WITH CARMA EWER, JEAN HEATH, KURT GARMAKER, TERRIER HOUCK, GALE SCHNETZER & KATE MCMILLAN
TH: Do your homework. Be willing to look at dogs from dif- ferent parts of the country. Don’t just go with the popular dog, the dog most advertised, the dog with the most Champions. Look at the bitch lines on the studs you are interested in. Talk to different breeders, don’t just use the dogs of the handlers you might use or the dog who is the most convenient. You have to ask yourself what do you want to accomplish with your lines, what do your bitches need, etc. GS: Advice to a new breeder is to find the best animal you can to start with verses the stair step method of trying for years and years to bred up and up and sometimes never get a high quality dog, also if you are going to handle them yourself watch the groups and see what and how the professional handlers their dogs to get so much of a performance from their dog. KM: Groom your own dogs. Show your own dogs. Be your own person! Don’t allow your breeding program to become a satellite or captive of a mentor or Schnauzer social circle. Arrive early to the show, stay late and learn about the other breeds. Get off the phone. 9. Advice to a new judge? CE: Study the standard but don’t get hung up on one part. Judge the dogs as a total picture. Look for balance and type. If two dogs are equal, then look at specifics—i.e. coat, head, etc. JH: 1. If you are in search of an ego/power trip, don’t even think of becoming a judge. You would be a detriment to purebred dogs and would cause untold grief to breeders, “THE MINI SCHNAUZER IS A ROBUST, SQUARE, SHORT-BACKED, FREE MOVING AND CONFIDENT, SMALL, WORKING DOG, COUSIN AND DESCENDANT OF THE STANDARD SCHNAUZER.”
exhibitors and handlers. 2. Find as many breeders as you can who have bred generations of champions and who are willing to take the time mentor you. Learn from all of them. Listen and put your hands on as many dogs as possible. 3. Try to attend as many dog shows as possible to observe the breeds in which you are interested. Stay for groups and Best in Show whenever and as often as possible. 4. Never exceed your level of I competency! 5. Always, always, do the right thing—judge the dogs to the best of your ability. TH: Read our standard. Put your hands on as many dogs as you can before you start judging. Go to a National Show. Measure if you feel a dog is too big. Recognize breed type which includes a dog who reaches and drives. Our coat texture is important, whether the coat is rolled or section stripped, there should be no difference in the quality. GS: For a new judge learn the structure of the dog and feel them on table examine and award them for good struc- ture and soundness. KM: The Mini Schnauzer is a robust, square, short-backed, free moving and confident, small, working dog, cousin and descendant of the Standard Schnauzer. Ours is one of the few standards that mentions another breed by name, as a point of reference. Remember that! Don’t judge on outline. Demand structural quality and soundness from all angles, as this is the foundation of every great dog. The trim may be stylish, but this isn’t an exotic or extreme breed. “Exaggeration” is not a synonym for “type”. Keep us honest: measure when necessary, including the Best of Breed class. Especially the Best of Breed class. 10. Anything else you’d like to share—something you’ve learned as a breeder, exhibitor or judge or a par- ticular point you’d like to make CE: It’s all about the dogs. Not winning or losing or making us feel better. This is a sport, and should be fun. Each generation should be better than the last. These dogs provide so much joy in our lives. JH: Excellence is the enemy of good. “So ye sow so shall ye reap” KG: Relax, stop making mountains out of molehills. Do your best, more cannot be expected. GS: As a breeder I have learned one is it is tuff, in many ways. Pertaining to exhibiting your dog when breeding it is like cooking a recipe a little of this and a little of that trait and then trying to maintain everything you have and consistently see it in your breeding program is a chal- lenge that I have enjoyed for 30 years. KM: Breed mentors! Their value is generally over-rated. Instead, I encourage newcomers to seek out relationships with successful people in other breeds (and here, I stress “successful”). They’ll be more objective in their advice and criticisms, and your competitive goals won’t be in immediate conflict. For those of us who mentor others: the healthy mentor- student relationship should evolve into that of peer-to- peer fairly quickly. Only cult leaders demand submission and loyalty oaths Don’t be a cult leader.
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