Interview with Mrs. Kerstin Patzold • Interviewed by M. Ljutic & J. Danilovic
Published in Best in Show Annual 2015
BIS: When have you got involved in dogs and how did you first come across Aussies? Which thing about Aussies was (and still is) so special for you?
Kerstin: Since I was a child I have loved dogs. My grandfather was my first mentor in dogs. I used to visit with him at dog shows and I learned so much of the behavior and the life of dogs. I started breeding dogs in 1986. In 1998 I got my first Australian Shepherd. I have loved this breed from the first moment when I meet the breed. The Australian Shepherd is a smart working dog but also a wonderful family member and the best friend of my children.
BIS: Which dog do you consider the foundation of your own breeding program?
Kerstin: My foundation dog is the most beautiful dog that I ever had seen. He was beautiful but his personality was amazing. His name was CH. Moonshines Michelob Light ìPitcherî. I wrote a book about the breed ìAustralian Shepherds by Kerstin Patzoldî and I dedicated it to Pitcher.
BIS: How many aussies do you have at home (living with you) and how many you coown?
Kerstin: I have five Aussies with me for the moment but a lot of co-owned dogs. Some of them are co-owned with some other breeders all over the world. But the most of them live here live with my family and friends like normal pets, only from time to time they go with me for showÖor the boys come over to my house for a ìlovelyî date with my Aussie girls.
BIS: How many litters approximately you have a year?
Kerstin: I have at most two litters a year.
BIS: With how many kennels and who are the Kennels you co-breed? How important was cooperation between breeders through the time?
Kerstin: Co-breeding is the most important thing for me in breeding. I breed with different breeders in different Europan countries and in the USA together. For me this is the best way to develop the breed in the right direction. I have some fantastic co-breeders where I also can learn so much about our breedÖand as a breeder you will never stop learing. For example my very famous Multi Ch. World Winner Crurfts Winner Eurodog Winner Multi BIS Winer Energie¥s Paparazzi Energie dcd Tomberg is out of a co-breeding project and for this moment we have coming up a young black tri male Energie¥s Stonepine the Bachelor out of a co-breeding with Nannette Newbury/USA. He starts his career at the world dog show in Helsinki/ Finland 2014 with a Best of Breed PuppyÖand of courseÖ in this way, it is very nice to share the success together.
BIS: Who has been your biggest inspiration and support? Did you have mentors and how important was mentoring through the time being a breeder?
Kerstin: My best and important mentor was my grandfather that breeds German Shepherds and bring me to my first dog shows. He taught me the respect and the love of all animalsÖ and he taught me to go my own way and to do what I believe it is the right. Since I grew up on the east side of Germany under a communist dictatorship he and my parents teach me never give up and never do something what you feel it is wrong only because everybody is doing it! There are over the years a lot of other breeders that I learn fromÖ I would say I learn on each single show that I went through. But personally I would name Nannette Newbury and the family of Taycin Kennels Cynthia L. Taylor and her daugthers and at the top of the list, the mother of Cynthia, Jeanine H. Perron. Talking to this great lady about Aussies is like to read a learning book! So I got a lot on inspiration and knowledge from these reputable breeders. I feel if you like to become a successful breeder, it is one of the biggest point… being mentored by a proven reputable breeder.
BIS: What would be the main characteristics on the dogs you breed? What are your goals in the breeding program?
Kerstin: I like to breed a healthy, smart, working and conformation dog. I feel that a Australian Shepherd becomes more and more a family dog, but we still have not to lose the foundation of this wonderful breed.
BIS: Did you change the type of the dogs you breed through the years and if yes why? How many lines did you use by now? How many generations of your own Kennel name you have in pedigree? How many dogs did you bred by now?
Kerstin: Since I breed Aussies I prefer more the conformation and family dogs. I used different lines in my breeding program but I always come back to my foundation male Pitcher. I think as a breeder it is important to have a characteristic look and personality of my own breeding.
BIS: How did the Aussies change over the time since you first got involved with the breed?
Kerstin: In the beginning there was more working type and through the years the breed becomes smaller in size and more the conformations type.
BIS: What do you consider your greatest achievement as a breeder?
Kerstin: The most famous thing was to win German Dog of the Year 2013 all breeds with our living legend CH. Energie¥s Paparazzi Energie DCD Tomberg and to be the represent at the Eukanuba World Challenge 2013. Paparazzi wins two times Best of Breed at Crufts and once best male at Crufts in England and he was the world winner 2013, Eurodog Winner and multiple BIS at important international CACIB Shows.
Of course we have some more famous wins over the yearsÖ some Best of breeds , best of breed puppy and two times best in Show puppy at different world dog shows
BIS: Are there any specific stud dogs/brood bitches in your variety, in your country, or globally, that you think have had an important impact on the breed?
Kerstin: I think there was a lot of pretty stud dogs and brood bitches. One of the most famous stud dogs in Europe was our old male Ch. Cavalier¥s Big Country and Moonshines Michelob Light. I am still thankful that I had the chance to own these wonderful males, that improved the breed so much in the beginning in Europe.
BIS: Please mention 2 to 3 Aussies which are not owned, bred or shown by yourself, that you particularly admired, and tell us what you most admired about each.
Kerstin: I think there were a lot of dogs that improved the breed over the years. Thatís why I just like to name for example these kennel names and of course there was a lot more that did so much for the breed also special for Europe : Heatherhill , Bayshore , Briarbrook.
BIS: Every breed has some common problems. Which is the most common problem in your variety seen from a breederís point of view?
Kerstin: Basically our breed is very healthy. Of course there is a problem that some dogs are affected from being sensitive to some drugs against parasites and some vaccinations. This can create some diseases.
BIS: What has been the biggest disappointment in breeding and showing for you so far?
Kerstin: Envy and grudge between show persons and breeders is the biggest problem. I feel you have to show a good sportsmanship even if you are not the winner.
BIS: What do you think is the most problematic about Aussie FCI or AKC Standard?
Kerstin: The tail is the biggest problem between FCI and AKC standard. In AKC the tail must be docked and there is nothing written about how to carry a tail if it is a long tail.
If I show a dog in USA with a tail, some judges told me it is a fault like a mismarking. In some Europe countries (for example Germany) you can¥t show a dog with a docked tail because there is a show ban for docked tails.
JUDGING THE BREED AND THE DOG SHOWS
BIS: What is the most important point of which you would like a judge of your breed to be aware?
Kerstin: I feel the most important is the correct movement because it is a herding breed.
BIS: What qualities do you admire most in a judge?
Kerstin: Fairness and non-political judging.
BIS: What are the most important characteristics to keep in mind for anyone wanting to become a good Aussie judge?
Kerstin: I think a judge have to see first the body without looking for colors because a good dog has no color.
BIS: If you were in charge of everything regarding the dog shows what change would you make first?
Kerstin: I would like that we Europeans could became an AKC Judge.
I would change the system for champion points from FCI to AKC system. Because here in Europe you can earn how many points you want, but to have a FCI Champion there must be a period between first win and last win at least 1 year and one day. In AKC you can finish a dog very young. And I would wish that we can have from Europe access to the qualifications for Westminster Show .Also I wish more exchange with judges on both sides.
BIS: What would be the most important single piece of advice you would give to all serious young breeders?
Kerstin: The young breeders should visit the older breeders to learn from face to face. There is no book that can tell you so much about the breed like an old breeder mentor.