Sylvia Hammarstrom of Skansen Kennel. Ch. Skansen’s I Have A Dream was the No. 1 Working Dog and won the Group at Westminster. A beautiful Akita, Ch. OBJ’s The Coal Miner, was both a top winner and a top producer. There was the No. 1 Doberman, Ch. Kamterra’s Legato, and the AKC Centennial Show’s Working Group winner, the Doberman Ch. Briarpatch Christmas Dream, who also sired many beautiful dogs. I speci- aled a top Rottweiler, Ch. Noblehaus Klark Kent. I owned and handled two BIS Pointers, Ch. Albelarm’s Bein Ean and Ch. Albelarm’s Errol Flynn. I specialed a Doberman bitch whose name many people may not recognize, but her role was of great importance. Her name was Ch. Protocol’s American Dream CDX RN AX AXJ XF ROM SchH1. She only had six puppies in her lifetime, bred just once. Out of those six puppies, five became champions. Two were Best in Show winners. Three were Top 20 conforma- tion finalists. One was in the Top 20 for obedience. One was in the Top 20 for agility. And one was Ch. Protocol’s Veni Vidi Vici, No. 1 Working dog, Westminster Group winner, Top Twenty winner, and the winner of four National Specialties. How did your career as a professional handler begin? Tell us about that period in your dog show life. After my nine years as an assistant, I moved on to become a professional handler, with a lot of support from local judges who referred clients to me. Max Riddle, Roy Kibler, Pat and Judy Doniere, Betsy Thomas, and others were very supportive at the beginning of my career. It was difficult then, traveling by myself until I could afford to hire assistants. I was very lucky during my years as a handler to have assistants who stayed with me for many years. I can never say enough about how much help they provided and how appreciative I am. For the many newer exhibitors and up-and-coming handlers reading this, how do you establish and maintain positive, success- ful relationships between owner and handler? Always be truthful, fair, and have a good line of communi- cation. Groom, train, and condition your dogs to be the best they can be; the owners will always appreciate it. Remember to be kind and respectful. There are a lot of options and they chose you! The sport has changed greatly since you first began partici- pating. What are your thoughts on the state of the fancy and the declining number of breeders? How do we encourage newcomers to join us and remain in the sport? That is a good question, one I am working on myself. I am President of the Dayton Kennel Club and have been working on ideas for getting new members—and younger ones also. I have been looking into programs that are interesting and helpful, activities that are fun and that the members will look forward to. I plan to reach out to 4-H clubs to engage with young dog lovers who want to go a step further into breeding and showing. If we see someone new at the dog shows, give them a great experience and encourage them to come back. Provide advice that can help them be successful! I am also thinking of starting a non-regular class at our show for children who are breeding dogs (like Junior Show- manship, but the child must have bred the dog). If we encour- age the younger generation, I see that as a win! Where do you see your journey in dogs taking you over the next decade or two? I am looking forward to breeding Chihuahuas and con- tinuing my judging journey.
100 | SHOWSIGHT MAGAZINE, JULY 2021
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