We are the Rose family and while Caitlin and Billy have also dabbled in SchH training (BHs), currently it is Jennifer and Emily who are actively training and trialing in Ringsport. Additionally, Jennifer also shows in the breed ring and is an excellent handler. Both girls have trialed and titled in Sport, both in SchH and Ringsport. Both girls have grown up with dogs and are Veterinary Technicians who have completed all the academic and practical requirements to sit for the State Board's RVT exam. While Emily has yet to take her State Boards, Jenn has already taken them passing with a 97%! To say I am proud of these girls would be an understatement. I have taught them everything I know and they have surpassed my understanding and abilities. They have become the teacher, while I have become the student.
I have been active in dogs for over 50 years having started showing horses in 1966 and dogs in 1968. The Rottweiler was my heart breed long before most folks even knew what they were. I started the first Rottweiler club in my State and bred and finished CHs from my own breeding. While I started off with Rodsden dogs in the 60s, followed by some dogs from Radio Ranch, Big Oaks, von Meadow and Bratiana; by the early 80s, I was importing my own. It was during the early 80s that the Rottweiler went through its population exploitation and it broke my heart killing all desire to show and breed. It was then that my focus shifted to the German style shows and performance venue. We have never been a breed-specific family, but rather a sport family. We have imported some world class dogs whether Rottweilers, GSDs, Dobermanns or Beaucerons. All have been a part of our family and each were uniquely cherished. Currently the girls have Beaucerons and Malinois and are thoroughly enjoying Ringsport.
Just as the dogs are unique, so are the girls. Caitlin likes a good looking dog that can work. Jennifer prefers a good working dog that is equally nice enough to show and finish. Emily could care less what the dog looks like so long as it can work; to Emily, "pretty is as pretty does". I prefer a typey dog of sound temperament that can work. And of course, we all place a high value on health.
Our priority is for sound temperament and health, followed by correct breed type, structure and movement. Pretty much in that order. We strive for the complete package, although in doing so realize that we're going to sacrifice a little at each end. We are fine with that as we don't expect to have a World CH show title and a World CH sport title on the same dog. If we can consistently produced sound temperament and health in each litter, we consider that a success. The goal being a CH in front of the name and some sort of working title behind the name.
Temperament is our #1 focus. We will not breed an unsound dog. Temperament is also something subjective that varies from breeder to breeder. What others may deem as okay for breeding, we might not and vice versa. The Beauceron is many things to many people. In today's world, most are family pets and as such, their only need is to be environmentally stable. Few have actual working jobs and when you consider the numbers out there being bred, it is obvious that most go to pet homes as beloved family companions. Consequently, many pet owners are breeding their dogs and this is where the differences in focus and priorities come into play. We strive for environmentally stable solid dogs that bring joy to their owners regardless of which venue they choose to participate. We frown upon shy, skittish, nervy dogs and have no tolerance for that as such dogs have no place in contributing to the genome.
Health is another major criteria. All of our dogs used for breeding have eyes, hips and hearts checked by Board certified professionals who cleared and recommended them for breeding. Additionally, following the example set by Laila Ooms (WARRIOR SOUL), we now also radiograph both shoulders to rule out OCD as well as spines to rule out spondylosis. That said, you can take every precaution in the world breeding dogs such as ours who have cleared all their health testing and still have issues crop up and rear its ugly head. Nature does what Nature wants. All we can do as Breeders is test breeding stock with due diligence and hope for the best. Despite nature being out of our control, we do guarantee against disqualifying faults as well as eyes, hips and hearts. Laila once said "Breeding without issues does not exist; there is only breeding without information". We could not agree more. Consequently, we are very open with our testing and results and have no desire to hide any issues that may crop up. There is no shame when Breeders practice health testing judiciously and nature decides to throw you a curve. There is GREAT SHAME in breeders who hide known problems wanting to keep it hush-hush and not sharing that knowledge with others. It is a huge disservice to the breed.
Breed type and conformational structure are also of great importance. Breed type is that specific look that tells you what breed it is at first glance. There are many different "types" that fall within the standard, so type is something else that can vary from breeder to breeder depending on their preferences. It is comprised of physical attributes, but can also be seen in the dog's expression. Conformational structure is less subjective, although anyone who has ever shown in the breed ring under different judges may disagree. However, my thoughts are judges either know what they're looking at or they don't and just wing it. What is unfortunate is when a certain type with certain faults is so predominant that judges begin to think that this is normal for the breed. This is harmful to the breed as it leads to large numbers of the same faults to the detriment of the breed. I'm speaking of when we start seeing a large number of dogs that are straight in the shoulders, lack rear angulation, steep croups, weedy heads, china eyes, etc. I am willing to make small sacrifices in structure if it means greater benefits in health or temperament.
While it is true that we will always give priority to working homes (herding, sport, SAR) we realize that those homes are few and far between. Consequently, we look for active homes where the puppy will become part of their human pack and included in all their daily activities. We would love to see each puppy go to a home where they would finish in the breed ring (AKC, UKC, IABCA) and earn some sort of titles behind their names. Additionally we would love to see a temperament test (ATTS, BH, CSAU) and all health requirements completed. However, we know this is a lot to expect, far more than the average pet home is interested in doing. Consequently, we spend a lot of time trying to find the best homes possible.
When all is said and done, what really matters to us most is a home where our puppy is well loved, well cared for and happy. Would that they all died of old age in the company of their loved ones after a full and active life rich with love and happiness.