That effort opens the door to winners in the show ring, in the performance ring and in our homes. Everyone wins when the puppy goes to his new home at 12 weeks with polite manners and obeying basic commands. We have proven that when puppies are ready for the show ring at 12 weeks, you can win the Puppy Sweepstakes at the nationals year after year. My emphasis on good temperament and trainability has paid off with winners in our home and well as the show ring. Our special won a Toy Group IV at six months four days. My owner-handled dog last year had all majors to finish his championship, Toy Group placements as a mo.
He lives with my friend, Tracy, and is her house pet. The breed ranks second from the bottom of the Toy Group.
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Silky Terriers were th in breed rankings in That is down from 61st in rankings in Does the breed get its fair share of attention in the Group? Best In Show wins are awarded to Silky Terriers. I consider this remarkable when you see our low total numbers. The Silkys who are currently being shown are high quality.
The breed club advised testing patellas and eyes. FaceBook Silky Groups tell another story. Older Silkys are prone to Pancreatitis. Currently there is no known test or screening. After the age of 10, most Silkys must be carefully monitored for gastrointestinal distress symptoms.
Silky owners have been persuaded that boutique foods are the answer to our gastrointestinal problems. I think you will see that the research is paid for and done by the big dog food companies and that is where I will place my trust. I stick with the Big 3. Another common problem, due to lack of education, is stress fractures and soft tissue injuries to puppy joints which result in problems as they age.
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I have found that Legg-Perthes can be eliminated almost entirely with restricting the bouncing up and down puppies tend to do in the playpen. We raise the floor 12" from the top of the pen and cover the top. This alone has prevented the joint injuries that, I believe, leads to Legg-Perthes.
Puppies cannot be allowed to run up and down stairs or other strenuous jumping or climbing activities before age two. Breeders must educate new owners. Reining in an exuberant Silky is no easy task. I am watching my crew climb half-way up the trunk of the tree out back. They are sure they can catch that squirrel!
Health screening is recommended for good reason.
Tolerating a missing tooth or two becomes exponentially worse with each generation. Luxation of patella will be passed on to puppies. If your dog has seizures, you should not breed it. The lifespan of any Silky can be extended two-four years with weekly teeth cleaning at home and I believe Pancreatitis is linked to poor dental health and tartar build-up.
Trends I see in the breed that I believe need to continue: trends are not far removed from fads. Coats should not trail the floor.
If you want that coat dragging the floor, get a Yorkie. I want to see the feet and that is impossible if you do not get the hair trimmed on the feet.
Tail length, docked or not, should not be a discussion item in a show ring where selection of breeding stock is the criteria for the event. It is just another grooming item. I would like the discussion to stop on that trend issue. The size of the specimens being exhibited today is larger than ever. I picked this breed for the 9" and 9 pounds size. I can only pray she never judges our breed. Silky Terrier Club of America needs to jump into the current century with public relations. The web site looks like an antique.
The breeder referral is not helpful. There is never a breed column in the AKC Gazette. Our AKC rep is rarely in attendance at Delegate meetings. The membership application process is exclusionary. Regional clubs are struggling and have little or no support from national. AKC is willing to help. STCA needs to step up. Silkys dropped another six places in the registration rankings in New owners are almost all folks who are replacing a previous Silky. Many of them lose patience with the long wait for a puppy and get another breed.
They have to truly love this breed to wait a year for a puppy. Were it not for her, I would not be where I am today. She was an all-breed handler and horse breeder, so she knew structure. She was patient with my mistakes. She showed me by her example the correct way to start a new breeder down the correct path. Our early dogs were co-owned with a mutually agreed upon stud for two litters.
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She would then sign the dog over to me. It allowed her to help me along and then turn me loose on my own. She died in a car accident in and I miss her to this day. More recently, Mark Benson has been a true friend in the breed and an example of one willing to take our dog to 1 while ferrying a rescue Silky to its foster home.
The biggest pitfall awaiting new and novice judges? Judges must learn from stewarding for a time. If there is not enough time spent as a steward, the ring can go wonky on you quickly. It also tells you if your feet and knees and back are up to an 8 hour assignment spent mostly standing and stooping over. Take those breed education seminars and try to get to more than one.
The examples of the breed you see in North Carolina may be startlingly different from the ones you see in New Mexico. The judge went down the line and dismissed the Bunny. When the handler took the bunny and left the ring, he left a pile of plastic easter eggs on the floor. I was born and raised in the Texas panhandle and grew up on a ranch.
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My dad raised and trained bird dogs and we had quail, chickens, cattle, and horses. I grew up driving a tractor and building fence and helping with calving. I received a BS in zoology from Oklahoma State University in graduating Phi Kappa Phi national honor society for top ten percent and graduated from the Oklahoma State University College of Veterinary Medicine in Phi Zeta national honor society for the top ten percent in my class.
I was awarded the Oklahoma City Kennel Club Scholarship for most likely to succeed in small animal practice and the the veterinary faculty awarded me a scholarship for the top senior in my class for scholarship, leadership and clinical proficiency.
hamstistcagucyc.cf I have built four veterinary hospitals in the past 39 years in the Sacramento, California area where I continue to practice. I am a member of Rotary International and spend many hours helping my community and am a Friend of the Folsom Zoo as a docent. I have two married adult children and two grand children and my Cavaliers who I all adore. My registered AKC kennel name is Wyndancer.