WITH CARMA EWER, JEAN HEATH, KURT GARMAKER, TERRIER HOUCK, GALE SCHNETZER & KATE MCMILLAN
many breeders and judges are actracted too. We are com- pletely losing our down and back movement. Dogs are seeking center and almost single tracking. All to achieve that big side gait, which really doesn’t help in trying to catch a rat or mouse. JH: Definitely more substantial development of muscle and bone. More profuse furnishings. They are more robust, often to the point of being overdone, especially the younger ones who will coarse as they become older. The fairly recent explosion of interest and participa- tion in performance activities with conformation being dangerously placed on the back burner. And all too often the performance dogs are of poor quality and are poorly groomed. Too good for the breed! KG: The amount of undercoat and furnshings on todays dogs, as opposed to those of 40 years ago. The dogs long ago, looked just as nice, you had to take care of their hair, but they had alot better coats than the dogs of today. TH: I think the biggest change in the breed since I started in 1991, is how long some of the heads are getting. We are not Fox Terriers. We are a moderate breed. Our standard says that the fore face is at least as long as the topskull... that doesn’t mean it should be exaggerated. GS:The biggest change I am seeing is the type of schnauzer. it seems to me what is winning in the ring is the side gait not the conformation or the coming and going of the dog. Ignoring how the dog is made, neck. shoulders heads. KM: When I started, the Mini Schnauzer ring was dominated by owner-handlers and breed specialists who developed family sub-types recognizable as their own, class after class and year after year. Each had a unique “look”, but ticked most of the boxes for breed type essentials. The decline in entries, together with an influx of powerful terrier handlers into our breed (right down to the 6-9 class in some regions) are the biggest change and it’s not for the better. 3. Do you think MS are better overall today than when you started? CE: I wouldn’t say we are better overall—because there were some really wonderful dogs when Galen and I started in 1975. I think that exhibitors have gotten better with grooming, conditioning, and presentation. JH: Yes, for the most part. KG: Yes I do, although many dogs of the past could easily compete and win today because they were really good ones. TH: This one is tough for me to answer, there were some great dogs in the past and there are great dogs now. I feel the breed is fluid, we go through time periods when the dogs, particularly at our Roving and MC Specialties, when the quality is deep and then there have been years when I have asked myself, “What sire will I choose for my bitches.” GS: No I do not feel our breed is better today than when I started. When I started over 30 years ago I was fortunate to have seen many beautiful dogs being exhibited. Ch. Sibehill’s Dark Shadow, a beautiful black Schnauzer; Ch. Rampages Representative and his daughter Z. Ch.
Penlan’s Portside and many many others so many to men- tion. I feel lucky to have seen them. KM:Not overall. There are still very good dogs out there, but the depth of quality has declined. 4. If you could change on thing in the Breed Standard what would it be? CE:I don’t believe the standard needs to be changed. If you changed the grooming, I believe that many of the Schnau- zers in the ring today would look like the dogs of yesterday. JH: Emphasize in some way that the breed is to be judged moving at a trot, not racing around the ring. KG: Get rid of the equivocation on square in our standard. Get rid of the language “nearly square in proportion of height to length” Say like the Standard Schnauzer that the breed needs to be absolutely square and should be faulted to the extent of the deviation. TH: I really don’t see where our standard could be improved. I think it is well written and easily understood. GS: If I could change the standard today it would be height the measuring part of our standard. The 12-14 inchs. No one really has or wants a 12 inch Mini and there have been many times a male that is not going to be shown or seen because he is a tad over the 14 inches and has so much to offer the breed. KM: Revise the wording under Heads: “The foreface [...] is at least as long as the topskull” to “The foreface [...] is equal in length to the topskull.” “at least” suggests “the longer the better”. A longer foreface lends itself to long sloping stops, downface, round eyes and foreign expression. 5. What is your opinion of the current quality of pure- bred dogs in general, and your breed in particular? CE: Again—it is more a case of presentation than quality. Dogs are fed better nutrition, are in better condition and groomed much better than in the old days. There are more professional handlers, who do an immaculate job of presentation and conditioning. So as an owner handler— we must rise up to their standards. JH: From what I have seen, the quality of many breeds has deteriorated. All sides are responsible—the breeders/ owners and handlers who put the dogs in the ring and the judges who can judge only what is put before them, who do a poor job for whatever reason and, who fail to withhold ribbons. KG: They are very nice, too much emphasis is on side move- ment, when good sound coming and going should be emphasized. This change has made our breed unsound. TH:I don’t feel I am qualified enough to answer the ques- tion about the quality of other breeds, as I have only ever owned and exhibited Miniature Schnauzers. I have read a few articles lately, where judges seem to be rewarding dogs that are great show dogs but not necessarily bred to their respective standards, according to long time breed- ers. I feel this happens in our breed, on occasion, as well. But overall I feel like the quality the past few years, in Miniature Schnauzers, is good. S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , M AY 2018 • 291
Powered by FlippingBook