Coton de Tulear Breed Magazine - Showsight

Coton de Tulear Q & A part; active in their breed or all breed club or (as a start) to obtain a knowledgeable mentor to guide them. 2) Learn about Canine anatomy, structure, balance, movement and canine terminology as it relates to understanding how it all comes together. I tell folks to not only observe your breed at shows, etc., but observe other breeds, and pick the brains of other breed experts as you are watching. It’s amazing that what you learn may enlighten a person to a better or clearer understanding of their own breed. 3) Understand basic genetics and how it may relate to your breed 4) be brutally honest in recognizing the deficits and attributes in each of the dogs in your kennel. do not be kennel blind. 5) set a series of short term goals with each pairing, knowing that each of these goals will be modified by each breeding as you assess each litter. Take it a litter at a time, listening to nature, and your individual dogs, (especially your females), breeding only when the time is right. As you move forward, you should be getting a better picture of a long term goal. 6) Knowing your lines and the lines of dogs outside your kennel, paying attention to litter mates of the dogs you select as well, being patient and selective, while being realistic. 7) Respecting that Biology always seems to win, and understand- ing that the success is working with the knowledge of deleterious genes, deficits and to what degree they can be bred out. It is the knowing of the bad that allows you to make informed decisions in how you will use your dog’s genes. It is not the objective to breed a genetically perfect dog! That is impossible. Those who “throw out” every dog that has a problem only ends up with a bottleneck and a dangerously low gene pool. 8) Learn, learn, learn and be realistic. Do not overbreed. You do not need a gaggle of dogs for a successful breeding program. obtain only what you can rightfully handle in keeping your kennel happy, healthy and balanced. I, personally, am not concerned about a ranking in a popular- ity poll. Not every breed is right for everyone. Choosing a breed is about understanding the purpose of that breed, finding the best fit for the family dynamic and making sure that the particular breed they choose receives what it needs to flourish (as its breed) in a fam- ily environment. Ranking registrations are wonderful if 100% of those registrations turn out to be forever happy homes for each and every breed registered. But how many end up being re-homed or dumped at a shelter or rescue? Purebred breeds need to be protected more-so today, in light of activists pushing for “adopt, don’t shop”, mixed breeds vs. purebreds, shelters vs. breeders. Inasmuch as we all would never want to see any dog, purebred or mixed breed, in a shelter, or in an abusive situation; for me, it’s about properly educat- ing those desirous of adding a dog to their family (or embarking on a breeding, exhibiting or performance venture) about the breed characteristics,, spelling out their minuses as well as their pluses, and the responsibilities involved to ensure the dog does not fall into it’s particular “black hole” if not properly raised and bonded with. We need to make sure families are not seeing their breed through “rose colored glasses”. It is more important to emphasize the realis- tic needs of that particular breed, so that no dog ends up in rescue,

at a shelter or less than its potential. That is worth more to me than any “ranking” on a popularity scale. So, the ranking as it stands is fine with me. I’d rather have quality in ownership than quantity. What problems would I anticipate from an upsurge in popular- ity? For the domestic home situation: the proverbial “little white dog” falls victim to many problems: a) Impulse acquisition due to its “cuteness”, those who want it may have an unrealistic expectation of their “perfect little dog”, anthro- pomorphizing, later to realize that they are real dogs. b) Cross breeding to create a designer breed, (especially because the breed being “hypoallergenic”), or claiming it is a purebred when it is not. (internet casualties). c) High volume breeding to eat off the backs of these dogs, taking advantage of the breed’s marketability. (we have been seeing that for years, even before AKC recognition) d) Breeding very poor examples and passing them off as quality for the same end. e) Higher cases of theft, especially for fight ring bait. f) Trendy changes in the breed for fashion sake that end up affect- ing the type and essence of the breed. For the breeders and the dog fancy: a) In Conformation: Making it a “Coat” breed rather than a breed with coat. Coifing the coat in such a manner that the breed looks unrealistic, like a stuffed toy, even though the standard states that the breed is to be shown “as naturally as is consistent with good grooming.” We are seeing it now, especially in the face and head. One wonders if the show dog ever plays, gets dirty or enjoys lapping water from a bowl , and somehow this translates to the judge as the ideal. It becomes all about which dog in the ring is groomed the best. Less coiffed, or might I say, more natural coated exhibits will be passed over and it will be about the aesthetic, rather than what’s under- neath that coat, which is so vital to its survival in his native land. We will lose the natural essence of this breed. b) The deviation from, or choice not to preserve, the antiquity and history of the breed in its native land, not to recognize the purposes of the characteristics that made this breed what it is. I believe that several small breeds suffer from these types of prob- lems. We see trends with aesthetics, babying and forgetting that every characteristic that is stated in the standard has a purpose from the breed’s history, and those involved must learn it, respect it and preserve it. What is an overarching hallmark that shouts “Coton”? It’s hard to pick just one thing on this breed. The slightly convex topline, with the low set tail, its proportions and its cottony textured coat are the defining features that sets the breed apart from its group mates: Bichon Frise, Havanese, Bolognese, Maltese and Lowchen. But if I had to pick one, phenotypically, it would be the Cottony textured coat. Genotypically, it would be the dilution of color from puppyhood into adulthood, as no other breed in its grouping pos- sesses those two characteristics. Overall, though, the dilute gene! My favorite dog show memory? The first time winning a Best In Show. It was in September, many years ago. I was in the ring and the judge pointed to me with the BIS Rosette. I just stood there

“I tell folks to not only observe your breed at shows, etc., but observe other breeds, and pick the brains of other breed experts as you are watching. It’s amazing that what you learn may enlighten a person to a better or clearer understanding of their own breed.”


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