Page 240 - ShowSight - November 2019
P. 240

                AKC Breeder of the Year 2019 Q & A
 weeks we start measuring upper arms and watching how the puppy uses themselves, how they naturally move etc. We also start looking for dominant out going puppies at this age. At eight weeks we are watching for head pieces and how the face is filling in and this is the best age to look at eye shape—if it is not very large/very round and very dark it goes as a pet.
We are honored that we have made several so called mistakes and those dogs have gone on to be specialty and group winners for other people. One of my mentors used to say “a good breeder breeds champions and a great breeder shares them.” I Iike that.
Do we have trouble placing pets and show prospects? We have no trouble placing puppies and have never had to advertise. We do not believe in accepting deposits and if people care to wait we will notify them when we have something that might interest them.
Who was our most impactful Mentor? Judie Donaldson of Kingsmark Greyhounds took me under her wing and taught me how to be a breeder. She taught me husbandry and ethics. She taught me how to be kind to people. Nigel Aubrey-Jones taught me to love Griffons. Kitty Drury taught me how to judge dogs and I think of this every morning I step in a ring, “listen to me kid— you’re not saving lives in here you’re evaluating dogs—look for what looks like it all fits together and appeals to you and don’t overthink it. Point your boney finger, smile a lot, be sweet to the dogs and try not to cuss at the people showing the dog.”
What advice would we give the newcomer? Breathe. I say it to newcomers in the ring all the time. Griffons can be a heartbreak breed. They require round the clock care the first three weeks, they are a high maintenance breed their whole lives but we love them. If a person’s temperament cannot deal with stress, drama and heart- break this is probably not the breed for them because they are dif- ficult to raise.
The funniest thing that I’ve experienced at a dog show? Let’s get this right, I didn’t find it at all funny at the time but everyone that witnessed it found it hilarious. I was judging a big French Bulldog entry and had just awarded BOB, BOW and BOS. The final dog to leave the ring pauses as it passes my ivory panted legs at the judges table, I hear an audible rumble and belch and it shoots diarrhea all over my legs. I looked at the woman showing the dog and said “I guess he didn’t like my decision.” Yuck!
The successful showing of dogs is an evolutionary process. When you start it is human nature to like the gossip, the stories and the back biting. It is intriguing and so different than anything you’ve ever experienced before you either love it or hate it right off the bat. This works fine until you become the brunt of the gossip which usually occurs after you and your dog become a threat at the breed level. You stay home and lick your wounds awhile and then you either miss it or you quit. If you miss it and go back then you don’t share those awful stories any longer. After awhile you need a bigger fix and you start specialing a dog and another evolutionary step is reached. Just like anything, if you stay with it long enough you will view things just as they are—you will be thrilled when you win and be kind and congratulatory when you lose and you will have learned one of life’s greatest lessons—humility.
That being said, the dog show world is just like a big family, there’s some you love, some you’d rather not be related to but are, some you can be ashamed of and some that you’d follow into hell. The point is though, just like a family, we are there for each other when things get rough and we do stick together.
Jeff and I are very humbled for receiving this honor and thank the fancy for being so supportive of us through the years.
 238 • ShowSight Magazine, noveMber 2019
Bulldogs is home to Bulldog Club of America national- specialty Best of Breed, Best in Show, and special- ty-winning Bull- dogs. Since 1977, Elizabeth and Daniel Karshner have concentrated their efforts on breeding correct conformation mar- ried with health,
temperament, and soundness. They are the proud breeders of 100 champions to date. Their sires have produced 290 champions, including many specialty winners. Ch. Little Ponds Chief holds the Top Sire record, with 152 champions.
The Karshners have owner-handled their dogs to over 160 Best in Specialty wins. They are AKC Breeders of Merit and BCA mem- bers. Elizabeth has served multiple terms on the BCA Board of Governors and is an AKC-approved judge who has officiated at the BCA national and BCA backup national, as well as many specialties abroad. She will judge Bulldogs at the World Bulldog Federation in conjunction with the 2020 World Dog Show.
The Karshners are BCA Hall of Fame breeders, and many of their bred-by dogs and bitches are BCA Hall of Fame producers. One of the greatest rewards for the Karshners is seeing Bulldogs they’ve bred complete their championships, owned and handled by newcomers in the breed.
Overall the state of our breed is doing well! There are currently multiple Bulldogs being campaigned that are winning groups and Best in Show awards. They are excellent representatives of correct breed type, temperament and soundness.
Our National breed club along with many of the newer as well as younger generations are placing a higher priority on health testing with special emphasis on using this tool along with all the other considerations when making future breeding decisions. This certainly bodes well for the future for our fancy as we are facing so much of the current anti-dog sentiment of the moment.
I think the financial factor looms large as younger families of dual working parents are dealing with the cost of living as well as time allocated for all the children’s activities, etc. A campaign on media social sites to make the public more aware of what the all wonderful sport of dogs has to offer families including exhibiting, agility, obedience, tracking, working and field trial events. Some- thing for all the family to experience together.
How to select a show puppy?! We look for the package of bal- ance, conformation, movement and the “look at me” temperament then we watch and wait as they mature. Of course this is no exact science (still searching for that crystal ball!) and sometimes we later realize that have placed the better show prospect in a wonderful pet home—which has its own special rewards for us as well.

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