that Standard Schnauzers have a simple blood test, registered with OFA, to determine the genetic status (clear, carrier, or affected) of any individual. There is simply no reason, or excuse, to produce Standard Schnauzers affected with DCM—it’s totally preventable now.

I think it’s good that more judges are open minded to the “natural” look in our breed (uncropped ears, undocked tails). I think that’s important because laws in other countries banning cropping and docking put breeders who want to import in a difficult ethical dilemma if judges won’t consider “natural” exhibits. They can’t import a puppy or dog until it’s well past any semblance of an “ideal” time to crop or dock but if it’s a quality animal the breeder is forced to put it through this ordeal in order for it to be seen and contribute it’s qualities to the gene pool. Getting hung up on the cropped and docked look ultimately reduces the diversity of the Standard Schnauzer gene pool and that’s very contrary to long term breed health, quality and diversity. A trend I’d like to see stop is the presentation of Standard Schnauzers with more and more profuse furnishings. This trend negatively impacts the breed in several ways. The hard, thick hair shafts of the the Standard Schnauzer topcoat are critical to this breed’s type, origin, and work yet those coats don’t produce profuse furnishings so rewarding furnishings comes at the expense of significant breed type. There is an increasing trend to present Standard Schnauzers like large Minis and that is a huge disservice to the original schnauzer. Additionally, as more furnishings become the norm new faults, especially of body type and shape, have crept in to the breed that would not have been rewarded in the past because they were more easily seen. While heavy grooming requirements can be normal in the working group, heavy furnishings on the Standard Schnauzer are anathema to the breed’s origins as the Bavarian all-purpose farm dog that it is. The originators of the breed had no time to manage furnishings, they would have significantly interfered with work, so I really don’t understand how presenting and rewarding that feature in the ring now “enhances” the breed —it straight-up alters it.

Standard Schnauzers are strong minded, confident and can act independently and clearly not for inexperienced dog owners, so popularity in the general pet population probably isn’t in anyone’s best interest, especially the dogs’. This breed is competitive in many different performance venues so attracting performance exhibitors to the breed seems like a good way to increase their numbers and popularity in a way that doesn’t detriment the breed.

I owe the most to Pat White of Halcyon Standard Schnauzers. I got my first Standard Schnauzer from Pat in 1992 and she has been mentoring me ever since. Because my close association over the years I have seen first hand the benefits to a breeding program’s progress and evolution in it’s uncompromising focus on temperament. No matter what one is able to achieve conformationally and in preservation of type, if you don’t have solid temperament you won’t have a dog that can fully utilize that confirmation. Sound, confident temperament can’t be restored in a generation or two, when you see it, you know it’s a product of consistent effort over a long period of time and that’s why it should be an important aspect of any Standard Schnauzer of quality.

The biggest pitfall to new and novice breeders is assuming that the dog that doesn’t look like the rest of the lineup is the “wrong” one, especially if it’s not professionally handled. The “odd one out” may be that way because the others are generic, and while not exhibiting glaring faults are also lacking in any particular virtues. Judges also should not be impressed by professional grooming above the dog’s actual characteristics. As owner handlers become more rare, judges should recognize that those intrepid souls would not be investing their time and often limited financial resources on showing or specialing a mediocre specimen. If an owner handled Standard Schnauzer is in the ring, it is likely with a breeder and it often has something valuable to contribute to the breed, quite possibly more than the generic professionally handled exhibit, no matter how impeccable 
its presentation.

So, this wasn’t funny to me at the time but now, 15 years later, I can laugh at it and I’m sure it was funny to anyone ringside who happened to notice me having to hike my hose all the way back up after a go-around one day where they rolled down to about my knees and threatened to hobble 
me completely.

Marne Martin Tucker

Aspen Leaf Farm/Kennel is jointly owned by myself Marne Martin-Tucker and my husband Michael Tucker.

I have had dogs all my life as grew up on cattle ranches in Montana/Wyoming. We have had Giant Schnauzers and been breeding since 2007.

We live in Maryland, but I work from our New Jersey office and travel all around the world. Outside of dogs, I am a software industry senior executive and also breed warmbloods/compete in dressage.

We started co-breeding, and then imported our own breeding stock from Stablemaster Kennel, including some lines from Gloria Kennel. From there, we have developed our own lines, and also purchased a top breeding female from a long time US breeder. My husband and I love our Giants and the community we have in the United States 
and beyond.

The breed in three words: loyal, intuitive and athletic.

They are in the middle in terms of popularity. I wouldn’t want them to ever be at the highest in popularity as then I think it encourages too many “hobby” breeders or those breeding for the money not for the good of the breed.

Yes, we do get our fair share of attention, although the more Giants we have competing prominently, the better 
we are.

With responsible breeding and health testing, many of the historical breeding issues have lessened. We do need to continue persevering especially when it comes to cancer and continuing to monitor longevity/life span in 
the breed.

It is good that we are looking more and more at the overall quality of the Giant related to the standard. We do of course continue to see some conformation and coat trends in the US that are at times different from where the European breeders as an example, but a great Giant is a great Giant wherever in the world.

Besides the greater number of specialties and award programs, which they are doing, the greatest thing we can do is have more televised shows where people see Giant Schnauzers compete and make it to the BOS final. Ty was a great ambassador of the breed in recent times for 
this reason.

There is a long list as every experienced breeder has valuable advice, as do the long time handlers. We remain grateful to Frances Faberge of Stablemasters Kennel as she sold us some great puppies that were instrumental in 
our success.

The biggest pitfall for new judges; I hardly feel qualified to answer this question, but I would say to look beyond the handler or the record, and really evaluate each Giant on their merits.

It does always make me chuckle if I see a large “burly” men grooming and showing one of the toy breeds with bows I their hair and clearly a great connection. I do love to see all the children and junior handlers at the shows loving and being close to the dogs.

Eileen Weatherbee

I live in Chesapeake, Virginia. I’ve been in dogs for 40+ years. Outside of dogs, I lead a team of 40 people and enjoy hiking with the dogs when I have the opportunity, 
quiet solitude.

I have had dogs all my life but only began breeding within the last ten years. I decided it would be easier to breed the dog I wanted for performance and conformation than to try and find one. I realized how much I loved rearing the puppies and watching them grow and meet or exceed their potential.

The breed in three words: strong, confident 
and intelligent.

We’re not ranked extremely high yet, unless you are a farmer in South Africa.

We don’t get our fair share of attention, each year that passes more dogs are coming out to venues across the US. There are still many judges who have never put a hand on a Boerboel so oftentimes we are overlooked due to lack of breed awareness.

Our biggest health concern is heart issues are becoming more commonplace.

Trends I’d like to see continued is temperament and health testing while breeding to the Standard. Trends I’d like stopped, breeding oversized sloth type dogs.

We are a small club who does try to get out and do judges education as often as possible. They are engaged in judges education several times a year. Perhaps doing some Meet the Breeds in the larger shows would help but you need interested people and dogs in order to be successful at a Meet The Breeds event.

Who I owe the most, not sure on this question, I imported my foundation stock and at the time there was no social meeting so to speak so I was kind of on my own. I just asked a lot of people a lot of questions.

The biggest pitfall for new judges is not taking a look at the standard before the dogs enter the ring. The standard is pretty specific on what is and is not acceptable.

Funniest thing is people pushing their dogs in baby carriages—probably should not print that one LOL.

Linda Whisenhunt

I started showing and breeding Great Pyrenees Dogs approximately 31 years ago when I was young, single and did not have children yet. I had ample time and energy to dedicate to doing my part to improve the breed. At that time I was a member of the Great Pyrenees Club of America and the Great Pyrenees Association of Southern California. I spent a considerable amount of my time working with the GPASC Rescue by finding forever homes and being a Foster home for the rescued Great Pyrenees. In my mid 30s, I met my husband, got married and had two children. Having been out of the dog show world for approximately ten years, but have been actively showing for eight years now. I am currently the President and Show Chair of an All-Breed Club called the Ventura County Dog Fanciers Association, the Vice President and Show Chair of the Great Pyrenees Association of Southern California, a member of the Great Pyrenees Alliance of the West as well as the Great Pyrenees Club of America. I am also a Canine Good Citizen Evaluator of the AKC. I bred quality Great Pyrenees when I was younger and have two litters planned for 2019.

I live in Ventura, California. I have been involved in Great Pyrenees dogs, showing Conformation and breeding for approximately 30 years. In my spare time, I work full time as a nurse, raise my teenagers, ride my motorcycle and target shoot. I love to spend time with my skydiving friends.

I started showing and breeding Great Pyrenees dogs after I bought a Karolaska Bitch approximately 30 years ago. I joined a local Breed club to learn as much as I could from my mentor breeders.

The Great Pyreness breed in three words: loyal, courageous and beautiful.

The Great Pyrenees is not the most popular breed due to their size, barking and hair.

Do we get our fair share of attention, not always. 
The Great Pyrenees is not a flashy breed and gets 
overlooked frequently.

The Great Pyrenees is a very healthy breed but we do have some dogs that get cancer. We preform multiple health certifications and are careful with our breeding.

Trends I’ve noticed, the main thing that comes to mind is how many rescue dogs and owner surrenders we get. People need to learn as much as possible from reputable breeders to see if this breed is right for them.

Our parent club can increase awareness through education, education and more education.

I owe the most to Terry-Denney-Combs from Euzkalzale Great Pyrenees.

Learning the Breed Standard completely from reputable breeders and the National Club.

The funnist thing was a handler at Woofstock dressed in a streaker costume and running around the show. He always makes things fun!

John & Claire O’Neill

We established Bark Bark Samoyeds after aquiring their first show dog in 2008. That dog “Sarge” was a Multiple Best In Show, Multiple Reserve Best In Show, Multiple Specialty winning, top ranked dog. They also have had two other Best In Show winners ,a Reserve Best in Show winner and 29 champions finish from of their kennel.

We have residences in Arizona and Southern California. The Arizona residence is where we have 2 ½ acres for the dogs to have room to run and “be dogs” and it is where we whelp and raise our litters. Our S. Cal residence is where we still run a construction business. I mean, someone has to pay for this pleasure! We have owned Samoyeds since 1985 and purchased our first show dog in 2008. Outside of dogs we enjoy collecting and selling antiques and collectibles.

Since the end of 2011 we have whelped seven litters and from those there have been multiple group winners and placers, a Best In Show bitch and a Reserve Best In Show male. We have had 24 champions finish to date. Our goal in breeding is to preserve the breed and produce healthy, correct Samoyeds with good temperaments. Another great aspect to being a breeder is your extended family of 
pet owners.

The breed in three words: majestic, athletic and smart.

We are 13th in popularity among Working Breeds.

We have noticed that since we started showing in 2008, there is an upward trend in Samoyeds placing in and winning groups. I think this is for the most part breeders doing a better job in the whelping box. Would still like to 
see more.

The largest health concerns in this breed is Heart/Cardiac issues and Metabolic/Diabetes.

As breeders, we need to strive to continue breeding good fronts and rears. It takes generations to get this back into 
a breeding program. Correct eye shape (almond, not round) and correct ear size and shape. And type! We need to 
make sure you can look at the breed and know it is 
a Samoyed.

Size is something we have seen change. It appears that, especially in males, they are starting to breed big again. We remember when we first started showing, our male special was the “odd man out” in the ring, even though he was middle of the standard. And then for a few years the size started to be where is should be. Now it is back to big again. We’re seeing overexaggerated side gait which looks flashy flying around the ring, but it isn’t correct. And trimming. Do not trim a Samoyed except for feet and hocks. Samoyeds have beautiful silver tips that glisten in sunlight which shows a proper coat that protects the dog in harsh climates. Dead give away that the have been trimmed is the absence of those.

The parent club should continue to support Meet the Breeds at all breed shows.

Our first handler, who had shown Samoyeds as her initial breed, helped mentor us, showed and finished 8 of ours and helped whelp our first litters. We went to many shows the first six years and learned quite a bit on our own through watching, listening and research. We have really been quite fortunate in what dogs we have brought into our kennel and that is continuing through our breeding program.

When it comes to judging this breed, not properly understanding what Samoyeds were bred to do. In Siberia, they were used to herd Reindeer, pull sleds and keep their people warm. Incorrect fronts and rears that do not single track would not be able to properly do the function of sled pulling without extra work. They are a people person dog, happy and friendly, good temperaments are important, especially since they are a pack animal and need to be able to work with other dogs. We were told by a judge once who had judged a large entry, that what factored into their final decision was they closed their eyes and imagined which of their choices would be able to get them through the snow. After all, they are a working dog breed.

Probably watching a handler trying to get her young Berner to get through his exam; he was wiggly and excited. When she moved him around the ring, he didn’t seem to want to go until she told him, “Come on, let’s go get a cookie” and he dropped and rolled on his back. Getting him up to finish was more comical. She garnered a big round of applause when she accomplished that.

Michael and Cathy Dugan

We live in Shingle Springs, California in the Sierra Foothills east of Sacramento. We have been breeding dogs for 32 years. Cathy is a hospice nurse and Mike is a lawyer. Cathy is also an AKC Judge. Hobbies? Who has time for hobbies?

We started with Dalmatians and also bred Boxers and a litter of Brittanys. For the last 20 years we have bred Portuguese Water Dogs exclusively.

Our breed is Perfectly Wonderful Dogs (PWD).

Among the working breeds, PWDs are probably in the upper third in popularity and have become more and more popular in the last decade because of their desirable traits of not shedding nor carrying allergies, as well as being a great family dog.

We do now. One of our PWDs, Ladybug, was the top winning female PWD in history with 20 Best in Shows and over 200 group placements. Prior to her starting to win a lot in 2007, it was rare for a PWD to place in the group much less get a Group One. She also won Group One at the AKC National Championship (2010) and Westminster (2011). In the 12 years since, PWDs such as Matisse won 238 Best in Shows and many group placements. And judges now find PWDs much more often.

The primary health issues is Hermangiosarcoma, a cancer that is rare but is still something we look for when a PWD is around 8-9 years old.

As with any breed PWDs in the ring need to meet the standards as well as demonstrate that they could actually do the work for which they were breed—work all day long on a fishing boat and swim in the ocean. They need to exude power and drive.

Our parent club, the PWD Club of America, needs to continue to popularize the breed through publications and well-managed national and regional shows throughout the U.S.

Some of our best mentors and friends have ben Ken and Eva Berg in Dalmatians and Mary Ann Murray in PWDs. Also, our friend Victor Malzoni was a critical partner in building Ladybug’s success.

The biggest problem for new and novice judges is getting enough assignments to build a body of work and experience. Beyond that, really knowing and understanding breed standards and what dogs were actually bred to do is critical to picking the correct representative of the breed. PWDs are a “hands on” breed, a judge must really touch and examine the dogs beneath all that hair.

The movie “Best in Show” really represents just how crazy the sport (and the people) of dog shows can be. At the National Specialty near Portland, Oregon a few years ago, the BIS competition was in a pouring rain storm. The dogs were kept in a tent until their turn came. One of the top PWDs poked her head out of the tent, looked up and promptly refused to go out into the rain. Some water dog! Even though we were all soaked, everyone laughed—the dog had more sense than we did. 

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