Showsight Presents the Standard Schnauzer

STANDARD SCHNAUZER QUESTIONS & ANSWERS

ARDEN HOLST

1. Where do you live? What do you do outside of dogs? I live in Southern California. I am a retired teacher and on the Board of Trustees at a local museum. I also study oil painting and history. 2. Number of years owning, showing and/or judging dogs? I’ve been in Standard Schnauzers for 40 plus years. 3. Describe your breed in three words: Wire-coated, square-built and medium sized. 4. What traits, if any, are becoming exaggerated? The glamour factor: exaggerated overly long leg furnishings, powdered and fluffed furnishings, long brows, etc. This should be a solid working dog and over-grooming detracts from that. They should not appear as prancing parlor pups but rather neat, trim and working dogs. 5. What are your “must have” traits in this breed? Sound temperament comes first, then wiry coat and good movement. 6. While judging, do you see any trends you’d like to see continued or stopped? Movement has improved in some lines with the dogs showing good reach and drive and a smooth, ground-covering gait. In some areas, dogs have become more refined and as a result, lack substance and bone. Also, coat varies widely in texture. 7. What, if any, are the traits breeders should focus on preserving? Preserving soundness of temperament and structure is the challenge for a breeder; finding it in the ring is a primary task for a judge. The Standard Schnauzer coat is another very important consideration as our wire coat is unique among the working breeds. The pepper and salt coat is especially misunderstood. The fact that the guard hairs are individually banded black and white, hence pepper and salt, is a unique feature sometimes overlooked. 8. Has the breed improved from when you started judging? Yes and no. The really good dogs are quite excellent and there are more of them. However there are also more dogs being shown that are not really sound, but with skillful, professional grooming and handling. They do finish championships and are bred, thus passing these traits along. 9. Are there aspects of the breed not in the standard that you nonetheless take into consideration because breeders consider them important? Movement is not stated as a top priority in the written standard. However, since it is the expression of sound structure, it is a high priority asset. 10. Can Judges Education on this breed be improved? Time spent with good quality dogs is probably the best way to understand a breed, that and dialogue with a variety of capable breeders/exhibitors. “THIS SHOULD BE A SOLID WORKING DOG...”

312 • S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , A UGUST 2015

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