Showsight Presents The Keeshond

k ees h ond

Q&A

ROBIN STARK BIO

4. What shortcomings are you most willing to forgive? What faults do you find hard to overlook? I am most willing to forgive a rounder eye. I cannot over- look faded pigment, light eyes or noticeable scissoring. 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? Any traits becoming exaggerated? The breed has become more uniform in appearance over the years and more consistent in size. I have seen a trend of more-is-better, with regard to the amount of coat on bitches and in some dogs, as well as a desire for lighter coat color, but not to any extremes. We need to retain the darker, stronger contrasted dogs as well or the risk of washed out color could increase. Overall, I would say the breeders have become very consistent with what is being produced and are doing a good job. 6. Can you describe Keeshond movement? The Keeshond should have a very light, easy gate. They are neither a driving dog nor a marathon runner. As watchdogs on the barges they needed to be quick and able to spring from boat deck to tops of crates effort- lessly. As an all-purpose farm dog, they did not need to be a distance runner. As a Keeshond gaits, they should move briskly with an appearance that they could move forward easily and upward without effort. 7. Is there anything Keeshond handlers do you wish they would not? Put way too much product into a Keeshond coat. A Kees- hond with a proper textured, proper fullness coat with correct bone and structure should need nothing more than water and brush/comb with scissors only to tidy feet and hocks. Also, the Keeshond should not be gaited at the end of the lead as a German Shepherd or Standard Poodle. Slow down and let the Keeshond gait correctly as it should. 8. Name a dog not currently being

Robin Stark has always loved animals— from pets ranging from skunks to her latest fascination, geese. She fell in love with an 8-week-old Keeshond puppy at first sight when she was 15 years old and has never looked back. From her “B” lit- ter came her most famous dog, BISS Ch. Star*Kees’ Batman ROMX (she just had to name him that) that was quite pos-

sibly the most influential stud dog in our breed’s history; he is behind literally thousands of champions including today’s top winner and the #4 top-winning Keeshond of all time and still counting. Star*Kees’ Keeshonden rarely breeds a litter—every other year or so, at best because Robin has always leaned toward the boys. Yet, between her stud dogs and her breeding program, Star*Kees’ is responsible for more than 100 champions. Robin over- achieved her goals in the dog world with a son of Batman becoming her first Best in Show Kees; and a Batman grandson rising to #1 Keeshond in America with multiple specialty wins and four Best in Shows. “Bohica” frosted the cake for her when she was nominated for Best Owner Handler in the USA—her ultimate ego trip. She worked to support her addictive habit of showing dogs as an Executive Secretary. She also worked as the editor and co-publisher of the multi-award-winning magazine The Rottweiler Quarterly for a 19-year stint. Her son Jeff has hatched her only grandchild—Ryland. Ry-Ry is “The Only Child in The World” according to his beaming parents and his bemused grandma. 1. Where do you live? What do you do “outside” of dogs? As a native Northern Californian, I am now in Hemp- stead, TX, working as a boarding kennel manager. Hazel and David Arnold, dear friends who have since passed, encouraged Jimmy and myself to move into their board- ing kennel, which Patti and Michael Kemp originally built. We ended up building a bit smaller kennel—and kept their employees—and are schlepping about 90 miles round-trip doing pickups and delivery. 2. How many years in dogs? Showing? Judging? As a kid, we were primarily cat people, but Meggie was my first dog acquired when I was 4 years old. I got my first purebred Keeshond in 1961—still “my breed”, though I’m also a cat person, as well as loving pig, poultry, bird, anything that squeaks, squawks, honks or snores. Currently, I am in love with “my children” (the 7 geese that make me laugh daily). I went to my first dog show as an exhibitor in 1962… in utero, of course. As for judging, I enjoyed it since my first puppy match in early 70s. I especially enjoyed Sweepstakes assignments and KCA National Futurities/Maturities. Once I retired as edi- tor of The Rottweiler Quarterly , my first official judging assignment was in February 2008 at the Nor-Cal Keeshond Club.

shown that exempli- fies your ideal type. One of my all-time favorites was Eng/Am/ Can CH Wrocky of Wistonia HOF ROM. His length of neck, beautiful structure

eng/Am/Can Ch wrocky of wistonia hoF roM

and depth of contrast in his plush coat was absolutely lovely. A couple other notables were CH Windrift’s High Society HOF ROMX and AM/CAN CH Foxfair Persuasive Friend HOF ROMX. 9. Anything else you’d like to add? The Keeshond is a natural, medium-sized, moderately built dog. They should be confident and personable, even a bit mischievous. Their personalities, beautiful heads and dramatic coats should draw your eye from anywhere in the room.

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