The Owner Handler Cherie McDaniel: I am almost 70 years old and am retired now from ER Nursing. I have a BA degree in Psychology and Sociology, and my BSN. My daughter is 40 years old now and is a Veterinarian in the US Army. We both are animal lovers from way back.
- When were you first introduced to the sport of purebred dogs? To your breed?I was first introduced to purebred dogs by my mother, who was an avid Collie breeder, and then, Poodles. She showed limitedly due to family commitments, but I was so in love with those dogs. I have enjoyed many breeds and have been breeding, training, and showing for 50 years. I have had Toy Poodles, an OES, St. Bernards, Shih Tzus, Rottweilers, and Yorkies. I now have my Miniature Pinschers and have been active with this breed for over 25 years. I also have two Portuguese Podengos that add to the entertainment. I have trained a few dogs in basic Obedience, which offered me a solid communication tool with the dogs for a lifetime.
- How many years in dogs? How many as an owner handler? As a breeder?I have been involved in the Owner-Handled (OH) competition for about four years, but have handled my own dogs for my entire show career. I really started to get serious about the OH rankings three years ago. I rarely use a professional handler, mainly since my breed usually doesn’t team-up with strangers. (Though I have had a few that love anyone and everyone!)
- Do you attend show handling classes? Have you attended any handling seminars?My area is not very active with dog sports or handling classes, but a few of us usually get together about twice monthly.
- Have you found virtual learning tools to be helpful? Classes? Videos? Websites? Social Media?I have watched a few virtual videos on websites and on social media. I always learn something from them.
- Do you compete in the National Owner-Handled Series? Are rankings important to you?Rankings never used to be important to me. However, my dogs love showing and are competitive. So, my goal is always to shoot for the Number One spot. I do compete in Breed competition and in the National Owner-Handled Series (NOHS).
- How important is the Bred-By Class to you? How important are specialties?The Bred-By Class is extremely important to me, and I always show and finish my own dogs from the BBE Class. I am proud of my breeding program and this is the time to showcase my specimens. I attend as many Specialties as are offered. I am always curious to see all the Miniature Pinschers from the US and internationally.
- Is it a challenge to compete with your breed(s) as a breeder/owner handler?OH competition within my breed is competitive and is dependent on the locale. But, showing is always a challenge to me.
- Are you intimidated by the professional handlers? By the judges?I have much respect for professional handlers and judges. They do not intimidate me and their knowledge is invaluable.
- Who have been your mentor(s) as an owner handler? As a breeder?I never had one specific mentor. I have learned a little here and there from many breeders, handlers, and other owners.
- How important is the breeder/owner handler to the future of the dog sport?The Breeder/OH is extremely important to the dog sport. We are out in the rings, learning our breed, and promoting them. This group is truly the foundation for the preservation of each breed.
- What are your goals as an owner handler? As a breeder? Is their a milestone that has eluded you?My goal as an OH is to continue competing with my breed and comparing my specimen to other OH’s dogs. Of course, Number One is always my goal. With each puppy, my goal as a breeder is to produce healthy and sound dogs with solid temperaments. (And the offspring should be of better quality—ideally—than the sire and dam.) As with most dog show exhibitors, we’re always setting higher milestones. I continue to learn, observe, and achieve.
- Is there a funny story that you can share about your experiences as a breeder/owner handler?
I can’t think of any funny stories now, but I probably will after I submit this.
Thank you for asking me to do this questionnaire. I hope this has helped you, and best of luck with your magazine!
The Owner Handler Cherie McDaniel