Standard Schnauzer Q& A
“THE STANDARD SCHNAUZER BREED IS CONSTANTLY IMPROV- ING AND IS A VERY INTELLIGENT AND STRONG BREED.”
entered in this show. I was totally shocked when Brie won Best Opposite Sex against some of the finest, more mature bitches in the country. Brie’s half brother won Best of Breed. I will always remem- ber how I felt that day! The Standard Schnauzer is a very strong-willed dog and requires an “Alpha” owner who is consistent in his/her regiment, training, and daily activities. They are a very loving, loyal, devoted and pro- tective breed of dog. Being a mid-size dog, they are easy to walk with you and travel very nicely in the car. When the Standard Schnauzer is hand stripped by a trained groomer who specializes in hand stripping, the coat or jacket is like copper wire. With this very hard, copper wire jacket, the smooth cuticle of the hair wards off water and dirt. In addition, the Standard Schnauzer is an excellent dog breed for anyone who has allergies. How I feel about the influx of new judges, specialists and all breed, to our breed? I’m new to conformation so I’m not a good judge of how it’s changed. In the current environment, I feel there are too many judges that award on handler looks and dog personali- ty rather than how the dog is built to purpose. A well-mannered but serious Schnauzer doesn’t present itself as “cute”—they’re working dogs with that mindset—and no one expects a Doberman or Rott- weiler to show-off its cute personality. And it’s tough enough to get noticed amongst the old guard of professional handlers and judges without having to also learn all the little ring tricks. I’d like to see us get back to the basics of judging the dog on its merits alone and do a lot less of the dramatic, eye-catching show-off stuff as handlers. Do I think it’s hard to get noticed in the Group ring? Yes, I do, unfortunately—but maybe every one that has a breed that didn’t win that day feels the same. It doesn’t take a lot of math skills to figure out the frequency—or lack thereof—in which the Standard Schnauzer places in the group ring. You certainly wouldn’t choose this breed if you’re hoping for a very successful Best in Show track record. As one of the smallest breeds in the working group, I think they get overlooked quite often. My favorite dog show memory? Everybody loves to win, but my favorite moments are those that are good for a laugh. I like to tell people that are new to conformation about the first time I took first place in the owner-handled working group. I was elated! I took my big, pink ribbon and ran to call my family and friends and share the news. Their excitement fed my own and by the time I hung up I was just drifting on a sea of joy. Later, when I was back at the hotel winding down, it finally hit me: I’d forgotten to go back for the Best in Show competition! That’s my rookie move that usually gets a laugh and helps ease the tension for new exhibitors. I get a lot of inquiries from would-be owners that want a Stan- dard Schnauzer because they’ve heard they don’t shed, and they want a medium sized dog. I always suggest to them that they con- sider themselves as a hiring manager bringing in a new employee. You wouldn’t hire someone just because you like people and people like you—there needs to be a job for them to do. Even if it’s just ‘guard the house’ and ‘play with the kids’ there must be defined expectations, a training plan, and enough time available for this very active and mentally engaged breed. With that working-dog mindset, I’ve been purposeful in their breeding and early develop- ment. Potential owners need to understand that their job is to estab- lish and maintain their dog’s sense of purpose.
I believe I have been successful in my breeding program by adhering to the American Kennel Club’s Mission to improve each Standard Schnauzer litter. I spend hours to carefully research a cho- sen Stud Dog’s ancestors going back eight to ten generations on the website Orthopedic Foundation for Animals . In addition, I found the test results on this website to be extremely helpful when narrowing down the best and healthiest Stud Dog for my breeding program. I also love researching the foundation dogs of a specific stud dog in my Standard Schnauzer Club of America Source books going back to the late 50s and 60s to analyze the profile pictures of these same foundation dogs for any obvious faults. Some of the obvious faults seen in a profile picture (head facing to the left in the picture) is a wrong tail set at a “12 Noon or 11 O’Clock Position” and not at the desired tail set at the “One O’Clock Position.” Another good example of a fault found in a profile picture is the front legs being structured too close to the chest which would give the dog or bitch a limited forward reach with its front legs while running. One addi- tional and very important breeding strategy is not to inbreed my bitches, but I have out-sourced to other kennels giving “new blood” to my breeding line. Out-sourcing takes a considerable amount of time to research all new dogs and bitches from another kennel. But, it is well worth doing this since many great qualities from out-sourc- ing from a new kennel can strengthen the litter of puppies. I am pleased that so many reputable Standard Schnauzer breeders are testing for Dilated Cardiomyopathy to be sure that all breeding within their dogs is safe with Negative/Normal test results. Hopefully, this disease will be eliminated within the Stan- dard Schnauzers within the next two to three years. The hips of the Standard Schnauzer is also monitored by the reputable breeders and x-raying the hips and using only “Good” or “Excellent” Hips is the best choice. The Standard Schnauzer breed is constantly improving and is a very intelligent and strong breed. I strongly believe that the Standard Schnauzer breeders need to continue to do Health Tests for Dilated Cardiomyopathy as well as heart, hips, eyes, and thyroid (for bitch), thus, giving the breeder a CHIC certification. Also, the breeders need to continue to choose sweet tempered dogs and bitches in their breeding program. How I feel about the influx of new judges, specialists and all breed, to our breed? I have little comment regarding the influx of new judges except that it is good to have new judges to add variety to our judging. There are times when I have questioned the choice of a winning dog or bitch, and recently I have seen a big increase in politics in the judging ring. Of course, politics can be found in every sport. Do I think it’s hard to get noticed in the Group ring? I have actually experienced the audience paying quite a bit of attention to the smallest breed of dog in the Working Group, the Standard Schnauzer, since the Standard Schnauzer is a marvel to watch its beautiful movement. When running, the Standard Schnauzer is like poetry in motion with powerful strength and speed. I have experienced the entire audience standing up, yelling and clapping for my bitch, Brie, while she moved fluidly around the group show ring. She then won a very good placement in group. My favorite dog show memory? In 2010, Brie was slightly over two years old when I entered her in the Long Beach, California National Eukanuba Dog Show. Her half brother, Max, was also
264 • S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , J UNE 2019
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