HERDING GROUP Q&A
Is there a market for “pet quality” puppies in my breed? Abso- lutely, this breed makes a great pet! Who were my mentors? Unfortunately, I didn’t really have any mentors when I was starting out showing dogs. I just tried to look at lots of dogs and figure things out on my own. I would have loved to have had a mentor though! I think my years of training and showing horses, especially Reining Horses, helped me. At the shows you can learn from everyone, either how to do it or how not to do it. I would say that the one person who has been the most helpful to me since our breed was accepted by AKC is Maggie Pryor. She is a sweetheart and so helpful to so many people! Also Thomas Vinson and his wife, Doc Sherri Vinson, have helped me a lot, especially with the mental aspect of showing! They are very knowledgeable and very kind to share their wisdom! I can’t thank these three people enough! My advice would be to stay humble, be persistent and be honest about your ability and your dogs. Help others when you can, and the dogs always come first! Enjoy the ride! What is it about my breed that has sustained my interest and encouraged my involvement in the sport? I love watching a beauti- fully moving dog in the show ring or just trotting across the yard. They are so loving, loyal dogs; they just capture your heart. Since retiring from showing horses it was a natural progression to start showing dogs. I love to put a great record on an animal. ASHLEYMILLER I live in Cumby, Texas, (small town in Northeast Texas). My breeds are German Shepherds and Cardigan Welsh Corgis. Out- side of dogs, my interests include learning about films, history, and reading. How many years have I been involved in dogs and as a breeder? I’ve been in dogs for nearly 25 years. My parents bred and showed German Shepherds when I was a young kid, and when I was in my 20s I bred my first litter of German Shepherds in 2011 at age 21. As for Cardigans, I became involved in them seven years ago after I graduated college and lost my companion Pembroke Welsh Corgi. Do I compete in conformation, companion or performance events? I compete in conformation mostly, but we do make time for companion events like Farm Dog Certification, CGC, Rally, Herd- ing Instinct, and try often to have GSDCA approved Temperament Test Certification on my breeding dogs. Is my breed still capable of performing its original function? My dogs are very capable of going out and herding, which is what they were bred to do. While I have a hard time finding an actual train- ing facility in my region for true herding lessons, we do live out in the country and our German Shepherds have herded goats and pigs out of areas we don’t want them in (and one of the dogs actually chased off a wild hog to protect me on a walk in our pasture, and had an excellent recall). Our Corgis have done well herding Guinea hens, miniature horses, and cows. Our German Shepherds will do perimeter runs and will bark to alert us when people have entered our property. Can I define the key essentials of “type” in my breed? For Ger- man Shepherds, I always stress that we don’t want them to appear like a different Shepherd breed. I want to be able to do a quick look and be able to say that’s a German Shepherd with its correct, beau- tiful curves, heavier-boned than, say, a Belgian, and a head that is strong. I also want to see them with that beautiful opening-up gait. For Cardigans, I look for a correct head and ear and the front wrap with round bone. I do not want to question if it is a Pembroke. Am I pleased with my breed’s current overall quality and popu- larity? I wish German Shepherds were not so popular, [with] too many people breeding them and doing little or no health testing, nor do they breed them to standard because, outside of the dog show world, many German Shepherds are very poor quality and >
huge think-tank. We have so many knowledgeable, successful, ded- icated breeders and dog show people who are willing to share their knowledge if you are sincere and respectful. Of course, listening and acknowledging is an art as is actually having a plan. One of the many pearls of wisdom from Mrs. Laurin has, and still is, “Start with a sound foundation. If you don’t have four good legs and a good temperament, you are starting out at a deficit already. Don’t be in a hurry. Sometimes, breedings don’t turn out as you thought, but when you’ve settled on a plan, don’t be afraid to stick with it despite the ebb and flow of fads.” What is it about my breed that has sustained my interest and encouraged my involvement in the sport? By and large, I’m a com- petitor and enjoy competing and winning, of course. As for my breed, there is always something to improve, breeding-wise. I can’t imagine living without a Belgian Tervuren. They are beautiful, ver- satile and devoted. JEANIEMCADAMS Jeanie Troyan McAdams is a
breeder/owner-handler of Minia- ture American Shepherds (MAS) and an AKC Breeder of Merit. Her kennel name is “Love That” and she is a parent club Judge’s Education Breed Mentor. She and her husband, Dr. Douglas McAdams, live in Den- ton County, Texas, where they have a dental practice that Jeanie manages. Jeanie was on the par-
ent club (MASCUSA) Board that negotiated entrance into AKC. The breed was accepted into AKC FSS in 2012, quickly advanced to the Miscellaneous Class, then became fully-recognized July 1, 2015. Although she has had Australian Shepherds since 1975, Jeanie did not show dogs until 2007. She was busy training and show- ing Reining Horses in the 1980s and ‘90s, winning many National Reining Horse Association Major Events and NRHA World Titles. When she retired from reining, she missed the training of an animal and putting a show record on them. She bought her first Miniature Australian Shepherd in 2007 and began showing at the rare breed shows. (The breed name was changed to Miniature American Shep- herd when accepted into AKC.) She has been busy promoting the breed ever since. I live in Denton County, Texas. My breed is the Miniature American Shepherd. Outside of dogs, I’m interested in snow and water skiing, design/architecture/construction, and travel. I have had Australian Shepherds since 1975, and Miniature American Shepherds since 2007. I’ve been a breeder for nine years. Do I compete in conformation, companion or performance events? I compete in conformation. Is my breed still capable of performing its original function? Yes, these dogs are very good herders. Can I define the key essentials of “type” in my breed? An effort- less, agile movement and a head similar to an Australian Shepherd, but with not as much “stop.” Am I pleased with my breed’s current overall quality and popu- larity? Personally, I would like to see people pay more attention to proper movement but, considering the breed will be fully-recog- nized just five years in July 1, 2020, I feel the breed as a whole has improved. Our breed is amazingly popular. How challenging has it been for exhibitors to find “majors?” I don’t think its been too hard for most.
168 | SHOWSIGHT MAGAZINE, JULY 2020
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