HERDING GROUP BREEDERS Q&A
Socialization is the key for my breed, without pushing them too hard. Confident, consistent owners are the key, and if it’s a puppy that I keep, I will generally get them to a puppy class once they’ve had at least two sets of vaccinations. And while I am careful where I take them at that age, it’s a good start and I encourage all my owners to do the same. Is my breed hand-stacked or free-stacked in the show ring? Why is it presented in this manner? In the show ring, Picards can be hand- stacked and, with practice, they will free-stack well. Either way is correct. This is a rustic breed that should be shown as it is. Pretty much, the only grooming is with the ears, which are hand-stripped to show the outline. The occasional bath and a quick brushing prior to going in the ring is all that should be done—and all I have ever done with mine. Unfortunately, while I am a purist and want to protect the breed, some others have over-groomed their dogs, scis- sored, blow-dried, and put product in the coats, etc., which is not correct per our breed standard and should not be rewarded (ever). Are Performance and Companion titles important to me as a breeder? Are parent club titles? I do, of course, enjoy when my puppy people have performance and companion titles on their dogs as well. For me, with a full-time hospital job, dogs at home, and a family that takes up time, I just don’t have the time. I am also on the board of my local kennel club (current Secretary) as well as with my parent club, so fitting more into my day just isn’t feasible. In my opinion, is my breed in good condition overall? Any trends that warrant concern? The Picard is still new to this country. It is still fairly true to the French standard, and we hope to keep it that way. The BPCA brings over a European judge every four years to evaluate our dogs according to the French Élevage, which is how their breeding stock is chosen. We do our best to replicate those activities, including evaluating all the dogs entered, measur- ing them, photos and written evaluations, which are all put into a book that becomes the history of our breed in the US. I am hoping this will keep the breed true as best we can. Is my breed well-suited to be a family dog? Who are the best candidates to own my breed? Yes, Picards are family dogs and are very bonded to their families. As with many breeds, there is fre- quently one special person; but they adore all of their family mem- bers. They are Herding Dogs, bred to herd independently of the shepherd and become a “living fence” around their herd, so this can make them protective. With proper and constant socialization dur- ing the first couple of years of life, they will acclimate to all sorts of situations. But they must have the work put in, which is stressed to owners as they mature. Do I feel that my breed is supported by a sufficient number of preservation breeders? I do believe there are breeders who truly are preservation breeders. Initially, we did have a few that I would call puppy mills, but those have died out, and most breeders in the US (and there are still not many at all) are careful, comply with health testing, and do their best to make good decisions. For a bit of fun, what’s the most amusing thing I’ve ever experi- enced with a Herding Dog? Picards are incredibly smart and fun- ny—they think for themselves. They get bored easily, so repetitive sports may not always be the best thing to do unless you can make it fun for them and a challenge. I personally tried agility with a few of mine. My Genevieve, in particular, would do the whole course perfectly—once; the second time (in practice) she would go, maybe, halfway through, then she would just stop and look at me. I knew she was thinking, “What the heck? I already DID this!” We tried all sorts of things (running the course backwards, etc.), but nothing fooled her. It just wasn’t interesting enough! I have always said Picards are really funny. You can just watch them thinking things through. They may want to please you, but just not in the way you meant for them to do it. So, YOU need a sense of humor too!
Where do I live? How many years in dogs? How many years as a breed- er? I live in Duxbury, Massachusetts. I have owned and exhibited Pembroke Welsh Corgis since 1968 and I’ve bred Pembroke Welsh Corgis for 50 years, from 1970-2020. What is my kennel name? How many dogs do I currently keep? My kennel name is Heronsway. I cur- rently have five adult dogs that I am showing. When I was breeding, I had 5-10 dogs.
Which show dogs from the past have been my noteworthy win- ners? BISS CH Heronsway Free Style UDT ROMX PT, BIS & MBISS CH Heronsway Free At Last, MBIS & BISS CH Valhalla Heronsway Crystal (National Specialty BOB), MBISS CH Heron- sway Heartbeat, BIS & BISS CH Heronsway Front Runner, BISS CH Heronsway Two For The Show (National Specialty BOB), MBISS GCH Heronsway Send In The Clowns, and MBIS GCHB Heronsway Comedy Central. Which have been your most influential sires and dams? SIRES: CH Heronsway Free Style UDT ROMX PT, CH Irisan Benjimum Boy Of Rivona ROMX, CH Nebriowa Jovan ROMX, and CH Heronsway How Sweet It Is POMX. DAMS: CH Heronsway Peggy Sue, CH Heronsway Island Girl ROM, Heronsway Affair To Remember ROM, CH Heronsway Cockatoo Ridge ROM, and CH Heronsway Aria ROM. Can I talk a bit about my facilities? Where are my puppies whelped? How are they raised? My kennel is a five-room wing attached to my house, consisting of a dog kitchen, office, groom- ing room, kennel room, and puppy room. Puppies are whelped in my bedroom’s private bathroom which is on the opposite side of my house from the kennel wing. The puppies stay in my bedroom until they are four weeks old and then they are moved to my puppy room. No visitors are allowed to see them until they are 5-6 weeks old. Crate training and obedience training start at eight weeks old. They go into their new homes at 10 weeks old. What is my “process” for selecting show puppies? At what age do I make my decisions? I temperament test all of my litters at 8 weeks of age. This process really helps me to sort out the puppies that would love life as a show dog and those puppies that would like to spend their life on a couch! I start making assessments at birth and then keep sorting until they are old enough to go to handling class and then to a dog show. When they win their first major, I know I have a “keeper!” How do I prepare my pups for the show ring? Does my breed require any special preparation? I comb my dogs every day, and fully groom them every week (including nails and teeth) from birth to death! Therefore, they are already in good condition when it comes to show time. Before every show they are bathed and blown dry. Is my breed hand-stacked or free-stacked in the show ring? Why is it presented in this manner? Pembroke Welsh Corgis are free- stacked in the show ring. The only time I hand-stack them is when they are on the table. Many Herding Dogs are shown “hands off ” in the ring. I think it just accentuates their natural beauty and high- lights their intelligence and their desire to please their owners. And it is what attracted me to the Pembroke over 50 years ago! Are Performance and Companion titles important to me as a breeder? Are parent club titles? Yes and Yes! While I do not compete in Performance events myself, I am proud that many of my puppies have gone into Performance homes and have done very well. I am very proud of my Parent Club titles, especially ROM and ROMX.
192 | SHOWSIGHT MAGAZINE, MARCH 2022
Powered by FlippingBook