Flat-Coated Retriever Breed Magazine - Showsight

Flat-Coat Retriever Q & A

breeding under, Blixthalka Flat-Coats. I enjoy judging Jrs and try to help as many kids in showing I can, especially give the boys words of encouragement. I live in Rogers, Minnesota.Outside of dogs, I enjoy snowmobil- Ing with my husband, Wayne. Also enjoy having friends over for bbq’s and doing fun things with pour kids. I have been in Flat-Coats since I was about ten and started our showing for a family friend and that turned into Sarah and her dad mentoring me in the breed. Bred some litters with them under the kennel name of Folly Retrievers. Now my husband, Wayne and I have been breeding Flat-Coats together. We are hoping for puppies sometime this fall! I have my Jr.s judging license and so enjoy judg- ing kids! I handle dogs for other people, so right now i just keep it at judging the kids. Someday I will get my Flat-Coat breed license. The secret to a successful breeding program, read your breed standard and don’t just breed to the “flavor of the month” dog that you see win day in and day out or what you have in your backyard just because it’s there. Be honest with the faults your dog or bitch has and look for what is going improve those faults and keep the ones that are correct. We are seeing way to many that are dropping off at the croup, bad fronts and not very pleasing heads. Really take a look at What it is going to take to fix your dogs faults and do what needs to be done to improve the breed. If that means breeding to a dog that is not in the United states, see what it costs to do that. If that means breeding to a dog that belongs to people you really aren’t good friends with, do it. I was given great advice a long time ago, you are breeding to the dog/bitch, not the people. We are pretty protective over our breed. Flat-Coats are a breed that is not for everyone. We screen our puppy people well to make sure they are going to the best home possible. We don’t breed our dogs just to have puppies. When we breed we are doing it for a rea- son because we are wanting to better the breed and make sure Flats are around for a long time to come. Do I feel the breed gets its fair share of attention in the group ring? No, I don’t feel like the Flat-Coats get a fair share of attention in group. Flat-Coats are not flashy dogs like the Golden or even the Setters. We shouldn’t be flashy like them. Flats are a happy-go-lucky breed, but also a good hunting dog. I also feel like many judges just don’t understand the Flat-Coat or like judging them. We have some that love judging our breed! They comment on it when handing our ribbons. This breed has a hard time standing still. The tail is ever wagging and most like to try and give judges kisses when being examined. That’s our breed and some judges act annoyed at their antics and want to get the judging over with. They don’t call them the “Peter Pan” dogs for no reason! One of my favorite memories was when I was just about nine months pregnant with my first kid. Was at a show in California where I lived at the time and was during a warm summer show. Was in open dog in Flat-Coats and the judge walked down the line before our first go around. He got to me and said, “You aren’t going to pop today are you?” We laughed and I said, “No.” After the first

My favorite dog show memory: I have a lot. But I think between two, one was a barbecue we had with my friends that show together most have Flats. My liver girl, Echo, took me around the ring as fast as I could run. We had a great weekend. The other is a Christmas show we all managed to get in a great photo. Both times lots of laugh and fun with my Flat-Coat friends. This breed is amazing in their ability to understand language. They value their family and pack. They are funny, charming, ornery, smart, sometimes defiant, always loving and generous. They will own you much more than you own them. The people in this breed are a reflection of their dogs. Its been amazing to be part of the world of the Flat-Coated Retriever. MARLA J. DOHENY I live in Florida and Connecticut and I am retired. I have been judging Flat-Coated Retrievers for just under ten years. To have a successful breeding program it takes years of hard work and a fair amount of luck. You must reach deep into what information is available to you and hope that in the end it all works out for the betterment of the breed. Do I think the breed’s ranking fosters a responsible breeding program? Any breed, no matter how rare or popular, can foster a responsible breeding program. Do I feel the breed gets its fair share of attention in the group ring? In my opinion the breed gets plenty of attention in the group ring. I don’t think this was so in the past. My favorite dog show memory—there have been so many. I sup- pose it was my first Group One placement. 550 dogs defeated—the size of some shows today. Lastly, to FCR judges. Reach deep and find the quality, not the generic black dog. Do your best to interpret the standard, and try not to reinvent it to what may be more popular or pleasing. MICHELLE HEIKES I have been in dogs/dog

shows since about age five. Lived in California until 2007 when I moved to Minnesota. Married to my husband Wayne who has been in Flat-Coats for 15 years. I have worked my way up from being kennel help for handlers in California to being a handler. I special- ize in sporting, working and hounds. I have been breeding Flat-Coats with Wayne for some time now and now have our own kennel name we are

“THIS BREED HAS A HARD TIME STANDING STILL. THE TAIL IS EVER WAGGING AND MOST LIKE TO TRY AND GIVE JUDGES KISSES WHEN BEING EXAMINED. That’s our breed and some judges act annoyed at their antics and want to get the judging over with. They don’t call them the ‘Peter Pan’ dogs for no reason!”


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