Wednesday, February 1, 2012

A New Path Toward Breeding

Recently a breeder friend got me thinking about pursuing breeding separate from the notion of showing. This idea really appealed to me as I know my dogs and love what they represent. I have found so many things going on in the show world lacking and had been  considering giving up on dogs as a pastime. Below I present photographs of my dog Cyan Devashunii Shaanta.

Fortunately, Shaan did get two specialty majors.  Really nice wins under, judges I respect-- Richard Souza, Coastwind, (where he was skillfully handled to BOS over 24 specials by Lex Robertson) and Jerry Klein, DMV, Sebring (stacked photo above, with Peggy Coffman). But getting his Championship alluded both of us. We were shy 3 singles toward that goal.  We had spent thousands of dollars between the traveling and paying for handlers, as I can not physically show myself.  Photographs of Shaan are attached to illustrate the problem we had getting our goal accomplished.

The first problem occured with a well known Afghan Breeder/Judge.  She made her decision from looking at the dog stacked by a new handler, for us.   This handler had gone BIS at Westminster and was well accomplished in showing dogs but she could couldn't get the dog into the stack. Granted, this was a pick up, but when you are charging $100 at an All-Breed event to show a dog, you really shouldn't take the assignment, if you can't do the job. The judge walked away concluding the dog had a bad top line.  And referred to it many times in my ear shot.  (Please refer to the above photo to make your own determination regarding the dog's top line.)

The second problem happened at an indoor specialty, again with a breeder judge complaining to me about the handler, after the fact. Again it was a pick up. The handler showed both of my dogs and both ended up going reserve, an honor, but of no value, really. (The moving shot above is from this show.) I knew this judge loved this dog, but couldn't get beyond the handler trying to stack him.  There were, certainly, better political choices to make.  What are the judges judging? The handlers or the dog?

I could go on, but every dog doesn't want to be posed. At some point Shaan decided he just hated this handling, and probably had grown tired of show scene since he didn't have a bond with the handlers.  Reading the dog's handling nuances should be a part of the handler's job. I tried another handler who was big, young, and strong show the dog at another specialty.  He managed to pull him to a stack and hold him there for 5 minutes while the judge assessed the class. Then, when it came time to move the dog, Shaan said 'blankety blank' to the handler, e.g. 'I'm not going anywhere with you'. (See photos below.)  In moving the dog, it looks like the handler is trying to decapitate him.

The last try was with another breeder who had offered to help. Only problem was, in spite of my advice about stacking the dog, it is so hard for people to not follow conventional techniques when they are under the pressure of the show ring. My point in all of this and sharing these photographs is to say once and for all, Cyan Devashunii Shaanta did not have a bad top line.  He was a independent Afghan Hound of exceptional breed type.  I have waited until his passing to post this story. Now we look forward to a new generation here at Cyan, unimpeded by professional wags. But, it has been 5 years since our last litter and timing is critical to do it now, so as not loose the uniqueness that is the Cyan line.

In closing, when I breed, I will be looking to place dogs in the best show and pet homes possible, without the kind of interference we see throughout our breed from the 'Afghan Hound Police'. We will keep what people do not select. But we will keep breeding and the continuation of the Cyan line in spite of what comments people choose to promote and circulate about our dogs and us.

Recently, I was advised that someone very well known in the breed was bad mouthing us with statements consisting of 'it is a disaster waiting to happen' and 'that our dogs will end up in rescue'.  There is no evidence of any neglect in our home or that our dogs have ever ended up in rescue.  I am sick to death of this kind of *Swedish Poison* having heard about it but not before has it come to my attention that it was blatantly directed at us.  This person and people who do this and spread propaganda and disinformation, which has no basis in fact, are guilty of slander.  They are rumormongers and should not be elevated to positions of stature like being nominated and selected to judge.  Is there no code of ethics in the national club in this regard?

In my opinion, the Afghan Hound Club of America has a responsibility to set a better example for others to follow and stop supporting the people who are degrading others in the breed, and their dogs, as well as being guilty of doing the same thing within the membership themselves.  Until such time that the officers stop these irresponsible behaviors, I will have little regard for the Afghan Hound Club of America's integrity.  It also reflects badly on The American Kennel Club and shows them only for what they are, a record keeping "facebook" organization that does not or can not, enforce any semblance of ethical standard in people associated with events and clubs they sponsor.

People in grass houses shouldn't stow thrones.

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