Ch Awlful good of Edan, CD, TC, ROM BIF Select Ch I'm All That Matters of Edan
It’s not unusual to see Ann Schultz of Edan German Shepherds come across one of the German Shepherd dog e-mail lists bragging about another dog from her breeding program that just won at a dog show. I have followed this woman’s breeding career in the last few years and I have been totally amazed at what she has done and with consistency has produced one dog more beautiful moving than the next. I never met Ann nor have I ever seen any of her dogs in the area that I live in, but I’ve seen many of them on the DVD’s of the National Specialty show. One thing that I’m always impressed with is the shoulders and side gait that her dogs exhibit. I knew that she was one of the breeders that I wanted to interview because I felt that her show and breeding record speaks for itself. Here then is my interview with Ann.
Me: Please tell us how and when you got involved with the German Shepherd Dog.
Ann: I went to my first National in 1976 and fell in love with Sel Ch Cobert's Reno of Lakeside ROM and decided I had to have a puppy from him. I started reading ads in the Review and Dick Jennings advertised a litter by him, out of his half sister Ch Lakeside's Just Jamaica ROM. He sent me a puppy and although I had memorized the standard, I didn't have a clue if she was any good or not. She wasn't, but she was very well bred. Reno was sired by Lance and Jamaica was sired by Paladen and they were both out of Cobert's Melissa ROM, one of the great producers in the breed. I did a copycat breeding, similar to Ch Topflight's Sue. Sue's mother China(Reno-Jamaica) had been bred to Ch Doppelt-tay's Hammer ROM and produced Sue, who finished in something like seven shows, when you needed thirty some dogs for a major, so I thought I would do that and get a Sue too. I did better. My bitch Ch Awlful Good of Edan CD, TC,ROM took over five years to finish, but oh what a producer she was. When she was ten weeks old, I took her to Jim Norris, who lived about 40 minutes away. Jim was one of the most wonderful people that I have met in this breed. He handled Judd to GV and was the judge that put Lance up to GV. His words to me were "This is your ticket into German Shepherds.” He died from cancer, before he knew how true those words were. Every dog in my kennel today goes to Awlful. Awlful was the dam of three ROMs and her daughter Ch Love at First Bite of Edan ROM was the dam of four ROMs.
Me: Who has been your favorite dog of your own breeding?
Ann: I think I can safely say that Awlful was my all time favorite dog. She didn't finish until she was almost six, but I did it myself and what a personality she had. Looking back, I could have finished her quite easily today. Back then I thought that the best dog always won. Silly me.
Me: How many champion and other titled dogs have you bred or owned?
Ann: To date I have bred and or owned 73 champions and 19 ROMs and multiple obedience titled dogs. I owner handled my bitch AOE GVx Ch Dawnhill's Carli, CD to Grand Victrix in 1986. I was co-breeder and co-owner of GV Ch Bethesda's Earth of Jada Edan ROM, who went Grand Victor and Best of Breed from the classes at 23 months of age. I have had multiple Futurity winners. I show in both specialty and all breed shows and my dogs do very well at both. I prefer specialty shows, because most of the judges are knowledgeable about the breed. Some of the all breed judges are totally clueless and find it easier to look at the end of the lead.
Me: Who was your favorite dog of the past that was not of your breeding?
Ann: My favorite was Select Ch Houston of Wildwood. He had it all.
Me: What do you see as the most significant differences in the breed today compared to when you first started breeding and showing?
Ann: I think that the dogs today are more moderate then the dogs of the eighties. I see very few "stars" in the breed today and seldom get excited about the dogs being shown. Back then there were outstanding movers with beautiful breed type.
Me: Your dogs have won at the Specialty shows; all breed shows, futurity shows and the National shows. What is your most proud accomplishment so far in the breed?
Ann: I think that I have had a lot of achievements that stand out in my mind. Probably my most exciting are being awarded the Lloyd Brackett Award, finishing my First champion Awlful and I've Got It All of Edan ROM producing 14 champions, all finished without the help of any one handler pushing her progeny.
Me: Is there something that you haven't done yet in the breed that you still would like to accomplish?
Ann: I still have goals. Without them I would probably just walk away from showing dogs and do some traveling. I would love to go GV or GVx again with one of my dogs and I just want to continue producing top quality animals that are recognized by my peers as such.
Me: What are your lines known for?
Ann: I love a beautiful dog, but without the movement they are just another dog. I want to continue to produce outstanding movement and this is something that is so lacking in the breed today. I think that the Rollins and Uecker line is one of the few lines left that produce movement.
Me: If you could give advice to someone starting out in this breed, what would it be?
Ann: For people starting in the breed, educate your selves, don't expect someone to take you by the hand and tell you what your every move should be. When you are done, you will still know nothing. Find a good mentor. It is hard to tell the real ones from the people that have finished a few champions and think they are the ones. Then buy the best bred bitch you can afford. She doesn't have to be the pick of the litter, just somewhat close to the standard and from a truly good producing line.
Me: Would you rather see a breeder, a judge or a handler judge the
Futurities and why?
Ann: I really don't care if judges or breeders or handlers judge futurities. A long time ago handlers were allowed to judge futurities. There are some handlers out there today that would do a very good job. The judge should be someone active in the breed that knows how to pick young puppies as well as older dogs. The most important thing, however, is that they are honest.
Me: Tell us please how you go about picking out your best puppies in a
litter. What do you look for?
Ann: When I look at a litter of puppies, one usually jumps out at me after a few seconds. I look for the total package that moves in a coordinated fashion with lots of presence. I don't look at coming and going at all as it improves drastically as they get older. I used to keep the best movers, while today they also have to have pretty breed type as well. Movement on my lines gets better with age. I think that it is also very important that growing puppies receive unlimited free exercise. When I sell a puppy that doesn't turn out, I often find that they were a couch potato and didn't get the free exercise needed for growing puppies. I have huge grass fields that my dogs can go out in during the day and fence run with others to build stamina and muscle.
Me: What do you see as the biggest health problems in our breed right now?
Ann: I think there are lots of problems in the breed today, maybe no more then when I started, but with the internet I think that we are more aware. Torsion and bloat, missing teeth, autoimmune are just some of the serious problems out there today.
Me: What do you feed your dogs and how often do you feed them each day?
Ann: I feed Diamond Natural Chicken and Rice and Eukanuba and add supplement and meat, eggs, mackerel and other proteins on the dogs that are being shown. Due to my job, I find that I can only feed once a day, except for puppies and bitches with puppies.
Me: If you had to do it over again, would you change anything that you have done?
Ann: As far as I am concerned the German Shepherd Dog is the ONLY dog. I have never owned another breed, nor do I desire to. They are so smart, loyal and beautiful. If you really want to be successful in breeding good dog’s generation after generation, get a good bitch. The bitch makes your kennel; the dog makes your name. If you are to be successful in anything you have to take the good with the bad and believe me, there are as many heartbreaks as there are successes. Every time I had a failure I learned something. If it had come easily and it hadn't taken me eight years to get my first champion, I don't think I would have gathered the knowledge that I have today. I would have had no reason to learn anything. I remember to this day when Awlful got her first major at age five and someone at the show that day said, "Another 100 shows and she'll get her other major". Were my feeling hurt? No. I just thought to myself, I will show you and I think I have.
I know that Ann is very proud of her young dog pictured above (BIF Sel Ch I'm All That Matters of Edan) that finished at 10 months with 4 majors and was awarded a Select at 14 months old!
I want to thank Ann Schultz for doing this interview with me. There is one thing that I forgot to ask her and I wish that I did. That is, I should have asked her where she came up with some of the most unique names for her dogs that I ever heard of. They are so original and different. I guess along with their outstanding qualities, it’s just another thing that makes them stand out!
You can get in touch with Ann by going to her website at: www.edangsd.com
My rating: breeding beautiful moving dogs: (4)!