You are not logged in
129 were here today
0 is here now
Inside the Breed
Published: 18. 7. 2004 20:20
Readed: 10844 times
Author: Kateřina Čechová
Interview with Bernardo Büchner Regazzoni for SCHNAUZER PAGE
S-P: What do you look for when you get to see a particular schnauzer for the first time?
BBR: I get a general first impression, size, overall movement and type within the breed, within the context of the standard. Every standard is determined by the function of that dog, a working dog, like a schnauzer, has specific requirements to meet; a dog that has to complete a full day work needs dept of chest and ribs to carry well back for good lung and heart capacity. I look at the total picture and whether this particular animal conforms to the breed standard
S-P: As you have seen many schnauzers over the years and in many continents, is there one issue that pops up the most for them. Anything that schnauzers are lacking and they share in common?
BBR: In my opinion and in general schnauzers lack of good front angulations, which of course have a direct consequence to how the dogs move. Of course there are dogs which are really well angulated, but those are the minority. I have also seen some lack of type in giants and miniature schnauzers due to the wrong use of American lines, including colour and hair quality problems. Many of the miniatures schnauzers that we see on the rings these days are neither American nor German type and they also do not have any of the good characteristics of these two types.
S-P: Most of the South American breeders have always looked towards USA as the ideal, although Germany is the country of origin of the Schnauzer. Has there been a change in that?
BBR: There has been a change only by those breeders or judges who have had the chance to come to Europe and see schnauzers in their home country. You can follow the tendency less in the rings than in the breeding stock of our countries, where many imported European schnauzers are being use to improve the base stock. Especially giant and standard schnauzers have been imported to South American countries in the last 10 years from Europe and in the last years from East Europe and Russia. Not the same has happened with miniature schnauzer where breeders as well as judges still prefer the American type, this of course still as a consequence of miniature schnauzer being placed in the FCI Group IX for long time where they had to compete with longhaired and high groomed breeds. The nearness to the giants and standards in the rings of the Group II is helping the exhibitors to compare and see the differences.
S-P: Breeding in Uruguay since 1986 and in Germany since 1997, you have had contact with American and German line schnauzers. What are your general impressions?
BBR: You can find excellent, good and bad dogs in both lines. German schnauzers are closer to the standard in what refers to hair quality and general appearance, while American schnauzers are sometimes better constructed and have stronger bones and better heads. I am not generalizing, and this depends whether we are talking about giants, standards or miniatures. The common mind that American schnauzers are straight in front is false; I have seen many schnauzers with an excellent structure and excellent forequarter’s angulations in the States, but almost all with bad texture and wrong colour. The texture problem is due to the high amount of undercoat that these dogs have. Breeders need to reduce the number of sub-hairs pro follicle to get a better hair quality.
S-P: Since the end of the cold war we have seen many schnauzers come out of Eastern Europe. What are your thoughts on the dogs coming out of Czech Republic, Slovakia, Russia, Poland, and other East European countries?
BBR: I must say that the quality of the dogs bred in the former soviet countries has positively surprised the breeders worldwide, and we can see today how fast they have conquered the rings worldwide and still maintain the supremacy in the show results. My first contact with them and their breeders was at the World Dog Show in Helsinki and since them I continue hearing positive comments from breeders and judges all over the world.
BBR: Keep breeding with the best of both continents, and only with the best. There is no sense in producing always the same, repeating the same combinations, which have not given good results. Breeders must risk on solid basis and go for what they consider the best wherever it is and whatever it cost. Here I would like to share with you a graphical example, who has been told to me by an experienced breeder: “If you mix lemons and apples in a basket, you never would be able to get a peach out of it”. So, if you want to have dogs with better hair, or better dept of chest or better head or temperament, than only use dogs that have these characteristics, otherwise you are wasting your time.
S-P: It’s inevitable that the breed will evolve and change somewhat as new generations of breeders take charge. How can the essence - or true breed type - be maintained?
BBR: I think that the first thing that you have to understand is that there is a difference between breed progress and changing a breed. Yes, we want our breeds to get better as we go along, but we don’t want to change them. I think that with the obsession with Groups and Best in Shows, judges and breeders are forgiving of major deviations from what is correct in the breed - in order to get that dog that has the flash and glamour to be able to win a Group, to win a Best in Show. I don’t think that people pay enough attention to those breeders who over a long period of time have bred quality dogs and over a continuing period of time have consistently bred dogs of a kind -- of a kind -- not this one this time and that one the next time. I don’t care about whether they were number one in the ratings, or how many championship’s titles a particular dogs has achieved, but unfortunately that if what most of the people look after. So, those are the problems that you face and that is why I feel that those in that responsible position of educating and judging have to really stress what is important to the breed. The only people who can protect a breed are the breeders who have had long- term experience with long-term results. It’s as simple as that.
S-P: You’ve done international judging and attended several specialized schnauzer shows. In your opinion, how would our schnauzer and their breeders benefit from more international dialog and cooperation?
BBR: I have a very simple answer, see what good breeders are already achieving as the result of cooperation among others. All these exchanges lead to the enrichment of our own experiences and knowledge of the breed. In a time of globalisation it is impossible to avoid the external influences and this is not healthy neither for the breeders nor for the dogs or, what is more important, for the breed’s leading institutions on each country. We must open the institutions to the opinion of other people, and invite foreign judges-breeders to see what they have to tell us about our dogs and see how we can learn (or not) from their experiences. If we ignore what is happening in other countries, we might oversee a good opportunity to take advantage of the progresses done by other breeders. Cooperation means work together for a common goal, and isn’t it what all of us have here? the common goal to breed a better, healthier and happier schnauzer? Apart of that, knows someone a better way to make friends than talking on schnauzers after a long exhibition day?
S-P: What do you think about crossing colours in breeding? What are the advantages and disadvantages in this type of breeding?
BBR: Colour crossing has demonstrated to be an effective tool for improving particular characteristics when applied by experienced breeders. It has however some disadvantages related to changes to the original coat colour, for example blacks with grey undercoat and white hairs, or salt and pepper schnauzers with white legs as result of black and silver crossing. I would not recommended it if a previous and expertise analysis has not been done or without a follow up of the results for statistical purposes.
S-P: How many dogs do you consider optimal at your kennel in order to have enough time for them?
BBR: No more than ten! …and this is already too much! My dogs live inside the house, I wouldn’t be able to manage more than ten dogs at one time giving them the care and attention they deserve and otherwise they would destroy my furniture!
S-P: Any words of advice to someone thinking of breeding or showing Schnauzers?
BBR: It is my conviction that being overly focussed on succes in the showring is the main reason for many breeders to go wrong . For instance it has been the "fashion" for some time now to put up Schnauzers with overangulated rears, even to being sicklehocked ! Also very short toplines are much admired.....Restricted front action and lack of the desired propelling power from the rear are grossly overlooked. In my humble opinion a dedicated breeder should stick to the STANDARD and not to what is the fashion of the day....And breeders should learn to keep from a litter what they might need for the next generation, without putting too much emphasis on the animals prospective showcareer . They should decide what is needed in their breeding programme and not leave it to some judge who perhaps never bred a decent dog in his life.
S-P: Thank you very much for your time, we wish you best success for the future.
BBR: Tank you. I would also like to congratulate you for the well done and very useful schnauzer page. This page its has served and serves to bring closer breeders and schnauzer friends around the world. These kinds of undertakings are the best for exchange of information and stimulation of new ideas!!
Kateřina Čechová &
Team Schnauzer page. Tel.: (+420) 732 862 224, ICQ:
Comments to design or functionality and requests for new services send to email@example.com.
Printed from http://www.schnauzer.cz/