NORWEGIAN ELKHOUND THE DOG OF THE VIKINGS
KEVIN RICHARD I live in Washington, Pennsylvania, just south of Pitts- burgh. Outside of dogs, I train standardbred race horses, break and ride quarter horses and train customers to ride horses both for pleasure and 4-H. 1. Your opinion of the current quality of purebred dogs in general and your breed in particular? GH: The current quality of all breeds is very good—if you are only watching the groups at shows. In the classes, I observe many pet quality dogs. In Elkhounds, the quality of bitches at shows is excellent. However, there appears to be a shortage of high-quality males. EH: Purebred dogs quality levels tend to be cyclical. I believe both judges and exhibitors need to spend more time not only studying their own breed, but the ones of others. RR: Numbers are down across the board since I started exhibiting and I think because of that the good and the bad dogs stand out more. Has the ratio of excellent to poor specimens changed? I don’t know without doing more research but the differ- ences stand out more because of less dogs in the ring. That and since numbers are down, a dog has to beat fewer dogs nowadays to win points and majors. So I’d say in some cases you had more worthy champions and specials when there were more competition. That being said, even with the points lower since there are less dogs being shown it’s hard to find enough dogs to make a major. Our breed has suffered in the same regard. With less dogs being shown, less competition to drive breed- ers to breed dogs that could win against a large field of competition. That’s not saying there aren’t so good dogs being shown but the breed has suffered from smaller numbers being bred and shown. KR: The quality of the AKC show dog is in fine shape with the more popular breeds. Yet, as we go further down the list to the less popular breeds, it would stand to reason that the gene pool is a lot smaller in these breeds. I feel the Norwegian Elkhound falls into this category. Surely the popularity of “Designer” dogs and “Rescue” dogs becoming more vogue hurt the AKC dog, top to bottom. However, the Norwegian Elkhound breeders are working together to overcome these issues. 2. The biggest concern you have about your breed, be it medical, structural, temperament-wise or other? GH: My biggest concern is that some breeders are breeding dogs with hip dysplasia. Dysplasia is the largest problem in Elkhounds. In Norway, they recognize the problem
I have been breeding and showing Norwegian Elkhounds for 34 years. My first big winner, Jackson, Ch Westwind So Hot of Greyplume CD, had numerous group placements during his years in the ring from 1985 to the late 1990s. With numerous champions and group winners in between, Ch Greyplume Denmar Mon- tego Bay, Teague, won the Norwegian
Elkhound National in 2004. My current male, GCh Ch Grey- plume’s Retrofit, Sage, won best opposite sex at the 2016 Nor- wegian Elkhound National. I live with my husband, Bill, and three Elkhounds: Sage, Daisy and Cher. Together we live on acreage with multiple yards and a six-foot-high, secure fence with numerous shade trees next to the Colorado National Monument in Grand Junction, Colorado. Outside of dogs, I study the Spanish language, practice pilates and yoga and participate in politics while working part-time at a specialty clothing store. ED HALL
I live on seven acres for my dogs and gardens in Merrimack, New Hampshire. I am Vice President and general manager of Kenmore Stamp Company, which sells postage stamps for collectors. I have bred and exhibited Norwe- gian Elkhounds for over 56 years under the Somerri Kennel prefix. In 1971, I graduated from the University of New
Hampshire with a B.A. degree in Zoology. I have been a member of the Norwegian Elkhound Association of Amer- ica and Merrimack Valley Kennel club since 1965. I am a charter member of the Norwegian Elkhound Minuteman Association (since 1977). My first judging assignment was at an all breed match in New Hampshire in 1964. Since 1973, I have been an AKC licensed judge of Norwegian Elk- hounds and now judge 69 breeds including all Hounds and most Working. ROBIN RHODEN I live in Westminster, Colorado and outside of dogs I go fishing and camping.
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