Let’s Talk Breed Education!
BY PEGGY BROWNE
pictured left: Am & Eng Ch Penllyn Proper Bloke
compact feet. They should be straight. The chest should be well let down between the legs. The rear legs are slightly less boned with a let down, well- angulated hock and a strong second thigh. The Sealy body is strong and the ribs well sprung. Slab-sided dogs are not acceptable. The body is solid and short. The body should be deep and the chest should fall below the elbow when examined from the side. The length of back from the withers to the set on the tail should be square. However, this is not a short-backed breed. It is important to realize that the Sealyham Terrier should be rectangular in shape, 10-1/2 inches from the withers to the set on the tail, due to the tail set and protruding hind quarters (with angulation and a short hock, and the correct front assembly). The topline is level whether standing or moving. I would encourage judges to spar the Sealyham. They generally are not super aggressive with other dogs. They should stand there, acknowledging the other dog or bitch. Any head marking on a Sealyham Terrier head are acceptable. When you are judging, you may see Sealies with body markings. This is not a fault; however, it is discouraged. The Sealy coat is very different from other terriers. It is a weather resistant, harsh outer coat with the undercoat much more soft and dense than other Ter- rier breeds. Trimming and maintenance of this breed is highly diffi- cult. As a judge, please try to encourage new exhibitors of this breed in the ring. We need to embrace everyone interested in this rare breed. Sealyham Terriers are wonderful pets. They love the people that take care of them and they are quite comical characters.
T hese words come to mind when describing the Sealy- ham Terrier: power, strength, and determination. Those words are also used in the AKC breed standard. The Sea- lyham Terrier is a low-legged, broad, well-boned, athletic Terrier. This charming breed is comical, social and loving. The Sealy should not be a course or clumsily built dog. The Sealy should weigh between 23 and 24 pounds, which is a lot for a low- legged terrier that is 10-1/2 inches at the shoulders. They are a lot to carry! Size is to be considered much more than weight, but keep in mind there is a lot of bone, body and muscle in this package. Sealyham Terriers are generally very outgoing and should show their enthusiasm in the ring. They should be able to stand on their own, with their tails up and ears alert. Most handlers will bend down with them when lined up in the ring. They also do not like to stand still. When moving, they should move true and sound with strength, which should result in good reach and drive. When examining the Sealy on the table, you should be able to approach them with ease. The Sealy head should not be coarse. It should be in balance with the body. The head is slightly domed with a strong back skull. There is a very shallow ridge between the brows. The head planes should be level. The muzzle should have strength and width. The foreface and back skull should be equal in balance. The cheeks should be balanced with no coarseness. There should be a slight stop. The breadth between the ears should be less than half the length between the head. The bite should be scissors or level; any deviation is a bad fault. Eyes should be dark and oval, with a keen expression. Larger, light eyes are a fault. It is important to note that lack of eye pigment is not a fault. The Sealy ear should fall level from the top of the head. The front of the ear should fall next to the cheek, and when pulled forward should reach the corner of the head. The Sealy neck should be set firmly on the shoulder with a well laid back shoulder. The shoulder should be smooth yet broad enough to allow free movement. Straight or upright shoulders should be penalized. The Sealy front legs are well-boned with large,
pictured above: Ch Efbe’s Hildalgo at Goodspice
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1. In popularity, the Sealyham Terrier is currently ranked #164 out of 195 AKC-recognized breeds. Do you hope this will change or are you comfortable with his placement? 2. Do these numbers help or hurt the breed? 3. What are the characteristics that make the Sealyham Terrier an ideal companion? 4. Can you describe the breed’s weather-resistant coat? 5. What is the biggest misconception about the Sealyham? 6. Does the average person on the street recognize him for what he is? 7. What special challenges do breeders face in our current eco- nomic and social climate? 8. At what age do you start to see definite signs of show-worthi- ness (or lack thereof)? 9. What is the most important thing about the breed for a new judge to keep in mind? 10. What’s the best way to attract newcomers to your breed and to the sport? 11. What is your ultimate goal for the breed? 12. What is your favorite dog show memory? 13. Is there anything else you’ d like to share about the breed? Please elaborate. MARGERY GOOD
Sealyhams usually get along with other pets and enjoy all ages of humans. They love to do things with their family, but are okay when left home while their people are at work or school. Sealyhams are super affectionate. Can I describe my breed’s weather-resistant coat? A proper Sealyham Terrier coat is comprised of a wiry, nearly straight top coat and a dense soft undercoat. The top coat acts like a water and wind breaker, the undercoat acts like insulation. Together the Sealyham coat is very weather resistant. For shows the hairs are plucked, but they don’t shed. The coat is white and they may have markings on their head and ears. What is the biggest misconception about my breed? The biggest misconception about Sealyhams is that they don’t have good tem- peraments. I guess it depends some on where they come from and what experiences they have had, but I have found Sealyhams to be extraordinary, charming and affectionate dogs to live with. Does the average person recognize my breed? Very few passers- by on the street recognize Sealyhams. What special challenges do breeders face? Since there aren’t many Sealyham breeders throughout the world, the advent of technology and social media like Facebook has opened up dialog between many fanciers that was not possible even 20 years ago. It’s so easy to share photos, pedigrees, health issues now, the world of Sealyham Terriers is at our fingertips. It’s wonderful. At what age do I start to see definite signs of show-worthiness? I love to make a first evaluation of my puppies right when they are born, before they are dry. The balance and proportions are there, the angles of shoulders and quarters are there. After that, the best eye to evaluate is eight weeks. I find them closest to miniature adults then. What is the most important thing about my breed for a new judge to keep in mind? So firstly, they should look for the embodi- ment of power, without coarseness. Secondly, they should look at the overall balance specific to a Sealyham. The height, ground to withers, should be equal to the length from withers to tail set. The neck is two thirds of that length and the head is three quarters of that length. Thirdly, the judge should see before him a short- legged, low-bodied terrier. These are the three key characteristics that define a good Sealyham Terrier. What’s the best way to attract newcomers to my breed and to the sport? I try to breed the best looking, best temperaments, great health Sealyham Terriers. I try to place them with people who will cherish them and I encourage people to get them out into the public eye by showing in conformation or performance events or at least raising them in a way that their friends, family and people who meet them will be impressed with Sealyham Terriers and how wonderful they are. What is my ultimate goal for my breed? I have spent my whole life promoting Sealyham Terriers. I think especially with my part- nership with Charmin, Efbe’s Hidalgo At Goodspice, winning BIS at Crufts, World Dog Show, AKC/Eukanuba, Montgomery Coun- ty, Group at Westminster, has shown many people throughout the world how wonderful a Sealyham can be. What is my favorite dog show memory? I have been fortunate to win many top honors with some totally amazing show dogs, but I must say winning BIS at the AKC/Eukanuba with my Charmin in 2007 under Maxine Beam was my favorite moment. The competi- tion was superlative, it was truly a breath-stopping honor for my dog to win.
I have owned and loved Sealyham Terriers for about 50 years. I have been an all-breed professional handler for 40 years and have had the pleasure and hon- or to handle many top-quality dogs in all Groups and of many breeds. I believe Sealyham Terriers are the best partners at shows and in life because they are gen- erous to their people. Through the dog show fancy, I have been enriched by the dog enthusiasts I have met all around the world.
I live in Cochranville, Pennsylvania. My favorite thing to do outside of dogs is ride my two horses. One is a Quarter Horse retired from fox hunting, the other is a spectacular Dutch Warm- blood retired from high level dressage. Do I hope my breed’s ranking will change? Sealyham Terriers are a little known treasure. To know them is to love them! I think Sealyhams are among the finest companions in dogdom. I hope more people come to enjoy their company as I do. Do these numbers help or hurt my breed? The low population of Sealyham Terriers means that the ordinary pet groomer doesn’t know how to give them a proper profile trim. For showing, it means that fanciers need to work together so that there will be Champion- ship points available at shows attended. People aren’t going to keep showing their Sealyham if they are the only one and there are no points to be won. We have to work together! What are the characteristics that make my breed an ideal com- panion? Sealyham Terriers are ideal companions because they have the depth of character that goes along with their Terrier spirit, but they have a strong desire to please their people and to do things that make their people happy. They are “silly hams.” They are a big dog in a small package, so they are well-suited to all kinds of dwellings.
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SEALYHAM TERRIER Q&A
What is the most important thing about my breed for a new judge to keep in mind? Type is the most important element in judg- ing a Sealyham Terrier. Our standard is very specific on overall appearance and size. The Sealyham is a powerful, heavy boned and bodied dog. It is a low-legged Terrier that is ten and a half inches at the shoulder. What’s the best way to attract newcomers to my breed? Sealy breeders and exhibitors need to be friendly and inviting. It is very sad to hear when people are unkind to newcomers and those inter- ested in learning more about the breed. What is my ultimate goal for my breed? For the Sealyham Ter- rier breed to become more recognizable. Even though we are a fairly healthy breed, to continue finding genetic markers for health issues. My favorite dog show memory? That is a very hard question, but I would have to say the 1988 Labor Day shows in Raleigh, North Carolina, where I met my husband, Geoff ! If you are judging an entry of one and the Sealy is well-pre- sented, please acknowledge this to the exhibitor. The amount of work involved with showing and conditioning a Sealyham Terrier is almost second to none. JUNE COHRON I have been a veterinarian for 29 years and have had Sealyham Terriers for 20 years. I also breed Miniature Wirehaired Dachshunds. In addition to showing dogs, I also compete in agility and barn hunt with my Sealys. I live in Stuarts Draft, Virginia, a small town near Charlottesville. I own the Animal Hospital of Stuarts Draft where I practice small animal veteri- nary medicine. I also raise registered Texas Longhorn cattle and have judged cattle shows throughout the United States. Do I hope my breed’s ranking will change? I would like to see more Sealyhams living with families as they are absolutely wonder- ful companions, but increases in popularity can lead to more oppor- tunities for commercial operations to breed and sell Sealys, leading to an increase in inherited health issues and more dogs of our breed appearing in rescue organizations. Do these numbers help or hurt my breed? It’s a double-edged sword. The quality in our breed is very high, most likely because our breeders don’t breed very often and are looking carefully to improve the breed with each mating. That’s wonderful, but it does tend to keep the number of litters pretty low, making puppies not available when a family is looking for a pet. That certainly hurts the popularity of the breed when you can’t find one to purchase. What are the characteristics that make my breed an ideal com- panion? They are the clowns of the Terrier group and love to make their owners smile and laugh. They don’t shed and they generally are very clean dogs and are easily house-trained. They adapt easily to all living situations. They are loveable, yet independent. I think they can read your mind too—at least some of mine can. Can I describe the breed’s weather-resistant coat? Well—I hate to hand strip, but it’s a necessary evil if you want to show your Sealy. The hard outer coat covers a fairly dense undercoat and that outer coat just doesn’t want to let go with stripping. They look quite dapper in a pet clip and a Sealy with a nice coat clipped by an expe- rienced Terrier groomer will still have a noticeably hard outer coat. What is the biggest misconception about my breed? It’s not a Westie! Does the average person recognize my breed? Thanks to Char- min and Margery Good more people recognize the breed than ever
I began in the sport of purebred dogs when I was 13 years old. My first breed was Sealyham Terriers. I finished my first Sealy, owner-handled, under the guid- ance of my mentor and dear friend, Patsy Wood of Penllyn Sealyham Terrier fame. I bred my first litter when I was 16 years old under the Pegfield prefix. My first top-winning dog was Ch. Pegfield’s Bun- gie, a Montgomery County KC Best of Breed and Pedigree Award winner. I was a professional handler and showed many
wonderful Sealyhams to their titles. Most notably, Ch. Tint- ern Tzarina, owned by David Ruml and I.F. Zimmerman and bred by Cheryl Jennings. She is the top-winning American bred bitch in breed history. Cheryl and I are the breeders of GCh. Pegfield Tintern Tiggy-Winkle, shown by Alphonso Escobedo for owners Sally Sweatt, Happy Sutliffe, Collette Secher, Cheryl and myself. I live in Roswell, Georgia, which is north of the perimeter in Atlanta. I am the caregiver to my 87-year-old mother. I enjoy cooking, art and volunteering for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Do I hope my breed’s ranking changes? As long as I have been in Sealyham Terriers they have been considered a rare breed. Some years we have more puppies than others. Currently, there seem to be pockets of breeders within the United States. My hope is that the popularity of this breed will increase. Do these numbers help or hurt my breed? I think the numbers hurt the breed due to the public’s lack of knowledge about the Sealyham Terrier. What are the characteristics that make my breed an ideal com- panion? The Sealyham Terrier makes a great pet and many owners say if you have one you will always have one once you discover this charming breed. Sealys are definitely a Terrier. They know what they want to make themselves happy. Sealys are very comical and more people-oriented than other Terriers. They love who they are owned by, yet very social with people they do not know. Sealys enjoy being told how good they are. Describe the breed’s weather-resistant coat? The Sealyham Ter- rier coat is very different from other Terriers. It has more of a dense undercoat with a harsh outer coat. It is one of the most difficult coats to groom and takes a determined, patient individual to master. What is the biggest misconception about my breed? I have heard people say that the breed does not have good temperaments. This is simply not true. They do not make good kennel dogs because they want to bond with people. Does the average person recognize my breed? Very rarely is the breed recognized by the public. What special challenges do breeders face? Due to our small gene pool, therefore lack of stud dogs, breeding Sealyham Terriers has always been a challenge. The reality of the lack of Sealyhams avail- able for breeding makes it a costly endeavor due to the necessity of shipping because there typically is not a close by stud dog choice. At what age do I start to see definite signs of show-worthiness? I am not a person that deems a litter as a show litter. At about ten weeks I start deciding which puppies will be placed first. I like to keep puppies that I feel have potential for the show ring until 16 weeks. I am very critical that what I keep has the virtues I am look- ing for to improve in my breeding program. I have a very limited number of dogs I can have, so I do not have the luxury of breeding often and keeping large numbers in my home.
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before. That being said, at many of the agility trials I compete in with my Sealy, other exhibitors don’t know what breed she is and they are quite amazed at her athleticism. What special challenges do breeders face currently? With the current COVID situation, veterinary care is a challenge as many practices, including my own, are not allowing clients inside the clinic. I have adapted, doing repro work on the weekends when my staff is off, and doing litter checks outside at people’s vans. It is just stressful now, not knowing how to plan ahead. At what age do I start to see definite signs of show-worthiness? I attended a Pat Hastings seminar a few years ago and I believe that she is correct with her idea to evaluate puppies at eight weeks of age. Usually I have a good idea of the top picks in my litters at six weeks, but I make the final decisions at eight weeks. I will con- fess though that sometimes I let my emotions and attachment skew my decisions. What is the most important thing about my breed for a new judge to keep in mind? Two key points—coats change, but struc- ture does not. Also, the word power is in our breed standard seven times. These dogs are determined, powerful, and were bred to hunt in packs. What’s the best way to attract newcomers to my breed and to the sport? You have to mentor newcomers and help them become successful. What is my ultimate goal for my breed? I would love for more people to recognize a Sealyham terrier when they see one and to realize that they are healthy, well-tempered, non-shedding dogs that make wonderful companions. What is my favorite dog show memory? Winning Best In Show at the Chesapeake Dog Fanciers Association show in 2009 with Ch Rosemont’s High Society, a Sealy that I bred and groomed and handled myself. ANNETTE HALL
over the years. I enjoy working with my hands, so I quilt, and have enjoyed the challenge of grooming my dogs, of various breeds, over the years. Am I happy with the current ranking of my breed? I am happy with the current AKC ranking of my breed—Sealyham Terrier. It is my opinion that when a breed becomes extremely popular, they begin to become indiscriminately bred by people who are not mind- ful of the science of breeding with the aim to maintain the physi- cal, temperament and health standards of the breed. The limited numbers of Sealyhams being whelped each year in the United States have helped dedicated Sealyham breeders, who are able to employ a variety of vetting processes with respect to prospective owners, with the aim of protecting the breed from falling into the hands of “backyard” and “puppy mill” breeders. Since the number of breed- ers is small, we are able to maintain a communication network that allows us to place Sealyham puppies into the correct “forever homes” whose owners understand the importance of protecting the integrity of this special breed, both here in the United States and abroad. Our dogs’ genetic material is shared world-wide with other dedicated Sealyham breeders. There is an increasing collaboration between Sealyham breeders in the United States and abroad with the aim to increase our current gene pools while safeguarding the health and established standards of the breed. Does this ranking help or hurt my breed? In recent years our numbers have increased somewhat. However, whether there are enough being bred to sustain the breed is questionable. Under no circumstance should there be compromise between “numbers” and “quality” of any breed. What are the characteristics that make my breed an ideal com- panion? The Sealyham is a wonderful, compact dog of substance, possessing a charming, lovable temperament, and friendly person- ality making him the ideal companion. They are intelligent with a “true terrier spirit”—never timid, ready to protect and defend “their family.” Their “big dog bark” would discourage most, if not all, would-be intruders! Their size allows them to adapt to both city and/or country living as well as travel. They do require regular exercise, mental stimulation and human contact, so daily walks out and about “with their family” are a much anticipated part of their daily routine, before relaxing with their family on the sofa. My breed’s weather-resistant coat? The Sealyham’s coat is a wiry weather-resistant coat—comprised of a soft undercoat that protects the dog from wind and rain, and a wiry, coarse, top coat. Even the furnishings possess a texture when felt. The coat should be straight or have a very slight wave… it should not be silky in texture, nor should it be curly. What is the biggest misconception about my breed? I think the biggest misconception about the Sealyham Terrier is its size. People are surprised at the weight of this well-muscled dog of considerable substance. The Sealyham is built like the “canine equivalent” of an American football linebacker! A lot of dog in a small package! Does the average person recognize my breed? I do not think that there are sufficient numbers of this breed in the United States to make it an easily recognizable breed to the average passerby on the street. What special challenges do breeders face? One of the biggest challenges to breeders is the ongoing push in many states to dis- allow purebred dog breeding with the premise that there are “too many unwanted dogs being bred in their state, the United States, the world in general.” Currently, there are organizations that are importing “street dogs” from around the world to the United States for adoption. Though the intent is noble, it should not be allowed due to the possibility of the importation of unknown diseases into the United
I started out with Kerry Blue Terriers about 40 years ago then acquired my first Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier in 2000. Both are wonderful breeds. I had, over the years, been interested in the “wire coated breed” (that I could learn to groom) so, in 2014, I acquired my first wire coated breed, my Sealyham Terrier, “GCHG Thunder Road’s Little Deuce Coupe (Cooper) with the help of Sally George and Margery
Good, and his breeder, Sally Hawks. He has been a loving compan- ion with a true Terrier personality and spirit... and has offered me a true “grooming challenge.” In 2018, Cooper won Best of Breed at “the Big Three”—West- minster Kennel Club, Montgomery County All-Terrier Specialty, and the American Kennel Club Championship in Orlando, Florida. He has been #1 Sealyham Terrier, Breed (in competion among his Sealyham peers), in 2018 and 2019. He has won Best of Breed at Montgomery Co. 2016 and 2018 and Best of Breed at the Westmin- ster Kennel Club in 2018 and 2019. Cooper has been a delight to live with, and always one step ahead of me! I live in Benicia, California, and am a retired nurse administra- tor, but will always consider myself first and foremost an Operat- ing Room nurse, my first and favorite, nursing specialty. I continue participating in medical missions internationally where we provide teaching and surgical intervention to people with cleft lip and pal- ate anomalies—I have worked in Peru, Myanmar, Bangladesh and China over the past 15+ years. I love to travel for pleasure with my husband and friends, and have traveled to over 50 countries
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SEALYHAM TERRIER Q&A
“The friendliness, ongoing support and camaraderie of thoughtful, dedi- cated breeders offer the best way to attract newcomers to the sport of exhibition of this breed in all manner of exhibition—conformation, agil- ity, obedience, rally, tracking and other sporting venues.”
States and infecting dogs, purebred and family pet mixed-breeds. This practice supports the notion that there are too many unwanted dogs worldwide, therefore, reputable purebred dog breeders should no longer be allowed to breed due to “the world-wide canine over- population” crisis. Dedicated purebred dog breeders “are not the problem” as their main interest is in the genetic legacy of quality specimens of their breed. They breed infrequently with this purpose in mind. They encourage spay and neutering of all dogs sold as family pets. At what age do I start to see definite signs of show-worthiness? I believe that a show worthy prospect can be recognized at approxi- mately five to nine weeks of age. What is the most important thing about my breed for a new judge to keep in mind? • “Form should always follow function” • This is a sturdy, well-muscled working dog of extraordinary substance possessing good reach and a strong drive in the rear. • The head should be long and without coarseness... even in a male! The standards specifically state that the head should be in balance relative to the whole dog, without any suggestion of coarseness. • The Sealyham was bred for the function of going-to-ground after it’s prey. As such, the Sealyham should have a strong rear with space between the back legs when gaiting. The back legs should never appear to “rub together” when gaiting away from the judge. The width between the back legs gives this breed the stability needed to “not be thrown off balance” when they are going-to-ground after their prey. • The Sealyham should have a level topline. Our standard states “level topline, neither roached or swayed.” The judge should “feel” for a level topline as the wiry coat can some- times be groomed to appear level when it is not! What’s the best way to attract newcomers to my breed and to the sport? The friendliness, ongoing support and camaraderie of thoughtful, dedicated breeders offer the best way to attract new- comers to the sport of exhibition of this breed in all manner of exhibition—conformation, agility, obedience, rally, tracking and other sporting venues. Ultimate goal for my breed? My ultimate goal for this breed is the sustainability of the breed with respect to attaining, and main- taining, a sufficient gene pool while striving to always breed with an eye to the health of the breed and to the “perfection of the ideal” of the established standards of this breed, the Sealyham Terrier. Favorite dog show memory? My favorite dog show memory would be, perhaps 40 years ago, when an old-time breeder said to me, “The day you leave the ring with your dog and wish that you were leaving with another dog is the day you should stop exhibit- ing your dog. Your dog should, first and foremost, be your faithful companion and you, his. And, always remember that there are some exquisitely put together dogs, in every sense of the word, conforma- tion, temperament, trainability, and intelligence that never see the inside of a show ring. They are happily playing with ‘their kids’ in a family backyard.” Is there anything else? The “Sealyham groom” has been described to me by several well-known, experienced Terrier Spe- cialty handlers as the most difficult groom! With that in mind, I must congratulate all those special Sealyham owners who choose
to condition, groom and exhibit their Sealyhams solely as “Owner- Handlers” and often find themselves exhibiting their dogs in the conformation ring alongside the well-known, experienced profes- sional dog handlers. Congratulations to all of you for your love of and true dedication to this breed! HENRY SUTLIFF, III
I live in Pebble Beach, Califor- nia, one of the most beautiful places anywhere in the world. I live just a mile from the ocean and walk 5-8 miles daily with and without dogs. Little of my life does not revolve around dogs as I am also Show Chair and Past President of the Del Monte Kennel Club and in charge of Conformation Classes. The Sealyham Terrier is current- ly ranked #164, do I hope this will change? The rank or popularity of a
breed is not nearly as important as health. That should always be the focus. Considering that the Sealyham is a manufactured 19th Century breed, it is pleasing that Sealys have significantly fewer health issues than most other breeds. Indeed, in the past 30 years it is believed that Retinal Dysplasia has been eliminated and with the genetic marker for Primary Lens Luxation identified, that too will disappear in the future. Scientific research has made enormous strides in the past few decades and we must continue to support these efforts in all breeds. Do these numbers help or hurt my breed? Believe it or not, I believe these smaller numbers help our breed as with a smaller gene pool we can identify health issues more quickly and work on eliminating them. What is the biggest misconception about my breed? I know that Sealys are not unique in misconception as they are Terriers, and Terriers themselves have stronger personalities than many oth- er breeds. That is what attracts many of us to them. Mine have been outstanding companions and loyal to a fault. I find them constantly amusing. Does the average person recognize my breed? No, but just the other day while walking my youngest girl “Cricket” at the ocean, someone asked me: Is that a Sealy? That made my day. What special challenges do breeders face? We are certainly going through unique times, but then so did our ancestors during the war years. A commitment to our dogs and/or breeds means that we will weather the storm and carry on until the clouds pass. All it takes is an amazing story like the rescue of two Sealys in dire straits in China this past month during this pandemic to real- ize how special the world of dogs can be and how those of us who worked so hard to accomplish this from so many countries have so much commitment to what we do and the breed we love. At what age do I start to see definite signs of show-worthiness? Usually we first evaluated pups at 8-10 weeks and made decisions then. That usually has proven right. What is the most important thing about my breed for a new judge to keep in mind? If the judge knows the Standard, that should
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SEALYHAM TERRIER Q&A
serve him or her well. Sealys were bred to go-to-ground which is why the size was set at 10 ½ inches at the shoulder as the ideal. Unfortunately, as happens from time to time, we see dogs that are significantly larger winning. This should not be as they would be too large to do the job the Sealy was meant to do. Scissors or lev- el bites are okay, but anything else is not. Movement is parallel. Toplines are level, not sloping. One seldom sees this anymore, but judges years ago always placed their fists under the chest to deter- mine if there was sufficient depth. What is my ultimate goal for my breed? For the Sealy to be the healthiest breed with the best temperaments. Those are the funda- mentals of good breeding. What is my favorite dog show memory? A lifetime in dogs means a whole lot of memories, from winning the first major, first cham- pion, first Best-in-Show, to winning Best of Breed from the classes at Westminster, etc. However, I would guess my two most favor- ite memories involve Wales. In 1989 I judged the Open Show in Chepstow Castle for the Sealyham Terrier Club, parent club of our breed. I still hold the honor as the first and still only foreigner from any country to judge Sealys in Wales. In 2008, the same club held their Centenary Show at Sealyham Mansion. There were over 100 people at this event from 16 countries. I was one of eight people to be served luncheon in the Edwardes Family Dining Room at the Mansion. That is something you never forget. Is there anything else I’d like to share about my breed? Per- haps the story of how my mom first came to know Sealys. Back in 1938, there was a divorce in the Howard Family (the father, Charles Howard, owned Seabiscuit the famed racehorse) in Hillsborough, California, which led to the two Sealys being placed at the kennel of handler-judge Dan Shuttleworth. The bitch was picked up, but the dog was not. My grandfather was Secretary of the San Mateo Chamber of Commerce and when the family Terrier-mix was killed by a car, Dan suggested they take “Champ” as a replacement. He lived well past 15 and delighted the family always, and he gave my mother her commitment from childhood to Sealys. DAVIDWINSLEY (DAVMAR) I have owned the breed for
tion numbers over the past 10 years. Unfortunately, the increase in numbers is partly due to what we term as “puppy farmers” (puppy mills) who are breeding Sealyhams to make money from a vulnerable breed. What are the characteristics that make my breed an ideal companion? The Sealyham is a happy and confident companion, besides being good looking and loyal, they are funny, clever and quite trainable. Can I describe the breed’s weather-resistant coat? The top coat should be of a harsh texture making it waterproof with a soft insu- lating undercoat. Unfortunately, the modern coat has become excessive and in many dogs it is now rather soft, hence losing its waterproofing quality. What is the biggest misconception about my breed? The biggest misconception about a Sealyham is that because they look quite glamorous they are a “soft” breed. Quite the opposite, they love nothing more than going on long walks over different terrains and love to get dirty. But after a quick rinse at home and toweling dry they are back to being fairly clean again. Does the average person recognize my breed? Unfortunately, it’s quite unusual for a member of the public to recognize the breed. Those who do have usually had dealings with the breed due to fam- ily ownership at some time in the past. What special challenges do breeders face? These days it’s never easy to breed a litter. People want an easy and fashionable breed such as these excessively priced cross-breeds. Breeding and rearing a litter takes money and time if done correctly; most people will be lucky if they break even. At what age do I start to see definite signs of show-worthiness? Personally I watch the litter all the time, but at six to eight weeks I usually have a good idea which puppy looks promising. I let the others of less appeal to me go to their pet homes. Then I continually evaluate the promising puppy/puppies. Hopefully at the end of the elimination process I have one or more “promising” puppies. The aim is always to improve on what you have, don’t keep the second best in quality otherwise you will end up with a mediocre kennel. What is the most important thing about my breed for a new judge to keep in mind? Being a judge myself and remembering what my mentors taught me, the number one point is type! Then soundness in construction and in temperament. Remember what the breed was bred for originally. A poor Sealyham will not be able to do the work it was bred for! What’s the best way to attract newcomers to my breed and to the sport? It’s very important to be open, honest and helpful towards newcomers. Remember, even “pet” owners might soon become exhibitors and breeders of the future. Pass on your knowledge, teach, support and encourage them. What is my ultimate goal for my breed? The ultimate goal for the breed is to improve its popularity, but not to the point of being excessive. To maintain its correct breed type and quality. My favorite dog show memory? Personally, I have many great show memories that stick out in my mind, but the best is when my homebred Ch Davmar Northern Dancer took BIS in 2001 at the South Wales Kennel Association all-breed show with an entry of more than 10,000 dogs over the four days. It was the first BIS won by a Sealyham in 21 years. Second great memory was when I judged the ASTC Spe- cialty show at Montgomery in 2000; such a great entry of quality Sealyhams. Is there anything else? Every breed has its problems. My plea is for breeders to be honest and open about them, and to work to eradicate them, and for others not to conduct “witch hunts.” These people usually have something to hide and are not helping the breed. No one or no breed is perfect!
some 30+ years and currently have four at home. I have more or less retired from showing and breed just the occasional litter. I had held the position of a club Secretary for twelve years. I have been the breed’s KC representa- tive and a KC delegate until I retired this year. I am still a breed judge evaluator. I used to run
breed seminars for the clubs and the KC. I am passed to judge the Terrier Group in the United Kingdom and have judged Terriers in many countries worldwide. I live in the United Kingdom on the edge of the New Forest. I am now retired, but I was a Nurse Practitioner in care of the elderly. Currently, I spend a lot of time in our garden and also by research- ing/posting Sealyham pictures on the Internet. How do I feel about the current ranking of my breed? With regards to the AKC ratings, it’s a pity that the breed is in its current position. In the United Kingdom the breed fares a little better. I think the AKC needs to support breeds like Sealyhams which are currently “vulnerable” and on the verge of becoming rare. Do these numbers help or hurt my breed? These figures cer- tainly hurt the breed as anyone researching the breed for a pet will wonder what makes the breed so unpopular! In the United Kingdom we have seen an improvement in the breed’s registra-
196 | SHOWSIGHT MAGAZINE, MAY 2020
THE SEALYHAM: Breed Q&A DESI MURPHY
JT: Although we had some excellent dogs in the breed in the past, I think the dogs we are seeing now are a bit more uniform and doing a good job at maintaining adherence to the standard. 5. What do you think new judges misunderstand about the breed? DM: It is very hard for new judges to understand the breed when they never get to judge the breed when there is some depth of quality. I have had a lot of new judges ask if there is any difference between a Sealy and a Scottie— other than color, ears and tail. JT: A lot of the misunderstanding about the Sealyham is that they are not a common sight in the show ring. New judges expect them to be a longer backed dog as they appear to be longer in outline; however, they should be the same in measurement from the withers to the set on of tail as from the withers to the ground. Also they should have a nice harsh jacket without fuzz or curl. 6. Is there anything else you’d like to share about the breed? Please elaborate. DM: When I was growing up in the northeast, we had several large kennels breeding Sealyhams, plus quite a few smaller breeders. Like so many breeds, people do not know how or do not want to learn how to properly condition one. They are one of the most difficult breeds to keep in top condition. Throughout the entire country we have so few real breeders today and it will prob- ably become less and less. At a show this past weekend, the entire Terrier entry was 5. We now have 31 Terrier breeds, but I would guess that the average show today only gets about 50 Terriers. JT: Sealyhams have been refined since their origin, but should not have lost the build to perform the task they were originally designed to carry out. In judging this breed it is essential to bear in mind what he was bred for and to keep to the standard in all matters of type, balance and conformation. Terrier spirit is a wonderful asset in the show ring and in my opinion something the Sealyham should embody. They have a charming personality that can be both loving and trying. 7. And, for a bit of humor: what’s the funniest thing you’ve ever experienced at a dog show? JT: My most terrifying, and in retrospect the funniest, was the first experience with showing a Sealyham Brace at the Great Western Terrier Show. The judge asked me to pick up two Sealyham boys together and place them on the exam table. I questioned the judge as to whether she was really serious (which she was), so I hoisted the two 24-pound Sealy boys, one under each arm, and set them on the table at the same time. It was with a great sigh from me and a lot of laughter from the audience the job was completed.
I live in Monroe, New York and I am retired. I showed my first dog, a Lakeland, in 1957. I have been judging since 1976, around 30 years. Most of my life revolves around dog activities. JUDY THILL I live in Dubuque Iowa. I retired from the Inter- state Power Company where I was employed as the Director of Stockholder Services. I have been actively showing and breeding dogs since 1964. My first breed was Wire Fox Terriers and in 1989 I was able to get my first Sealyham. I continue to breed and show Sealyhams and will do so as long as I am able. It is a breed that is easy to fall in love with, because they are so intelligent and funny. Besides being active in breeding and showing, I love to judge dogs, which I began to do in 2003; I am currently working on getting approved for the Non-Sport- ing group. I also enjoy doing oil painting, traveling and work- ing in my yard. 1. Describe the breed in three words. DM: Powerful, keen and substantial. JT: Sealyhams are sturdy and have strong movement. They are extremely intelligent with a sense of humor. 2. What are your “must have” traits in this breed? DM: A very powerful dog with good bone and substance. A powerful mover. Proper balance and a wonderful coat. JT: Proper harsh coat, good fore chest with the sturdy body to complement the structure, and solid movement with good reach and drive. 3. Are there any traits in this breed you fear are becoming exaggerated? DM: I do not see any traits that are becoming too exaggerated. JT: There are times that the grooming can become exag- gerated with too much coat and furnishings. Overall the breed has been maintained pretty close to standard. We do at times have a variance in size. 4. Do you think the dogs you see in this breed are better now than they were when you first started judging? Why or why not? DM: When I first started to judge the breed there was much more depth of quality. That was because we had more breeders. At most shows there is not even one Sealy. There are very few shows other than the Montgomery County weekend that get a sizeable entry. The two most important shows in America, Westminster and the AKC Eukanuba, only had an entry of two Sealies. So even at our most prestigious shows, people do not get a chance to study the breed.
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SHORT AND SWEET— BUT LOTS TO LEARN
L ast approved by the Ameri- can SealyhamTerrier Club and the AKC in 1974, the Standard continues to guide breeders and judges in their evaluations of the breed—a dog that should be the embodi- ment of power and determination, ever keen and alert, of extraordinary substance, yet free from clumsiness. No fine boned, refined Sealy with a wary or reluctant out- look on life should be awarded in the ring. Our standard calls for the descriptive “strong” six times, and the words “power/ powerful” four times, plus the phrase “of extraordinary substance.” Th ese words leave little doubt about what you want to see. But considering the character and temperament is important too. At its best, the breed is a classic show dog as well as a loyal and entertaining member in his family. While the general opinion is that the breed is not a top candidate for obedience training, individuals have performed amazing feats in rally, agility, obedience, earth dog trials, and so forth. Judges should know that when the Sealy is a happy dog, he is very happy. Th e “devil is in the details;” we want a dog to be about 10 ½ inches at the withers. Size is more important than weight (unless the weight of the dog is a ff ected by condi- tion, or too fine bones). Similarly, a four year old dog shall not weigh the same as any one year old. An important detail for
By Karen Bay
breeders, exhibitors and judges: this is not a long dog. With the height at the shoulder at l0 ½ inches, you need to know that the same measurement applies to the length of the back—in essence a short-backed dog with the often referenced “length” coming from the brisket protruding in front with the front legs set well under the body. Additionally, you see powerful hindquarters extending beyond the tail set in the rear. When you approach a Sealyham on the table, greet him with a word or two to alert him that a hands-on encounter is about to occur. Th is initial contact may also provide a judge with an opportunity to to briefly assess temperament. Regarding details of the head, skull, cheeks, jaws and teeth, again keep in mind the words strong and powerful—no coarseness should be tolerated, but you must remember that the original pur- pose of the breed required great strength. Regarding the head, it will be “long, broad and powerful”—three descriptives that are considered very important to the breed. A large, black nose is important as a little black button of a nose does not “fit” on the head. Th e eye color is very dark, oval in shape—large, round and protrud- ing eyes are a bad fault and furthermore lead to the loss of the keen terrier expres- sion. A lack of eye rim pigmentation is not a fault—but the lack of the “mascara” takes away from the desirable terrier look.
Th e standard includes one sentence regarding head color: “lemon, tan or bad- ger markings can occur on the head and ears or the head can be all white”; many of today’s dogs carry black markings on the head. Color on the head is not a plus or a minus when considering quality and a judge should not be influenced by the “flash” the color often creates. Ears are important in the breed and, much like many of the other terriers, faulty placement or hound-type ears detract greatly from expression. It’s important to note that the fold of the ear should be level with the top of the skull. Your examination will ordinarily go from head to neck to shoulders and front legs. Check shoulder lay back, elbows (tucked in to the rib cage) and legs—with your special attention to pasterns and large compact feet. Don’t hesitate to paw through the furnishings to check for cor- rect front structure and be critical of faulty construction; (i.e., table examination should not stop at the elbows but continue down to the feet). Continuing your examination, a cor- rect body should be substantial and short- coupled, with a rounded ribcage—no slab-sided Sealy, please. Check for a level topline (not a “dip” filled in with hair). Powerful hindquarters are expected and the legs are positioned along the same track as the forelegs. Don’t be deceived by care- fully shaped and groomed furnishings—
“OUR STANDARD CALLS FOR THE DESCRIPTIVE ‘STRONG’ SIX TIMES, and the words ‘power/powerful’ four times, plus the phrase ‘of extraordinary substance’.”
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a hands-on examination is indispensable. A nicely placed and well carried tail will con- tribute to the balance of the dog. Th e stan- dard does not address the docked versus un- docked tail and it seems that a judge should consider the un-docked tail as just a fault. The coat of many of today’s Sealy- hams does not meet the requirements
of the standard. Suff ice it to say that the stripped jacket can be carefully evaluated for its “hardness and wiry” texture. Full furnishings often are not textured correctly and pose a challenge to groomers and seem to “blur” the cor- rect silhouette that is the hallmark of this breed.
Appreciate the six individual words that describe the action of the Sealy. Th e breed does not have characteristics of movement that are so peculiar that they must be described in detail. Movement is the ulti- mate test of how well a dog is made. Th ere are no disqualifications in the Sealyham Standard.
A NOTE ON THE SEALYHAM
F ifty years ago, In the early 60s, the old Dog World magazine did a survey concerned with the decline of the Sealy- ham Terrier. Results were gathered from pet and commercial breed- ers, breeder/exhibitors, veterinarians, and groomers, and all responses included one major drawback to the breed: Mainte- nance. Th e survey fell on deaf ears. A few years earlier I had an opportunity to do my own limited “survey” with the same results. In 1959, an aspiring judge imported a Polrose dog to add to his own- ership record with the American Kennel Club. Unfortunately, but typically, the dog had a coat of wool. Th e well known han- dler in the Rocky Mountain area sprayed the coat with stale beer, added cornstarch and thus created his dog’s show coat. Han- dler and dog won nine groups. Th e handler had seven Sealyham bitches on his prop- erty—and soon the local “wool explosion” in coats was observed. Time went by and the group winning stud dog was retired and the handler’s attention was directed to other terrier breeds. Th e handler asked
By Raymond D. Bay
me to clean up the Sealyham. I did, and I used a 10-blade clipper to remove the dog’s entire coat in one piece—an almost com- plete outline of the dog’s body, head and legs. I hung the “pelt” of matted wool in the window of my grooming shop and was accused of skinning a dog! To bring us up to date, you must learn of two families who have been most loyal to the Sealyham. Mr. and Mrs. Sharp had Sealyhams for more than three decades; they assisted with rescue dogs, cared for their own pets in good and bad health, and found the breed to be a fascinating and favorite breed. Th ey have lost their last Sea- lyham and it was replaced with two rescue dogs, Great Pyrenees. Th e two giant dogs are much easier for them to care for, main- tain and keep looking like the attractive dog they are intended to be. But they still miss their Sealyhams. In another home, Lloyd and Carol Stark bred and showed winning Sealyhams and their devotion to the breed was unsurpassed. Th ey cared for three rescue Sealyhams with problems and nursed them back to good health and hap- py temperaments. Years have gone by and they now provide a home for seven well-
trained, a ff ectionate house dogs of various breeds, but no Sealyhams. Th e on-going maintenance of the coats proved to be too time-consuming in their busy world. Th ey still miss their Sealyhams. Pay attention to these true stories. A few years ago I saw a harsh coated Sea- lyham bitch at Montgomery County with a well known and successful breeder. Her profile was correct and the bitch displayed all her assets in the silhouette, as opposed to abundant furnishings that provided no distinct Sealy outline. Th e breeder had not entered the Sealy, convinced that the judg- es only like “pretty.” It was Oppenheimer who believed that a dog with no apparent faults, but with no assets for the breed, is a faulty dog. What would he think about a breed in which a serious falut predominates throughout all breeding? It’s time to move on; breed to the best coat you can find. A good breeder will not allow a major fault to destroy a breed and will instead breed for the positive, sometimes sacrificing certain elements in order to save others. Wake up. It is time to breed for the preservation of the Sealyham Terrier.
“IT WAS OPPENHEIMER WHO BELIEVED THAT A DOG WITH NO APPARENT FAULTS, BUT WITH NO ASSETS FOR THE BREED, IS A FAULTY DOG.”
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