Five Minutes With Daniel Fleitas

How much do we know about Daniel Fleitas? Dogs in Review asked some of them a few questions.

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Approved for the Working Group, Australian Shepherds, Belgian Malinois, Belgian Sheepdogs, Belgian Tervuren, Bouviers, Collies, German Shepherd Dogs, Old English Sheepdogs, Shetland Sheepdogs, BIS, Miscellaneous breeds and Junior Showmanship.

How did you first become involved in dogs? What breeds have you been involved with and in what capacity – breeder, owner, handler?

It was my wife’s idea that we purchase a show dog back in 1970 after we attended an all-breed show in Charlotte, the city to which we had moved. We began with a Shetland Sheepdog which we finished, partly with showing by my wife and partly with the aid of professional handlers. We also became involved in obedience work with the Shelties. With both of us employed at full-time jobs, we did very little breeding. I became very active in professional stewarding and learned a great deal about the sport. Over the years we also owned other Shelties, a Pom, a Maltese, several Boxers and the breed to which we are now devoted — the Siberian Husky.

Who has been your mentor or mentors?

I can’t say that I ever had a true mentor. Rather, I mostly learned from stewarding. I was the lead steward for the Southeastern Professional Stewards for most shows in the Carolinas, Georgia and Tennessee during the 1970s and early 1980s. Also helpful was the fact that we traveled with and helped assist a couple of professional handlers, Carroll James (now retired) and George Schlinker, who has passed away. Once I became a judge I also received helpful advice from several AKC Representatives, including Lynn Weaver and Michael Suave.

What is, or was, your profession?

I have enjoyed working in two entirely different professions. I first graduated with a degree in pharmacy, a profession which I practiced for several years, including two years in the U.S. Army. Eventually I decided I did not want to spend my life behind a counter, so I returned to college and earned a Ph.D. in political science, after which I spent 35 years teaching and doing research until retiring four years ago. Since then I have returned on a part-time basis to practicing pharmacy with a large national chain.

Do you have any hobbies or special interests other than judging?

I do not have a lot of spare time, but my wife and I enjoy traveling with our dogs in the RV to the beach several times a year and walking them on shore. We also like to try out new restaurants with friends, both at home in Charlotte and wherever we travel. I write a column for a Siberian Husky publication.

Do you have any pet peeves when judging?

I don’t really have any pet peeves, although I have judged a few dogs that really needed a bath in a bad way.

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