Showsight Presents The Chihuahua

CHIHUAHUA Q&A

STEVE HAYDEN

breeding the Chihuahua is the litter size, c-section or natural birth, and survival rate. For the joys, when all come out alive, suckle, and the dam loves all of them. The most comical thing I’ve ever witnessed at a dog show? I think the best response to this is I have fun when I judge and every show is different. There is always something that makes me laugh at every show. Exhibitors just need to loosen up a little and have fun with their dogs at the shows. LORI KRUGER I live in Thunder Bay,

I have been in dogs since 1978. Kennel name is HAY- BROOK. I started in Min- iature Schnauzers, and then picked up Chihuahuas and Japanese Chin as a second and third breed. I have bred, exhibited, and finished all three colors of Miniature Schnauzers, Smooth Coat Chihuahuas, and Japanese Chin in all colors. Our dogs have won many Regional and National Specialties over the years as well as being nationally-ranked. Since 1995, I have concentrated on judging. I am currently approved to judge the Toy Group, Non-Sporting Group, Ter- rier Group, Miscellaneous Group, Junior Showmanship, and Best in Show. Over the years, I have judged the National Specialties for all of the breeds in which I am considered a breeder judge. I greatly appre- ciate the honor my fellow breeders have bestowed on me. I have never been afraid to step up to the plate to work for canine organizations. Here is a list of just some of them: Illinois Federation of Dog Clubs, President; Illinois Capitol Kennel Club, Treasur- er–past President, Vice-President, Secretary, and Board Member; Land of Lincoln Chihuahua Club, President, past Vice-President and Board Member; Japanese Chin Club of America – past Presi- dent, Treasurer, Vice-President, Board Member, JEC Chairperson; American Miniature Schnauzer Club (AMSC) member since 1983; and Breed Mentor for Miniature Schnauzers, Chihuahuas, and Japanese Chin. I live in Springfield, Illinois. I’m now retired. I was a Real Estate Broker and Pre-License Instructor for 14 years after retiring from 29 years in State Government as the State of Illinois Data Provisioning Manager. Do I have any hobbies or interests apart from breeding and showing dogs? Food; I love to cook comfort food and bake bread. What don’t most people know about the breed? People think they are ankle biters—and they can be. They are extremely smart, and have their people favorites. They are sturdier than most give them credit and are good watchdogs. Can I talk about the Chihuahua’s “saucy” expression, “apple dome” head and “sickle” tail? Well, let’s see. Saucy expression: There is a twinkle in the eye when they look at you with a hint of mischievousness. Apple dome: The best way to see this is in side profile. Picture a side profile of a red delicious apple; high forehead, definite stop. Sickle tail: The tail had a curve like a sickle and is usually carried up over the back or out to the rear as an extension of the level back. What about correct proportion for the breed? Slightly out of square. If you start thinking the height is too short for the length of body or the length is too long or short for the height, then the dog is not “slightly out of square.” Are there key differences between Smooth Coats and Long Coats? The only difference should be the length of coat. Can I speak to any preferences for solid, marked or splashed coats? All colors or patterns are equal when evaluating the Chihua- hua. No preference should be given or favored during evaluation. I like all. Is the typical Chihuahua a dependable show dog and affection- ate companion? Yes to both. What are the challenges and joys of breeding and keeping the world’s smallest purebred dog? Probably the most challenging of

Ontario, and have worked for the Ontario Government (Cor- rections) for 35 years. I am cur- rently a Program Analyst and develop rehabilitation programs for offenders. I began showing dogs

(Smooth Fox Terriers) in the late 80s and acquired my first Chi- huahua in 2011. Outside of dogs, I have owned and shown horses (Morgans, Half-Arabians and Arabians) for the past 45 years. What don’t most people know about the breed? Chihuahuas are very trainable for events like agility as they can be very brave, eager to please and just love the game. Can I talk about the Chihuahua’s “saucy” expression, “apple dome” head and “sickle” tail? These are key elements to the “essence” of the breed. What about correct proportion for the breed? Chihuahuas are to be well-balanced, “slightly” longer than tall, with a somewhat shorter body preferred in males. Are there key differences between Smooth Coats and Long Coats? Just the coat! Can I speak to any preferences for solid, marked or splashed coats? A Chihuahua is allowed to be any color and even though some people have color preferences, a beautiful Chi is a beautiful Chi—regardless of color. Is the typical Chihuahua a dependable show dog and affection- ate companion? It seems that many Chis are dependable show dogs while others need consistent training and safe exposure to be suc- cessful—just like many other breeds. Chihuahuas are absolutely wonderful, affectionate companions! What are the challenges of breeding and keeping the world’s smallest purebred dog? Breeding Chis can be very challenging and I admire all of those resilient breeders who continue to persevere in producing these wonderful little dogs. Small litters, small new- borns, sections, tube feeding, etc. etc. are all things to be prepared for. As a relative “newbie” Chi breeder, I’m happy to say that other Chi breeders are available, helpful and supportive whenever a ques- tion is asked. I’m also very lucky to have a wonderful mentor who has endlessly supported me (I acquired my first show Chi from her). My mentor and I co-bred the current Chihuahua Club of America BISS winner. The most comical thing I’ve ever witnessed at a dog show? Chis can be challenging to hand-off to someone whom they are not familiar with. Many prefer to have a “personal relationship” with their handler. Sometimes a “hand-off ” in the Chi ring results in a less than stellar performance. I’d also like to share this about the breed: Beware! You can’t have just one! They are like potato chips!

180 | SHOWSIGHT MAGAZINE, JUNE 2020

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