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Cat Martini-Rashid | Sleepy Hollow Chesapeakes

Cat Martini-Rashid

Interview with Cat Martini-Rashid, Breeder of Sleepy Hollow Chesapeakes

  1. Please tell us a little bit about yourself. Where do you live? How many years in dogs? How many years as a breeder? What is your kennel name?
  2. What is your “process” for selecting show puppies? Performance puppies?
  3. In your opinion, is your breed in good condition overall? Any trends that warrant concern?
  4. As a Preservation Breeder, can you share your thoughts on the sport today? How’s the judging these days? What do you think about the number of shows?
  5. In your opinion, is social media good for the sport? Is it harmful?
  6. What are the biggest challenges facing the dog show community as a whole today and how can these be addressed?
  7. What are some of the positive changes you’ve seen in the sport over the past decade?

1. I live in Snohomish, Washington. I’ve been into Chesapeake Bay Retrievers for 37-1/2 years; breeding for eight years. My kennel name is Sleepy Hollow Chesapeakes. Most of my dogs hold Hunt titles, top Therapy titles, and Grand Champion titles. I also have two Diabetic Dogs in training. We are a small kennel that breeds quality old lines and we usually have a waiting list.

2. I watch how the puppies look and how they gait. For Performance puppies, we start playing with pheasant and duck wings. When they’re six weeks old they are retrieving small baby puppy toys. That is how they are evaluated.

3. Yes, our breed is, overall, one of the best breeds that wears many different hats.

4. I like that our Chesapeakes can be in the field retrieving ducks but then hit the show without a problem, and then when they’re home they can be Diabetic Service Dogs or Therapy Dogs. As for the judging at shows, I’m not sure how they are these days. I budget for a handler and she shows the dogs. We need a lot more shows for the West Coast Chesapeake Bay Retrievers.

5. I think that with everything about social media, there’s good and bad. The good thing is you know about more shows, more Hunt Tests, more Field Trials. The bad thing is there’s a lot of judge bashing and poor sportsmanship going on.

6. I think the biggest challenges that the dog community is facing are there’s not enough shows on the West Coast (you certainly have to drive a long way to go for shows) and how you can dress. Perhaps getting together and reaching out to the AKC for more shows?

7. Positive changes? That would be social media, where you can see where all the shows are; East Coast and West Coast.