The Predictability of Good Breeding

The October 2012 Editor's Page.

By Allan Reznik | October 30, 2012

Welcome to our annual Breeders Issue. Truth to tell, we consider every issue a breeders' issue because in a sport of superstar professional handlers, high-profile judges and generous owners and backers, it is the talented breeders in our midst who play the most essential role of all. If it weren't for their unwavering commitment to excellence, producing generation after generation of great dogs in a world that has become increasingly hostile toward breeders, there would be nothing for the rest of us to show, campaign, advertise or judge. For all their wisdom and experience, many breeders prefer to stay out of the limelight, making beautiful puppies for others to appreciate as great breed representatives. All the more reason to acknowledge their contributions in print, to make sure they are not taken for granted.

It was gratifying to see many advertisers embrace the true meaning of a Breeders Issue and showcase the parents, grandparents and siblings of their current top stars. While a Cinderella show dog comes along occasionally, great results are far more likely from a carefully nurtured breeding program. Depth of quality is a good thing whether evaluating a breed entry at a dog show or the success of a breeding program. Any knowledgeable breeder will tell you the third pick from a consistent litter is a better bet than the flyer from an inconsistent litter.

The Holiday Inn chain at one time used the advertising slogan that the best surprise of all was no surprise. That philosophy applies equally to breeders. Those with a vision in their mind's eye and a path they follow in their pursuit of perfection won't dramatically shift gears to breed what's currently in fashion in the show ring. The predictability, the reliability of their breeding program is based on what they consider correct as specified in the breed standard. If a more exaggerated look is being rewarded this season, they take the news philosophically. They've seen the pendulum swing back before and know it will happen again.

This issue contains a report on the fourth annual Breeder's Showcase sponsored by Purina® Pro Plan® and held at the Santa Barbara Kennel Club. It was an elegant celebration to honor breeders on a global level, and the best came out to compete ... or simply rejoice in the company of like-minded dog people. It is a great event that keeps getting better.

Also in this issue is a profile of Coventry Pembroke Welsh Corgis, winner of the 2011 Winkie® for Outstanding Breeder, and the three people behind that well-respected prefix: Bill Shelton, Steve Leyerly and Beckie Williams, DVM. Written by Gay Dunlap, herself the distinguished breeder of the Gleanngay Soft Coated Wheatens, it reveals how this trio breeds and raises litters and what Bill, Steve and Beckie each bring to the table. It is worth noting that every puppy at Coventry gets raised with the same advantages. That means delightful, well-adjusted companions for deserving pet homes as well as the finest show dogs.

We are thrilled to welcome Gretchen Bernardi as a regular contributor. She has participated in our sport since 1969 and wears many hats: breeder, exhibitor, AKC delegate and judge. In 2011 she was honored as AKC Hound Breeder of the Year. It is fitting that Gretchen's first column appear this month.

From the October 2012 issue of Dogs In Review magazine. Purchase the October 2012 digital back issue or subscribe to receive 12 months of Dogs In Review magazine.



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