Showsight Presents The Chihuahua

movement should not be rewarded, neither should any serious deviation from good sound structure. 4. How has the breed changed since you became involved with it? Do you see any trends you think are moving the breed in the wrong direction? Any traits becoming exaggerated? Chihuahuas have made great strides—much sounder dogs these days and more consistent—one seldom sees the kind of diversity often common in large classes 20 or 30 years ago. Chihuahuas are presented more effectively and can and actually do move around the ring well. Most have good temperaments and the wonderful terrier-like attitudes we want to see. Chihuahuas these days are also nicely groomed and generally presented in excellent condition. I think we need to make sure we don’t focus of choosing the more generic Chihuahua that might do well in the group ring but be a less worthy choice in the gene pool. Too often these days what can win is not the best option for the best results in the whelping box. 5. Is there anything Chihuahua handlers do you wish they would not? I am not a fan of too much hand stacking—I like to see the dog free stacked and while baiting is fine—staring at the bait to the exclusion of all else, is not a plus in my book. I like to see a Chihuahua who interacts with its environment and who is looking to see what they can get into next. 6. What are your feelings about the merle pattern? I breed and show merles and I am sad that there was so much misinformation spread about the pattern. 7. How does size affect your decisions, as long as the dog is under 6 pounds? We need to respect our 6 lb. limit. Weigh the dog if there is a question. Both judges and exhibitors need to take the responsibility for enforcing the standard. As long as a dog makes weight it deserves consideration, but often Chihuahuas right at the top can have issues with balance and coarseness. 8. Do you see differences besides coat in Long Coats vs. Smooths? Not nearly as much as in decades past. When I came along, the Smooth were generally better, but not so these days. We seem to have years when there are better examples of one coat in the ring—but overall the best Longs and the best Smooths are equal in merit. I think it’s important that we stay one breed with the freedom to use both varieties in our breeding programs. 9. Name a previously campaigned Chihuahua that illustrates your ideal type. I have two—my Smooth Coat would be the breath-taking Ch. Call’s Delightful Design. This beautifully headed fawn girl was a wonderful balance of superior breed type and soundness. She was a joy to watch with her lovely movement, great attitude and excellent showmanship. My Long Coat would be the great Ch. Bayard Wind beneath My Wings—a tri-spotted male, also a Chihuahua with that

MARGUERITE “MAGGIE” L. DANE-FISHER AthAme ChihuAhuAs 1. Please tell us about your background in Chihua- huas, including kennel name, highlights, judging experience. We’d also like to know where you live and what you do outside of dogs. In 1957 my family moved from downtown Niagara Falls, NY to the suburbs. It was my great good fortune that we landed in a neighborhood with several wonderful Chi- huahua breeders who soon became my mentors. In addi- tion, western NY state was rich in dedicated old-timers and I was lucky to have their guidance. Living right on the border I also got to show in Canada and meet some of the lovely old time Ontario breeders. There were no dog people in my family, so to support my dog activities I had my own grooming business and gave obedience classes. History and reading are my other passions as well as bargain hunting at flea markets and estate sales. My Athame Chihuahuas have been in the ring in both America and Canada for many decades and have earned BIS in both countries and are frequent group placers. I do not breed often, but each new generation gives winning show dogs and wonderfully consistent quality Chihua- huas that I enjoy sharing with my fellow breeders. Chihuahuas are the only breed I judge at present, but now that I have “new knees,” I plan on adding a few Toy breeds as I have bred Chinese Cresteds and Chins in addi- tion to Chihuahuas and over the years have shown most of the breeds in the Toy group. 2. What five traits do you look for, in order, when judging Chihuahuas? What do you consider the ultimate hallmark of the breed? Sound temperament; Great head and expression; Good movement—sound and swift; Balance; Good strong rear angulation. Of course our distinctive head and expression and our wonderful terrier-like attitude are the hallmarks of the breed for me. 3. What shortcomings are you most willing to forgive? What faults do you find hard to overlook? I am not a tooth fairy and I don’t get as bent out of shape about the amount of curl in tails or about less than per- fect feet. I can’t cope with a shy or aggressive Chihuahua. I am not tolerant of a common looking head or a dog lacking in expression. A Chihuahua lacking in balance or tending to coarseness is not something I like. Lack of proper rear angulation is a no-no. Poor or unsound

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