Interview with Catrinel Pauna & Petru Didi Antonovici (II)
[PP] It´s beauty important rather than Morphology? It´s the same thing?
[CD] We think that “Beauty” and “Morphology” are not the same. We shouldn’t make confusion between a beautiful dog, as all dogs have something beautiful inside them, and a dog build morphologically correct. To give an example: For an amateur/aficionado, a Deutsch Kurzhaar with an appealing color, blue eyes and with an imposing stature, but outside the breed standard limits is beautiful and this is true, it can only be a beautiful animal. But this doesn’t mean that is morphologically correct. For a professional experienced breeder the beautiful dog is the one that is meets the breed standard.
There is nothing wrong in owning a beautiful dog but that has faults that would eliminate him for breeding. That dog could be a wonderful companion and could also be a great hunting dog. It’s wrong to breed such a dog, but unfortunately many owners think with their heart when deciding to breed their dog and this damages the breed as most time are produced puppies with faults that may affect their life quality (we are mostly referring to HD, eyes problems or EBJ) or with reduced hunting abilities.
[PP] What´s the contribution of beauty to the Breed? And Morphology?
[CD] The beauty may bring satisfaction to each owner when he knows he owns a beautiful animal. As I said before, correct morphology matters, as a correctly built Deutsch Kurzhaar can hunt efficiently. All the standard requirements are not random. These requirements make the Deutsch Kurzhaar perform during hunting, the task for which the breed was created. For example a long muzzle is not necessary only for the esthetics – a long muzzle enables the DK retrieve correctly. Also the neck should be muscled and the length should be balanced with the dog’s body. An elegant swan-like neck won’t favor a dog that must retrieve a fox. He might be more elegant in the show ring, but the DK is first of all a hunting dog and all his physical coordinates should only converge to the dog’s functionality. Also the strong back, large enough rib cage, angulations, muscles, absolutely everything are focused in order to provide the dog with capability to hunt and not for the show ring purposes.
[PP] What´s the role of Morphology in Gsp power, resistance and speed?
[CD] We answered partially to this question above as these questions are related. Besides a correct build of the dog and good physical condition, correct weight and size are also important for a working Deutsch Kurzhaar.
[PP] What´s means a medium gallop? Can you describe it?. What´s the importance of the front quarters in a médium gallop?. What do you prefer, a short or a long back? Why?. Are important in Gsp animals head and neck? Whatfore?. From a breeding point of view, which body part is more important?. It´s important for hunters to know what angulatios and aplomps mean? Why?
[CD] As breeders, we don’t look at the dog “piece by piece”, we look at the dog as a whole, as an assemble. The dog must be harmoniously built, combined with a good character, temperamental, passionate. The perfect dog doesn’t exist; all dogs have faults, some only minor faults, and some serious faults. Therefore we must think clearly and make distinction between the minor faults and serious faults. I saw dogs that “judged” piece by piece, were correct, but on the whole the dog was not harmonious. Of course each of us wants the most correct dog, but if we look for the perfect “something”, we may miss other important things, as the character.
[PP] Which knowledges are important to breed?
[CD] In order to be a breeder you need more than a female that produces puppies. You must have experience and knowledge related to the breed. And also time. Nothing good happens overnight without work and dedication.
[pp] Do you know in a deeply way the Genetic Science?
[CD] We are not professionals in genetics, but we know enough genetics related to dogs and especially to the DK that help us in our breeding and to understand DK specifics.
[PP] Do you have a certain idea of a specific type of Gsp to breed?
[CD] Breeders have tastes and each of us prefers a certain type. We prefer the German lines which are known for their polyvalence. What we like about the German lines is that you cannot speak about “show type” or “working type” in Germany, there is no such thing. There’s only the DK. Many times in the show ring judges refer to dogs that are not very elegant as “the working type” as if the working dogs would be inferior in qualities and thus motivating their choices.
[PP] Do you apply a determined breeding sistem? It´s important?
[CD] We are following the German breeding system, even if for us really difficult because we train in Romania and test in Germany and for each test we have to drive about 5000km. But in Germany we feel like home and we are satisfied. [PP] Inbreeding, linebreeding or outcross?
[CD] We have practiced all in some extent, but we are mostly doing linebreeding.
[PP] Do you think that hunters should breed their own dogs? Why?
[CD] It depends on the hunter. Most of them want to have one dog for hunting purposes only and not more. I don’t think all hunters should be breeders but I think that all DK breeders should be hunters :-).
[PP] How do you choose the pets (which are designed to rest home) in a certain litter?. Do you apply any punctuation sistem for each caracter to be choosen in every pets?
[CD] There is not a recipe for this. But since we keep mostly dogs bred by us, we can observe them since they are born. The way the puppies act, the breeding they come from, the color we wish for in that moment, and not just these, are a few of the criteria of selecting the puppy that will stay in our home.
[PP] How do you choose breeding females and stud dogs? What do you prefer, motherlines, fatherlines or whatever?
[CD] The choice of stud dogs for our females and deciding the breedings is not randomly. We spend time studying pedigrees, we drive long ways to see stud dogs , we know our females very well and we choose the breedings that we consider the most suitable. Of course breeding is not mathematics and big male with small female don’t mean medium puppies ? We are going on the motherlines.
[PP] Only Champions are options to breed? Why?
[CD] No. Being a Champion doesn’t necessarily mean that the dog fulfills our criteria. Let’s not forget that most Champions have only show titles. In many countries a Champion title is obtained by getting a CAC. For us a dog that doesn’t follow the German breeding rules is not interesting, no matter how impressive is the champion titles list.
[PP] To be an excellent hunter is important to breed excellent Gsp´s? Why?
[CD For a breeder of DK It’s important to understand the way the DK functions as a hunting dog. We must have realistic expectations from the dog and not to ask more than we offer.
[PP] How important is for breeders to train their own Gsp´s, in a general matter? Why?
[CD] It’s important in a very high extent. This way breeders can identify the strength of their dogs and also the weaknesses, which are key information in a breeding programs. You can only know this when you are dealing with the dog yourself and not when the dog is trained by a professional who makes wonders sometimes.
[PP] Hunters should train their own Gsp´s? Why?
[CD] We think they should as much as possible as this way they will create a partnership with the dog. The dog is not a car, you put the key in the contact and it starts. Many people who buy trained or choose to have dogs trained by professionals have surprises when they realize they cannot control the dog.
[PP] What profit get the breed by training the Gsp´s?
[CD] A dog is like a sportsman. The better training he gets, the more satisfactions and results will bring.
[PP] Comparing, whats more important, a brilliant search with good head carriage or follow the track surely? Are possible both things?
[CD] As previously said, we like polyvalence. Therefore we expect a dog to do both things well, without being specialized into search, but ready to perform multiple tasks and adaptable to various and unpredictable hunting scenarios.
[PP] What means for you: “By performance to type”?
[CD] This question is very related to the one regarding morphology. As previously said, the conformation of the dog is the result of the breed tasks and this is the essence of the German breeding philosophy. All physical characteristics are meant with a sole purpose: functionality when performing in hunting.
[PP] What training tecnics do you use with Gsp´s?
[CD] The training technics cannot be described in a few lines. The approach may differ more or less depending on the dog. It’s important to have patience and to give dog time and not pushing things. Creating a bond with the dog is very important in the trainer-dog partnership. Training is done gradually without skipping steps. So many times I heard people very satisfied that their 8 weeks old puppy is retrieving natively. We shouldn’t confuse “native” with “trained” and a dog is not considered “trained” until he does things on command and correct from beginning to the end and not selectively whenever he feels like.
[PP] Do you use the tic-tac collar?
[CD] We don’t use it. And we think that the persons who decide to use it, should use it wisely and not abusively as this may do a lot of damage in the wrong hands.
[PP] Thinking hunter way, whatfore are Field-Trials usefull?
[CD] We prefer the tests that reflect a possible hunting situation, that have a finalization. Practical hunting requires working after the gun-shot, which involves tracking of wounded game and correct retrieving from land or water, which don’t make the object of field-trials.
[PP] Finaly, wish you to tell anything to the spanish hunters?
[CD] We wish them to spend time with their devoted hunting partner which is without doubt the hunting dog and to consider him part of the family. This way, the satisfaction at hunting will increase and both dog and hunter will have a wonderful time together.
[PP] Would you like to add anything comments to this Interview?
[CD] Thank you for choosing us for the interview, it was an honor and a pleasure for us. I hope that our answers were interesting for your readers.
[PP] Thank you a lot for your time, effort and disclosure of Gsp´s knowledges.