Showsight Presents The Keeshond

KEESHOND Questions & Answers

BETH BLANKENSHIP

5. Can you describe Keeshond movement? This is an easy question… when you are handling or watching a good moving Kees, it doesn’t look or feel like they are working at it. The dog that reaches to the tip of his nose in the front is correct, watch for that! Refer to the Illustrated Standard… there are still Keeshond that have legs under them and can move! 6. How has the breed changed since you became involved with it? Do you see any trends you think are moving the breed in the wrong direction? Any traits becoming exaggerated? An ongoing issue in the breed is if you can’t breed the correct coat, just scissor it into the shape you need it to be. But, I don’t want to fuss about the trimming because you get hung up on trying to figure out who does and who doesn’t and well, you will never figure it out, because some are better at it than others. If judges can just learn what a good coat is in the breed, they won’t really have to worry too much about which is trimmed vs. which is not. The correct, straight coat that does not have waves and kinks in it tends to need very little to no trimming. It feels very thick and dense, but not soft. If you get a chance to touch dogs with good hair, take advantage of it please! Silhouette is far too important in this breed than it should be in my opinion. Standing across the ring and looking for the prettiest picture, regardless of how it’s put togeth- er or how it looks when it walks is just detrimental to our dogs overall soundness. This is not a giant Pomeranian— even if the breeders in this breed are confusing the heck out of you by breeding so many different types. This is a moderate, square-appearing breed (notice I didn’t say SQUARE). 7. Is there anything Keeshond handlers do you wish they would not? You can always tell the All-Breed handlers who under- stand the breed well as they do not over correct them and are also very good at getting that striking expression out of them when needed. We love our breed’s personal- ity and find it frustrating when a handler mistakes their clever antics as stupidity. I think most handlers in this breed do a great job and that is because most of them are owners/breeders. Some of them are very talented groom- ers, some are very talented handlers/trainers and some are both. Other breeders are just like the breed, carefree and train at the shows. The breed is not a perfect show

1. Please tell us about your back- ground in Keeshonden, including kennel name, highlights, judging experience. We’d also like to know where you live and what you do out- side of dogs. My AKC registered kennel name is TRUMPET to tie in my high school/col- lege favorite hobby of playing in March-

ing, Concert, Jazz and even Youth Symphony. It was a way to tie those two very important phases of my life together… I guess I predicted it right 25 years ago when I chose the name. I based my program in Memphis, TN but have spent the last 8 years outside Florence, SC. We have bred 9 All-Breed Best In Show Winners, 21 Non-Sporting Group 1 Winners, 6 National & National Combined Specialty Winners, 9 Register of Merit Sires & Dams and 17 Trumpet Keeshond are in the KCA Hall of Fame. I have judged a couple regional specialty sweepstakes assignments but prefer not to be involved in judging at this time as I feel it is somewhat a conflict of interest to exhibit/campaign specials one weekend and judge another. 2. What five traits do you look for, in order, when judging Kees? What do you consider the ultimate hallmark of the breed? Correct coat texture/color, head shape/expression/eye color, balance angles front to rear with short loin… not short backed; nice, compact, shock-absorbing feet and the moderate Keeshond. 3. Do you see incorrect color or coats, including excessive trimming, in the breed? Well, duh… YES. I think the trimming has lessened a touch, but the coat textures and bad colors are still there. 4. What shortcomings are you most willing to forgive? What faults do you find hard to overlook? I’m willing to forgive less-than-perfect mouths (not to include severe over or under), ear size/shape and tail set more than tail length. I find it hard to overlook bad coats and caricatures that don’t reflect correct breed standard silhouettes.

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