Breeders, by their very nature, often work behind the scenes in our sport. However, as with the talented directors of magnificent, life-changing films, talented breeders are responsible for bringing about unforgettable, living works of art. In neither case is out of sight, out of mind. Skilled handlers, loving owners, generous backers and knowledgeable judges all depend on great breeders and their pursuit of excellence to provide us with superb dogs generation after generation.
One of the most valuable tools breeders have as they go about their important work is pedigrees. Sophisticated computer software has eliminated the laborious task of writing out pedigrees, but it still takes study and planning to understand the significance of a pedigree and how best to utilize the dogs behind it. Jonathan Jeffrey Kimes’ feature article in this issue, “Reading Pedigrees Loud and Clear” (page 90), should be considered required reading for new and established breeders alike. Jon shares his approach to studying pedigrees and presents some theories well worth considering.
Kathy Lorentzen, in her “Old School … and Proud of It” column (page 102), addresses the all-important subject of raising puppies to reach their full potential. She and a fellow breeder compare notes on how they feed, exercise and condition their puppies. New owners often take home the pick puppy but, by the choices they make when it comes to feeding and housing, may actually be setting back their show prospect’s development.
Armando Angelbello has achieved ultimate success with his Marlex Miniature Pinschers. He was voted the 2014 Winkie® winner for Outstanding Breeder. In this issue, he reflects on how he began in the sport, set goals for himself and worked hard to realize his dreams. Read his advice for evaluating puppies and taking them to the top in his Q&A, starting on page 108.
When both are on the same page, the right mentor can inspire a dedicated new breeder to great heights. The wrong match, however, can lead to heartache and acrimony, which never benefits the breed that is supposed to be the focus of everyone’s hard work. This month, breeder and AKC-licensed multi-Group judge Elaine Lessig recalls her own early days working with a few mentors who shaped the path she would take in the sport. Elaine wisely reminds us that newly minted judges also need mentors. It behooves all of us who love the sport to pay it forward and offer guidance to sincere newcomers. You’ll find “You Said It: Mentors Teach, Share and Guide” by Elaine Lessig on page 116.
Correction: I must clarify a statement I made in my October Editor’s column. Although Gay Dunlap is indeed an accomplished photographer, the only photo appearing in her “Terrier Facts & Fallacies” that she herself took is the one of the Airedale. The other shots were taken by a number of different photographers. We are indebted to them for their generosity in making their lovely photos of beautiful terriers available to Gay and to us.