Showsight Presents The Rottweiler

rottweiler Q&A WITH KAREN BANG, DAVIANN MITCHELL, LEW OLSON, TOM WOODWARD PHA, & DIANE VOSS

“I WOULD ASK THAT ANYONE IN THE BREED, JUST STARTING OUT OR THAT THEY HAVE BEEN INVOLVED FOR MANY YEARS, PLEASE CONTINUE TO LEARN.”

To a new judge: pay attention to the standard and the key words. Remember what the Rottweiler was bred to do but don’t lose sight of type: compact, robust and power- ful. Rottweilers should not be weedy or long. A correctly proportioned dog (9:10) will appear square; they should be equal in distance from withers to elbow and elbow to ground. Don’t be afraid to use the dog that looks differ- ent if you feel that matches the description the best. And please remember that reversal of sex characteristics is a serious fault. You should be able to tell what sex a dog is by looking in its face. DV: My advice to new judges would certainly include mak- ing sure you count teeth! Missing pre-molars and molars are common in some exhibits. More than one missing tooth is a disqualification. The other most common “fault” I see is a lack of overall balance. The primary problem is a short upper arm that does not match overly angled rears resulting in very few dogs that actually use the rear to drive. Additionally, I would ask that judges not reward “overdone” wet, wrinkly heads that resemble a Bullmastiff more than a Rottweiler. 5. What’s the most common fault you see when travel- ing around the country? KB: Some of the more common faults I see in rings around the country for Rottweilers include; Pink mouths, flat feet and overdone “wet” heads. DM: The most common fault I see around the Country is extreme heads or incorrect gait. With the use of a very small gene pool in conformation and particular stud dogs being used excessively, we have seen our breed change quite a bit over the last 20+ years. It seems to be moving back now, but I would caution people to not breed to the “fad” dog. I have had breeders say that they breed to the “fad” dog because he is a top show dog or he is a top sporting dog or a top whatever because they “need to sell puppies.” Frankly, if you do not have potential homes for your puppies, then you should not be breeding at that time. You should not have to rely on marketing to sell puppies. The dogs are not a com- modity to produce income to support your hobby, they

are living, breathing animals who require a responsible pet owners who is in the position to care for the dog emotionally, physically, and financially. Bottom line, if that “fad” dog is not producing healthy sound dogs, or his pedigree is not complimentary to yours, do not breed to him, even if that restraint makes selling puppies more difficult. Keep the breed in mind, not your pocket book. LO: Right now, it is over angulation in the rear, with being too straight in the front. It seems all breeds move to this at some point. While it can look flashy in the ring, or while stacked, this is not a dog who would have endur- ance. Our breed is not meant to over angulated in any fashion. Mostly, they need to be balanced in angulation, front to rear, with a level, strong top line. TW: Different areas have different prevalent faults. In general, the Rottweiler seems to be losing correct front assemblies. Many have too steep of shoulders, are lacking upper arm, or are simply easty-westy at the pasterns. It also seems like they tend to be longer in back. There is an area influenced with very Mastiff-like head styles, with big lips, short muzzles and round eyes. This is not correct Rottweiler type. 6. Anything else you’d like to share—something you’ve learned as a breeder, exhibitor or judge or a par- ticular point you’d like to make. KB: As I mentioned before never assume you know every- thing, never stop learning or studying your breed. Con- nect with others in your breed who are knowledgeable and passionate about maintaining health, structure and temperaments. As a breeder, breed with your head and not your heart. As an exhibitor always remember to have fun with your dog. DM: Be true to yourself. Always try to be kind. Always always be honest with yourself and with others. Be ethi- cal in all you do. Treasure and protect our breed. Love our breed and recognize they are not for everyone. Be thankful for your blessings always and honor those who helped get you there. Don’t forget your beginning in the breed . I always say, “Pay it forward!”

332 • S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , D ECEMBER 2018

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