10. Anything else you’d like to add? At present our breed is having great success in the show ring. At the start of October, the #2 All-Breed was a Long Coat Chihuahua and the Smooth Coat Chihuahua was in the top 15 All-Breeds—so the breed is doing extremely well. An update on the SM problem in the UK—in total 39 dogs have been scanned under the KC/BVA scheme. Only one was clear of CM and 15 clear of SM. In total I have had 28 of my dogs scanned, some before the KC/BVA scheme started. I have had 12 SC and 16 LC scanned, only two were clear of CM . In SCs, three were clear of SM, four were graded level 1 and five level 2. In LCs, we had seven clear, four at level 1 and seven at level 2. The main thing to take into consideration with these, is that out of the total of the twenty that were graded to have SM, only one, Flash who was diagnosed when he was in The States in 2006 had any symptoms, all of the other 19 are still Asymptomatic. It is only because I had them scanned that I know about the problem and none have been bred from, but until a DNA marker is identified, I will not really know the way ahead. The KC has now put forward proposals for mating dogs with level one to dogs that have been scanned clear, but as far as CM is concerned I have a few clear animals in both coats and what little breeding I do will come from them.
I see many more exaggerated heads in Europe and the UK than in the States, I have always admired the more consistency of the head types in the States. Recently many more Chihuahuas have been imported in to the UK from the Eastern Block countries where the breed has suddenly become very popular. Although there are some nice puppies being bred there, some of the very exagger- ated heads that I have seen in advertisements and on the internet, worry me. 5. Is there anything Chihuahua handlers do you wish they would not? Yes, I do wish that they would train their dogs to self- stand and that they would not stack the dogs. Chihua- huas are active little dogs and I hate to see them being forced to stand still when they want to move and show themselves. 6. What are your feelings about the merle pattern? I do know that there has been a lot of controversy in your country over merles, I have judged and seen some nice specimens, but my view is that we have enough improvements to make in the breed, without bringing in additional eye and health problems. Far too many of our females have to go through caesareans, in the UK, the KC rules now limit us to no more than two C-sections in the dog’s lifetime, and I must say most breeders now agree with this. Molera problems, Syringomyelia problems, Patellar Luxa- tion and Legg-Calve Perthes Disease are all problems that I have been hearing about for years but every time I ask questions about them I keep being told breeders have nev- er had such problems. Well I have had all of these at one time or another and often from dogs that I have imported. Certainly in the UK we will not be breeding in additional eye and health problems, as the merle pattern is no longer accepted by the KC for registering Chihuahuas. 7. How does size affect your decisions, as long as the dog is under 6 pounds? The UK Kennel Club standard reads, from 2 lbs. to 6 lbs., but has in recent years changed in that the preferred size has changed from 2 to 4 lbs., to 4 to 6 lbs. As far as I can see, judges have ignored the change and still put up their own preferred size. I know that the judge can call for scales in the States, but we are not permitted to weigh this breed in the UK. 8. Do you see differences besides coat in Long Coats vs. Smooths? Yes, Long Coats in the UK are generally longer in back than Smooth Coats, and this has been the case since the separation of the coats. We see too many Long Coats that are rather short in leg, but both of the points are, in my opinion, gradually improving. 9. Name a previously campaigned Chihuahua that illustrates your ideal type. Please include a photo and/or explanation. My all-time favorite Chihuahua is the Smooth Coat dog CH BELMURIZ BREVIER. He was Reserve Best in Show at Crufts in 1979 and three other All-Breed BIS, with a total of 33 CCs.
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. I am Bradley Jenkins, I have had Chihuahuas since 1985. I have judged them since 1998. I live in northeast Arkan- sas, I am a nurse by profession for the past 33 years. 2. What five traits do you look for, in order, when judging Chihuahuas? What do you consider the ultimate hallmark of the breed? Characteristics I look for are temperament, balance of the dog, head, correct body proportions and large ears. The hallmark of the breed to me is temperament. They don’t know they are small dogs! 3. What shortcomings are you most willing to forgive? What faults do you find hard to overlook? Small ears I will forgive, but the breed is losing that spe- cial feature that helps make it unique. The fault I have a very hard time getting past is incorrect bites. I think it is the hardest fault to get rid of, as it has been a problem as long as I have been in the breed. 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?
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