Still undecided 12 years later.
What age were you and how did you become involved in the world of Dogs?
I have always been animal mad since as long as I can remember, always having a particular interest in dogs. When I was around 11 years old I was badly bitten by a dog while out playing with friends and became absolutely terrified of them. My parents bought me a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppy to help me get over my newly developed fear of dogs and through her I made new friends who also had a Cavalier. Months later those friends where going to a dog show in search of a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppy and asked if I’d like to go to see some well behaved friendly dogs, I agreed and was bitten again, but this time by the dog show bug. The rest is history.
What Breeds of Dogs have you had over the years?
I always had a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel growing up as a child and my Dad always had a Boxer. Before I was bitten I had a Dalmatian too.
What Breeds of Dogs have you got now?
Japanese Chins & Chihuahuas
What would you consider to be your main Breed and the one people associate you with?
It has to be the Japanese Chin. It is the breed I have had the most success with in the show ring and the breed I am most passionate about. I am also honoured to be the secretary and treasurer of the Japanese Chin Club of Ireland.
What attracted you to this breed?
Absolutely EVERTHING!! From their rich history, beautiful oriental looks, small fine elegant body and wonderful inquisitive temperament. I just adore them.
What advice would you offer to anybody that is interested in becoming an owner of this breed?
Please do your research before you embark (pun intended) on a life where you become servant to a Japanese Chin. They are NOT for everyone and will not suit every lifestyle.
Does the Breed have any specific requirements by way of exercise & grooming?
They enjoy regular exercise but when they have had enough they will let you know. Grooming should be carried out at least once a week to avoid the coat knotting. It doesn’t take long and all you need is a good brush. They also shed especially in the warmer months and may require more frequent brushing to remove dead hair.
Does the Breed have any specific health tests that should be done before a Dog or bitch is used at stud or bred from?
On the whole they are generally a healthy breed as they have yet to fall into the hands of the puppy farmers (and we wish to keep it that way). We would promote testing for eyes,heart and patella’s as you can never have a dog that is too healthy. By doing so you are helping the next generation stay fit ,healthy and happy.
Finally, how would you some up the characteristics of this breed and what type of household would they best be suited too?
They are very cat like and affectionate. They will walk for as long or as little as they see fit. They will shed and will require regular grooming to keep their coat knot free. They mix well with other dogs/animals but their delicate/elegant frame makes them easily breakable. They are loyal, very clean and quiet. I feel that they are best suited to a household that does not have young children. They originally came from palaces where they were treated like royalty and I see no reason why they shouldn’t still be treated like this, they practically expect it.