Page 236 - ShowSight - November 2019
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                AKC Breeder of the Year 2019 Q & A
 Renee served on the SSCA Board of Governors from 1980 to 1983, 1990 and 1991, and 2007 and 2008. She also served as the club’s second vice president in 2017 and 2018. She has kept the Champion and Grand Champion records for the SSCA since 1985 and has been the club’s Annual Review chairman for since 2006. Jim has served the SSCA as treasurer.
Geistvoll sires have contributed to 100 SSCA Leading Produc- ers, and Geistvoll dogs represent 204 titles among the SSCA Hall of Fame producers. The Popes have had 32 specialty winners, both national and regional, and 32 titles in performance and tracking have been earned by a Geistvol Standard Schanuzer.
We first started showing in 1971 when we lived in Fairbanks, Alaska. Shows were 200 dogs if we were lucky and entry fees were $8. Shows consisted of Conformation and Obedience only. Today there are still a few small shows but generally shows are over 1,000 dogs and shows can include Conformation, Obedience, Rally, Agil- ity, Barn Hunt, Herding, Lure Coursing and Dock Diving. Today we can see entry fees of $25-$35. Showing is more costly these days but there are so many things we can do with our dogs. Standard Schnauzers excel at all of these activities.
We encourage new owners to try different activities with their dogs and get involved. Currently we are not seeing as many fami- lies interested in Conformation showing but many are interested in performance activities. We believe that families should join the National Breed Club or All-Breed Local Club as well so they can gain even more knowledge of our breed and what is offered.
As breeders we strive to produce dogs that are sound of mind, body and health and to be good family members capable of doing any task asked of them. The established Breed Standard is the guideline for all breeders. We are all responsible for breeding to the breed standard to preserve our breed. We prefer to show our own dogs and show in the Bred By Exhibitor Class as we are very proud of what we have produced.
It is an honor to be selected as the 2019 AKC Breeder of the Year to represent the Working Group.
Aileen and Richard Santo established their Paxon hobby ken- nel in 1968 with the arrival of their first litter of Min- iature Schnauzers. The two pup- pies they retained completed their championships in 1970.
After breeding and successfully showing the Minis, the Santos fell in love with the Kerry Blue Terriers they met at shows. A neighbor had a well-bred champion-producing bitch; arrangements were made to purchase a
show prospect from his next litter. The rest is history!
Ch. Blu Star’s Kerri Dancer arrived on January 1, 1979. She fin- ished her championship at 16 months with a 5-point win, owner groomed and handled, at the prestigious Montgomery County Kennel Club terrier show. She went on to become a multiple group winner, with many additional group placements, and was the top-
producing Kerry bitch of her day, with 15 champion offspring.
Kerri Dancer produced many top winners, but most notably the son from her first litter, Ch. Paxon’s Dancer’s Image. He went on to become a multiple group and specialty winner, again all owner conditioned and handled. As a producer, he sired 30 U.S. champi- ons and numerous others in Canada and overseas. He was the first Kerry to produce puppies using frozen semen, siring two litters in Sweden. The Paxon U.S. champions now total 118, with numerous more overseas.
Many Paxon dogs have served as foundation and breeding stock for breeders in America, Europe, and South America and can be found in the pedigrees of many contemporary Kerry Blues.
The Santos have been members of the United States Kerry Blue Terrier Club and the Empire Kerry Blue Terrier Club since 1979. They are charter members of the Garden State All Terrier Club, maintaining their membership for the past 25 years. The Santos have served as officers of the Empire Kerry Blue Terrier Club, with Aileen as the current president, and continue to breed Kerry Blues and enjoy active participation in the world of dogs.
How do we feel about the current quality of our breed and group? I feel that the quality of the breed is in very good shape— many fine dogs in the Group as well!
Changes we’ve seen in our time involved with our breed? There seem to be fewer breeders and not too many young people coming in. Grooming is greatly improved.
Any particular challenges we facc in our current econom- ic climate? I think the expense showing dogs has led to much lower entries.
Do we use a handler or prefer to show ourselves? We show our own dogs as we like to keep them with us, but in the past on occa- sion we have used a handler.
How many dogs do we normally maintain? Four to six.
When do we pick a show prospect and hat’s the most important attribute in our choice? After 50 years, of course we’ve made mis- takes but have been fortunate to have been able to show and breed some of these dogs. I usually pick my show prospects at 9-12 weeks.
Do we have trouble placing pets and show prospects? Being in a small breed the puppies are usually reserved before they are born. Most sales are word of mouth but I do have a website which helps let people know if there are puppies available.
Who was our most impactful Mentor? It’s hard to name one, but probably the people I got my first Kerry from. Their greatest advice was patience.
What advice would we give the newcomer? Patience.
The funniest thing that we’ve experienced at a dog show? Many years ago, at a National Specialty weekend one of the handlers took a life size stuffed Airedale in the ring under a retired handler/now judge and was not noticed until it was time for the stuffed dog was to be examined.
Bazell started in dogs in the mid-1970s with a Brussels Grif- fon from Nigel Aubrey-Jones. He became a parent club member in 1979, during the Iris de la Torre Bueno years. Bazell has served
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