Interview with an Owner Handler, Jeannette Nieder
Where do I live? How many years have I been an Owner Handler?
Jeannette Nieder: I live in Greenfield, New Hampshire. I have been an Owner Handler since the age of 10, but stepping in and out as college and work demands took precedence—but a very long time! I showed my mother’s Poodles, and my Junior’s dog was a Rough Collie.
How did I get my start in my breed? In the sport?
Jeannette Nieder: After seeing a Bouvier des Flandres in Wassenaar, Netherlands, in the early 1980s, I became intrigued. Back in the States, a Bouvier joined our household, but it was seeing Am./Can. Ch. Glenmiller’s Bandit win the Breed at the AKC Centennial Show that brought me to my first show Bouviers out of Am./Can. Ch. Glenmiller’s Angel (“Bandit’s” dam), sired by Am./Can. Ch. Quiche’s Gabriel. As an adult, I’ve shown Dalmatians and put a Grand Championship on a Scottish Terrier. I judge Dalmatians and Bouviers.
I attended dog shows with my mother from a very young age. We attended grooming classes on school nights. Many years later, the woman who taught those classes remembered me. She invited me to give a Bouvier grooming seminar at Intergroom, which is an international groomers conference.
Have I always loved to show dogs? Have I always been a dog person?
Jeannette Nieder: Absolutely! I love meeting my fellow exhibitors and their dogs, learning about their breeds and celebrating their successes! I am a lifelong dog person. The first photo in my baby book is of three dogs under a bassinet. I’m told that it’s me in the bassinet. The first dog I really remember was a black English Cocker named “Smokey.”
Is there a story behind my decision to show my own dog?
Jeannette Nieder: Not really, it’s what I do! I always showed my breeding in the Bred-By Exhibitor Class, so it was natural for me to also show the dogs that I was smart enough to buy!
What makes showing my own dog so special to me?
Jeannette Nieder: It’s the bond between us and knowing that they look forward to shows as much as I do. When you find your dog standing on the grooming table during the week, or at the front door waiting to for you on a dog show day, you know you share something very special.
In my opinion, is there a secret to having a great dog/handler partnership?
Jeannette Nieder: The best partnership is participating in something you both love. Respect the dog and work with them. Have fun. Learn from your losses and have a special reward for your dog. For my current Bouvier, it’s running FastCAT or visiting the vendors to sniff the shampoos, the leashes, the dog beds… she just likes to shop and visit.
The best partnership is participating in something you both love. Respect the dog and work with them. Have fun.
Do I compete in the National Owner-Handled Series? If so, for how many years?
Jeannette Nieder: We’ve competed regularly for four years, achieving No. 1 NOHS Bouvier each year, and No. 1 Lifetime and Platinum. In 2021, she was the No. 1 NOHS Herding Dog in the Top 10. We are honored to be named the American Bouvier des Flandres Club’s Owner Handler of the Year for the third year in a row.
What goals did I set for myself and for my dog in 2022? What about 2023?
Jeannette Nieder: During 2022, accomplishments include RBIS, multiple Group wins and placements, and Specialty wins. Right now, she is the No. 1 bitch and in the Top 5 All-Breed rankings. She is a Top 20 Bouvier for four years now. She has multiple NOHS BIS and RBIS. I am so grateful to the judges, Professional Handlers, and fellow exhibitors for their appreciation and encouragement. It is always my goal to show my dog to the best of my ability, and to continue to learn and make sure that my dog has a good time. With a low entry breed, it’s important to show up to present the Bouvier and to educate my fellow exhibitors about the breed.
Am I going to Orlando? If so, what’s it like to have a top NOHS dog this year?
Jeannette Nieder: I attend most years and hope to be in Orlando this year. It is a great showcase for superb dogs, and it’s an opportunity to visit with wonderful and knowledgeable dog people. It is always a thrill to be recognized as a top NOHS dog.
Just for laughs, do I have a funny story that I can share about my experiences as an Owner Handler?
Jeannette Nieder: I have too many funny stories about being an Owner Handler, but my dog gives us more than a few laughs; such as flirting with the Irish Wolfhound in the NOHS BIS ring, refusing to leave the Group ring when she didn’t make the cut, and recently, standing with the Herding Group winner when I went up to congratulate the dog’s handler—just as though she had won. If you see us at the shows, please come up and share your best stories with us.