Showsight Presents The Maltese

Maltese Q& A

“MALTESE ARE THE ULTIMATE COMPANION DOGS. They are game for whatever you want—they fetch, go on walks or watch TV. They are little clowns and always seeking attention.”

Daryl Martin continued

but we need to realize the Maltese that are from the other countries are not what our akc standard calls for. We also need to be aware of the change in our breed and also the change in the health of our dogs too. STACY NEWTON Stacy Newton and

Has the breed’s popularity fluctuated during my involvement? Our registration numbers are declining. There are fewer show breeders and the breeders we have are breeding fewer litters. The breed requires a huge commitment insofar as grooming and has the usual issues involved in whelping toy dogs. Litters are gener- ally small. The breed is fortunate however in that there are some younger breeders who are very devoted to the breed and who do a terrific job with their dogs. Numbers are also down, in my opinion, because breeders who bred solely for the purpose of producing pets are now breeding small mixed breeds instead of purebreds. What clothing color do I favor to complement the breed’s white coat? Black of course! I wear a lot of navy blue, and also hot pink and royal blue. How do I place my pups? I’ve been extremely fortunate in that my “puppy people” have been referrals from friends in other breeds, and so there is a connection before I even speak with a potential new home. I don’t do applications—first contact is usually email, then phone calls and then if possible an in-person meeting. I am always excited about homes where the dogs will participate in some activity—therapy work, obedience, agility, rally. I previously par- ticipated in companion events with my Papillons and when raising my Maltese litters I do the same things I did with my Papillon litters to prepare them for those activities. At what age do I choose a show prospect? I start looking at my puppies right away, things like coat texture and pigment and head shape can be seen early on. Deciding who stays involves an analysis of the reasons why I bred that litter more so than who I think is the pick puppy overall. If I bred to a particular dog in order to improve coat texture and length of back for example (areas where the bitch may be lacking), I’m going to keep the puppy that best displays those characteristics to move forward from. These are things that we can see as the puppies develop and I usually have my mind made up between eight to ten weeks. My favorite dog show memory? Nothing can ever touch win- ning BISS at the AMA National Specialty in 2019 under respect- ed breeder-judge Sandy Bingham-Porter with our Joey (GCHB Divine’s Takes The Cake At Sarcenet). My husband showed him and I paced outside the ring the whole time. The year before our Jef- frey (CH Sarcenet I Call Shotgun) won Best Puppy in Sweepstakes at the National at six months and a week old with me handling him, which was also a wonderful experience. Each special win reminds me of the birth of that dog—all that hope and love in a four ounce puppy coming to fruition months or years later. I loved the beauty of Maltese for years before I got up the nerve to buy one to show—I was terrified of the grooming required. I’d like to tell people who are interested in a Maltese that yes, there is a steep learning curve grooming-wise, but it can be learned with practice. I’m so glad I got over my coat care fears because we would have been missing out on the best breed ever if I had not!

Ellen Kurland are the breeders behind Sarcenet Maltese. Stacy’s husband Zach is a professional handler who shows sev- eral breeds, including Maltese. Sarcenet Mal- tese is indebted to Angela and Larry Stanberry of Divine Maltese who pro- vided a strong foundation to Sarcenet through their decades of exceptional breeding decisions and devotion to the breed. Prior to showing and

breeding Maltese, Stacy showed and bred Papillons with her mentor Rita Koy and participated in obedience, agility and rally competi- tion. Stacy thanks her cousin Noel Ramsey (Samoyeds and Alaskan Malamutes) for bringing her into the wonderful world of dog shows! My husband (Handler Zach Newton) and I live just outside of Evansville, Indiana, in the southwest corner of the state. Outside of dogs I work a “3/4 time” flex time schedule writing legal briefs for a large employment law firm. My job is nearly 100% remote which allows me to travel to shows, although it also means that I sometimes have to pull “all-nighters” in the RV to get my work done! Prior to that I practiced in a traditional law firm as a litigation attorney for over 20 years. For fun outside of dogs I enjoy watch- ing horror movies, reading (especially Stephen King) and shopping for shoes! Is the breed as entertaining at home as they are in the ring? Abso- lutely. Maltese are the ultimate companion dogs. They are game for whatever you want—they fetch, go on walks or watch TV. They are little clowns and always seeking attention. My foundation bitch is particularly funny and has passed her silliness onto her puppies. What’s my favorite characteristic? They want nothing more than to be with their people, but they also love the company of other Maltese. There is an occasional scuffle, but for the most part they live in harmony. It is wonderful to be surrounded by dogs that get along well.

266 • S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , O CTOBER 2019

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