Page 236 - ShowSight, March 2020
P. 236

                The largest health concern facing my breed today? We have a few health concerns so breeders must be careful to honor all the following health clearances of a breeding pair, and buyers are wise to ask for proof of these clearances from the parents of a pup/dog they wish to purchase. Breeders will not breed a pair when both are a “carrier” of any of the following disorders, for two carriers of a disorder create an “active” condition of the disorder. This applies to: Degenerative myelopathy, DM, Energy Induced Collapse, EIC, Progressive Retinal Atrophy, PRA.
Parents should also have Orthopedic Foundation of America (OFA) Hips, Elbows, and possibly Knees x-ray’d, Hips (good or excellent) and Elbows and knees (normal).
Any trends I see that I believe need to continue or I’d like to see stopped? Health testing and clearances need to continue for the health and viability of the Chesapeake breed. God forbid a Chesa- peake be used in a designer dog mix. That is a travesty.
I learned from several Chesapeake breeders along with extensive research. I am very grateful for Diane Wurz, Renee Wolfe, Mar- cotte, and Michelle Voss. Regarding the art and skill of handling, I am incredibly grateful for Anthony and Darcie Cantor.
The biggest pitfall awaiting new and novice judges? Failure to carefully study and follow the AKC breed standard. Our breed is subject to trends and politics as is any breed. It is vitally important that the Chesapeake is judged carefully to the standard, as their “form” creates their ability to function in all performance activities.
I live in Phoenix, Arizona and I have been in dogs my entirely life. I was lucky to grow up with a family that loves dogs and all animals. Both of my parents were pro- fessional handlers and my grandparents on both sides showed and bred dogs as well.
The current overall quality of the Group? I think overall the quality of the Sporting Group is very strong. Especially here in the West Coast. It is always one of the toughest Groups to compete in and always very deep in quality.
How do I think Sporting Dogs have adapted to the change to primarily indoor lives? I think there’s a lot of Sporting dogs out there that can still do it all and have done it all. Yes, they might lead a more pampered home life, but they can still go out and enjoy doing their job before coming home to a nice comfy couch under the air conditioning.
Any particular challenges Sporting Dog breeders face in our current economic/social climate? I think the challenges we face eco- nomically and socially are spread throughout the whole dog com- munity. I don’t believe it is Group specific. Everything is getting more expensive everywhere which raises the costs of breeding and
showing which makes it more difficult for people to be able to get all the testing and work done that needs to be done to breed and have multiple litters to keep preserving our breeds.
What makes a Sporting Dog the ideal companion in these 21st- century times? I am very biased to the Sporting Group, specifically my Labrador breed. They’ve been voted the number one dog for more years than I can remember and they’ve always been a favorite of mine. They just make perfect house dogs. They’ll do anything from long hikes to hanging out on the couch. They’re just an overall fun dog to be around and they can always put a smile on your face no matter how bad your day may have been.
What advice would I give a newcomer to the sport? We need a lot more new people in the sport. The best advice I could give them is just keep their heads high and keep persevering through any challenges they might face. This world can be a tough one, but it all pays off if you work hard and do what is best for each breed. Without new people, the sport dies out with the old.
My biggest mentors in Labradors have definitely been Duke and Tina Donahue of QuailChase Labradors. I started showing their dogs over 12 years ago and they are the reason I am where I am today in this breed. I am forever grateful for what they’ve done for me as well as for the Labrador. Without them I don’t know that I’d be as involved and in love with this breed as I am today.
The biggest pitfall awaiting new and novice judges? I think the biggest thing is education. It can sometimes be very confusing to learn our breed because of so many different styles we have and a lot can be based so much on preference and still be correct. Educating the new judges is so important to help them understand that it’s okay to like a different style, but to always keep basic structure and our standard in mind.
We live near Annapolis, Maryland on a farm close to the Chesa- peake Bay. Our farm is a working farm where we raise grains, hay and vegetables. We also hunt deer and geese on our farm. Our Curl- ies have an opportunity to go back to their roots of a hunting dog during duck and goose season.
When we aren’t out showing our dogs, we are normally working on the farm. The spring and summer are very busy getting the hay fields ready to plant, cut and harvest. Kathy spends time in the barn and riding with her home-bred equine, Malachi.
The Sporting Group, like the other six Groups, is extremely competitive. Often times, breeds like the Curly-Coated Retriever and other low entry breeds, are often times overlooked by most judges in the Group. They just don’t see CCRs weekly. We have been fortunate in recent years to see CCRs receive more recogni- tion in both the Owner-Handled Sporting Group and the Sporting Group. The CCRs most distinctive quality is the tight, crisp, curly coat. They aren’t flashy and they don’t have long, flowing hair.
“We need a lot more new people in the sport. The best advice I could give them is just keep their heads high and keep persevering through any challenges they might face. This world can be a tough one, but it all pays off if you work hard and do what is best for each breed.”

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