Showsight Presents The Keeshond

k ees h ond

Q&A

Gypsy’s performance. Every one of them had better scores and were happier with their dogs! 1974 was a very good year! The next significant Kees we had was Win- drift’s Academy Award. “Producer” and “Oscar” were two of the 3 pups in her first litter. She was BOS at a Nor-Cal and a Canadian Keeshond Specialty. I began judging Keeshond and Juniors for AKC in 1985; the next breed I applied for was Dalmatians, then Shar- Pei and Chows. I’m currently approved for 13 breeds in 4 different Groups. In 1993, the United Kennel Club licensed me for all breeds, (except the three Belgian breeds which I have done in Group), all 9 Groups, and BIMBS/BIS for the 300+ breeds that they recognize. I’ve been invited to several different states, including Alaska, and Taiwan… Martinez is the county seat for Contra Costa County and birthplace of Joe Dimaggio and the Martini; its located east of the Oakland hills in North- ern CA and borders the straits where the American and Sacramento Rivers join before making their way to San Francisco Bay. I’ve lived here for 38 years and enjoy my second story home on a hillside with 17 different fruit trees to care for along with my four American Eskimo Dogs. At Elections time, I serve as an Inspector for my Precinct. I also love of cooking; I really like good food! 2. What five traits do you look for, in order, when judging Kees? What is the hallmark of the breed? The 5 traits I look for in judging Kees are: Silhouette/ proportion of dog; Expression (almond-shaped eyes that are not too small or round, ears that are not too long); Side-gait; Gait, coming and going; Prosternum. Hallmark of the breed: To pick only one, I would say their shaded coat distinguishes them from most other breeds. 3. Do you see incorrect color or coats, including excessive trimming, in the breed? Most of the incorrect coloring I see is due to trimming. The rear quarters and croup of a Kees should be dark, not cream colored. The trimming calls attention to a long, soft coat. The standard may not address texture of coat, but why would anyone want a profuse coat that offers no protection from the rain? I will judge the soft-coated dog fairly, but with all things being equal, will prefer a weather resistant coat because it makes more sense to me. 4. What shortcomings are you most willing to forgive? What faults do you find hard to overlook? Shortcomings to forgive: A bit of variation in coming and going provided the side-gait is efficient; Lack of length in a bitch coat provided quality and quantity were there; Lack of showmanship in a young or novice dog; Lack of proper grooming or presentation. Faults not to overlook: Lack of balance or proportion (short legs or neck); Lack of spectacles &/or shoulder markings; Front gait not matched by rear gait. 5. 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? In the 60s the front assemblies were terrible, some look- ing like eggbeaters and some rears were not much better. In the late 70s-80s that all improved tremendously, fronts

and rears were solid. Late 90s to present, the prosternum has once again disappeared leaving us with very narrow fronts on Kees. Size in the 60s was spread over a wide range. We had some miniature bitches and some dogs that could be saddled. I was glad that our standard put more emphasis on quality than on size. I think today’s Kees are much more consistent in size with the variation being only a few inches. As far as trends, I am noticing smaller eyes and rounder eye openings. As already mentioned, the breastbones are receding and front assembly is set too far forward. Exaggerated, long soft coats. 6. Can you describe Keeshond movement? The 1949 standard describe the movement as “straight and sharp (not lope like a German Shepherd)”—that left the description a bit ambiguous. When revised in 1989, the Shepherd comparison was omitted and the descrip- tion of gait changed to being straight and sharp with reach and drive between slight to moderate. Why it was set to be a less efficient gait, I am not privy to. My only guess would be that it was contrary to the Kees that were winning big at that time (BISs and Group placings). 7. Is there anything Keeshond handlers do you wish they would not? As most are owner/groomer handled, the Kees are having more than their backside trimmed. Now it’s belly, under- line, croup, as well as mane and ruff and spectacles and ears. Then the ear tips and muzzle need to be blackened. Kees are not the only breed facing these alterations, but that doesn’t make it preferable. Ever wonder why your new litter of pups have indistinct spectacles when their show dog sire has beautiful ones? 8. Name a dog not currently being shown that exempli- fies your ideal type. If memory serves me correctly, from the 70s and 80s, I thought both Windrift’s Cover Girl and Windrift’s Gambler had good type and movement. Cover Girl was an elegant bitch (bear in mind that my travelling at that time was pretty well restricted to California). 9. Anything else you’d like to add? I wish we had a better understanding of the black skin disease in our breed, particularly the mode of inheritance. I understand that some Pom breeders can tell by the coat quality of a puppy as to whether that dog will exhibit those symptoms. They’ve also learned that the white Poms don’t seem to carry that gene, so can be used to breed away from this characteristic. LANI MCKENNON 1. Please tell us about your background in Keeshonden, including kennel name, highlights, judging experience. I got my first Keeshond in December 1972, and my first Papillon in October 1983. After many handling classes,

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