Interview with Cheryl Crompton, Breeder of Stahlkrieger Standard Schnauzers
Where do I live? How many years in dogs? How many years as a breeder?
Cheryl Crompton: I live in Mishawaka, Indiana. I got my first Standard Schnauzer in the 1970s as a rescue. I have been breeding for 40 years.
What is my kennel name? How many dogs do I currently keep?
Cheryl Crompton: The name I breed under is Stahlkrieger. I have six dogs and they are my housedogs and companions.
Which show dogs from the past have been my noteworthy winners?
Cheryl Crompton: I bred and co-owned International World Ch. Stahlkrieger’s Magnum Force who won Best Junior in Show at the World Show in Helsinki. I also bred and owned International World Ch. Stahlkrieger’s Johnny Cash, a black. I bred and co-owned Ch. Stahlkrieger’s KB’S Son Of A Blitz who was number two in the country. Ch. Stahlkrieger Comanche’s Soaring Eagle not only excelled in the Conformation ring but also garnered many titles in Performance competitions.
Which have been my most influential sires and dams?
Cheryl Crompton: “Magnum” and “Johnny” were extremely influential overseas, producing many International Champions. They are behind several here in the States. Ch. Asgard Paige V. Stahlkrieger was one of my foundation bitches who influences my line to this day.
“Paige” was a Hall of Fame producer who was not just structurally sound but also outstanding in temperament. Ch. Nichi Winnipeg Willy Nilly At Hansa was a stunning Italian import who produced a litter out of frozen semen from Ch. Asgard Jason Von HOLZ, who was one of the great dogs in our breed history. All 10 of their puppies became Champions in one year and, since then, those get have been extremely influential in my line.
“Nicki,” their mother, is a Hall of Fame producer and Brood Bitch of the Year, with one litter, and the sire, “Jason,” became Stud Dog of the Year for the National Club, the first dog having that honor through frozen semen.
Can I talk a bit about my facilities? Where are my puppies whelped? How are they raised?
Cheryl Crompton: My dogs are all companions and housedogs, and my puppies are whelped in my office where I sleep beside them for two-to-three weeks. The pups are well-socialized with family and friends as well as with my other dogs.
What is my “process” for selecting show puppies? At what age do I make my decisions?
Cheryl Crompton: God didn’t give me many talents, but I can usually pick a show puppy from the first week of life. When they grow up, at around 7 to 8 weeks, I relook at them to be sure that they are still what I want to see in the show ring. I would rather put a puppy that I’m not totally thrilled with in a companion home than put it in a show home and be disappointed. I picked both Johnny and Magnum the first week after they were born.
How do I prepare my pups for the show ring? Does my breed require any special preparation?
Cheryl Crompton: First of all, show puppies need to be comfortable on the grooming table, and I start that by always making it enjoyable. Being able to stand happily to be groomed is very important. Next, I socialize them every chance I get. If I enter them in a Puppy Class at a show, I make it fun with no pressure to win. I also make sure that they know “mom” is happy with them in the ring. You have to instill a good attitude early for a dog to shine at its best.
Can I share my thoughts on how my breed is currently presented in the show ring?
Cheryl Crompton: At times, I’m very disappointed to see so much hair on the show dogs. Instead of following the bend of stifle, I see hair halfway up their hip. I would much rather see the true lines of a dog being shown.
Are there any health-related concerns within my breed? Any special nutritional needs?
Cheryl Crompton: We, as breeders, test for DCM which has surfaced in the last few years, and I am fortunate to have all my dogs (and even my frozen semen) clear of DCM. Even though our breed has a low ratio of hip dysplasia, we test for it as well as CERF on eyes. I also do a full blood panel on all my dogs, checking for things such as thyroid and, to date, have none. Our breeders are pretty conscientious and protective of our breed, so overall they are a healthy breed.
In my opinion, is my breed in good condition overall? Any trends that warrant concern?
Cheryl Crompton: Standard Schnauzers are, overall, a healthy breed. I am concerned with so many dogs with a lack of shoulder layback. This is a Working Breed and, therefore, they need good conformation to perform their job. Straight fronts and/or rears make for a much less efficient movement in Conformation or Performance.
Is my breed well-suited to be a family dog? Who are the best candidates to own my breed?
Cheryl Crompton: Standard Schnauzers are a great family dog. I am careful with families with small children. Too many times, a hyper child will teach the puppy to be hyper and, when the child grows out of it, the dog doesn’t. It becomes taught behavior. Standards are like a “toddler with teeth.” They are highly intelligent and need discipline with a firm but kind hand, and routine with consistency. It is much easier to teach behavior and rules than to retrain a pup that’s allowed to develop its own.
Do I feel that my breed is supported by a sufficient number of preservation breeders?
Cheryl Crompton: As I stated earlier, we have some wonderful new breeders coming into our breed. Since we are also a small breed, there is open communication between many of us to help protect our breed from unscrupulous breeders.
For a bit of fun, what’s the most amusing thing I’ve ever experienced with my breed?
Cheryl Crompton: I sat and thought about this question, and it’s funny that not one but many things came to mind. Living with a highly intelligent breed like the Standard Schnauzer makes every day an adventure. Whatever you think they can’t get into, on, or through, they will. They are an incredibly intelligent dog that keeps you on your toes, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. For 40 years, they have been part of my family, my other kids, and a big piece of my heart.
Are you looking for a Standard Schnauzer 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 Standard Schnauzer 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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