TOY GROUP Q&A
No matter what the breed, they command the ring—often demanding their recognition.
Hounds with good conformation, and how this contributed to bet- ter hunts. I’ve been approved to judge Beagles in AKC conformation since 2013. Do I have any hobbies or interests apart from purebred dogs? When my friend, Marilyn Penley, was alive, we did a lot of fish- ing. We both served as ring stewards at shows for many years and I still enjoy that. (I have learned many things sitting in the Ring Steward’s chair.) Can I talk about my introduction to the Toy breeds? Yes. In early 2000, I “found” a beautiful Chihuahua named CH Bayou’s Keeper Of The Flame. “Spencer” was a very special, correct, showy, and popular boy that I owned and showed. He won three all-breed Bests in Show, Specialty Bests, and AKC National Bests of Breed. He did not need me; he showed himself and introduced me to the world of Toy breeds. If there was a Heart Dog, he was mine. Profes- sionally, I handled Papillons, Chihuahuas, Pugs, Brussels Griffons, Toy Fox Terriers and, currently, I own Toy Manchester Terriers. Have I bred or shown any influential Toys or any other breeds? When my husband, “Perky,” and I had a farm in Alabama, we imported several nice Beagles from Australia, and included them in a breeding program that produced many champions. We strove to find the Beagle that could run a great rabbit, and also compete at AKC field trials and conformation shows. We found one, and finished DC Pebble Ridge Shadrack in 1999. He won titles in AKC field trials, Field Champion, Mid America Brace Gundog Cham- pion, United Beagle Gundog Federation Certified Hunting Beagle, UBGF Grand Final Winner, and AKC Champion—a very, very special dog. Sound conformation and a great nose, honest mouth, and line control were his forte. I still see him running in my dreams. What are some breed-specific details that are a “must” in the Toy breeds? Because many Toy breeds are “bred down” in size from larger “cousins” in other Groups, they must exhibit the breed type, and it is very important to me that they are sound. A small, long- lived dog needs to be structurally sound for a healthy, pain-free life. How important is the breed-specific presentation/handling of Toys? A clean presentation of a well-socialized and properly groomed Toy dog is extremely important to my evaluation. I love to see a happy, healthy, and well-cared-for exhibit in my ring. Can I speak to “breed character” among the Toy breeds? Because Toy breeds have historically come from larger versions, some are bred to be small companions. Others are bred to rid your house of vermin. There are many differences according to each breed and its purpose. Temperament is important; they are small. Why are Toys a pleasure to judge? I do love a well-presented Toy dog. They are bred to be companions and should be a pleasure to deal with! How are they a challenge? Sometimes, exhibitors neglect to recognize that socializing and proper breed-specific grooming of small breeds is very important before a show. How has my knowledge of Toys influenced my understanding of dogs in general? More importantly, my knowledge of larger breeds and their diverse purpose has influenced how I look at Toys. What can non-Toy fanciers learn from exhibitors of the Toy breeds? When I bred and ran field Beagles, I learned the importance of kennel owners working together with the owners of other ken- nels. Sharing bloodlines and information benefitted the health and improvement of breed-specific traits. Jealousy and selfishness have no place here. We all strive to produce that great one. Is there a funny story I’d like to share about my experi- ences judging Toys? Too many to tell. I hope that I am never a
Each breed has its own character and it’s important to understand this. It is necessary to realize that a Min Pin or a Pug is proba- bly going to do everything it can to make it difficult to go over, but you just have to laugh and go with the flow! It is important to understand the standards. Min Pins and Chihuahuas have definite temperament requirements detailed, so it’s important to judge them accordingly. Both of these breeds look so much better when left alone to look around at the other dogs. For me, Cavaliers have to be happy and friendly, but you wouldn’t expect this in an aloof breed like a Peke. Why are Toys a pleasure to judge and how are they a challenge? To me, all Toys are a pleasure to judge. Obviously, there will be times when the breed on that day will be weak. But, generally speaking, you can go anywhere in the country and find the Toys to be one of the strongest Groups. However, if a superintendent puts certain breeds on early in the morning at an outdoor show, things can be a bit of a challenge! Which Toy dogs from the past have had the greatest influence on the sport? Well, there’s been many. We have had Shih Tzus, Yorkies, Havanese, Pugs, Poms, and Pekes, and many others win- ning the “big ones” like Westminster and Royal Canin and Morris and Essex. How has my knowledge of Toys influenced my understanding of dogs in general? It has shown me that Toys have to be judged totally differently. Apart from the COVID-19 situation, one would normally send them all around together. But, I’ve realized that if a little dog was run-up on from behind, it could put that dog off for the rest of the day—maybe forever. So, it’s important to judge them with this in mind and take them around one at a time. What can non-Toy fanciers learn from exhibitors of the Toy breeds? I think we can all learn to be better breeders. As I said earlier, the quality of Toy dogs is extremely high. A mentor pointed out to me that the uniform quality comes from very careful, well- thought-out breedings. Toys, generally, have very small litters, so well-planned matings are a must. Is there a funny story I’d like to share about my experiences judging Toys? Well, there is a story about a lady and her Chihuahua that is really funny! But I think that as I am permit for some of these breeds, it would be prudent not to publicly tell it at this point. I already get into enough trouble without looking for it! CAROL PYRKOSZ I live in Lenoir City, Ten-
nessee, and enjoy the moun- tains, scenery, change of sea- sons, and the central location to many active dog activities. I’ve been here a little over a year, having lived in South Carolina, Georgia, Florida— wherever there are shows! I have been active in one type or another in the sport of dogs since 1970, when I was introduced to Fox Hunting in Southern Illinois. I rode with
and whipped at the Southern Illinois Open Hunt for several years, then discovered SPO Beagle field trials. It was there that I served as Field Trial Secretary, Field Judge, and trainer/handler for top hunting kennels, and was introduced to the advantage of having
192 | SHOWSIGHT MAGAZINE, SPRING EDITION
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