Interview with AnnMarie Saunier, Breeder of Shiann Poodles
Where do I live? How many years in dogs? How many years as a breeder?
AnnMarie Saunier: I live in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. I have been involved in dogs since 1975. I have been breeding dogs since 1982.
What is my kennel name? How many dogs do I currently keep?
AnnMarie Saunier: My kennel name is Shiann. I currently have ten dogs at my facility.
Which show dogs from the past have been my noteworthy winners?
AnnMarie Saunier: AKC/UKC GCH Shiann’s Lady Winterfell would be my most noteworthy winner, as the first time she was shown she came home with a Reserve Best in Show.
Which have been my most influential sires and dams?
- My most influential sires would be AKC/UKC GCH/IABCA National CH Eaglehill South N Shiann Dancing Through The Fire and AKC/UKC GCH Shiann’s Dont Stop Believin At Morningstar.
- My most influential dam would be AKC-pointed/UKC GCH Sherfame N Shiann Roxann.
Can I talk a bit about my facilities? Where are my puppies whelped? How are they raised?
AnnMarie Saunier: I have a facility that works for me. I do have a separate kennel building with heat and air, ceramic tile floors, raised beds, indoor/outdoor runs, and a large outdoor area for playtime.
This building is mostly used for bitches in season and to rotate my boys. I also have an 800 square foot grooming building that houses my show dogs for growing coat and my puppies for socialization and Puppy Culture learning.
My puppies are whelped in my ensuite bathroom and stay in there until their eyes open. After their eyes are opened, they are moved to my sunroom where there is much more activity for them.
Between six and seven weeks they are then moved to my grooming facility where they learn all about the world around them.
What is my “process” for selecting show puppies? Performance puppies?
AnnMarie Saunier: My process for selecting show puppies starts when they “get their legs on” and are moving about. I look for a bomb-proof puppy with a confident attitude. They have got to be as structurally correct as possible and move as the breed should. At eight weeks, I go over all the puppies individually and make my final pick. A Performance puppy has to be attentive but also eager to explore the world, quick to learn, and an independent thinker.
At what age do I place puppies in show homes? In Performance homes?
AnnMarie Saunier: I usually place my show and Performance puppies at around 10 weeks of age.
Does my breed require any special preparation for competing in Conformance or Performance Events?
AnnMarie Saunier: My breed requires hundreds of hours to compete in Conformation events, as Miniature Poodles require hours of grooming before and after the show. As for Performance events, they require the same amount of work as any other breed, but because they are so highly intelligent they pick up a lot of things naturally.
I am happy that our breed can now compete in Conformation in the historically correct continental clip. Grooming keeps a lot of competitors away from our breed for Conformation.
Do I compete in Performance Events? If not, do these competitive arenas interest me?
AnnMarie Saunier: I have competed in Performance events and now I am more of a “dabbler.” We have pretty much tried everything and I am very interested in Performance events… it is just a matter of time. I plan on doing a lot more in Performance in the coming years.
In my opinion, is my breed in good condition overall? Any trends that warrant concern?
AnnMarie Saunier: My breed is in good condition overall. The concern in our breed that warrants attention is the doodle craze. It’s very upsetting to preservation breeders like myself.
Are there any health-related concerns within my breed? Any special nutritional needs?
AnnMarie Saunier: The Poodle is a very healthy breed thanks to breeders who do full health testing using only CHIC certified dogs and require bitches to have their health testing done.
Poodles do not have any special nutritional needs and do well on a well-balanced diet.
Is my breed well suited to be a family dog? Who are the best candidates to own my breed?
AnnMarie Saunier: Poodles make fabulous family dogs. The best candidates to own our breed are households with children or active adults.
Is my breed a good choice as a Performance competitor? If so, in which events?
AnnMarie Saunier: Poodles excel in all Performance events.
What is the biggest misconception about my breed? What is my breed’s best-kept secret?
AnnMarie Saunier: The biggest misconception about our breed is that they are a sissy dog that lays around sipping champagne.
The best-kept secret in our breed is that they are an amazingly diversified breed that can do anything.
For a bit of fun, what’s the most amusing thing I’ve ever experienced with a Non-Sporting Dog?
AnnMarie Saunier: The most amazing thing I have experienced with our breed is their intelligence. I had a dog that would open my door, let the dogs out, and close the door behind them. Of course, this made me think that I was crazy as I did not think I had let them all out.
If I could share one suggestion with judges of my breed, what would I like to say to them about my breed?
AnnMarie Saunier: For the judges of Miniature Poodles, I would ask them to please watch the size, as way too many oversized dogs are rewarded.
Are you looking for a Poodle puppy?
The best way to ensure a long and happy relationship with a purebred dog is to purchase one from a responsible breeder. Not sure where to begin finding a breeder?
Contact the National Parent Club’s Breeder Referral person, which you can find on the AKC Breeder Referral Contacts page.
Want to help rescue and re-home a Poodle dog?
Did you know nearly every recognized AKC purebred has a dedicated rescue group? Find your new best friend on the AKC Rescue Network Listing.
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