4. Name a dog not currently being shown that exempli- fies your ideal type. One of the first Best of Breed placements that I awarded was to a dog; I consider one of the best examples of breed type—BISS Select Ch. Highlanders Khan-Frontation. SUSAN GUYNN I have owned Rottweilers for almost 30 years and have operated under the registered kennel name Cammcastle. I have grown up in Virginia and outside of dogs, I dedi- cate the majority of my time to my family and to my work in Human Resources with a large employer in our region. 1. What five traits do you look for, in order, when judging Rottweilers? What do you consider the ulti- mate hallmark of the breed? Balance, efficiency of movement, breed type, presence and no disqualifying faults. The ultimate hallmark of the Rottweiler should be a combined delivery of pronounced breed type and harmonious motion. 2. What shortcomings are you most willing to forgive? What faults do you find hard to overlook? I am more willing to forgive a serious fault such as sooty markings, a pink mouth or a missing tooth—than to for- give poor conformation and hampered movement. 3. How has the breed changed since you became involved with it? Do you see any trends you think are moving the breed in the wrong direction? Any traits becoming exaggerated? As both a breeder and a judge, I see far fewer breeders and exhibitors and far fewer Rottweilers now than 20 years ago; yet in contradiction, there is increasing pres- sure on breeders to conform and by clubs to police what breeders do. The effort to mandate breeding “ethics” is a futile proposition—and is unlikely to result in a better Rottweiler; in fact, it may compromise the future of the breed. Breeders’ ethics can not prescribed by commit- tees, but they do transcend their breeding practices and emerge most discernibly in how breeders treat other people and how they treat the animals to which they purport their allegiance. My proposal is to eradicate all mandatory practices and codes of ethics—and instead implement a data base for all breeders to reference in order to make good, educated (even sometimes risky) decisions intended to improve their pedigrees. (Case in point… a dog—that even perhaps may descend from lines with great longevity—is thrown away from some- one’s breeding program because of a cataract, while a dog with good “cleared” eyes is proudly bred from a pedigree notoriously rampant with cancer by five years of age. There may be a case for both dogs to be used—or a case for neither, depending on the breeder’s perspective.) Breeders should be thinkers—and not have all of that thinking done for them or foisted upon them in the form of a prepackaged notion of right and wrong—and the
righteous finger pointing and “punishments” that follow if directives are not met with compliance. Many of the greatest Rottweilers we have seen in our country would not have existed had their breeders followed today’s mandatory practices and/or stringent “code of ethics” recommendations. They would not have been bred either and their profound and positive impact on the breed would not have been realized. In fact, two of my nation- ally ranked number one bitches depicted in past ARC publications as “ideal” Rottweiler bitches would not have existed either. The trend toward mandating increasing health clearances and gene tests and dental profiles (and increasingly longer lists of such) may eventually compro- mise the opportunity to produce better dogs in exchange for reducing chances that particular undesirable traits might occur. 4. How do you feel about undocked tails? While undocked tails certainly don’t negate what a dog has to offer genetically, they do not belong in the AKC ring. There they detract and distract from the ideal image of the Rottweiler as contemplated by the AKC Standard (which indisputably cites that the tail is docked short and close to the body); in fact, undocked tails radically alter that image. 5. Why do we mostly see dogs (as opposed to bitches) in the top ranked Rottweilers? This is probably due to the fact that masculinity typically compliments Rottweiler type. Males are praised for it and bitches may be faulted for it. Additionally and from a practical perspective, time on the road can enhance a male’s accessibility to breeders and perhaps broaden his opportunities for mates by virtue of his visibility; this is not so much the case for bitches. (One billion sperm vs. a dozen eggs! And so it goes.) 6. Is there anything Rottweiler handlers do you wish they would not? No… most of them work very hard to present their dogs and do it well. I do sometimes see novice handlers impa- tient with dogs that are obviously confused but want to please. My advice to novice handlers would be to encour- age their dogs and be patient with them. I would rather see an enthusiastic, happy untrained (but under control) dog in the ring than one whose expression is downcast and whose body language suggests fear of scolding. 7. Name a dog not currently being shown that exempli- fies your ideal type. If possible, please include a photo and/or explanation. Two dogs that have had a profound impact on the Rott- weiler breed are “Taz” Ch. Crystal’s Topaz v Ponca bred by Mike and Sandy Partlow and owned by Jim and Julie Miller and “Cahill” Multi BIS/Multi BISS Ch. Gamegards US Marshall RN bred and owned by owned by Victo- ria Weaver and Pam Marsh (and co-owned by JoAnne Cochran). Taz threw beautiful type, especially in the bitches he produced—and Cahill produced toplines and rears that continue to transcend subsequent generations. 8. Anything else you’d like to add?
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