Page 112 - ShowSight - April 2020
P. 112

                classroom part. She took me to several dogs in the hands-on part of the seminar, took my hands in hers and placed them on dog after dog. Then, later in the day, she found me after she had arranged five dogs of dif- ferent breeds, and asked me to go over them and tell her what I saw and felt. I know that because of Pagey taking the extra time with a kid, she instilled in me an understanding of basic structure and balance, and she has influenced my breeding program to this day. And, of course, there was James W. Smith, without whom Tramac Dalmatians would not be where we are today. He saw Mocha and knew she was something special. He was an avid art collector and referred to Mocha as a living work of art. Jim was a special person and so generous to me. He was also very generous with the time and money he gave to the sport of dogs.
The Tramac Dalmatians are widely known, highly successful and well respected. What breeding philosophies do you adhere to?
Thank you. Well, mostly it’s KISs = Keep It Simple. Breeding is a risky, time- consuming endeavor. You must take some calculated risks often to gain a reward. But that risk must never come at the expense of the long-term health of the resulting pup- pies, or generations of your dogs. I never breed for my next show dog. I breed for generations in the future. I think I learned that from Doug and Sharron. I don’t always keep the best, but rather, I keep the puppy that represents what I did the breeding for. I have two co-breeders who are a very impor- tant part of my breeding program, Jennifer Meisch (Spotlite) and Crystal Beam (Trea- sure). We talk and talk, over and over, about dogs that might work for our program; why and why not. Sadly, it’s often not. We put great emphasis on breed type, balance and, of course, health and temperament. Often people will say, “I watched Dals today. Your dogs look different from the rest.” Well, often they do. We adhere to true breed type, not the current hype, in our breeding program and often they do look different because they are never extreme in outline. We strive for a Dal that is approximately square, balanced, with substance, and sound all three ways. Many of the Dals today are fine in bone and body, lacking balance and overall breed type. From our standard: The Dalmatian is a distinctively spotted dog; poised and alert; strong, muscu- lar and active; free of shyness; intelligent in expression; symmetrical in outline; and with- out exaggeration or coarseness. The Dalma- tian is capable of great endurance, combined with fair amount of speed.
How many dogs do you currently house? Tell us about your facilities and how the dogs are maintained.
I don’t keep a lot; I can’t with my work schedule. I have four currently: 14-year-old Tess; Bogie, 9; Soleil, 6; and Lilith, 2. My dogs are house dogs and three sleep with me. All my dogs have access to dog doors all the time. I do have separate rooms for them when they need to be apart, as well as a room on the front of my house when I have puppies. Dals do not do well as kennel dogs, separated from their family.
Who were/are some of your most signifi- cant Dalmatians, both in the whelping box and in the show ring?
The most significant Dal was our first Dal, Bandit. Was he a great one? No, but he was the best dog ever. He taught me so much and put up with 4-H, fun match after fun match, dog shows and being a Mascot for the City of Davis. He is behind every Tramac Dalmatian. After Bandit it would have to be Sneakers, without whom I would not have what I have today. She is the dam of Mocha and Trapper, both of whom were Best in Show winners. It is because of Mocha that Jim Smith got back into show- ing dogs after a long hiatus. She was Jim’s first Best in Show winner in any breed. She was bred three times, but due to the owner of the sire of her first litter not being all that truthful, only two of her breedings are in my
breeding program. She got her ROM and produced two Best in Show winners, Bindi and Tanner, who were also Westminster Breed winners. Bindi, like her mom, was a Best in Show winner, National Specialty winner and a Top 20 winner. She became a ROMX producing a Best in Show winner. Her daughter, Soleil, is a ROM working on her ROMX and produced Lilith who was BOW to finish at our National Specialty and the Canadian National. Because I keep dogs in my program for future breedings, my top show dogs have been good producers.
Please comment positively on your breed’s present condition and what trends might bear watching.
Disney is coming out with a new movie in 2020. I hope we can survive better this time than when the past movies were released. We have new people to Dalmatians who, with guidance, will hopefully become pres- ervation breeders. As Chairman of our Par- ent Club’s Standard Committee I hope that more people who are breeding and judging would read the standard and try to learn what it is telling us. Dals at this time are becoming a rather refined dog with many having little bone or depth; exotic outlines; and dogs that are so unbalanced fore to aft. We as breeders understand our health issues, but judges need to understand that Dalma- tians are not a sporting breed, but a long- distance trotting and guard dog breed. >

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