Showsight November 2022


I am a retired university professor who grew up on a farm in the mountains of Southwest Virginia. I now live outside Atlanta, Georgia, with my seven Standard Schnauzers. I have had dogs since I was 18 months old. Across the years, I have had a Boston Terrier, Collie, Australian Shepherd, and Miniature & Standard Schnauzers. I have shown and titled my dogs in Rally, Scent Work, FastCAT, and Lure Coursing as well as Conformation. I belong to both SSCA and SSCC. I have also shown dogs to Conformation Championships in Canada. Except for one youngster, all of my current dogs have titles at the front and back of their names. At last count, my bred-by dogs have attained over 70 AKC titles, and some serve as service and therapy dogs as well. 1. When were you first introduced to the sport of purebred dogs? To your breed? I purchased my first AKC-registered dog, a Miniature Schnauzer, when I grad- uated from college. I had them up until 2019 and I did Rally and Canine Good Citizen awards with them. In 2005, I acquired a nine-month-old female Standard Schnauzer and was convinced to show her in Conformation. That experience hooked me, and I am now a Breeder of Merit Bronze. 2. How many years in dogs? How many as an Owner Handler? As a Breeder? After my first Standard Schnauzer finished her championship, I showed her for fun in 2006 before the National Owner-Handled Series began. I have consis- tently shown my bred-by dogs for the past six years. My first Standard Schnauzer litter was born in 2008. 3. Do you attend show handling classes? Have you attended any handling seminars? I have had the immense joy to attend a Tom Lams seminar, and I re-watch his DVD of his seminar every year to recalibrate myself. I regularly watch National Championship DVDs—three times: once focusing on the dogs, once focusing on the handlers, and once focusing on the judge. This really tunes up my eye and awareness of various things going on in the ring. I also watch National shows and AKC Conformation events in this way as well. 4. Have you found virtual learning tools to be helpful? Classes? Videos? Websites? Social Media? I belong to both breed and general canine groups for their experiences, hints, and tips about all things canine. 5. Do you compete in the National Owner-Handled Series? Are rankings important to you? I have competed in the NOHS for the last three years. “Madison,” my second- generation home-bred female, was ranked No. 3 in 2020 and won the breed at the AKC National Championship in Orlando. She and I “made the cut” in an outstanding Owner-Handled Working Group. In 2021, Madison’s daughter, “Talisman,” was also No. 3 NOHS for Standard Schnauzers. In 2022, Talisman is No. 7 NOHS for Standard Schnauzers. Mad- ison is a NOHS Bronze Champion and Talisman is a NOHS Silver Champion. I like to check the rankings to see who is competing and to gauge my dog’s suc- cess against other dogs. Being in the Top 10 shows that I have bred dogs that adhere to the Breed Standard and are rewarded as such by the judges.

Melanie with GCHB CH Avignon’s Buffalo Soldier CGC TT

“Bred-By Classes are incredibly significant to the Breeder/Owner Handler!”


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