HERDING GROUP THE
1. Where do you live? What is your breed? What are your inter- ests apart from dogs? 2. How many years have you been involved in dogs? How many years as a breeder? 3. Current overall quality of the Herding Group? 4. Most of these breeds were developed for particular (and almost always outdoor) purposes, but now find themselves leading primarily indoor, air-conditioned lives. How do you think Herding Dogs have adapted to this change? 5. What particular challenges do Herding Dog breeders face in our current economic/social climate? 6. What makes a Herding Dog the ideal companion in these 21st- century times? 7. What was your original breed? If a Herding breed, how have you seen your original breed evolve and drift in other direc- tions? Do you feel that the drift has been good for the breed? 8. What advice would you give a newcomer judge to the sport? 9. Please choose a Herding breed and give us a sentence that briefly describes each breed’s essence-words to someone who is new to learning about the breeds. 10. Do you compete in conformation, companion or performance events? All three? 11. Is your breed still capable of performing its original function? 12. Can you define the key essentials of “type” in your breed? 13. Are you pleased with your breed’s current overall quality? Its popularity? 14. How challenging has it been for exhibitors to find “majors?” 15. Is there a market for “pet quality” puppies in your breed? 16. Who were your mentors? Any words of wisdom from them that you can pass along? 17. What is it about your breed that has sustained your interest and encouraged your involvement in the sport? 18. And for a bit of fun, what’s the most amusing experience you’ve ever had at a dog show? ANNE BOWES Current overall quality of the Herding Group? Since I am not a Herding Group judge, I cannot comment on the overall quality of the Herding Group from a judge’s point of view. However, as a breeder/owner-handler of Pembroke Welsh Corgis for nearly 50 years, I have spent a great deal of time over the years in the Herding Group at all-breed shows. When I first started showing Pembrokes in the early 70s, there was no Herding Group—all Herding breeds were shown in the Working Group. I remember when the Herding Group was created and I first participated in one—it was such a relief to be in the Group with dogs that had very similar tempera- ments and interests as Pembrokes. Over the years, one obvious dif- ference in the Group is its size; so many breeds have been added to the Herding Group in the past five years alone that it is now one of the largest Groups. I have been in Herding Groups that had over 30 dogs competing. Each of the breeds that have been added have the same Herding dog temperament and fit into the Herding Group very well. How do you think Herding dogs have adapted to living indoors? Herding dogs make fantastic companions because they were bred to stay with and protect their flocks, and take direction from humans.
Now, their “flocks” are the families they live with and their greatest desire is to be with them at all times! What particular challenges do Herding dog breeders face in our current economic/social climate? With some of the rarer and less domesticated Herding breeds, selling the puppies can be a chal- lenge for breeders. Herding breeds are not for everyone as they can easily take over a situation if their human owners are not strong enough to control them. I tell all of my families that Pembroke Welsh Corgis should never be allowed to run loose with running children. Their herding instincts can easily take over and they can begin to nip at the legs of the children to try and herd them. Puppies with very strong herding instincts should never be placed in a home with young children. So Herding dog breeders must very carefully evaluate their puppies, and also carefully evaluate the homes they are going into. What makes a Herding dog the ideal companion in these 21st- century times? Herding Dogs like to be with their owners. My dogs stick right with me. If I get up and leave the room, they get up and follow me. When we are taking a walk, they stay right with me. I love the Herding dog instinct to stay with its “flock.” Herding dogs are extremely easy to train for both housebreaking and obedience training. My puppies are housebroken before they go into their new homes at 12 weeks, and they come when they are called almost from birth! Also, Herding dogs are very good at sizing up strang- ers. They know right away if a strange dog or person can be trusted or not. What was my original breed? I bought my first Pembroke Welsh Corgi in 1968 and have been breeding and showing them ever since. Pembrokes have remained very true to their roots during this time. Many breeders show Pembrokes in conformation, herding and other performance events, so the breed has retained its versatile character. What advice would I give a newcomer judge to the sport? Any judge who is not familiar with Herding dogs should listen carefully to a Judges’ Education Committee presentation for the Herding breeds they are interested in judging. Herding dogs should always be approached from the front so they can make eye contact with the person who is going to examine them. It is also a good idea to speak to the dog or the handler, so the dog knows you are a friend. Also, never throw keys or make funny noises to get a Herding dog’s atten- tion—let the hander do that. Herding dogs are often very focused on their handlers and not very interested in strangers; and if a Herd- ing dog alerts to something going on outside the ring, it is best to give the dog a moment or two to settle down. Herding dogs are very aware of their surroundings and can detect “danger” that mere humans may be unaware of ! In a brief description, Pembroke Welsh Corgis are the “can do breed”—they want to do what you want to do and they do that very well! The most amusing experience I’ve ever had at a dog show? A few years ago, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi Club of America’s National Specialty Show offered Herding Instinct classes on ducks. I had a top-winning Specials bitch at the time named Holly that was a real challenge to show in the conformation ring as she had a lot of ener- gy! I spent many hours training her for conformation and trying to convince her to do things my way! She had never had the chance to herd anything, but I thought she might enjoy trying, and I felt that it was a fairly safe activity for her since she would be herding ducks and not cows! Holly and I both entered the class knowing nothing about herding, but in about 30 seconds, something clicked in her head and off she went! Holly had those ducks all rounded up and in >
150 | SHOWSIGHT MAGAZINE, JULY 2020
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