Breeding better dogs involves a variety of elements. This forum will show you the views of some of those that evaluate what we bring them. These featured men and women play an important role in the goal we should all have of breeding the best we are able. But how did we get to this point of bringing our stock for evaluation?
Where does the new person out there start? How do we as a community of breeders help and encourage someone to get past what some envision as the unpleasant side of this venture and eventually into the circle of people that really want to give back to our breed? How do you guide the first-year experts and the five-year wonders into becoming respected members of the Shih Tzu community?
This issue I am pleased to introduce to you Mr. Richard Beauchamp, AKC judge # 6601.
RB: When I was about 10 years old and down in bed with one of those many childhood "bugs," an Aunt brought me a copy of Albert Payson Terhune’s Collie story, "Lad of Sunnybank." That led me to my first dog show (Detroit Kennel Club) and the rest is history.
RB: My very first dog was an American Cocker Spaniel. This was followed by a Boxer and a Toy Poodle. Through the years there have been many breeds but most know me through the success of my Beau Monde Bichon Frise line.
RB: I began by showing my own dogs (Cockers and Boxers) as a teenager and then handled for a number of other people in other breeds. Through high school and college I managed the kennels and breeding programs for several Michigan based breeders.
RB: As owner/publisher of Kennel Review I was ineligible to judge in the U.S. for the AKC but was fortunate to be invited to major shows throughout the world as an all breed judge from 1972 to 1992. Among the many assignments I was privileged to have were those at Crufts in England, the Sydney Spring Fair in Australia, the Melbourne Classic and Goldfields in Johannesburg, South Africa. and when I began to judge here in the U.S. Since judging here in the U.S. Westminster, the AKC Invitational, and Del Valle Dog Club in California have been highlights in my judging career.
RB: I have been intrigued with the breed since its earliest days here in the U.S. through my association with the Reverend & Mrs. D. Allan Easton. It was probably pure chance that I began breeding Bichon Frise instead of Shih Tzu as I was on the verge of joining Rev. Easton in his quest to have the breed recognized here in the U.S.
RB: Correct silhouette of course and that unique distinguishing head and eye.
RB: In my opinion the Shih Tzu that has most of the best in respect to breed character, silhouette, head, movement, and coat is consequently the typiest dog.
RB: Correct structure is simply a part of type. Correct structure produces the correct silhouette--and that applies nose to toes!
RB: It gives me an opportunity to have an up close look at the head and to check to see if what the eye beholds is a product of the dog or the hairdresser. Putting one’s hands through the coat reveals whether or not the Shih Tzu has the sturdy structure called for in the breed standard.
RB: Find the best longtime successful breeder you can find as your mentor and LISTEN!
RB: The Variety Group has little to do with breeding good dogs, the standard does.
RB: All the painting, powdering and sculpting in the world do not make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.
On behalf of The Shih Tzu Reporter, I would like to thank Mr. Beauchamp for taking the time to respond to my inquiry. In our next issue I will be pleased to introduce to you Mr. Stephan Regan.
If you have comments and/or suggestions on interview questions, judges or this forum in general, please email me at email@example.com.