Page 194 - ShowSight - November 2019
P. 194

                Breeder Interview : Barbara Miller, Max-Well Norfolk Terriers... BY ALLAN REZNIK continued
   The Max-Well Norfolk Terriers are widely known, highly successful and well respected. What breeding philosophies do you adhere to? How are the dogs maintained?
A good bitch bred to the right stud should, and for me mostly has, produced good pups. There were many linebred bitch- es that produced top-winning Norfolk for Max-well. One such was Ch. Max-Well’s Whizard of Oz. She was out of the bitch Ch. Max-Well’s Winter Chill and sired by Ch. Max-Well’s Will Be Good. I named this pup Giggles because she made me smile. Giggles holds the breed record for the most champions produced, eleven in all. I could go on and on, naming many bitches that filled my heart and proved themselves in the whelping box but after a bit, readers would get bored. One bitch I will mention is Ch. Max-Well’s Venus, a top winner with a Best in Show under Anne Rogers Clark.
My kennel is small with only a kitchen sink for bathing. I promised myself no tub because I wouldn’t be getting another large dog. Each dog is crated at night, then in the morning put outside in individual runs by 6 a.m. and fed. In good weather I like them outdoors but if it’s too hot or wintery cold, I push a button, the kennel doors open and in they come to good-sized indoor runs, enjoying the warmth of heat or the cool- ness of air conditioning. The dogs are fed according to their needs. I firmly believe in a small amount of good kibble and I use one made here on Long Island to which I add cooked carrots, wheat germ, cooked beef, cooked chicken, a quarter of a hard-boiled egg, some cottage cheese and pumpkin. All of this is mixed with a broth from either the carrots or chicken. And of course vitamins. I’m proud to say my dogs live long lives and even in old age look young. I firmly believe in the saying, “You are what you eat.”
Please comment positively on your breed’s present condition and what trends might bear watching.
The Norfolk breed has come a long way since my introduction in 1973. There are
breeders today who understand the benefit of health testing; something that started during my presidency of the Norwich and Norfolk Terrier Club. It was a hard sell to me and many other breeders, but ultimately having called a discussion with the then president of the Canine Health Foundation we got the message. Members are concerned about MVD (Mitral Value Disease) and the club, both the NNTC and now the NTC, have supported funds for research. As presi- dent of the NNTC I was instrumental in getting the membership to vote for division of the club into two. Both clubs formed in 2009, each with its own board and health issues to investigate. I was president of the Norfolk Terrier Club from 2009 until 2013. As a breeder my most exciting times have included Crunch going Best in Show over the famous German Shepherd Dog, Man- hattan; having the first Norfolk to place in the Terrier Group at Westminster; having many Max-Well bred and Max-Well owned- champions (have no idea how many); hav- ing the Number One Norfolk in the breed numerous times; and having two homebred Norfolk in the Top 10 Terriers years ago. I could go on and on but records are meant to be broken so breeders, go break them.
I should also note that I love all breeds and have backed a Smooth Fox Terrier, Mini Wire Dachshund, Japanese Chin and Russell Terrier, all of them to the top posi- tion in their breeds.
The sport has changed greatly since you first began participating. What are your thoughts on the state of the fancy and the declining number of breeders? How do we encourage newcomers to join us and remain in the sport?
An exciting time for me was in 2001 when the AKC named me the Number One Terrier breeder with the honors taking place in Orlando at Eukanuba. It was wonderful having my family there to see the medal- lion placed around my neck. AKC named me for a second time in 2007 as Top Terrier breeder and then topped it off with Breeder of the Year. It pains me to see the Terrier
breeds declining, not just mine but all. As president of the Long Island Kennel Club for more than 25 years I see the decline in numbers across the board. Pet people don’t understand hand stripping and why should they have to? I tell pet owners it’s perfectly ok with me if you take your Norfolk to a grooming shop and have him clipped. Bet- ter to have a clean, neat little guy than one that is shaggy, with skin problems. I believe the spay-neuter concept has held back peo- ple from breeding but then again most own- ers are not interested in breeding. Often I’m asked if the pup I have available has a natural or docked tail. The numbers in Nor- folk registered in a year are way down. It’s become difficult breeding to quality stud dogs. I’ve imported Norfolk from the Unit- ed Kingdom with natural tails and have exhibited them to their championships and beyond. In 2013 when I found myself in need of a handler, I made a list of handlers I thought could not only get the job done but were pleasant and well-liked by oth- ers. I cruised Westminster that year mak- ing my notes. My selection took me to the hot bed of top Terriers and top handlers in the land of sunny California. I thank you, Amy Rutherford, for adding champions to the Max-Well Norfolks; for giving me the Number One bitch in the breed against a terrific Norfolk named Winston, owned by my friends, Beth Sweigart and Pam Beale; and this year, for campaigning a gorgeous little bitch that I found in a mud bath in the United Kingdom, and making her Number One in the breed, tail and all.
Where do you go from here?
It’s been a heck of a ride and at my now old age of 82, I look forward to the bitch I bred last week having her pups, and the bitch I’m going to breed right now to my old man, a top Best in Show winner, Ch. Max-Well’s Viper. Everyone interested in dogs can have a ride, just go for it!
  192 • ShowSight Magazine, noveMber 2019

   192   193   194   195   196