Page 192 - ShowSight - April 2020
P. 192

                What are the qualities that make my breed suitable as household companions? Saints can be good house dogs because of their laid- back temperament. Due to their size, they still need to have outside areas to exercise in order to maintain good growth and muscle mass.
What do I think causes shifts in breed popularity? I think some popularity in breeds can be influenced by a popular movie or TV series with that breed of dog in it.
What are the trends that I’d like to see continue? I would love to see the importance of correct structure and movement being judged. Any I’d like to see stopped? Judges choosing a dog purely on head type or just size alone and not for the ability to do its job.
Any health concerns in my breed? We do see canine epilepsy in this breed and would like to see breeders not breed a dog that could pass on this trait.
I owe my great success to two mentors who have helped me build a successful kennel. Martin Glover, who has taught me so much, from how to show properly to which dogs to breed to the pedigrees that I already have in my kennel. Tikki Smith of Lasquite’s St. Ber- nards has trusted me with her lines to do what is honorable for our breed. Tikki has offered guidance about whelping my litters. Both Martin and Tikki are wonderful about answering questions about the conformation of dogs I am interested in.
The most amusing experience I’ve ever had at a dog show? Prob- ably the most amusing and horrifying experience I have had was my nylons falling down as I was doing my final go around. No way to recover from that!
I live in Columbus, Georgia. Have been in the dog sport world for 20 years. Outside of the dog world, which isn’t much, I have a plant business, both live and silk. In addition, I have many projects going in both needlepoint and quilting.
The current overall quality of the Working Group? The Work- ing Group today is very strong in many breeds. Usually there is one or two top Working breeds, but today there are many. And, it is tough to compete with such a strong Group.
What are the biggest challenges facing today’s exhibitors of Working Dogs? Unfortunately, the picture of our show world may be forever changed with the current state of our world. We need to be ready to come back strong and better than ever. Everyone needs to remember that the show world is our extended family and we need to get back together with this family as soon as we are allowed and able.
Any particular challenges facing Working Dog breeders in our current economic/social climate? Having a litter currently, it has been a challenge to allow the families of the puppies to see them grow up. I have learned a lot about Skype and FaceTime. Also, socialization is critical for these young pups. We are doing what we can to get them used to new things. It is difficult with only two people in the house. Then, there is getting puppies to their new homes. As a breeder, we know that we will have these puppies longer than normal and need to get ready for some necessary training.
Any specific challenges facing up-and-coming judges? New judges today will not have the opportunity to have hands on the dogs. But in their time off from shows, they can study the breed
standards and look at videos of their particular breeds. What a great way to renew their knowledge of the breeds they judge. This type of opportunity may never come again. At least let’s hope not in this manner.
What are the qualities that make my breed suitable as household companions? Portuguese Water Dogs are not for everyone, but they do make great household companions. They are extremely smart and will challenge you in all ways. These dogs “need a job” even if it is a great long walk daily. Water Dogs are a continuous training process. You will not find a more loyal family member, and the key is that they are a family member. As with any dog, any puppy owner must do their research to insure that the breed they select is an asset to their family.
What do I think causes shifts in breed popularity? A lot of times it is who owns them. For example, we saw an increase in interest in the Portuguese Water Dog when the Obama’s got their first dog.
What are the trends that I’d like to see continue or stopped? The trend of Preservation Breeders is excellent. It is a great resource for education of the public about what a breeder truly is. It has to continue for the preservation of our sport. We have to work together to stop the trend of cross-breeds like doodles and those who choose to breed constantly for nothing but profit. A true breeder will breed for the betterment of the breed.
Any health concerns in my breed? As always, there are health concerns in any breed. There is pride in the Portuguese Water Dog Club and Foundation for the pursuit of aiding breeders in getting healthy dogs to their new homes. In addition, the Portuguese Water Dog is aiding in research in diseases that affect all dogs like Hem- angiosarcoma, to name one.
To whom do I owe the most? I would have to say that CJ Favre and Colville Jackson are the two people who really stand out as helping me learn the breed and understand the breeding pedigrees. There are also so many that I have learned from over the years. Without the strength of our PWD family, I would still not be in the sport of purebred dogs.
I live in Sarasota, Florida, and have raised, shown, and trained dogs for over 40 years. I am a plastic and reconstructive surgeon and have been in practice for 20 years. Known as Dr. Jackie at the dog shows, I’m always available to my dog show family of exhibitors, owners, and handlers for any medical needs or cosmetic interests. Truly, my dogs and my medical business encompass my life and fulfill it.
I feel the quality of the Working Group has been strong! Especially when I had the pleasure to be in the Working Group at the AKC National Championship Presented by Royal Canin this past December. Some beautiful representatives of their breed were present!
Any changes in the breeds lately? Well, sometimes I do see mem- bers of the Working Group not represent a working dog! The Work- ing Group dogs need to be strong and powerful and need to still be designed for what their breed was intended. Sometimes I do not see this, unfortunately.
“We have to work together to stop the trend of cross- breeds like doodles and those who choose to breed con- stantly for nothing but profit. A true breeder will breed for the betterment of the breed.”

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