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Attaining « Excellence with Elegance » ….And Keeping It !

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Presentation on theme: "Attaining « Excellence with Elegance » ….And Keeping It !"— Presentation transcript:

1 Attaining « Excellence with Elegance » ….And Keeping It !
1987 ATISHA By Sheryl Rutledge Schultis Tibetan Terrier World Congress 2007

2 History of Atisha Tibetans – The Breeding Program
1985 : First Tibetan acquired in as a “pet” from an advertisement in the newspaper– Ch. McLean’s Madame du Bearie (“Bearie”). Became interested in showing and initially worked with the breeders in the Virginia area. Offered the most valuable piece of advice for learning about “correct” dog movement – study the dogs in the other rings without coat (Working or Sporting breeds) to learn how dogs should move. Determined the “style” of Tibetan Terrier I preferred and the movement I wanted my dogs to achieve. Sought out breeders in other parts of the US after the local breeders made it clear that they would never sell me anything that would compete with them. Bearie on the left winning Top Brood Bitch TTCA National Specialty 1989 with her two Tiger Paw daughters

3 The initial puppies were excellent, but there was always room for improvement.
Developed strategic relationships in California – the Regalia line. First litter born in 1987 – “Bearie” was bred to Ch. Bex Tiger Paw of Regalia and produced Ch. McLean’s Magic Tiger in Tuxedo (“Magic”), Ch. McLean’s Ariel Tempest’s Tiger and Ch. McLean’s Tigress Franjelica from her fist litter (my initial kennel name was McLean’s) and Ch. Atisha’s Rising Star Apollo and Ch. Atisha’s Tiger Purr of Regalia from her second. These breedings were the beginning of the “Atisha” line. In 1987, obtained two puppy bitches from Regalia – Ch. Regalia’s McLean Tiger Lily and Ch. Regalia’s McLean Tiger Lace -- and later purchased Ch. Regalia’s An-Juli-En of Shalu from Steve and Deana Glass, who has purchased her from Regalia. Along with Bearie, these bitches became the foundation of my breeding program. California dogs were very elegant, with Excellent side movement and straight coats However, I wanted to improve in several areas: Front movement and rear movement --- “coming and going” was not always “clean” Light colored eyes Soft coats Lack of depth of chest or spring of ribs A longer muzzle than I preferred

4 Mc Lean’s Magic Tiger in Tuxedo
Magic winning Top Stud Dog TTCA National Specialty with Eden and Blaze, two of his children out of Ch. Regalia’s An-Juli-En of Shalu

5   Excellence with Elegance Attempted to improve my lines without losing what I had
In the early days, worked with experienced dog people/professional handlers in the US to identify which were the best puppies to keep. Entered a lot of puppies at shows to learn from the opinions of judges. Most US judges were “all rounders” not breed specialists who were pleased to see correct moving dogs. Ultimately sold or placed the puppies who did not correct what I wished to improve. Repeated breedings that were found to be successful. Expanded my horizons by attending dog shows in Europe to evaluate dogs there. Developed strategic relationships with breeders in Europe to import new stock and improve my dogs Found that the greatest challenge comes not in the first or second generations – but in the generations beyond that. Some traits can be corrected more quickly that others – such as light eyes. Bad movement was more difficult to correct – these puppies were sold. It is difficult, particularly with a good stud dog, to produce a son who will carry on the line after his father and grandfather.


7 Most Difficult Challenges
The goal is to continue to improve while not breeding yourself into a genetic corner. Ultimately, you must bring in new blood. The challenge is to “out-cross” to expand your gene pool, without going “backward.” It is difficult to change the things you want to change without losing what you have already achieved. Found that a pure outcross was most frequently a step backwards in the first generation. Had the most success with partial outcrosses. Atisha outcrossing guideline – ideal ratio is 75% Atisha ← 25% outcrossed stock. Breeding to lines that you are not familiar with makes it more difficult to predict which puppies will develop as you want. You do not know what to watch for as the puppies grow. Puppies down from European stock mature differently than American puppies. Requires you to hang on to these puppies longer before making a decision which ones to keep. To maintain “elegance,” you must keep some “extreme” dogs in the breeding program. Puppies will grow “into themselves” as they mature and will lose their elegance. “Extreme” puppies will look moderate by the time they are 4 years old; while “moderate” puppies will have lost what elegance they have and appear “clunky.”

8 Advice to Other Breeders
Develop a “good eye:” Spend time at dog shows watching the “coatless” breeds to see proper dog movement. Do not only focus on side movement. Stand behind the judge so that you can see how the dog moves both coming and going. Breed to the dog not the owner Do not select a stud dog or a puppy to purchase based on whether or not you like the owner. Too many people breed to or purchase inferior dogs because they are friends with the owner. Be patient Be honest/critical about the traits in your dogs that need to be improved. Attempt to recognize patterns in your puppies as they grow. Try to hang on to puppies as long as you can before you decide which ones to keep – many breeders sell their puppies too quickly to properly evaluate their potential and a really great show dog may end up in a “pet” home. If you are breeding only for the money, you will not get as far as you hope. Breeding is a long term commitment.

9 Better understanding of countries priorities/preferences/strengths
Inconsistency in the Breed: From the perspective of dog shows, there is great inconsistency in the judging and in the exhibits presented for judging in the US. Some judges have said that they do not even really like Tibetan Terriers because there is such a lack of uniformity in the breed. Lack of Exhibits: There are few Tibetan Terriers entered at shows in the US. An entry of 20 (including both dogs and bitches) would be big. Even a National Specialty show would only have about entries. As a result, most judges have not had an opportunity to examine many dogs. Never Judged as an Adult: Most Tibetan Terrier exhibitors begin showing their dogs as puppies and the dogs finish their championship by 1 to 2 years of age. As a result, judges never get to see a Tibetan that has matured and is in full show coat. Most Judges are All-Rounders: Most judges are “all-rounders,” not breed specialists. Judges bring their prejudices from the breeds that they know well into their judging of Tibetan Terriers. For example, judges that come from a breed where “teeth” are important will count teeth.

10 Better understanding of countries priorities/preferences/strengths
Movement: Many Tibetan judges frequently judge “working” and “sporting” breeds where good movement is stressed. As a result, there is more emphasis on movement in the US than in certain countries in Europe. On the other hand, most of the emphasis seems to be on balanced side movement, rather than “coming or going.” Head: Judges will accept any head that is of the correct 1 to 1 proportions – even though the skull might be narrower and have a more hound head appearance. Coat: While coats in the US are softer, coat texture for judges in the US is not as important as good presentation/grooming. I have never heard of a judge in the US who rejected an exhibit for a coat that was “too soft.” Size: Size is not as important to many judges in the US as it is in Europe. While the ideal standard is inches, variations in the size are not supposed to be penalized until the height exceeds 17 inches or is below 14 inches. When size is penalized, it is only for being too big, not too small. However, “size” is only one of a number of faults that can be considered, so dogs that are above 17 inches are frequently selected as the “winner” if they have other redeeming qualities.

11 Better understanding of countries priorities/preferences/strengths
Shape: US judges want to see a level top line on Tibetans. The dogs should not be higher in the front than in the rear. The layback of the shoulders is also very important to them. In terms of shape, shorter backed dogs seem to be preferred even though they may be “incorrect.” US judges are not as concerned about depth of chest or spring of rib. Role of Professional Handlers: Many times the dogs who became champions only succeeded because they were shown by professional handlers. The owners know that they cannot finish the dog to its championship, so they pay to have someone else show it. These champion dogs are then bred and produce more bad dogs. Presentation/Conditioning: “Presentation” of show dogs both in Europe and in the US can be improved. The most serious breeders normally present their dogs well. However, I have seen many Tibetans shown in the US and Europe in less than ideal condition. When I judged in England and Sweden there were many dogs that were presented to me to judge that were matted or dirty.

12 Thanks

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