Interview with Janis Rosenthal, Breeder of Chevaliers du Roland
Where do I live? How many years in dogs? How many years as a breeder?
Janis Rosenthal: I live in Brooksville, Florida. I have 15 years breeding.
What is my kennel name? How many dogs do I currently keep?
Janis Rosenthal: Chevaliers du Roland is the Anatolian Shepherd Dog kennel name I share with Dr. Bitz. I keep more than I should. I have about 20, but 12 are 8 years old or older. Three are 12-plus years old.
Which show dogs from the past have been my noteworthy winners?
- GCHB Horizon’s Banshee At Chevaliers du Roland,
- Westminster BOB winner;
- GCHS Chevaliers du Roland’s Pumpkin Pie,
- No. 1 All-Systems,
- ASDCA National BOB winner,
- AKC National Championship BOB winner,
- multiple Group winner and Group placing;
- GCHS Chevaliers du Roland’s Strudel,
- No. 1 Breed rankings, Westminster BOB winner, Group placing;
- GCH Chevaliers du Rolands Gummi Bear, Top 10 All-Systems; and
- GCH Chevaliers du Roland’s Rikki Tikki Tavi, current No. 3 All-Breed.
Which have been my most influential sires and dams?
Janis Rosenthal: Dams: GCH Horizon’s Banshee At Chevalers du Roland, DOM produced GCHS Chevaliers du Roland’s Pumpkin Pie and GCHS Chevaliers du Roland’s Strudel; GCHS Chevaliers du Roland’s Strudel produced several champions from her first litter that finished by 13 months of age. Her second litter of puppies just turned six months old and will be showing soon. Several from her two litters are guarding farms. GCHS Chevaliers du Roland’s Pumpkin Pie also produced several champions and guardians living on farms throughout the US.
Can I talk a bit about my facilities? Where are my puppies whelped? How are they raised?
Janis Rosenthal: Puppies are whelped on my farm, inside the house. They are raised with multiple breeds of dogs, people, and goats.
What is my “process” for selecting Show Puppies? Performance Puppies?
Janis Rosenthal: Puppies are evaluated at 6 and 8 weeks for conformation and temperament. Several from our litters over the last 10 years work on farms throughout the country. Several are also Conformation show dogs. Anatolian Shepherd Dogs do not generally make it to be strong Performance dogs. Show and working dogs, sometimes both. However, I did breed the first UDX in Beauceron breed history. That is a story for another time.
Do I compete in Performance Events? In Parent Club Tests & Trials?
Janis Rosenthal: I do not compete in Performance with Anatolian Shepherds, although I bred a Beauceron that is a top Performance dog, thanks to her owners.
Is “performance” part of my decision-making when it comes to breeding?
Janis Rosenthal: Performance is a consideration if you factor in the ability to work on a farm and do the job of a livestock guardian dog (LGD) that the breed has been doing for over 6,000 years.
How would I define “conditioning” as it relates to my breed?
Janis Rosenthal: Conditioning would be the ability to patrol the entire perimeter of a farm and effectively work with a canine partner in keeping predators away from their charges.
Are there any health-related concerns in my breed? Any special nutritional needs?
Janis Rosenthal: We do have structural issues such as dysplasia and cancers in the breed.
Do I think my breed is supported by a sufficient number of preservation breeders?
Janis Rosenthal: There are quite a few breeders who are preservation breeders that also assist those breeding farm dogs to recognize the value of health testing and preserving the qualities of a breed that has worked as LGDs for thousands of years.
Is my breed well suited to be a family dog? Who are the best candidates to own my breed?
Janis Rosenthal: It can make a wonderful family dog, as it is gentle yet protective. It must be introduced to the family and children, and it will treat everyone like its charges. Anatolians will protect its family with its life.
What is the biggest misconception about my breed? What is my breed’s best-kept secret?
Janis Rosenthal: The biggest misconception with Anatolians is that they are stubborn, when in fact, they think things through very carefully before acting. This comes from thousands of years of being LGDs. Their best-kept secret is their devotion to their person. They would do anything for their person.
If I could share a comment or two with judges of my breed, what would I like to say to them?
Janis Rosenthal: Type is very important, but structure is necessary to do its job. So, a typey combination of topline, angles, movement, and head make a lovely Anatolian. And, fawn is not the only, or even preferred, color. Any color is allowed.
Do I have any words of wisdom to pass along to newer breeders?
Janis Rosenthal: Health testing is very important. Do not breed unless both parents have normal elbows and good or excellent hips as determined by OFA. Temperament and the desire to guard are also important.
For a bit of fun, what’s the most amusing thing I’ve ever experienced with a Working Dog?
Janis Rosenthal: One of my Anatolians dragged me up to a judge ringside while waiting for the Group and stuck her head in his armpit to get petted. I was mortified. The judge laughed and accommodated her. She did that several times and would walk up to strangers and stick her head under their hand, rubbing it back and forth for pats. She was a bit of an attention grabber.