Showsight Presents the Standard Schnauzer

ERIC LIEBES BIO

I got my first two dogs in 1980 and 1981: a Komondor and an Ibizan Hound. The Komondor still holds the breed’s AKC All-Breed Best in Show record. The Ibizan Hound finished his championship and was one of the first CDX titled Ibizans. In the 80s I branched out to many Sighthound breeds and also tried his hand at obedience and perfor- mance competition. During the 1980s, based out of Denver, I finished championships on dogs of numerous breeds in the family and for others, and placed regularly in the Hound, Working and Herding groups throughout the Midwest. Over the years my dogs have achieved 7 Komondor National Specialty wins, 10 all-breed Bests in Show and I’ve gotten CDs on several Komondors and Ibizan Hounds. I still show and breed dogs. Joan and I finished 3 very

promising Samoyeds of our breeding in the past year and we have a young Komondor who recently earned a Major. I also have an Ibizan special who sees the ring now and then. I was first approved to judge in 1992. My first approved breeds were Ibizans, Greyhounds and Komondors. I am now is approved to judge all Hound, Working and Herding breeds, Brittanys, Misc., Junior Showmanship and BIS. I was first approved to judge Standard Schnauzers in 2004. I have judged in China, Sweden, Ireland, Australia and Mexico as well as for AKC. In Sweden, where the pepper & salts are shown in a different variety from the blacks I was pleased to have great quality in both varieties. 1. Where do you live? What do you do outside of dogs? My wife Joan and I just moved from Texas to Colorado, outside of Colorado Springs. I am recently retired from being a research geophysicist at Chevron, where I worked for 30 years! 2. Number of years owning, showing and/or judging dogs? I got my first dogs in the early 80s. I was first approved to judge in 1992 and approved to judge Standard Schnauzers in 2004. I still show and breed dogs today. 3. Describe your breed in three words: For Ibizans: sweet, strong athletes. For Komondors: beautiful, faithful guardians. 4. What traits, if any, are becoming exaggerated? I like to see a tight, hard, wiry jacket in my Standard Schnauzers. I have recently seen topiary examples where the heavy hand of a groomer who wants a look that does not reflect the coat of a working dog is too evident. 5. What are your “must have” traits in this breed? What shortcomings are you willing to forgive? A robust, sturdy, square built with a properly proportioned head. These and the coat define the breed. I’ll forgive short coat as long as good texture is in evidence. 6. While judging, do you see any trends you’d like to see continued or stopped? Again, the grooming should reflect a working dog and evidence the desired fea- tures of the jacket and the furnishings. 7. What, if any, are the traits breeders should focus on preserving? Robust, strong movers with a square outline. In all breeds I’m kind of an “outline” guy, standing and moving. 8. Has the breed improved from when you started judging? Overall, yes. A great dog was out when I started to judge the breed and I have not seen his equal, but I’ve seen many I thought worthy of group wins. 9. Are there aspects of the breed not in the standard that you nonetheless take into consideration because breeders consider them important? No, a judge’s job is to judge from the standard. 10. Can Judges Education on this breed be improved? I’m the JEC for Ibizans and a mentor for several other breeds. Educators need to use “the judge’s language” and point out what is special about each breed. We all understand how a sound dog goes down and back.

Q&A

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

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