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Janice Swofford | Stoneridge Kennel Boston Terriers

Janice Swofford

Interview with Janice Swofford, Breeder of Stoneridge Kennel Boston Terriers

Where do I live? How many years in dogs? How many years as a breeder?

Janice Swofford: I am passionate about dogs and dedicated to showing them to their full potential. Showing these loyal companions is not just a hobby but a true passion that brings joy to my life. I live in a very small town, Shell Knob, in beautiful Southwest Missouri. I got my first show dog in 2007 and I’ve been a preservationist breeder since 2009. Adding Angie Greer-Henderson as a co-owner and breeder to my program seven years ago has proven to be a significant asset to Stoneridge Kennel. Her contributions and partnership have enhanced various aspects of my breeding program, such as breeding decisions, puppy rearing, socialization, and overall management. Having a trusted co-owner and collaborator like Angie can bring fresh perspectives, expertise, and additional support, ultimately strengthening the success and reputation of Stoneridge Kennel within the dog breeding community.

What is my kennel name? How many dogs do I currently keep?

Janice Swofford: I currently have 10 dogs at Stoneridge Kennel.

Which have been my most influential sires and dams?

Janice Swofford: Stoneridge Havin A Little Summer Fun, despite not achieving her championship, made a significant impact as a producer, earning her Register of Merit (ROM) along with two stars. In my breeding program, I’ve focused on utilizing quality males to complement the traits of my females. One notable male I used was GCHG Kennedy’s Bumble Bee, who sired exceptional offspring, highlighting my commitment to producing high-quality dogs.

Can I talk a bit about my facilities? Where are my puppies whelped? How are they raised?

Janice Swofford: I raise my puppies in the comfort of my home, with a dedicated puppy room located adjacent to my living area. I use a sensory program similar to Puppy Culture and my puppies are also raised on a working farm with cattle and poultry. They receive socialization with my other dogs, which contributes positively to their development and temperament. Providing a nurturing environment and exposure to various experiences ensures they grow into confident and well-rounded companions.

What is my “process” for selecting show puppies? Performance puppies?

Janice Swofford: For selecting show puppies, I primarily assess conformation, often making initial decisions shortly after birth. Sometimes there is just that one puppy that stands out, even at birth. However, I also closely observe their development and behavior as they grow, frequently using a stacking table to evaluate their structure. When it comes to Performance puppies, I don’t emphasize this aspect as much since I focus more on Conformation showing. Therefore, my selection process prioritizes traits and qualities relevant to the show ring.

Does my breed require any special preparation for competing in Conformance? In Performance Events?

Janice Swofford: For competing in Conformation events with Boston Terriers, grooming typically involves minimal upkeep. This breed doesn’t require extensive grooming, but you may trim whiskers, tidy hair on the bottom of the feet, and clean inside the ears. This minimal grooming aspect is one reason why Boston Terriers are appealing to many owners and handlers. In terms of performance events, such as Agility or Obedience, the emphasis shifts more towards training and conditioning rather than grooming. While basic grooming practices, like keeping nails trimmed and ears clean, are important for overall health and comfort, they don’t play a significant role in preparing for performance events with Boston Terriers. Training for Agility, Obedience, or other performance activities involves focus, consistency, and building a strong bond between the handler and the dog.

In my opinion, is my breed in good condition overall? Any trends that warrant concern?

Janice Swofford: In my opinion, overall, the breed is in good condition, but there are areas for improvement, particularly in the toplines. Concerns arise from trends in foreign countries that may impact the breed’s characteristics or health. It’s essential for breed enthusiasts and organizations to monitor and address these trends to ensure the continued health and welfare of the breed.

Is my breed well suited to be a family dog? Who are the best candidates to own my breed?

Janice Swofford: Yes, Boston Terriers are well-suited to be family dogs, often referred to as the “American gentleman” for their friendly and gentle demeanor. They typically thrive in family settings and enjoy being around children. Families with kids can be great candidates to own Boston Terriers, as children appreciate the companionship and playful nature of these dogs.

What is the biggest misconception about my breed? What is my breed’s best-kept secret?

Janice Swofford: The biggest misconception about Boston Terriers is that they are aggressive or overly hyper. Boston Terriers are known for their friendly and affectionate nature, with a calm demeanor and a love for companionship. As for the breed’s best-kept secret, it may be their surprising athleticism and versatility.

In my opinion, is social media good for the sport? Is it harmful?

Janice Swofford: While social media can be a valuable tool for promoting the sport of dog showing, it’s important for participants to use it responsibly and critically, focusing on education, community building, and the welfare of the dogs. By harnessing the positive aspects of social media, while mitigating the negative impacts, the dog show community can continue to thrive and evolve in the digital age.

What are the biggest challenges facing the dog show community as a whole today and how can these be addressed?

Janice Swofford: Several challenges face the dog show community today, and addressing them requires cooperation among breeders, exhibitors, judges, and kennel clubs. Some of the biggest challenges include:

  • A decline in participation in dog shows, with fewer breeders and exhibitors entering events. This can lead to reduced competition and interest in purebred dogs.
  • There is growing concern about the health and welfare of purebred dogs, including genetic disorders and conformation-related health issues. Breeding practices need to prioritize health and temperament over aesthetic traits.
  • Judges should be knowledgeable about Breed Standards and prioritize health, temperament, and structure over cosmetic traits.
  • Provide education and outreach programs to encourage responsible breeding practices, promote the welfare of purebred dogs, and attract new participants to the sport.
  • Take steps to make dog shows more accessible and welcoming to people.

By addressing these challenges and working collaboratively, the dog show community can promote the health and welfare of purebred dogs while preserving the rich heritage and tradition of dog shows. What are some of the positive changes I’ve seen in my profession and in the dog show community over the past decade? There has been an increased focus on promoting the health and welfare of dogs. Breeders and show organizers are implementing health testing protocols, promoting responsible breeding practices, and prioritizing the overall well-being of dogs. There has been a greater emphasis on education and awareness about responsible dog ownership, breeding practices, and canine health. Breed clubs, organizations, and online resources provide valuable information to both breeders and pet owners, helping them make informed decisions. Advancements in technology have facilitated communication and networking within the dog show community. Social media platforms, online forums, and digital tools have made it easier for breeders, exhibitors, and enthusiasts to connect, share information, and collaborate. If I could share one suggestion with judges of my breed, what would I like to say to them about my breed? If I could share one suggestion with judges of the Boston Terrier breed it would be to prioritize health, temperament, and functionality over cosmetic traits when evaluating dogs in the ring. Boston Terriers should be assessed based on their overall soundness, breed type, and ability to perform the tasks for which they were originally bred. By placing emphasis on these key attributes, judges can help to promote the well-being and longevity of the breed while ensuring that Boston Terriers continue to exemplify the qualities that make them beloved companions and versatile partners.

For a bit of fun, what’s the most amusing thing I’ve ever experienced with a Non-Sporting dog?

Janice Swofford: When “Nelson” was younger, I attempted to introduce him to Fast CAT. However, when I released him at the starting point, he simply remained there, playing around, without any interest in running the course. It was evident that he had no inclination to participate in the activity.