Westminster Flashback: When Sealys Owned the Garden

AKC Gazette, “Times Past”—The Sealyham Terrier joined the AKC in 1911. Within just a few years—thanks to shrewd imports, judicious breeding, and a small but enthusiastic U.S. fancy—the sturdy little Welshman was a force in the American show ring.

Here are two Westminster Best in Show Sealyhams, immortalized in the AKC art collection.

BOOTLEGGER

Ch. Barberryhill Bootlegger (BIS 1924)

A show-ring aristocrat of the Prohibition era, Bootlegger was named, as Bill Stifel wrote, “for what some wit thought of as Man’s Other Best Friend—which is to say, a discreet source of alcohol.”

During the 10 long years booze was illegal, fanciers vented their displeasure through their dogs: Among the entry Bootlegger defeated for Best in Show were dogs with names like Tom Collins, Egg Nog, and Home Brew. And the name of Bootlegger’s sire? Gin Rickey!

William Schnelle’s painting is done in a loose, impressionistic style, a daring choice for a dog portraitist of the day.

SWELL_PERFECTION

Ch. Pinegrade Scotia Swell

Ch. Pinegrade Perfection (BIS 1927)

Lillian Cheviot’s delightful twin portrait depicts two all-time great Sealys. Perfection (right) was the more famous of the two, having gone Best of All Breeds at the 1926 AKC Sequicentennial show and BIS at Westminster the following year. Scotia Swell, a British import, went Best of Breed at the Garden in 1925.

Their handler was Percy Roberts, who in 1937 handled to his fourth Westminster BIS, a record he held alone until Peter Green matched it in 1998. The combined eight dogs Roberts and Green handled to the top at Westminster were all terriers.

The most recent Sealy to take BIS at the Garden was Ch. Dersade Bobby’s Girl, 1977, handled by Green.

Read the latest AKC Gazette here, and follow us on Facebook.

Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in AKC Gazette, Times Past

8 Ways of Looking at a Dog Show Judge

AKC Gazette, “Times Past”—What makes a good judge? The judges themselves have been kicking around that question in our pages for 125 years. Here are some answers.

“First Match,” May 1957 Gazette

“First Match,” May 1957 Gazette

 

  1. “It is first necessary for a judge to know dogs generally before he can know any breed of dog in particular.”—Irving C. Ackerman, 1939

 

  1. “A good judge looks for virtues in every dog. Fault judging is lazy judging, the pitfall of the inexperienced. The dog is picked apart and never put back together.”—Mrs. George W. Dow, 1975

 

  1. “The breeder furnishes the dogs, but it is the judge who decides the type.”—H.W. Lacy, 1925

 

  1. “Go over every dog carefully, if for no other reason than to make a friend of each exhibitor by causing him to feel that he has a ‘run for his money’ at least.”—Garvin Denby, 1931

 

  1. “Hesitancy in judging creates a bad impression on the ringside. Too much speed in judging, however, is quite as bad. Exhibitors are never satisfied when the judge has rushed through his work, even when he has done a good job.”—W. Edgar Baker, 1938

 

  1. “Knowledgeable judging is the ability to reconcile oneself to the fact that no perfect dog has yet been produced.”—Anna Katherine Nicholas, 1967

 

  1. “A judge who has acted entirely in good faith does not feel the necessity of defending himself and his placings.”—John Kemps, 1946

 

  1. “You were invited as an expert. Be one.”—Anne Rogers Clark, 1996

 

Read the latest AKC Gazette here, and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Tagged with: , , , , , ,
Posted in AKC Gazette, Times Past

Finding the Right Dog for You

At the end of last year, the AKC Dog Lovers video crew traveled to Virginia for the 2014 Timbreblue Whippet Reunion. More than 30 Whippets and their families came together for a day of fun!

We spoke with three Whippet owners about why they love the Whippet, why they chose to get their dog from a breeder and why they enjoy the reunion so much every year.

The importance of working with a responsible breeder:

How to find a good breeder: 

How breeders can match the perfect dog to the perfect owner:  (and see a dancing dog!)

Tagged with: , , , , ,
Posted in Breed Spotlight, Video

Breed Spotlight: Living With a Field Spaniel

FieldSpaniel2_head WebDAMAKC Gazette breed column, Field Spaniels—The Field Spaniel combines a lot of dog into a medium package who can enjoy a wide range of activities and is suited for a variety of conditions.

Our breed is noted to be “unusually docile, sensitive, fun-loving, independent, and intelligent, with a great affinity for human companionship,” and they have unique individual personalities, as is true for so many canines. Field Spaniels range from the serious stalwart to the downright goofball in attitude—and we often see a range of traits within one dog! Owners agree that life is sweet with our chosen breed, though the breed is not necessarily for everyone.

As an active sporting breed, the Field Spaniel likes to be a member of his family first and foremost. His sensitivity and desire to be with people serves him well as a medium-sized hunter companion. He is active in the home, busy with daily activity, and enjoys being part of your world.

Spaniel Field 5*Our dogs fare well having jobs—if made fun and using their natural abilities, it is highly satisfying for them. An active home companion, the Field Spaniel loves the games we play, from rally, obedience, and agility to tracking and fieldwork, as well as such things as nose work, barn hunt, freestyle, and lure coursing. Our dogs enjoy learning new “games” with us and train well when we use rewarding methods and a fun, positive approach.

As with all canines, proper socialization and basic obedience training are imperative for having a lifelong companion who is not only your best friend but also appreciated in public. Many Field owners enjoy the breed’s biddability, or ease of teaching. We find their problem-solving ability to be amazing and enjoyable throughout a lifetime. Know that Field Spaniels do best with work to do, be it within your community or through sport. When raised and trained with structure, a Field makes a lovely and sensitive canine friend.

Our breed has found its home in the city, the country, and everywhere in between—from walks on suburban sidewalks to hunting in rural fields. With responsible ownership and access to controllable exercise, the Field thrives with people and can do well with other animals as well.

Keeping a Field Spaniel groomed is a bonding experience and keeps our friends healthy and happy. Maintenance of the body coat is relatively simple with good nutrition. The coat is single and glossy in texture, never to be body clipped. Trimming and stripping are generally limited to the head and ears, and the feet and pasterns, with regular care required. Breeders are helpful in showing new owners the ropes of proper care.

Spaniel Field 3*While noted as a land spaniel, some individuals are known to enjoy water—whether outdoors, or in the drinking capacity. It is not always just their long, pendulous ears that dip in the water! Many are known to be sloppy drinkers, sometimes because of enthusiasm, and at times just not minding that they are being busy—dripping water from their lips as they happily trot by. Strategic placement of water stations will help, as will certain types of containers.

Another interesting trait is the occasional snoring some do. Still other individuals make interesting sounds, but this again may range from quiet peeps, to yodels, to warbling, outside of the typical dog bark.

When considering the lifespan of the Field Spaniel, it is exciting to see puppies and healthy young dogs in their prime. Many are living into their teens and remaining active as well. We are fortunate to have shared improved health and longevity with our breed over the years. It is important to note that reputable Field Spaniel breeders have been working on health testing for hips, knees and elbows, eyes, heart, and thyroid in their stock. Many say we have a “gene puddle” as opposed to a gene pool, so we must breed carefully to maintain genetic diversity.

One of the Field Spaniel’s best characteristics, besides being charming to behold, is their apparent silly nature, at times playing the jester of their home. Antics can be redirected and channeled into proper desired behaviors, and their humor is much revered.

Temperaments range from outgoing to reserved, and the breed should never be aggressive. This is a breed who may take time to socialize as a puppy and in younger years and may “size someone up” before bestowing trust and friendship upon them. They are a slow-to-mature breed, both in body and mind, but the payoff is an amazing journey of a lifetime together.

All the Fields I have known have displayed mellow moments and a spirit and joy in life that makes them fun and interesting to live with. Life with Fields will yield hair and an air of energy in your home, as well as water and humor!

Overall, the Field Spaniel combines a lot of dog into a medium package who can enjoy a wide range of activities and is suited for a variety of conditions.

A finer friend I have not found …

—Shannon Rodgers, shannontrodgers@hotmail.com

Further information about Field Spaniels can be found here and here and on the website of the breed’s national parent club, the Field Spaniel Society of America.

Read more AKC Gazette breed columns here, and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Tagged with: , , , , , , ,
Posted in AKC Gazette, AKC Gazette breed columns, Breed Spotlight, Breeds, Sporting Breeds

There Is No Substitute for Good Breeding

Chi silo crop*AKC Gazette breed column, Chihuahuas—Don’t be in a hurry for that great one. It is far better for a breeder to move slowly toward an eventual goal by tackling one problem at a time, collecting virtues into the genotype and breeding away from faults through careful selection.

We all start at the same place, but it doesn’t take long before we think we know everything. Eventually we admit to ourselves this is probably not the case, and we begin again. It is at this point that we really start learning, and hopefully we continue learning for the rest of our lives.

People tend to learn only their immediate interest. As breeders, we need to broaden our horizons beyond our immediate boundaries. A championship title does not guarantee perfection. Knowing and understanding your breed standard is all important. With that, you also need to know canine anatomy, animal husbandry, and the understanding of genetics, health screening, and DNA testing. Once all these puzzle pieces are gathered, we put them together to begin a breeding program.

It is always good to make it a habit to look at virtues first, and faults last. If you are a “fault-finder,” the faults will override the total perspective and leave a lingering impression.

Always weigh the faults against the virtues. Do the qualities outweigh the faults? Because of the complexities of genetics and the many variables of inherited characteristics, a breeder must be willing to gamble with nature, taking the worst along with the best. With conviction and courage, triumph will eventually emerge, and a great dog will be born.

A breeder must realize that every puppy, in reality, is two different beings and therefore cannot be bred with any degree of certainty. Phenotype is what the animal looks like on the outside. Certain genes have come together to create his physical appearance. What a dog looks like on the inside is his genotype, a blueprint of inherited traits from his ancestors.

If you like jigsaw puzzles, you will enjoy putting your genetic knowledge to work—but remember, 75 percent is luck, and 25 percent is skill.

Now that we know so much of the dog is determined by what he has inherited, even such things as his show spirit or ability to perform tricks, we can make better choices. Many faults can be eliminated from a bloodline, and superior qualities introduced, through selection and understanding of the laws of heredity. Therefore, a dog’s true qualities are not necessarily evidenced in his physical appearance but are also concealed in his genetic framework.

Chi LC*As breeders, we all understand that there is no perfect dog. Don’t be in a hurry for that great one. It is far better for a breeder to move slowly toward an eventual goal by tackling one problem at a time, collecting virtues into the genotype and breeding away from faults through careful selection, and including health screening. The overall dog must be kept in mind. For success in the show ring, not only does this require a quality dog but also a dog who is properly raised, conditioned, trained, groomed, and handled. This is hard work, and there are no shortcuts.

Understanding of the pedigree should never be ignored. What a dog transmits to his progeny depends on the genetics and actually has little to do with the number of champions we see in the pedigree. The idea that an inferior dog will produce something greater than himself because he has an impressive pedigree is a fallacy. Unless he carries in his genetic makeup a combination for a desired quality, he cannot pass it to his progeny.

Probably one rule stands out above any other, and that is “breed only the best to the best, and don’t be satisfied with anything less.” —Virginia (Jenny) Hauber, wynjynchis@yahoo.com

Further information about Chihuahuas can be found here and here and on the website of the breed’s national parent club, the Chihuahua Club of America.

Read more AKC Gazette breed columns here, and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in AKC Gazette, AKC Gazette breed columns, dog breeding, responsible breeder

Golden Gate Kennel Club Hosts Annual Dog Shows This Weekend

The Golden Gate Kennel Club hosts its 115th and 116th annual dog shows this weekend! If you’re in the San Francisco area, stop by to meet more than 100 different dog breeds (including very rare ones!), watch a Hollywood-themed doggie fashion show and see blazing fast dogs run Flyball! All info is available at www.GoldenGateKennelClub.com. It’s a fun event for the entire family!

GoldenGate

Tagged with: , , , , , , ,
Posted in dog show, Dog Sports

In Defense of Well-bred Dogs

BassetHound lyingAKC Gazette breed column, Basset Hounds—Dedicated breeders work to produce healthy, well-adjusted, quality puppies because these puppies become the foundation for our next generation and for the breed’s future.

Recently a father and his children saw me walking a Basset puppy at the dog show. After the kids spent some time with the puppy, the father asked questions about the show and the different breeds. Then he asked, “What’s the difference between a shelter dog and these dogs?”

I had a long answer, but I started to realize that dedicated breeders need a 30-second “elevator speech” ready to answer this question. The general public doesn’t know the real answer, and right now animal-rights extremists are providing the popular answer.

Basset - blog 2One difference is predictability. Those who obtain their dog from a responsible breeder get to see their puppy in advance and can meet many of the puppy’s relatives. These puppy-buyers have immediate access to all of the breeder’s knowledge and experience. The breeder becomes a ready reference for a whole range of dog-related questions, from health issues to vaccine protocols and flea and tick control products. And if the puppy turns out not to be the right fit for the new owner, the responsible breeder will take him or her back without question.

Dogs have lived with humans for more than 10,000 years. During this time humans have bred dogs to perform tasks that helped in day-to-day life. Dogs were bred to hunt food for the table or to kill vermin. Some were bred to guard livestock or guard the home, and others to move a flock. Some were bred to turn a spit, some to retrieve in water, and others to be companions or lap-warmers. Purebred dog breeds were each developed for a purpose, and most maintain much of the original instinct to do the jobs for which they were originally bred.

Take Bassets, for example. They were bred to hunt in packs independent of human command. That explains a lot about life with a Basset. Bassets are stubbornly independent and capable of amusing themselves. Training is a challenge because the breed doesn’t look to humans for commands or praise. Bassets are not stupid, but they are easily bored by human games. They understand pack behavior even if their owners do not. They were not bred to kill prey, and they get along with everyone. Because they are scent hounds, they will find exactly where the dog cookies are hidden.

Dedicated breeders are the keepers of a living museum. We keep alive standards that were in many cases first written hundreds of years ago. We work to produce healthy, well-adjusted, quality puppies because these puppies become the foundation for our next generation and for the breed’s future. Though most of our puppies are sold as companions only, they carry the same genetics as our show dogs.

Dog shows are not beauty pageants; they are tests of breeding stock judged by knowledgeable people who study breed standards and understand each breed’s history and function.

Basset - trickPressures on dedicated breeders and the sport of dogs are enormous. Restrictive ordinances are proposed in many locales, and it seems that fewer people want to take on the challenges of learning a trade than was the case in past decades. Kids are interested in other things, and it takes real skill to properly groom terriers and many other coated breeds.

Unethical or casual breeders and producers of “designer breeds” don’t fund research to identify and cure canine diseases; dedicated breeders do. Dedicated breeders breed not for monetary gain but for the love of dogs in general, and their specific breed in particular.

If current trends continue, in the future there may be no reason to ask what the difference is between a purebred and rescue, as there may be only “rescues”—dogs produced by irresponsible breeders and then dumped into the rescue/shelter system.

Predictability, health, history, an experienced and knowledgeable support system, and a lifetime return policy are all available only through dedicated hobby breeders.

That should be enough to get everyone started on their own elevator speech to explain why purebred matters.

Jacquelyn Fogel, ccpetresort@aol.com

Further information about Basset Hounds can be found here and here and on the website of the breed’s national parent club, the Basset Hound Club of America.

Read more AKC Gazette breed columns here, and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,
Posted in AKC Gazette, AKC Gazette breed columns, dog breeder, dog shows, responsible breeder
Follow

Thank you for subscribing to “AKC Dog Lovers”

You’ll get an email with a link to confirm your sub. If you don’t get it, please contact us

The authors can also be followed on:

%d bloggers like this: