Showsight Presents The Keeshond

k ees h ond

Q&A

Keeshond clubs. We later delved into showing and doing limited breeding of Chow Chows and Schipperkes. I began judging in 1992 and stopped exhibiting and breed- ing in 2002. We share our home with one Keeshond and two Standard Poodles. I currently am approved for the Non-Sporting and Herding Groups, Afghan Hounds, Basenjis and Rhodesian Ridgebacks, Junior Showmanship and Best in Show. 1. Where do you live? What do you do “outside” of dogs? I live in Boise, Idaho and since my retirement from the US Army and teaching history I walk the dogs, read and attempt to raise flowers for the butterflies and humming- birds—with limited success. 2. How many years in dogs? My wife, Patti, and I have been involved in dogs for 50 years. We showed for 27 years and I have been judging for 23 years. 3. Describe the Keeshond in three words: Striking, expression and silhouette. 4. What to you is the ultimate hallmark of the breed? See previous question. The first impression must be one of beauty, the proper headpiece gives the welcoming expression and the balance of the dog gives the proper silhouette. 5. Are there any traits in this breed you fear are becoming exaggerated? We have gone through the phase of excessive trimming of the breed and the breeding of excessive coat does not conform with the purpose of the breed. Too much coat means the dog will not survive going into the canal. 6. Do you think the dogs you see in this breed are better now than they were when you first started judging? Why or why not? The dogs are better now than when I first started judg- ing. Breeders have done a nice job of getting correctly shaped eyes, eye color and full pigment around the eyes. Lacking full pigmentation gives a very harsh and unwel- coming expression and we have a great deal of this in my early years as a judge. 7. Your pet peeve in the show ring is…? I do not like handlers who give bait to the dog just as I am going to examine the bite, as well as handlers who have been in the ring for more than three minutes that do not know the ring pattern. Please pay attention to instructions. 8. What advice would you give a novice exhibitor? Be patient, do your homework on the breed, know the right questions to ask and even if you don’t—ask anyway. Know enough to know when you are not getting the cor- rect information. Watch, listen and apply the good stuff while discarding the bad stuff. 9. What’s the funniest thing you’ve ever experienced at a dog show? Judging in Arizona during a constant, but rare, rainstorm it became very amusing watching the handlers carry their coated breeds to the ring under umbrellas and

dog. While that is an awesome thing to see, being a statue is not of utmost importance to us or true to the nature of our dogs. Please don’t penalize great dogs for not being “perfect” show dogs. 8. Name a dog not

currently being shown that exemplifies your ideal type. Well, I don’t like to comment on dogs that I have only seen in photo- graphs and I haven’t bred

my ideal yet, so I’d say I have lots and lots of dogs that I have seen are very close to the ideal and I have had the joy of owning/breeding many also. I will go with this dog as a great example of being very close in many ways and exceptional in things you see lacking quite often today. He was an All-Breed Best In Show winner, National Spe- cialty winner and campaigned briefly. He was a novice owner’s singleton, following the advice of her mentor on the sire/dam selection. I believe if he had had a bit more leg under him and a slightly more pleasing expression, he could have been very close to perfection. His coat and color were perfection. Clean moving dog, with a nice length of neck and high tail set. He had beautiful feet and a gorgeous shaped head with nice fitting ears. He was quite a picture in his prime. 9. Anything else you’d like to add? Remember when using the ramp, please don’t use it to judge the silhouette and expression. Not all dogs will use themselves up on a ramp. For one, this is too much like the table they are groomed on. This is a breed best judged when looking at expression, carriage, presence and ear set ON THE GROUND and freely baited by the owner. I can’t emphasize this enough. That is not to say that you will not have the occasional exhibit that will wow you on the ramp, but it’s really not compar- ing apples to apples. Even within my own line of dogs, I have variables in how well they show off on that ramp. As a breeder/exhibitor, the ramp is wonderful for that thorough exam and I hope judges will always feel the freedom to use it at any time. HAROLD BRIZEE BIO

We got our first Keeshond while I was still on active duty after two years of research on a breed that would fit into our nomadic lifestyle. After winning our first blue ribbon, we were hooked. As we traveled over the United States we had the opportunity to meet many Keeshond breeders and work in many regional

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