Miniature Schnauzer Breed Magazine - Showsight


GS: What I see at the dogs shows is high quality purebred dogs occasionally you may see a lesser quality with a person with less experience and knowledge to know where to get a good quality animal. In my own breed I am concerned about my breed. I feel it is changing and to me not for the better. KM: In general and for our breed: The good ones are still very good, but the decline in numbers across all breeds is undermining quality at the class level. There are cham- pions and even grand champions in our breed rings that would have struggled to finish 25 years ago. 6. The biggest concern you have about your breed, be it medical, structural, temperament-wise, or what? CE: My biggest concern is the amount of white we are see- ing on the feet and chests of dogs. I think that we are slowly sliding into a problem. Dogs are showing up in the ring with white spots on their chests and puppies advertised with white toes and feet. It has always been our experience that a dog with white toes or white marks on the chest will produce that and often produce a larger mark. In the past breeders worked to eliminate those dogs from the gene pool—but now, exhibitors are only covering it up with chalk for the ring. White feet are not a concern to most because the furnishings are white. I think we are in danger of losing our color pattern. JH: Biggest concern—the lack of skilled people to crop ears and the increasing numbers of breeders who take the cheap way out and sell their puppies with uncropped ears, most of which are totally wrong and disgusting in appearance. We need to do something to find and train vets and their designated “breeder assistants” to crop ears correctly. We’ve had enough important things to try to improve in our breed, let alone having to breed for correct ears. I’m seeing really ugly pictures of Minis with awful ears and this is bad for the breed. KG: The hysteria that accompanies losing for some people. They obviously have not learned to roll with the punches.. TH: I am always concerned about the medical issues, more than anything else. I think overall our breed is healthy, but there are diseases I wish we had DNA tests for. There will always be dogs that finish that shouldn’t and some- times dogs don’t finish that should. I feel there are areas in the country that are tougher to win in, than others. A dog that finishes in one part of the country...may not finish in other parts of the country. I think our tempera- ments are very stable overall. I do wish judges would measure more often especially at National Specialties. GS: Structure is my biggest concern in my breed right now. There are some exhibitors doing what I call fault groom- ing to hide fault which yes we all do because there is no perfect dog, but what I am seeing is in excess instead of breeding a more correct animal . KM: The gene pool: my biggest concern continues to be the collapse of the Diplomat, Delegate and Tribute sire lines, and loss of linebred alternative families from which to refresh modern, Ruffian dominated breeding programs. With the passing of our breed’s archivist Dan

Kiedrowski, and general lack of interest in the history and current status of the gene pool, the trend is likely to continue. 7. The biggest problem facing you as a breeder? CE: My location. We have fewer Miniature Schnauzers in this part of the country and the misconception that dogs in our part of the country, be it in the group level or the breed, are not of the same quality as on the coasts. Our numbers are smaller, but the quality is as consistant as with shows on both coasts. Also, with fewer Miniature Schnazuer breeders, I feel that our dogs don’t get used as much as those in an area full of Miniature Schnauzer breeders. JH: The biggest problem facing me is my age and not enough years ahead to continue to breed and exhibit. KG: I have been working for the last 17 years on fronts and they have improved a great deal but they are the hardest part to breed, and it will take longer than that to straight- en them out. TH: I think having access to dogs in different parts of the country. It is getting harder to ship dogs and the cost con- tinues to climb. I do think strides have been made with using frozen semen but it is a risk I haven’t been willing to take myself. GS: My biggest problem right now when exhibiting our breed is finding enough judges that know sound good type quality Miniature Schnauzers and instead they are forgiving things in my mind that are faults. Being suede by the grooming and how well trained verses awarding correct conformation. KM: Escalating veterinary costs for even basic services. 8. Advice to a new breeder? CE: Advice to a new breeder? Find one good mentor—pre- ferrably one close enough to give hands on help. And remember, that there are a lot of good Schnauzers out there. Maybe not all are from your mentors breeding. Work hard, make sure your dog is in great condition and trained before trying to enter the ring. Don’t get discour- aged and remember that even the best handler started out making mistakes and had to learn and practice before being successful. JH: Read, watch, find knowledgeable, successful mentors, discuss, use at least three important principles—1. “If you don’t know where you’re going, you are liable to end up some place else.” In other words you have to really know what a correct Miniature Schnauzer should be before making the leap into breeding! 2. “You can’t make ice cream out of horse manure.” That is, breed only excellent breed representatives, not pet quality. Breed from champion bloodlines known for good health and good temperaments. 3. Breed the best to the best and hope for the best. KG: Get with a good mentor, whom you can talk to and bounce ideas off and as to new judges, get a good breed mentor to talk dogs with that will let you go over their dogs and not be defensive when you make critical comments

292 • S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , M AY 2018

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