DR. MICHELLEWIBERG THE BREEDER/OWNER HANDLER
“I FIND IT AN HONOR TO BE BOTH A BREEDER AND AN OWNER HANDLER OF MY DOGS.”
4. Have you found virtual learning tools to be helpful? Classes? Videos? Websites? Social Media? I found a lot of good training tips on the Puppy Cul- ture videos, “Killer Free Stacks” and “Winning in Motion.” I am part of several conformation critique groups on Facebook, both for GSPs and all-breeds. 5. Do you compete in the National Owner-Handled Series? Are rankings important to you? I have competed in the National Owner-Handled Series since I had my first bred-by puppy in 2016. B]My first bred-by puppy has been ranked in the top 10 for four of the last five years, as have several of the dogs I have bred! I do think the rankings are important and I follow them. I find it interesting how many owner handlers are also ranked in the breed or move on to become top-ranking dogs with handlers in the years to come. 6. How important is the Bred-By Class to you? How important are Specialties? Both Bred-By Classes and Specialties are important to me. I love seeing breeders show their own dogs in the Bred-By Class and I respect the breeder-judges’ selections at Specialties, oftentimes moreso than the all-breed judges as breeder-judges have more experi- ence and expertise within the breed. 7. Is it a challenge to compete with your breed(s) as a Breeder/Owner-Handler? Generally, in my area (midwest) the majority of GSP handlers are also owners. I find it an honor to be both a breeder and an owner handler of my dogs. Generally, I do not find it too challenging to com- pete with my dogs as a breeder/owner handler.
1. When were you first introduced to the sport of purebred dogs? To your breed? I was first introduced to purebred dogs as a very young child by my mother who bred and showed Lhasa Apsos. As my brother and I got older and started getting involved in our own activities, she put her hobby on hold until she was an empty nester and acquired another Lhasa that she campaigned both as an owner handler and with a professional handler. When my husband acquired a well-bred German Shorthaired Pointer, my mother encouraged me to start showing her. She did remarkably well, especially with a novice dog handler, and she became the foundation of our GSP breeding program. 2. How many years in dogs? How many as an Owner Handler? As a breeder? My family has always owned purebred dogs. We acquired our first pure- bred German Shorthair in 2012, and I began showing her in 2013 with the encouragement of my mother. After she finished her championship, grand championship, junior hunter, and multiple obedience and rally titles, we decided to breed her. I began showing my first bred-by puppies in 2016, and have been ever since! 3. Do you attend show handling classes? Have you attended any handling seminars? I have attended conformation practice sessions at Total Recall in Hugo, Minnesota, intermittently to give my dogs or puppies practice in the ring. I haven’t attended any handling sessions, but I do sit ringside often and study handlers’ techniques.
150 | SHOWSIGHT MAGAZINE, MARCH 2022
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