One of the pleasures of writing this blog for Canine Review magazine is that I get a “sneak peek” at upcoming articles. And the May issue, now in its final stages of production, has one of my favourite kind of articles–an in-depth interview with one of the greats in a breed.
Hannelore Heller in action, back in the 1970s. Pictured with her BIS BISS Ch. Han-Jo’s Ulyssis L ROMO
For her “Scheer Madness” column this month, Shannon Scheer painstakingly transcribed an interview recorded in 1993 with Hannelore Heller of Han-Jo Dachshunds, an icon of the Daxie world. I doubt I’ll ever get the chance to discuss Daxies with Hannelore over a cup of coffee, so reading this interview is the next-best thing.
Like some breeds, including my beloved Bulldogs, the Dachshunds is far removed from the generic “wolf-type” canine conformation. In the interview, Hannelore points out how this variance can cause problems for judges who don’t truly understand why Daxies are built the way they are and that its form follows historical function.
“First off, the Dachshund is a ‘misshapen’ canine and difficult to judge. They are put together entirely different from other breeds. Too many judges do not understand the purpose of the breed and how they should move. It is very difficult to judge this breed when you come from a background of say sighthounds or larger breeds.”
A Dachshund hunting a “dach.” That’s German for “badger.”
How many times have you heard someone say that about their own particular breed! Yet it’s so true, and one of the challenges of judging a breed specifically, rather than a generic dog. Hannelore shares her instructions on how to judge a Dachshund on the table and moving, giving special attention to the Daxie’s unique “oval” chest. [Sorry, I can't reveal all here! You'll have to read the article when it comes out ...]
I was fascinated to learn more about what’s called a “wraparound front” in Daxies. Put that chest on another breed and you’d have a serious fault. But on this breed, designed to hunt badgers in their tunnels and dens, it’s a cherished characteristic that helped it excel in its particular niche.
As David Swartwood of Prelude Kennels explains Continue reading