Showsight Express - July 1, 2021

ALESSANDRA FOLZ, RISSANA WEIMARANERS

I think the secret to breeding really may be to just be merciless— something I learned frommy mother.

Marge, WKC Group One win

kind of dog who has provided great front pieces and side movement. A daughter, Ch. Perfect Harmony at Greydove, went to Greydove Ken- nels in Australia, and won Groups and a Best in Show for them. As for dogs that have stayed in the US, Marge produced Group winners, Specialty winners, Bred-by and Puppy Best in Show winners, and great bitches in the whelping box, something which has continued in the next generations. I will say, however, that after campaigning Marge, I felt like my Weimaraners had nothing to prove, so mostly I just finished them, and haven’t cam- paigned one since. So many of my dogs have won things that are significant to me, but for all the Groups, Spe- cialties, and Bests in Show they have won, what really means the most is that my line has pro- duced multiple winners of the Carole Donaldson Trophy for Best Bred-By at the Weimaraner Club of America Nationals. Please comment positively on your breed’s pres- ent condition and what trends might bear watching. The breed has made some great strides in dealing with our genetic health issues. We know more about them every day, and this research has been championed by our national club. The club’s website has a great section on health and testing, and managing genetic issues. As far as conformation goes, our heads and temperaments have lately improved drastically. Type has greatly improved, as there is becoming more of a consensus about what the breed should actually look like, while still maintaining our characteristic varieties of style. It is all a great tes- tament to our breeders. Something that does truly bear watching is that our breed is drifting toward square. Weima- raners are meant to be rectangular. While our

I think the secret to breeding really may be to just be merciless—something I learned from my mother. I have placed plenty of puppies in pet homes because they didn’t meet my expectations, even though they could easily have been champions, and probably specials. I think it is a disservice to yourself and to the sport to keep, show, and/or breed animals that don’t meet the very highest standards or provide something that your line, or the breed in general, needs. It can be gut wrenching. The best bitch I ever bred finished by going Breed from the classes and placing in Groups every single time I showed her. She was gorgeous. I had a backer for her, and I was just waiting for the perfect time to start showing her. She’d turned two, and I did her OFA x-rays. I couldn’t stand waiting for the certifi- cates to come back in the mail, so I called OFA and spoke with a lovely woman who told me she had excellent hips. I got really excited. Then she said, “Don’t crack open the champagne just yet—her elbows are dysplastic.” It was devastating. I thought about breeding her anyway, but I know that if I did, I would be forever battling bad elbows, and it’s just not worth it. Enough comes up, that you’re unprepared for, that you don’t need to add something you already knew about! She’s living on a 40-acre farm now, just having the time of her life. She is exactly where she should be—being loved on a couch. How many dogs do you currently house? Tell us about your facilities and how the dogs are maintained. Weimaraners are not great kennel dogs. Mine always live in the house. I have a crate room, a paddock, three runs (for in-season bitches), and about 10 fenced-in acres. They are, as I say, “free range” Weimaraners. I believe that this has been part of my success with getting bitches pregnant and keeping them pregnant. Part of the fertility issues in Weims, I believe, is simply that they are unhappy, and hell hath no fury like an angry Weimaraner bitch. Who were/are some of your most significant Weims, both in the whelping box and in the show ring? Well, for me, there’s never been a Weimaraner more significant than Marge. She was the greatest ambassador for the breed, and the best pet I’ll ever have. Not only does she hold all of the show records for Weimaraners, but she was also a top pro- ducer for Weimaraners and the AKC Sporting Group in 2010. A dog that my name is on, as an accidental breeder, is Marge’s father, Ch. Col- sidex The Farm Top of the Mark. Cliffy has been the most significant stud dog of recent history for one reason—his front. Not only did he have a great shoulder, but he passed on a flexibility of ligaments in the front that allowed the breed to have some reach again. Marge’s son, Ch. Rissana’s Perfectly Mastered, JH, who was exported to Hunga- ry, has had a huge influence on the breed internationally. He’s an extreme, breeder’s

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