Saturday, August 24, 2013

Excerpts from four interviews

FOR THE LAST FOUR YEARS I´ve made interviews with four different Scottie breeders and personalities. (Cindy Cooke, Cindy Pettersson, Maren Bichel-Schnock, and Monika & Thomas Rosendal). The interviews have been published in the North Midlands Scottish Terrier Club´s journal - annually since 2010 in the UK. 
Here are a few excerpts, I hope you enjoy them. (The Rosendal-interview is not yet published). 

Cindy Cooke (Anstamm) 2010
Peter Hewitt: Registration numbers are on dramatic decline in most places of Europe. Is it the same in the US? Does this worry you?

Cindy Cooke: It worries me so much that I created a program called The Scottie Information Exchange to reach out to Scottie pet owners and encourage them to become breeders. In 1972, the American Kennel Club registered over 10,000 Scotties. Now, we rarely register 4,000 a year. It is a serious problem, and it is exacerbated by animal rights-inspired ideas about restricting breeding. The Scottish Terrier Club of America was formed for the specific purpose of PROMOTING the responsible breeding of Scottish Terriers and I don’t think we’ve done a very good job of that. Almost every American show breeder sells the majority of their puppies with contracts that require the new owner to spay/neuter the dog. I believe we should encourage our buyers to become interested in breeding Scotties. 

Peter: What do you think is the greatest challenge facing the Scottish terrier as a breed in the future? Are the challenges you have in America similar or different to Europe do you think? 

Cindy : We have two serious challenges in the U.S. First, Americans are so pressed for time in their lives that they tend to want “easy” dogs. By “easy,” I mean dogs like Golden Retrievers that don’t challenge their owners like Scotties do. Scotties require a different style of training, they require grooming and they require your attention. Americans barely have time to raise their children, and I worry that they will lose interest in a dog that makes demands on their time. Second, as our societies lose touch with their rural roots, lawmakers in many U.S. jurisdictions are defining dogs as “dangerous” if they are aggressive with other dogs, or even other pets, such as cats or rabbits. In Europe, I think the biggest threat will come from government interference with your breed standards and breeding practices. Governments are good at relatively uncomplicated tasks—building roads, policing, making war, etc. However, they are generally inept at complex jobs, like breeding good purebred dogs.

Cindy Pettersson (So What) 2011
Peter Hewitt: Puppy registrations are dramatically low in Sweden at the moment with under 50 registrations last year, what do you think is the reason for this? 

Cindy Pettersson: On the whole it has been difficult to sell Scottie puppies in Sweden. Swedish breeders are concerned about not being able to sell their litters. Unfortunately these concerns have kept the numbers down. 

Peter: Do you think this situation is hazardous for the breed? 

Cindy Pettersson: Yes, as in many other breeds we need new Scottie breeders and new enthusiasts.

Maren Bichel-Schnock (Sir Darnley´s) 2012
Peter Hewitt: Puppy registrations are on decline in most countries at the moment, what do you think is the reason for this, and what is the situation like in Germany?

Maren Bichel-Schnock: It is the same in Germany. For many years the registrations were around 280 and 300. Then the numbers have dropped constantly to 170 in 2011. What worries me is that we don’t really know why this is happening. I am not sure if this is a fertility problem or if people just breed less now. It would be a very good idea to discuss this on an international level as the situation seems to be similar in many countries.

Peter: Do you think this situation is hazardous for the breed?

Maren Bichel-Schnock: Of course, it could get dangerous for the breed if we can’t change this. We need to keep the gene pool as wide as possible.

Monika & Thomas Rosendal (Roskot´s) 2013 
Peter Hewitt: Puppy registrations are on decline in most countries at the moment, what do you think is the reason for this?

The Rosendals: This is very sad. We just don't know why the situation is like it is. We in our country need young devoted breeders who are consistent in what they are doing, not giving up too easily. We who have been in the breed for long must be better at pointing out the positive sides of our lovely breed. 

Peter: Do you think this situation is hazardous for the breed? 

The Rosendals: Of course it is! Will we still have Scotties in Sweden in 50 years time? 

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