Page 190 - ShowSight - April 2020
P. 190

                Schnauzer, one of the greatest challenges—and I wish I had this for my other breeds—is that I have more demand for puppies than I can supply. There simply are not enough of us breeding Pepper and Salt in North America. For those of us who are breeding Pepper and Salt, we are breeding with purpose, and access to mates is extremely limited. We are also relying on our collaborations with breeders outside of the United States and this is quite costly. First there is the matter of finding the right pedigree to breed to. Importing puppies is not as easy as it used to be, especially for a large breed. Whereas a few years ago, I could receive the puppy and clear it through Cus- toms myself. I am now required by the airline (not Customs) to hire a broker if it arrives as cargo. Arranging stud services for imported frozen semen is also expensive. Container shipping rates often are more expensive than the stud fees. Otherwise, the best thing to do is to hire a flight nanny and send for the puppy while it is still small enough to fit under the seat and, even then, it must come from a rabies-free country. And after all of that is said and done, there is the matter of waiting two years to grow the puppy out and praying that it passes all of the health tests before you can plan your next litter. Trying to save a rare breed from the brink of extinction is not for the faint of heart.
Any specific challenges facing up-and-coming judges? I love that our judges are passionate about what they do and that they love the dogs. I enjoy stewarding for them whenever I get the chance, and I have to admire that they have the strength and resiliency to stand in a ring and repeat motions for eight hours a day. Unfortunately, the AKC system is faulty and it does not allow for talented younger people to become judges. This leaves us with an aging demographic of judges; which is vastly different from the demographic of judges in FCI. I am glad that we have up-and-coming judges eager to pur- sue their goals as well. My biggest ask is, please don’t pursue the low entry breeds just for the sake of checking them off and building your Groups unless you truly get to know them. A judge should be able to tell the difference between a Giant Schnauzer and an Irish Wolfhound. Sadly, the judge who asked me that wasn’t even a permit judge.
What are the qualities that make my breed suitable as household companions? Both the Giant and the Standard Schnauzer are faith- ful and loyal companions and guardians of the household. We call the Standards the dogs with the human brains. They are constantly thinking of ways to challenge you, and without a job to do they will find a job for you to do. The Giant is not like this, but truly gentle and loving. Both breeds are velcro and stay close to their fam- ily. I have never had to worry about one of my dogs trying to run away. Compared to growing up with Basset Hounds and Labradors, the trainability of these breeds is amazing and one of the things I admire most.
What do I think causes shifts in breed popularity? Drivers like visibility, e.g. winning Westminster, what is easily available and accessible right now. Puppy buyers’ most often asked questions are, “Do you have puppies,” and the dreaded, “How much?” It seems most buyers want instant gratification in their search for a four- legged family member, with little appreciation for what goes into purposeful breeding. Prolific breeders, backyard breeders and com- mercial breeders will have an upper-hand on the popularity contest. Even though my breeds are not popular, I still have to screen my buyers to ensure that the puppies are going to the right homes.
What are the trends that I’d like to see continue or stopped? I think that Bill Shelton’s messaging on purposeful breeding is highly effective. We have to focus more on our messaging and market- ing of purebred dogs especially in rare breeds. It is adaptive and necessary since “responsible breeder” and “ethical breeder” have become rather empty and, in some cases, taken over by other enti- ties who don’t espouse the same values. Our goals are truly unique, different—and they serve a purpose which is the preservation of purpose. Disturbing trends that need to stop are absenteeism from policy making in states, counties and local municipalities which
are damaging to purposeful breeding programs and to our fancy. My perception is that animal rights groups like PETA and HSUS or similar, yet smaller, local groups are driving policy or municipal code changes and we have no presence in the policy making arena. I would expect NAIA or AKC Legislative Affairs to be engaging rather than asking individuals in the fancy who have no stand- ing in those cities, counties and states to write letters. I would like to see more proactive engagement in shaping policies that benefit our needs, rather than reacting to those that affect us negatively after they are already enacted. Those of us who can also need to be seeking and applying for leadership positions in shelters, humane societies and animal control departments to drive policy develop- ment and implementation so that we can affect change from within those organizations.
Any health concerns in my breed? In Pepper and Salt Giants, the biggest concern is improving hip test results. The largest breeder of Pepper and Salt in the US never guaranteed hips and never tested for hips. For a rare breed like the Pepper and Salt, this for me is the number one priority for improving health.
I came into Giant and Standard Schnauzers with a vision and I owe the most to those who have joined me in sharing or supporting me in that vision, even when I didn’t know how to groom just yet. I could not have done anything without the breeder of my founda- tion bitch, Monika Ziolek, Suzanne Garcia and Jon Rose, Kellae Fisher, Kathleen Fitzgerald, Nancy Jewel, Garnie Beeson and to Sabina Favaro and Stefania Bozzoli in Italy, and to the rest of Team Masaal as my Standard Schnauzer family; and Julie Elliott, Kim Demchek, Brenda and Tim Nyx, Peggy Shackleford, Terri Parker, and Daniela Vito in Italy for being part of my Giant Schnauzer family. Most of all, thank you to everyone, especially Phil Boulton in the UK, who has encouraged me not to give up on my vision for preserving the Pepper and Salt Giant Schnauzer. And last, but not least, my handler Sergio Olivera, without whom none of my dogs’ recent accomplishments would have been possible.
The most amusing experience I’ve ever had at a dog show? Amusing? Getting a new puppy delivered this past February after losing everything that day. That for me was the winningest moment because she stole my heart on the spot.
I live in Pierce, Colorado, and I have been raising dogs for 30 years. I co-own a trucking company and a jewelry business. I enjoy art which includes; pencil drawing, acrylic, as well as oil painting, and stained glass.
The current overall quality of the Working Group? I think that each year the quality of the Working Group is getting better and better as the Working breeds grow in membership and improve in quality.
Any changes that I’ve witnessed during my tenure? In my breed, which is St. Bernards, I have seen a change as breeders are striving for healthier dogs.
What are the biggest challenges facing today’s exhibitors of Working Dogs? Right now, it’s the Pandemic.
Any particular challenges facing Working Dog breeders in our current economic/social climate? I find in St Bernards, the show numbers have drastically decreased over the past ten years. Our breed needs new, younger breeders who will replace the older breeders who are retiring. This will help so that our numbers don’t keep dwindling.
Any specific challenges facing up-and coming judges? I think that the training these judges are getting needs to include a good understanding of the breed standard as well as an understanding of which job the Working Dog is bred to perform. I feel that some judges are looking for only a powerful head rather than a dog that is structurally correct and capable of movement in order to do its job.

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