Interview with Claudio Da Cruz Conceicao, Handler of Lake Park Bassets, by Allan Reznik
Where did you grow up?
I am 47 years old, and I was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. I have lived for two years in the USA, in North Carolina.
Do you come from a doggy family? If not, how did the interest in breeding and showing purebred dogs begin.
No, I do not come from a family of dog breeders or exhibitors. This passion started naturally when I was very young. I had always liked dogs. I started working and learning with obedience dogs. Eventually, I got to know the world of show dogs and I am still in it today.
Who were your mentors in the sport? Please elaborate on their influence.
I always had good people by my side. As a professional handler of all breeds, I had Sr. Divoney Rasera. With Basset Hounds, I was lucky enough to have one of the best breeders and handlers to learn from, Sr. Jorge Algusto Dias of Park Melody Kennels. I also worked for 13 years with breeder Tatiana Pagliane of Canil Brave Basset Hounds. I showed her Bassets and it served as a great learning experience.
What breeding philosophies do you adhere to?
The first thing I prioritize is good health. I always try to study pedigrees and genetic issues, as well as correct breed type.
How many Bassets do you currently house? Tell us about your facilities and how the dogs are maintained.
Today, I live in North Carolina with my wife, Dr. Lisa Sarvas, a veterinarian and a breeder of Miniature Schnauzers. We have a beautiful kennel with great accommodations and lots of space for the dogs to play. Our priority is the physical and emotional well-being of our dogs. As a professional handler, we have our clients’ dogs here, as well as our own Basset Hounds.
When did you start showing in the USA, and how did that come about?
Although I was living in Brazil, I had been to the USA to show dogs of other breeds at such events as the AKC National, Potomac, and Westminster. My first Basset Hound that I showed in the USA was in 2009 at the AKC National Championship/Eukanuba Cup.
Who were/are some of your most significant dogs, both in the whelping box and in the show ring?
I have been very attached and hugely dedicated to the dogs I showed. I can highlight a list of dogs that stand out a lot, and name a few Basset Hounds in particular, but I respect everything all my other Bassets have done. I’ve been living with Bassets for more than 20 years now.
MBIS MSBIS GCHS BR Lake Park Sullivan (Sullivan)
- 104 Bests in Show in Brazil and the USA
- Holds the all-time BIS Brazilian record for all breeds.
- American Grand Champion Silver
- Brazilian Grand Champion
- No. 1 Basset in Brazil 2015, 2016 & 2019
- “Sullivan” has achieved the greatest number of Bests in Show won in Brazil to date, over all breeds.
- Breeders/Owners: Mr. Leonir Bampi and Mrs. Luciana Bampi
GCH Lomarol Hounds Akila (Chloe)
- Westminster Best of Breed Winner, 2021
- Breeders/Owners: Mrs. Sandra Marques and Mr. Hugo Cuenca
GCH Brave Basset Tracy
- One of the finest females I have ever seen. Perfect movement.
We won top ranking and some Bests in Show in Brazil.
- Breeder: Tatiana Pagliane
- Owner: Sonia Tacla
MBIS MSBIS GCHS BR Lake Park Ethan
- No. 1 Basset Hound, 2022
- Westminster Best of Breed Winner, 2022
- Only Basset Hound to win Best in Show in 2022 in the USA.
- Breeders: Leonir and Luciana Bampi
- Owners: Claudio Cruz and Lisa Sarvas
- Co-Owners: Matthew Hass and Marcelo Leca
GCH AM, CH ARG, GR BR Park Melody Apache
- 20 Bests in Show
- No. 1 Basset in Brazil
- No. 3 Brazilian-Bred Dog, All Breeds
- Breeder/Owner: Jorge Algusto Dias (In Memoriam)
Please comment positively on your breed’s present condition and what trends might bear watching.
I respect the many breeders and handlers who are involved in the Basset Hound breed. It is not easy to produce special Bassets all the time. There is no such thing as a perfect Basset Hound, and there never will be, but it’s important to look at the whole dog.
I am very fond of the following comments made by a great judge, and try to follow the philosophy expressed:
“Any fool can discover a dog’s faults; it takes a connoisseur to appreciate its virtues. The judge mentality that can really help a breed progress is all positive, having the ability and desire to reward dogs for their virtues while keeping their flaws in perspective. By recognizing dogs with exceptional qualities, judges can contribute to the creation of a breed. Cursing an excellent dog based on a minor flaw is just throwing out the baby with the bath water.”
In the words of the great judge Beatrice Godsol, often quoted by another great judge, Frank Sabella:
“Even the great dogs have faults; they just carry them better.”
One point that does worry me a lot is that I see too few people from the younger generations stepping up to become the breeders and handlers of the future. We need those who love the Basset Hound to also want to breed and show.
Where do you see yourself in the next decade or two?
Now that I am focused on raising my own Basset Hounds, I know the type I want and the kennels I admire. I want to work with their dogs for my breeding program. It’s not an easy mission, but I am always working to try to make beautiful champions.
Finally, tell us a little about Claudio outside of dogs… your occupation, your hobbies.
In addition to the dogs, I have a Black Belt in Jiu-Jitsu and Judo, and have achieved some victories in the martial arts, my favorite hobby. I am always studying, dedicating myself to the canine world, and looking for opinions from important people in our sport. I don’t think anyone does anything alone. I learn from my wife, Dr. Lisa Sarvas, a veterinarian and Miniature Schnauzer breeder, every day. Playing with and enjoying my dogs makes me feel very happy.
Thank you for the opportunity to talk about my passion for Basset Hounds.
Are you looking for a Basset Hound 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 Basset Hound 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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