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Joanne Reed | Windrift Keeshonden

Joanne Reed

Interview with Joanne Reed, Breeder of Windrift Keeshonden

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

Joanne Reed: I have been breeding and showing Keeshonds for over 50 years. I currently have the No. 1 Keeshond show dog (GCHB Windrift’s Dirty Hairy). I started with a German Shepherd Dog in Obedience and then attained a “show” quality female to show in Conformation, and after being 26th in a class of 27 two times, I realized that she wasn’t show quality and returned her to Obedience. When in classes, I saw my first Keeshond. I was immediately in love with this breed. I was attracted to his intelligence and beauty! I researched the breed and found my foundation bitch. Her first time bred produced the top-winning Keeshond of all time. So, I started my breeding career with a silver spoon in my mouth. My career in breeding has continued. I have bred more than 300 champions, 17 Best in Show Keeshonds, and hold all the records in my breed. I was an apprentice to Ric Chashoudian and then became a handler and showed many breeds, from Rottweilers to Pomeranians. I have bred Airedale Terriers, Rotties, Papillons, Poms, and Keeshonds.

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

Joanne Reed: My kennel name is Windrift. After my house and kennel burnt down in Santa Rosa, California, in 2020, I am now residing in Franklin, Tennessee. I currently have 10 Keeshonds.

Which have been my most influential sires and dams?

Joanne Reed: CH Windrift’s Summertime Blues, HOF, ROMX (Badger) was the dog that really put me on the map. Practically every Keeshond breeder has him in his pedigree. In his three-year career, he was the No. 3 Non-Sporting Dog all three years showing. Along with his fabulous show career as a Best in Show dog, he also attained Keeshond Club of America Hall of Fame and his Register ofMerit Excellent. A son of Bader’s was CH Windrift’s Mutual Funds, HOF, ROMX. He was also a Best in Show winner. He produced more champions than Badger, because I had a bigger gene pool to work with. These two boys had wonderful show careers, but their intelligence and beauty made them outstanding housedogs. I had so many wonderful bitches that had an impact on our breed, but the one that stands out was CH Windrift’s Rock Star, ROMX. She was the love of my life and aconstant companion. My first Keeshond bitch, CH Traveler’s Zeedrift Carioca, was bred to the famous CH Flakkee Jackpot and produced CH Flakkee Instant Replay, who is the top-winning Keeshond of all time, Phillips System. This was her first breeding and my first time as a breeder!

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

Joanne Reed: My new home in Leipers Fork, Tennessee, is on seven beautiful, hillside, wooded acres with a pasture. In my home, I have a full basement that I’ve turned into a kennel, grooming room, and whelping area with two indoor/outdoor runs that are covered. This accommodates my whelping, grooming, and training areas. I also have a small kennel building down the hill from the house that consists of three large indoor/outdoor runs, bathtub, and grooming area, and it has air-conditioning and heating. My dogs spend their evenings in this area, so they are protected from the weather. I have two extremely large paddocks for the dogs to run during the daytime and when the weather permits. My whelping area is in the basement. I whelp my puppies in a light-weight whelping box that is elevated off the floor. I have a hydraulic grooming table that I put the box on. That way it is easier to access and clean while I’m standing and whelping the litter. Once the litter has been born, I put them in a larger wood whelping box. I have a reptile heater on part of the floor which gives the puppies warmth when they need it. I also have a 24/7 camera that I can watch when not in the room. This camera access will be given to the puppy buyers so that they can watch the puppies grow. Once the puppies are ready to come out of the box, I have two exercise pens attached to an outside run. One is for the puppies so that the mother can get in and out when she needs to, and the other is for the mother. When puppies grow and are old enough, I eliminate the mom’s run so that the puppies can go in and out at their will. This helps the pups learn how to go outside and keep their inside runs clean. I seriously start watching the pups around five weeks of age. I table them, groom them, cut their nails, and check their teeth daily. I start watching them free-stand and move, checking for correct structure, balance, and movement. I tag them with different colored ribbons and make notes on their progress. There’s usually one or two that have the special attitude along with correct structure that immediately stand out. I usually pick the one that stands out and says, “Look at me!”

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

Joanne Reed: There’s a lot of conditioning and attention that a Keeshond needs before they hit the show ring. Because we have dogs with such profuse coats, we need to make sure their nutrition is adequate and they need to be exercised to make sure they are in great shape physically. They are a very active dog and usually they condition themselves. What is the biggest misconception about my breed? In general, the one problem in judging my breed is that the judges don’t know the hallmark of my breed. The spectacles are the hallmark of my breed. This is the line that comes from the corner of the eye, then UPWARD to the outside bottom of the ear! I see too many incorrect spectacles. Yes, this is cosmetic, but it is the “HALLMARK” of my breed.

As a Preservation Breeder, can I share my thoughts on the sport today? How’s the judging these days? What do I think about the number of shows?

Joanne Reed: Now that I live in Tennessee, I have so many more shows to attend; so many choices in states and choices in judges. This is an advantage if you really want to campaign a dog. I now have choices of four- or five-day shows practically every weekend.

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

Joanne Reed: I feel that the Internet has given us much more information on the shows and the judges. We can research anything we want and even get directions to the shows. However, I really miss getting a judging program in the mail. The superintendents have charged us the same fees and never have to print or mail us programs!

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

Joanne Reed: Too many shows can be a detriment to the number of dogs attending each show, thus having lower entries. Our entries are down only because there are so many shows to go to within one weekend.

What are some of the positive changes I’ve seen in the dog show community over the past decade?

Joanne Reed: I feel that the shows have gotten better in many ways.

If I could share one suggestion with judges of my breed, what would I like to say to them about my breed?

Joanne Reed: When judging our breed, please give some kudos for a well-conditioned dog. If you see a bitch with a gorgeous coat, reward her! Remember, this is a natural dog, one that should not have hairspray, wigs, and coloring in their coats as some other breeds! I feel that the Keeshond breed has been overlooked in the show ring. There are many judges who really discount the breed. The breed is more of an owner-handled breed and I feel judges really don’t seem to take us seriously. Grant you, there are many exhibits that aren’t shown to their best, groomed to their best, because these are owners. However, I have researched judges who haven’t used a Keeshond in the Groups for 20 years. This irritates me as I can’t believe they haven’t seen one good one in all those years! When judges need to see that this is a good specimen of the breed by reading an ad, then they shouldn’t be judging! I think that ads are for the bad judges who need to be reassured that this is a good one! On the other hand, it’s nice to see some beautiful dogs that rightfully deserve winning.

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

Joanne Reed: All of us have so many memories, so many fun things that have happened to us. I believe we all should write a book or take notes from every dog show we go to. This is what keeps us going to shows!