HERDING GROUP Q&A
Every show dog should be able to do the job it was bred to do.
JANIS ROSENTHAL I live in Brooksville, Florida. My interests include law (I am a lawyer, after all), horses and equestrian sports, and classical music, including Italian opera. How many years have I been involved in dogs and as a breeder? I have been involved in dogs for two full generations, equaling about 50 years. I have been actively breeding for about 10 years. Do I compete in conformation, companion or performance events? I compete in conformation and occasionally in obedience. I have bred dogs that participate in all three. Is my breed [Beauceron] still capable of performing its original function? Yes, it is and some do. Can I define the key essentials of “type” in my breed? Square body, solid topline even when moving, shepherd type head (not Rottweiler), smooth, easy movement, aloof temperament, mod- erate curve, and substance. The breed standard specifies this is a moderate dog Am I pleased with my breed’s current overall quality and popu- larity? Not truly. The breed is losing its shepherd type and becom- ing a Rottweiler type with cheeky heads, overdone bone, saggy toplines, and the inability to be the endurance dog that can herd over 50 miles per day. All of this is because it is becoming too popu- lar and being bred to meet demand, not the standard. How challenging has it been for exhibitors to find “majors?” It can be challenging. Is there a market for “pet quality” puppies in my breed? Yes. Who were my mentors? Susan Bass and Carla Davis. Words of wisdom were, “Don’t breed too close in a small gene pool.” What is it about my breed that has sustained my interest and encouraged my involvement in the sport? They are sweet fam- ily dogs and are true shepherds when bred correctly. I enjoy those aspects. JO-ANN SECONDINO Jo-Ann Secondino is a Bronze Breeder of Merit who has served as the Vice President, Breeding and Review Committee Chairman, and Health and Genetics Chair- man for the Icelandic Sheepdog Association of America. Jo-Ann and her partner, Jonathan Pickett, actively support the breed by ini- tiating fundraising efforts for the breed’s rescue organization that reaches out to engage the entire Icelandic Sheepdog community. I live in Maryland. My breed is the Icelandic Sheepdog. How many years have I been involved in dogs and as a breeder? I’ve been involved with dogs all my life, but I’ve been involved with Icelandic Sheepdogs for 17 years. I have been breeding Icelandic Sheepdogs for 13 years. Do I compete in conformation, companion or performance events? I mostly compete in conformation, but have participated in barn hunt and fast cat. Is my breed still capable of performing its original function? Oh yes! The one thing that is stressed about the Icelandic Sheepdog is
that there should be no separation between working lines and show lines. Every show dog should be able to do the job it was bred to do. Can I define the key essentials of “type” in my breed? First thing essential to our breed’s type is its ability to do its job in its coun- try of origin—even though it may never be tasked with doing so. This means a weather-proof, double coat in either a short or long coat, they must have a coarse outer coat and thick undercoat to protect them from Iceland’s tempestuous weather. The head should be triangular when seen from the top and sides, with the muzzle being slightly shorter than the skull. The body should be rectangu- lar, with a level topline, a slight tuck-up, and a high-set tail curled over the back, As a breed designed to assist in driving sheep up in down rugged terrain, movement is an important part of type. They should have a brisk, ground-covering trot with strong rear that drives an effortless and agile gait. Am I pleased with my breed’s current overall quality and pop- ularity? The Icelandic Sheepdog isn’t among the most popular breeds. I feel that’s a good thing. They are a delightful breed, but can be challenging for some owners. They can have an indepen- dent nature, be quite vocal, and require better-than-average inter- action from their owners. As a low numbers breed, we have foun- dation stock from different regions of Europe and Iceland. These regions have developed their own style of Icelandic Sheepdog. As a breed, internationally, we are all working towards a consistent type and improving their overall quality while striving to maintain a healthy population. How challenging has it been for exhibitors to find “majors?” Finding majors in certain areas of the United States for the Icelan- dic Sheepdog can be challenging. In other regions there seems to be a greater numbers whose owners actively compete in conformation. Is there a market for “pet quality” puppies in my breed? Oh, there certainly is a market for pet quality puppies. New owners should understand that not all Icelandic Sheepdogs are created equal. While some can be quite easy, others can be challenging. When considering bringing an Icelandic Sheepdog into your home, owners should be prepared for either side of the spectrum. Who were my mentors? I was very fortunate to find mentors from across the USA, Iceland and Europe when I first discovered the breed. I found that if I was willing to just listen, people were willing to share their experience with the breed, its history, their pedigrees and health issues as well as Iceland’s history and culture. Ans Beer Schell of the Netherlands, Monika Karlsdottir, Bryn- hildur Inga Einarsdottir and Helga Andresdottir of Iceland, and Elisabet Stacy-Hurley of the USA, and so many others have been so generous with their time. What is it about my breed that has sustained my interest and encouraged my involvement in the sport? I love their silly personali- ties. Some are quite sweet and easy, others more intense and con- stantly problem-solving. I love how they constantly challenge me to change the way I approach training and my dogs’ management. They have taught me more than any class could. Their enthusiasm for competing in conformation is boundless; all my dogs excitedly wait to see who gets to go to the show when they see my skirt suits come out. While watching them eagerly strain to get to the lure before they’re released during FAST CAT, you can’t not want to bring them back when you see them take-off after it [with] the look of glee on their faces.
176 | SHOWSIGHT MAGAZINE, JULY 2020
Powered by FlippingBook