Showsight Presents The Rottweiler

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

“WE ALL STRIVE TO BREED A DOG AS BEST WE CAN TO THE STANDARD AND IMPROVE WHAT WE HAVE HAD.”

LO: I would ask that anyone in the breed, just starting out or that they have been involved for many years, please continue to learn. Ask questions, talk to other breeders, and always have a mentor. Questions always come up and we all need somewhere we can go to get answers and/ or discuss these concerns. If you are truly a Rottweiler fancier, breeder and exhibitor, understand you can never quit learning, it is something you pursue all your life. And remember, learn about other breeds too, it only helps you learn more about your own. As for judges, and being a judge, I ask judges to be forgiv- ing. There is no perfect dog. We all strive to breed a dog as best we can to the standard and improve what we have had. Find the dog that has the most attributes, to help carry on and continue these strengths. All will have faults, but some will have wonderful things to help make our breed better. TW: The standard says, “The Rottweiler is to be exhibited in the natural condition with no trimming”. This means as an all breed handler, you do not need to take off whiskers or shave the back end. It means as a judge, if this is the dog you like you should tell the handler or owner that you can’t use it but to bring it back to you when the hair has grown in. DV: Another concern with the breed is the general public perception at this time regarding rescue vs. purebred dogs. This issue transcends the Rottweiler, but it affects us as there are many Rottweilers in rescue. I’ve tried to be helpful in my practice to encourage people to see the benefits of specific breeds and purebred dogs generally. I find it disturbing that many rescues are shipped from one area of the country to another without proper health checks, clearances or quarantines to protect the safety and welfare of animals. 7. And for a bit of humor, what’s the funniest thing that you ever experienced at a dog show? KB: A few years ago my husband was holding a dog ringside for a friend. The bitch slipped her collar and went run- ning to join her “mom” in the ring...however my husband ran after her and dove through the air like a baseball player running to home plate, missing her of course, before she got in the ring. DM: Well, while not at a show, I might have as well been at one. When I was campaigning my Rottweiler bitch GG

to #1 bitch, GG and her handler and one of my closest friends, Sarah Janner were down in Florida showing at the Ocala circuit in November 2017. I was in the middle of trying a jury trial case in my courtroom in Los Angeles and during my lunch break , my handler texted me a photo of a Group 1 blue ribbon. I was excited as this was on the heels of a Best in Specialty Show win. Keep in mind the three-hour time difference. After lunch, I was back in trial and not able to receive any message until our next break. At that break, I received the cutest photo ever and no text. To say I was over the moon is to put it mildly! I couldn’t contain myself, but I had to go back right away into trial. I did not have time to call Sarah, and I could not appropriately walk in court and announce my excitement that my bitch just took an All-Breed Best in Show and only a handful of Rottweiler bitches have ever done this in the history of our breed… I had to keep this all to myself until the end of the day when I all I could think about was wanting to jump up and down and shout it out to the world! This day, this bitch, and this team was every breeder’s dream—to have a bitch several generations of your breed- ing program out of your own personal top stud dog (who notably had been gone for many years and we did frozen semen breeding) win an All-Breed Best in Show, win numerous Best in Specialty Show wins and have multiple Group 1’s and be the #1 bitch all systems and OFA Excel- lent and all clear health clearances. Doesn’t get better than that! Well maybe, to be blessed to have one of your best friends on the end of the lead, well that is surely the icing on the cake! LO: Years ago, after judging an outdoor specialty, I had a long line of handlers waiting to shake my hand. I was baffled. They all laughed and thanked me for getting done before it was dark, they said I was the first judge to do that in many years! TW: One time I took a bet and I walked in the ring showing one of my own Rottweilers with a big pink boa around my neck. The funny part was when the late Ron Buxton claimed from the other side of the ring that he could pull off that look while wearing five inch heels. He had everyone in the ring including the judge and most of the spectators in stitches that day.

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

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