Showsight Presents The Brussels Griffon

Brussels Gri ff on Q& A

“I’d also like to share about the breed that they’re like Lay’s Potato Chips—you can’t stop at just one.”

Mark & Karen Jaeger continued

My favorite dog show memory? For Mark, it’s watching Karin’s reaction at winning the 2012 ABGA National with GCHG Chis- mick’s Life on Broadway (we picked him out at four months on the day that I judged the 2008 ABGA National). She was pretty much the only person who didn’t realize that Winners dog was behind her on the last go-around. Susie Depew had to remind her to breathe. I’d also like to share about the breed that they’re like Lay’s Pota- to Chips—you can’t stop at just one. Fair warning, though: they are happy to try to trip you when you are going down a flight of stairs, or buckle your knee by bang- ing into the back of it. And like any brachycephalic breed (we also have English Toy Spaniels), they will snort in your face to make a mess of your glasses. RAUL & RHONDA PERALTA Rhonda and I live in Trinity,

What about the breed makes them an ideal companion? In our opinion, their willingness and interest in simply serving as compan- ions is what endears Brussels Griffons to us. Their loyalty and need to be next to you is ideal for our lifestyle. Their size makes it easy to transport them when we travel and their intelligence makes them a very adaptable little breed. Through the years of finding wonderful homes for our Griffons, we have concluded that if the family makes a commitment to this breed and welcomes he or she 100% as part of the family, they will remain loyal. Are there any misconceptions about the breed we’d like to dis- pel? Brussels Griffons are not hard to housebreak. Consistency and rewards are keys. What special challenges do Brussels Griffon breeders face in our current economic and social climate? The challenges Brussels Griffon breeders face today have not changed much over the years. Backyard breeders (puppy mills) remain active and social media has provided them with even more exposure to the public. As reputable breeders committed to health testing and never leaving a puppy in an unsafe or inadequate home, we are constantly searching for fel- low breeders who are willing to consider homes for their puppies. At what age do we start to see definite signs of show-worthi- ness? We do a formal evaluation of our puppies at eight weeks of age. While it is not guaranteed that this evaluation can determine their show-worthiness it is a good indication of their structure and personality in the future. Having said that, Brussels griffons change considerably as they mature. Many times, their faces (nose placement and layback, etc.) evolve and change throughout their first two years of their life. That is one of the reasons a breeder will not place their puppy with a new owner until later in life. There are many choices equally valid under the Standard: rough, smooth, red, belge, black and tan, black. Do I have a preference? In terms of coats, we recognize the qualities that both Rough and Smooth Brussels Griffons offer and do not show prejudice towards either one. There are numerous Brussels Griffons being successfully shown in the ring today—both Rough and Smooth. Coat color preference is a very personal decision. We see many beautiful speci- mens in a wide array of colors. What is the most important thing about the breed for a new judge to keep in mind? In our opinion, judges should consider a balanced dog that includes the correct expression (proper nose placement, round head, size of eye and pout) along with sound movement (structurally correct). If the dog is complimented by a daring, happy attitude, then you have a wonderful representative of a Brussels Griffon! The best way to attract newcomers to my breed and to the sport? The AKC Parent Club (The American Brussels Griffon Associa- tion) is the best way to connect with the breed, related activities and reputable breeders. In 2020 we will celebrate our 75th Anni- versary with a year-long celebration of “all that is Brussels Grif- fons”. Our Club activities include educational sessions as well as social activities. Our ultimate goal for the breed? For it to remain a healthy, happy companion. My favorite dog show memory? Due to the length of time we have been involved with this breed, our favorite memories are numerous. The absolute favorite memory outside a dog show, is when I was trusted by Kay Braukman to have one of her puppies.

North Carolina. I have a daugh- ter living in Greenwich, Con- necticut. Professionally, I am an engineer by education, turned to businessman in the later stages of my career. I serve on several boards including the Southern Economic Development Coun- cil and the NC Community College Foundation.

Personally, I am a Master Gardener, avid sailor and fly fisher- man. I currently serve as the President of the American Brussels Griffon Association (ABGA), and have shown Brussels Griffons in conformation for over 20 years. Rhonda: I enjoy traveling with my husband and we enjoy time on the water. I love to cook and entertain. The most rewarding part of being owned by this breed is the friendships we have developed. Best of Breed Rosettes eventually are stored in the attic—good friends last a lifetime. Our hobbies include pleasure boating, fishing, traveling and vis- iting as many wonderful restaurants as possible. Do I hope the breed’s popularity will change or am I comfort- able with their placement? We are very comfortable with the popu- larity (or lack of ) that our breed deals with. In our opinion, its not the quantity that we look for—it’s the quality. Rhonda: Raul and I both volunteer for the Parent Club in differ- ent and several capacities. I try not look at numbers regarding popu- larity instead concentrate as the Membership Committee Chair to welcome newcomers and build a strong membership base. This is to not only help support our Club but to mentor and guide those members who are new to the fancy on responsible ownership. From there, guide them in the direction of their interest. What qualities in the field also come in handy around the house? Although this question is more directly related to other breeds, I do appreciate how the “ratter” in the Brussels Griffon’s makeup mani- fests itself when it comes to keeping squirrels off of our bird feeders and backyard. I’d have to say my most favorite trait is this breed’s loyalty to its owner. Regardless of the size of property you live on, he or she will perform perimeter checks and flush out any unwanted trespassers to protect its home.

312 • S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , J ANUARY 2020

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