Monamour Jack Russells
Interview with Mrs. Kao Miichi • Interviewed by Jovana Danilovic
Published in Best in Show Summer 2014
BIS: When and how did you first come across Jack Russells?
K.M.: First time I came across with Jack Russells 14 years ago, 2000. At the time, I worked for the very famous advertisement company Maccan Erickson Tokyo as a copy writer.
In the city of Tokyo, I saw a white and tan small dog and was fascinated by it.
Then I decide to buy a puppy from my first bonus, and it took 6 months to find my baby!
I had been looking for a nice pup and finally found a female puppy named MONA, sired by Aust.CH. Gaylegal Ginger Beer out of Aust. Ch. Gaylegal Juliett.
Mona is the very first Jack Russell Terrier for me and the foundation of MONAMOUR!
Mona changed my life and Mona is Ms. MONAMOUR, and she is still with me.
She became the very first FCI Champion Jack Russell Terrier female in Japan
after the FCI recognized the breed and the JKC followed suit.
BIS: What makes the Jack Russells so special for you?
K.M.: The key word is: small but tough. Cute but functional. Terrier but calm. So many people call them “small terrier terrorist”, aren’t they?
They are very small, but they act like big dogs.
They do not think of themselves as small dogs.
They are always powerful, active and very loyal to their people. I’ve always loved their personality, which is smart, clever and calm.
The Jack Russell Terrier for me is not just a dog, but a very calm and quiet companion, like a human kid.
That makes the Jack Russell Terrier very special for me.
The thing I love about them is also their compact but functional look.
BIS: Which dog do you consider the foundation of your breeding program?
K.M.: Dogs which I consider as my famoundation in my breeding program are JR-MONA OF BE CLUB K.M.Y
(Sired by Gaylegal Ginger Beer / Out of Gaylegal Juliette) and BE CLUB K.M.Y JACK MADONNA
(Sired By Inverbrae Freddie Hill).
All of my foundation dogs are strongly related to the MALUNG dogs from Australia. So I have kept up the good line breeding of “MALUNG”.
BIS: What do you consider your greatest achievement as a breeder?
K.M.: There are several achievements in last few years which make me proud Monamour JP Time After Time is number 1 JR in Australia for 2013 (breed score), Monamour JP You’re My Sunshine is number 1 dog in Japan for 2013, Monamour JP Part Time Lover is number 2 JR in US for 2013. Two years ago, at World Dog Show in Salzburg Yukkio – Monamour JP Part Time Lover has became World Winner, and this year at World Dog Show in Helsinki, Monamour JP Rainbow Blossoms has became Vice World Winner.
It is very hard to mention any particular results. But my dogs are winning not only in Japan, but also in the US, in European countries and Australia.
It means that my dogs do not have “American type” or “European Type” or “Australian Type” or any particular type. A correct dog is universal.
The theme of my MONAMOUR Jack Russells are beautiful correct head expression with sound movement. If the dogs looks very nice when standing, but does not move well, it doesn’t do it for me. I always thinks the movement is one of the most important factors of the breed. Because they are a working terrier, not a toy breed.
BIS: Who has been your greatest influence in breeding and in what way?
K.M.: One of the greatest dogs in JR has one of the greatest influence in my breeding – Lemosa Mr. Energizer. Our dear friend Mr. Simon Mills leased this great dog to us for showing and breeding purposes. We took him at the World Dog Show in Paris 2011 where he got Best of Breed over almost 200 dogs. This dog have produced great movement, temperament and very good texture of the coat.
I still believe that no one can move like him. This movement should be the ideal movement of this breed. Most of the dogs who are known for their movement are actually just busy movers with small strides.
But Mr. Energizer has the very dynamic reach and drive which makes walking or running for a long time easier. The Jack Russell Terrier should be functional, they are not a small fluffy doll.
They should move with reach and drive. The dog who definately gave us the best movements is for sure Mr. Energizer.
BIS: Did you have a mentor when you first started out, who was that and in which way did that person help you?
K.M.: I have three people who influenced me in breeding. One of them is for sure Mr. Andrew Brace. Almost 8 or 9 years ago Mr. Brace visited Japan and held a seminar. I worked for the seminar as the interpreter.
My pet Jack Russell Terrier was with me. Mr. Brace mentioned that my dog was very similar to the dogs in Europe. He gave me the contact of Mr. Ulf Brathen who was the most famous Jack Russell Terrier breeder in Denmark, KANIX. A few years later, I brought one of my own breeding to World Dog Show in Salzburg.
My young Jack Russell Terrier won the breed from the junior class at the age of 11 months. Mr. Ulf Brathen came over to me and told me how much he loves the dog. That dog was Monamour JP Part Time Lover aka Yukkio. The biggest compliment from the greatest breeder encouraged us a lot.
So Mr. Andrew Brace and Ulf Brathen are two of the very important people who mentored and encourages us as breeders.
But the most important person who has been mentoring me is Mr. Simon Mills from Australia.
Mr. Mills found us when he came to Japan to judge the Jack Russell Terrier Specialty Show in Tokyo. I was just a very local breeder at the time. I entered all of my dogs because I wanted to show my dogs under Mr. Simon Mills as he was the owner of the very famous dog “Lemosa Mr. Energizer”. He gave all the prizes to our dogs from each class, and finally Best in Specialty Show! Monamour Can You Hear Me Now catched the eye of Mr. Mills and after the show he came to me to tell me about his idea to take her to Australia.
I was over the moon. As we sent our girl with Mr. Mills on showing in Australia, we also made a deal to get
his very important dog “Lemosa Mr. Energizer” and to bring him to Japan.
• 2011- Mr. Energizer won Best of breed at the World Dog Show in Paris.
• 2012 – Monamour JP Part Time Lover won Best of Breed at World Dog Show in Salzburg. He is Energy’s son.
• 2013 – Monamour JP Afterglow won Interra Junior Winner, and Monamour JP Mr. Energizer at Clayco won 2nd in open dog class at the WDS.
They are both of Energy’s son.
• 2014 – Monamour JP Rainbow Blossoms won Res.World Winner, he is Mr. Energizer’s grandson.
Monamour JP Part Time Lover won 1st in Champion class, he is the son of Mr. Energizer. So Mr. Energizer produced so many highest quality Jack Russell Terrier all over the world.
Mr. Simon Mills sent him to us and we bred several World Winners.
We always work together and it makes it possible for us to breed world top quality Jack Russell Terrier.
He put us on the map worldwide as Jack Russell Terrier breeders.
BIS: Are there any other people who have been instrumental in your career as a breeder that you have looked up to and admired?
K.M.: One of breeders I admire very mush is Mr. Kaz Igarashi who is breeding Pomeranians under prefix Hadleigh. This greatest dog man had been working with Pomeranian since the 1960s. He won Group at Crufts in 1960th . I always ask his opinion about breeding, about the dogs. He is the one, who I would call my best mentor of all time. He shares all his knowledge abut the dogs.
And one more person whom I respect is Toshinori Omura of the famous Smash Poodles. He has been mentoring me on how to breed good dogs, how to pick the best one, how to manage the kennel, how to challenge the world. This smartest and intelligent breeder taught me so many things and he is like our family.
BIS: How did the Jack Russells change over time since you first got involved with the breed?
K.M.: When I first started showing them, people thought they are just a mixed breed. Nobody could imagine that they would become such a strong breed in Terrier Group. Now they are one of the strongest breeds in some FCI countries, and in the USA, they call the Jack Russell Terrier the “Russell terrier”. I just came back from the world famous terrier weekend in the US called Montgomery Terrier Weekend. Though AKC recogized them as “RUSSELL TERRIER” two years ago, the entry was almost 58. I think this breed becomes bigger and stronger in AKC as well. The breed was not consistent in style (type) before. I think it was because they were working dogs and not the dogs for show purpose. But the breed is becoming more consistent and sophisticate during the last 10 years after the FCI recognized them as a pure breed. In some part, it is good. But if the breed gets to be to fancy, it’s not so good, we should always think of them as a small working terrier.
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 your variety and if so, why?
K.M.: One of them is Monamour JP Monamour Forever. She is not a great show or great looking dog, but all the dogs out of her are just stunning and very consistent.
All of these world famous dogs are out of her Yukkio (Monamour JP Part Time Lover), Milou (Monamour JP You’re My Sunshine), Monamour JP Lonely Kiss and Monamour JP Energy of Kiss. This breed can produce outstanding dogs and not so wonderful dogs in the same litter. To find the key to consistent breeding is the most important task for all breeders. Monamous Forever produced very consistent high quality dogs. This was an amazing result.
BIS: Is there something which you would like to change/improve in the breed?
K.M.: Today you can see lots of Jack Russell Terriers with to bigger ears. They should be small. Since the houndish ears are a fault, I can not accept the big ears.
Another problem are poor rear legs. It is hard to find a very sound and strong rear in this breed. A lot of dogs are cow hocked and the movement is not good. If I find a dog with a correct and sound rear, I would like to take it for my breeding program. We have to understand what “good movement” is. I saw many pictures on facebook and people adore this “beautiful movement”! But mostly I do not agree. The busy or fast mover is not a good mover. Moving with small stride is not a good mover either. They should have the correct reach and drive. We, the breeders, should think about it. The key is – the length of the upper arms. Many of the Jack Russell Terriers have too short upper arms. There should be enough length of the upper arm and a well laid backed shoulder, this is what gives good extension of the movement.
BIS: Every breed has some common problems. Which is the most common problem in your variety seen from a breeder’s point of view?
K.M.: As a breeder or judge, I always think this breed is still very new. So we have to judge them from overall, or proportion. I mean that we should NOT have the negative eyes for the very small faults. We have to make the most effort for the breed to be consistent in proportion. We can improve the small parts after that. I would forgive the small fault, but we should work on improving the pigment, better tail set and better ears.
BIS: What is your opinion regarding too heavy and round shaped chest?
K.M.: They should be spannable. This is very important.
If the dog is too heavy in chest, then they can not go into the fox hall. The judge should span all the dogs on the table, and check how deep their chest is.
From the highest point of the withers to the elbow and the elbow to the ground should be 50:50.
They are not a breed with short legs and deep chest.
They should be a “medium” terrier. This breed should be the functional, so if the dog has deep and round chest.
BIS: What has been the biggest disappointment in breeding and showing for you so far?
K.M.: Some people think about this breed as a small cute “Russell Terrier doll” with very fluffy coat and cute looking. It makes me very disappointed, and almost sad.
Some judges never put up smooth coated or broken coated dogs who have very correct conformation, proportion and movement. This breed does not need to have lots of fluffy coat or furnishings like the Schnauzers. This breed does not need to be cute. The word “cute” or “pretty” is not in the breed standard. They should be functional, with a compact body with spanability.
Thing which I also don’t like at all are oversized dogs.
BIS: What do you think is the most problematic about the Jack Russell FCI or AKC Standard?
K.M.: Not so many judges or breeders understand the ideal proportions of this breed. It is hard to understand the ration of the length of body and height clearly.
The height is measured at the highest point of the withers. But the AKC standard says about the length of the body “from the point of shoulder to point of buttocks than from the withers to the ground.”
Then the next part is very different: “from the withers to the root of the tail then from the withers to the ground”.
These two don’t mean the same. It is very confusing.
BIS: Please mention 2 to 3 Jack Russell which are not owned, bred or shown by yourself, that you particularly admired, and tell us what you most admired about each.
K.M.: One of them is Let’s Rock I’m Yours. The most beautiful female I have ever seen. Beautiful movement with correct gait. Another one is Knotteliten’s Norweigian Vybz. A very high quality female with correct proportions and strong movement. And the last one is Username di Stri. This young dog has very dark pigment with a keen expression. These two females I met in Helsinki, they were absolutely nice dogs. To meet spectacular dogs is the greatest thing about travelling overseas. This breed tends to be too fancy and cute, but these two dogs can move very soundly with good reach and drive. Good coat, good pigment, good size and lovely head expression.
BIS: What is the most important point of which you would like a judge of your breed to be aware?
1: Proportions overall (balance)
2: Movement with enough reach and drive
BIS: What are the most important characteristics to keep in mind for anyone wanting to become a good Jack Russell judge?
K.M.: The most important thing is “FUNCTIONAL” not “FANCY”. This breed is being very popular all over the world. Many people says how cute they are.
But the most important thing for judges should not be their cuteness, but their working ability. They are a medium length terrier with spanable body. If I define the ideal balance of height to length of the body is 10: 11.5 ~12. They are not a short legged terrier nor a square dog like the Fox Terrier. They should be rectangular but not too low to the ground. And they are terriers, so coat condition is important too.
The coat should be hard and harsh, and you should never have to use clippers or scissors.
If I find the dog whose exhibitor used scissors or clipper, I would not put it up.
BIS: If you were in charge of everything regarding dog shows what change would you make first?
K.M.: Nothing needs to be changed. Just all of us have to go the honest way. I hope more and more people of the young generation will join this intelligent sports of dogs.
BIS: What would be the most important single piece of advice you would give to all serious young breeders?
K.M.: Read the breed standard every day. Think about the breed before breeding. Watch the dogs in reality, not on Facebook! There are so many Facebook superstars but they look different in reality. Your answer is not on Facebook but in the dogshow rings. Go to dogshow for learning, not for winning. Read the breed standard anytime you have a question. Do not go the easy way.
Try to understand the dog as a species, not only Jack Russell Terriers. The knowledge about the conformation dogs over all will help you understand each individual breed. Be serious about the breed standard. Do not think things are easy.
Dog shows are not a game, but a place to evaluate the dogs as breeding stock. The Jack Russell Terrier is a working terrier, do not try to make them look too cute.
If all of us breeders go in the right direction the future of the breed will look bright!
Let’s enjoy this great breed. With an open mind and honesty!