Top Notch Toys - March 2020

of the breed. Selection is what it is all about and it is the key to breeding suc- cess. An inability to look at your dogs objectively can wreck your dreams for the future and derail years of hard work. Successful breeders who pro- duce quality dogs year after year are consistent with their selection pro- cess. They maintain a picture of the type they are trying to produce and know the ingredients that make up that type. Your ability to select wisely will de- pend both on your in-depth knowl- edge of dogs in general and your breed specific knowledge. Read your standard until you know it forward and backward and understand what you are reading. Above all, think of the future of our breed when select- ing your next show dog. Probably one rule stands above others and that is, “Breed only the best to the best and don’t be satisfied with anything less.” To be successful we must truly be ob- jective as to what we choose to repro- duce or put in the show ring. We must strive to improve the next generation and once a problem is discovered in a breeding program, we much be prepared even to the point of start- ing over with new foundation stock. What sacrifices are you ready tomake on your road to happiness? Dreams do find direction and you can make yours come true.

since developing the “saucy” per- sonality isn’t the easiest task. There is nothing more beautiful to the eye than to see a gorgeous Chihuahua strutting around the show ring while enjoying every minute. Since temper- ament is an inherited trait, it should be highly considered during the selection process. SELECTION: THE FUTURE OF OUR BREED Our Parent Club, The Chihuahua Club of America and The Ameri- can Kennel Club are guardians of the Chihuahua Breed Standard. The breed standard is a blue print of specific physical qualities such as appearance, movement, and tem- perament. It is our “word picture” of the appearance and behavior of an idealized Chihuahua. The basis of judging in conforma- tion dog shows is breed type, which describes the characteristics that are typical of a particular breed. The judge looks at the entered dogs that most perfectly resembles their ideal bred type. The goal of the conforma- tion show is to identify breeding stock for the future of our breed. If we are doing our job as breeders with the best intentions for the future of our breed, some very good dogs will be neutered or spayed, while those that are even better will be retained for future breeding. It behooves all breeders to work in the best interest

top breeder’s dog, but we might see a failing such as less coat than desired or ears that are smaller than we like. Whileonebreeder selects a fabulously constructed dogwith amoderate head and longer muzzle for their breeding program, another might select a dog with a weak rear and low tails set who has an overdone head and beautiful coat. The breeder selecting the coat and head has just made the decision to continue structural faults in their breeding program. The old saying, “A dogs doesn’t walk on its head,” is something to keep inmind. The whole package of balance, beauty, quality, soundness and temperament is what all top breeders strive for. When you see the “total package” in the ring, you can be sure the breeder has done their homework and made structure selec- tion a top priority. Developing an eye for a good dog takes time. Every new breeder should be at the group ring watching each and every group of dogs so their eyes can adjust to how great dogs move. Once you have developed your “eye” for movement and balance, the selection of your breeding dogs will improve in record time. Virtues differ from person to person but good conformation, type, sub- stance, balance and soundness are essential. Temperament is of great concern for the Chihuahua breeder

THE CHIHUAHUA magazine during its run. She has enjoyed being a sweepstakes judge at the Nashville Chihuahua Club’s specialty and has served on many club com- mittees throughout her time in the show dog world. Virginia began her love of the Chihuahua when she was just a young girl and got her first little one, Susie. Later, she raised work- ing Aussies before they were AKC approved and when she decided to enter the dog show world, she chose her long love of the Chihua- hua to show because they reminded her of the Australian Shepherd in a tiny package. Now 25 years later, she is still actively showing her dogs, writing about them and advocating for purebred dogs of top quality so that families will have four-legged family members who will be sound, healthy and long lived.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Virginia (Jenny) Hauber began exhibiting Chihuahuas in the 1990s after a lifetime of owning and breeding purebred dogs. As the breeder/owner/handler of WynJyn Chihua- huas, she has produced numerous Top 20 dogs, National Specialty winners and the 2014 Number 1 Agility Chihuahua who was also the first and only Iron Dog Chihuahua. She has been an active member of the Chi- huahua Club of America as well as a mem- ber of the Nashville, Atlanta and Dixieland Chihuahua Clubs. She was the AKC Gazette Chihuahua Breed Column writer for over five years and has had numerous articles in other dog publications. She was the 2005 co-editor of the Chihuahua Club of Amer- ica Handbook and on the editorial team of

34 • T op N otch T oys , M arch 2020

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