k ees h ond
3. Describe the Keeshond in a few words: Gregarious (they virtually love everybody); Smart (a stupid Kees is smarter than the average dog as they are one of only a few breeds that truly think things out); and Comical (their thinking ability is why you’ll often see Kees being shown making his/her handler look like an ass. And this breed does tend to be more than a little bit spiteful... often saving themselves to exact their playful or evilness several days, weeks even months later. You’ve got to love a dog—usually a bitch—that looks at you and says, ‘Remember two weeks ago when you…?’). 4. What to you is the ultimate hallmark of the breed? Up close the hallmark is their spectacles (I think only the Pekingese’s standard mentions spectacles—so sue me if I’m wrong); in profile it is their silhouette (both specta- cles and body are not to be made so by creative trimming and/or not-so-creative scissoring); in motion, a correct Keeshond’s movement should not quite move like any other breed (the best way to describe it is balanced fore and aft, but angulation not as stilted as a Chow and with a less reach and drive as seen in almost all other breeds). 5. Are there any traits in this breed you fear are becoming exaggerated? At this moment in history, many of our Kees breeders are doing a good to excellent job of avoiding fads and instead, breeding to the Standard. We seem to be over the frizzy coats, the teeny, tiny, cutesy-pootsies; the vast divergence in size; the too-black blobs; the too-washed- out markings; and the dreadful short-legged, out-of-bal- ance creatures of days not all that long ago. 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? Yes, but I haven’t been officially judging that long ago. When I started showing, however, Kees were all over the block and most in California were very large—a few even exceeding 20”. Back east there were bunches of black blobs. In the early 70s there was a lot of mediocre dogs, but I can think of about ten Keeshonden that were sensationally good ones and several of them bred on and remain the backbone of all of today’s winners. We’re still using Eng/Can/Am Ch. Wrocky of Wistonia HOF as our breed’s ideal and he’s one I sure wouldn’t mind feeding today even though he was whelped in the late 50s. Nan and Fred Greenwood of Wistonia were undeniably the best breeders in our breed’s history. In fact, they won the “Norton Rose Bowl” five years running in England—that prize is given by The Kennel Club as the best breeder in England in all breeds. Many of those long- gone Wistonia dogs could still win today. 7. Do you see incorrect color or coats, including excessive trimming, in the breed? Everybody in Kees or has ever attended seminars I’ve conducted knows that I’m a total harpy regarding trim- ming. It continues, but is lessening and some just flaunt it—professional handlers particularly; there’s a handful who are so good at it that even I can’t find it (without
crawling all over and under the dog and poking through every hair), but today we have several God-given and breeder-talented correct coats that fit the dog and are of ideal texture. I am thankful that we seem to be past the phase of 5 to 15 years ago when our breed had a plethora of frizzy, cotton-candy coats. Those awful coats are blissfully going away because they are the very ones that are hideous if they’re not trimmed and are simply shaved down by pet owners who cannot bathe and groom their own dogs. Not good, as that this is primarily a breed that is at their best in a single-family home preferably with a bunch of kids. A correct coat starts off with the guard hairs being straight—one single word in the standard that is often missed and yet is at the root (pun totally intended) of a correct, off standing double-coated breed. I insist upon using the word “correct” because it is the job of judges, owners and handlers to know what words in any breed standards mean and to apply same when doing their individual jobs. Having said that, I also will tell aspiring judges that the Keeshond may well be one of the hardest to judge. It is a certainty that there are very few judges left whose opinion of my breed I truly value. I can count them on one hand... the hand with a finger partially missing. 8. Can you name a previously shown Keeshond that exemplifies your idea of correct type? BIS/BISS Ch. Charmac Stud Poker HOF. Looking at his photo, my heart still does a pretty good pitter-pat. He’s everything the breed should ideally be: up on leg; bal- anced; glorious, correct and untrimmed coat; moved perfectly—coming, going and laterally; lovely arched neck and breath-taking color and markings. Bred by the late Jan Wilhite and always owner/handled by E.Z. Villa, “Studs” was the complete package and won the KCA National two years in a row. Two other Keeshonden I loved for the same reasons as I outlined about Stud Poker: BISS Ch. Yan-Kee Parader HOF ROM and my own #1 BIS/
BISS Ch. Wyndspell Bohica v Star*Kees HOF. 9. Your pet peeve in the show ring is…?
Hmmmm, as a judge? Anybody who purposely runs their dog up too close to others in a smarmy attempt to say, “Oh, my dog’s just SO sound and all the others are SO not.” Ditto if I’m exhibiting. Grandstanding to the detri- ment of other exhibitors—both as judge and exhibitor. Make-up (on the dog!) that always shows up in photos AND is very evident in the flesh. Tip to those who like to face paint: Just don’t do it. A truly solid black muzzle that is natural is rare and often gives the dog a harsh expression UNLESS he is very dark factored in his entire coloring; in which case natural muzzle and spectacles are shiny. Dyed or chalked markings on any dog are dull. Furthermore, almost all bloodlines have “milk mouths” and stray hairs often on the upper nasal of the muzzle. To see what I’m talking about, go to www.keeshond.org and enjoy their lovely display of Keeshonden—almost all dogs depicted are natural and only a few have been
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