Page 211 - ShowSight - April 2020
P. 211

                My ultimate goal for this breed is to see it secure in that it will not die out. I started early when there were barely any breeders. In fact there was a brief time when we could not give dogs away! Some of us bred anyway to be able to keep our bloodlines going! One period, I was one of three breeders in the whole country who was regularly breeding, despite the atmosphere. It was scary! Happily we have moved way beyond that. To accomplish security for the breed is to fulfill Madame Bennert’s mission, to save the breed, and I am honored and content to have done my part in that.
I have so many favorite dog show memories. I have made so many friends through the years showing dogs. But one is way back when the breed was still a rare breed. In the 1980s I used to drive from Rochester, New York to New Jersey to attend the Hudson Val- ley Rare Breed Shows with my dogs. Often we had to build our majors and coordinate with others to get that done. One time my dog sitter bailed and I had to take a load of dogs with me. My van was out of commission and so I had to pack a Dodge Omni with enough crates, pens, food and water to accommodate 11 Löwchen and assorted puppies, as well as my own needs! Okay, I was thinner then, so my clothes took up less space! I got there and people came over to say hi as I was unloading everything. I became the clown car show! Before I was done a crowd of people were in stitches! All I can say is I got it done and held the majors!
The Löwchen has a rich history and is something to be proud of, to take part in the preservation a such a rare and historical breed. This is a fun breed, and suitable for so many people. I wish more could consider having one and help us to continue to preserve the breed.
It all started with two dogs. Our first Löwchen, Balki, aka Monster, and Sherman, GCHB Skansen’s Hbo FDC CGCA CGCU TKP TT. Balki came into our lives in 2005. He taught us how amazing the Löwchen breed is. He lived to the age of 15. 5 years old and lived every day like it was an amazing adventure. Sherman was our first show dog. We got him in July of 2010. We have had many firsts with him, from our first Cham-
pion and Grand Champion to our first #2 Giant Schnauzer, #1 male in the USA. He started our love of the conformation ring. He still loves to show and compete for titles even as a senior. We got Freya on November 28, 2016 from Alicia Schmidt and Kim Schmidt of Kiji Kennels. Freya is exceeding our expectations in the ring and as a mother. We are so thankful to Alicia and Kim for entrusting us with her. We are also thankful to have them as part of our Löwchen family and future.
We live in Palmdale, California. I enjoy training in martial arts and am currently working towards my second black belt. I also enjoy making videos to teach others how to groom.
Do I hope the breed’s popularity will change or am I comfort- able with the placement? It is a double-edged sword. With popu- larity comes more breeders of varying quality to try and fill the demand. With lower popularity comes lack of knowledge about the breed from the general public and the possibility of extinction.
Does the average person on the street recognize the breed? No, most people think they are either a Havanese or some mixed breed. Are there any misconceptions about the breed I’d like to dispel? Yes. For one, they are not $10,000 to acquire. If you are willing to pay that, please contact me. Second, that they are hard to train. Our puppy, Eve, received seven titles before she was six and a half
months of age. If the breed was hard to train, this would not be pos- sible. Third, that they grow in a Lion cut pattern. The lion cut was used functionally and then adapted and stylized for show.
What special challenges do breeders face in our current eco- nomic and social climate? Litter numbers are typically small and breeding numbers are low worldwide, making importing/exporting a frequent practice that keeps our worldwide Löwchen community having to work cooperatively.
At what age do I start to see definite signs of show-worthiness? Starting at six weeks we can determine who to watch.
What is the most important thing about the breed for a new judge to keep in mind? Movement and a correct head. Löwchen should have free flowing, beautiful movement while looking joyful and happy. Their head must be of correct proportions with large, dark eyes that make you want to give them anything. They should never have long, snipey muzzles.
What’s the best way to attract newcomers to my breed and to the sport? We need to have people see their sweet and loving demeanor and clownish antics. Also to teach them that they groom them any way they want. For the sport, the Löwchen is a great breed for new- comers since most are owner-handled and are willing to help.
My ultimate goal for the breed? To keep the breed alive and of high quality. Also to share the world’s best kept secret.
My favorite dog show memory? That the dog show community, even in hard times, will pull together to keep dogs and people safe. I’d also like to share that they are one of the most unrecognized family breeds by the general public. They are in tune to your emo- tions and thoughts, and they suffer from excessive happiness and
love to show it.
We live in Yale, Michigan. Jennifer works for AT&T and Rich- ard is retired from the United State Coast Guard. We are involved with several kennel clubs, breed and all-breed clubs, and we are also involved with 4-H horses with our grandchildren. Our family is involved with all things AKC.
Do we hope the breed’s popularity will change or are we com- fortable with the placement? We would hope that the breed will become more popular.
Do these numbers help or hurt the breed? As far as AKC shows it hurts us for breed points in competition.
Does the average person on the street recognize the breed? No, they think the breed is a mix.
Are there any misconceptions about the breed we’d like to dis- pel? Yes, they are not prissy or overly friendly. They are devoted to their people, will be aloof with strangers and will bark, but they’re very trainable.
What special challenges do breeders face in our current eco- nomic and social climate? Current trends in price of puppy sales has gone way up. We believe that this hurts the breed. By inflating the price, the person who needs a non-shed dog will go elsewhere.
At what age do we start to see definite signs of show-worthiness? We grade our puppies from day one. Temperament, recover time for new exposure, and, of course, conformation. We do a rough grade at eight weeks including health checks. Then again at 12 weeks. Then we have to wait on the bite.
What is the most important thing about the breed for a new judge to keep in mind? Hallmark is the face, a dark round eye with eye rims, silhouette and clean movement. No shaping of the jacket or feet.

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