Showsight Presents the Standard Schnauzer

Standard Schnauzer Q& A

“STANDARD SCHNAUZERS ARE VERSATILE WORKING DOGS WITH SHARP MINDS THAT NEED TO BE PREPARED FOR A WIDE VARIETY OF HOME ENVIRONMENTS. Each pup should be purposely cultivated and socialized.”

JOYCEMULLAN

We’re in Spring, Texas—just north of Houston. I’m a full-time Project Manager for a tech company so most of my off hours involve the dogs. Nice weather finds us outside playing and training in the yard, walking, or going to the dog park. I’m an avid house and yard DIY-er, so I’ve always got some remodeling, decorating or crafting project going on. Hot weather drives us I had Mini’s before decid- ing in 2005 I was ready for the challenge of the Standard. I fell in love with the breed and have progressed from being a pet owner to showing in Conformation and breeding. We’ve also started com- peting in performance sports and are training for Agility. I’ve only been showing since 2015, so I’m still the new kid on the block com- pared to many of my dog-show friends. The secret to a successful breeding program? Start with the essentials—purposefully breed to the highest standards using only health-tested dams and sires that have the qualities you most want to preserve or strengthen. And since no dog is perfect, know their faults and select mates carefully that offset those faults. That’s the basics from which you’ll get good form and function. Next comes what I believe to be a critical differentiator—early and continuous physical and mental stimulation. I strongly believe in, and adhere to, stimulation exercises that start when the puppies are three days old and progress into enrichment activities and formal training as we share those precious first 10 or 12 weeks together. Standard Schnauzers are versatile working dogs with sharp minds that need to be prepared for a wide variety of home environments. Each pup should be purposely cultivated and socialized. The breeder has the unique opportunity to develop in them sound temperaments that will set them up to perform and thrive in their years to come. As a breed, Standards have a loyal fan base but they’re not a common breed. A lot of people seem even to be surprised to learn that there is a Schnauzer other than the Mini. When a potential new owner decides this is the breed for them, it’s hard to find a Stan- dard available. My concern is that it may not get any easier to find a Standard Schnauzer in foreseeable future. Many of the breeders are reaching an age where they’re ready to retire from the exhausting work of rearing puppies but not very many younger breeders are coming up behind them to fill in the gaps. I certainly don’t want to see the breed proliferate for the sake of popularity, but I have empa- thy for devotees of the breed that, due to very limited availability, just can’t attain one. What I feel breeders need to concentrate on to improve the qual- ity of the Standard Schnauzer? I’ve seen a lot of variation in build type and coat textures at the shows. That surprised me because their wire-coat is one of the main characteristics that make them such a great outdoorsy, go-anywhere kind of dog. We shouldn’t sacrifice that working-dog coat for one that looks more alluring in the ring. And obviously, we need to ensure we breed for structure so they’re sturdy and agile.

After 11 years of training, showing, and breeding my Standard Schnauzers, I am very pleased with the six lit- ters of 24 puppies that have been whelped in my kennel, Castlewood Standard Schnauzers. For the last 4-1/2 years, I have been showing Rosie, my first generation bitch under my kennel name, and soon will be show- ing a second generation bitch that I have bred. It is my passion to produce

the best Standard Schnauzer puppy a family or individual has ever owned. I plan to continue training, showing, and breeding my Standard Schnauzers for as long as I enjoy this huge part of my life. I am a native Californian and have lived in Northern California most of my life. I have lived in San Ramon, California for over 41 years in the same residence where I enjoy breeding, training and showing my Standard Schnauzers throughout California. I have been retired since 2010, and devote 90% of my time focusing on being the best Standard Schnauzer Breeder training my dogs and puppies for the show ring (Conformation) as well as commencing a “good behavior” pattern for puppies commencing at two weeks of age. My puppy training includes: potty training start- ing in the JonArt Whelping and Weaning Box, no bite training, no bark training, leash training, crate training, car riding training and socialization. I frankly do not “do outside of dogs.” I purchased my first show-quality Standard Schnauzer in August 2008 and brought home Brie (GCHB Blackhawk Brie de Provence) at nine weeks of age. I started training Brie for Conformation Show at four months old, and at 11 months old, Brie became a Champion. Shortly after the American Kennel Club announced a new title of Grand Champion, Brie became the 14th Grand Champion in the Breed 2-1/2 months after the new title was started in the United States. I have personally shown Brie as well as had many of the top Standard Schnauzer Handlers show her throughout her show years. Brie was shown almost exclusively in California except for one dog show attended in Klamath Falls, Oregon. I started breeding Brie when she was 3-1/2 years old; therefore, I have been breeding Stan- dard Schnauzers for 8-1/2 years, and showing my bitches for 11 years. I have never judged a dog show.

262 • S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , J UNE 2019

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