Julie Gritten ( Julerr Cesky Terriers ) is an AKC Breeder of Merit for the Cesky Terrier and an AKC Judges Mentor. She has served as Recording Secretary in the past for the AKC parent club (American Cesky Terrier Fanciers Association, Inc.), Show Chairperson for the first Roving Specialty, Show Chair for the official AKC Sanctioned A Match to qualify the ACTFA to become a licensed club of AKC, Trophy Chair for the MCKC Show, Hospitality Chair for the National Specialty, Coordinator of Meet The Breeds at the AKC National Championship in Orlando, a Presentor at numerous Judges Seminar, Developer of the parent club website, and presently the Administrator for the Facebook Judges Education Page.
When were you first introduced to the Cesky Terrier? To the sport?
Julie Gritten | Julerr Cesky Terriers : I was first introduced to the sport of purebred dogs as a child, but did not get involved in the sport until 20 years ago; first in Scotties, and then eight years ago, my passion for the Cesky Terrier began. Growing up with working Border Collies on the plains of the Midwest was very different than watching Westminster on TV every year. I loved those beautiful dogs as they strutted through Madison Square Garden. It was always a thrill and a dream to someday be there with a dog I bred.
How many years as an Owner Handler? As a Breeder?
Julie Gritten | Julerr Cesky Terriers : I have been an owner handler since the beginning of my career in the sport of purebred dogs.
Have you attended any show handling classes or handling seminars? Have you found virtual learning tools to be helpful? Classes? Videos? Websites? Social Media?
Julie Gritten | Julerr Cesky Terriers : Attending in-person handling classes, seminars, and remote handling classes has been such a wonderful learning curve. There are so many wonderful places online to learn the sport and connect with those who have been in the sport for many, many years. Podcasts, live classes, and Zoom meetings have been life-changing and have certainly helped those of us who live in remote areas to continue our education and receive feedback from experienced handlers and breeders.
Do you compete in the National Owner-Handled Series? Are rankings important to you?
Julie Gritten | Julerr Cesky Terriers : I truly enjoy the NOHS. It brings great camaraderie amongst exhibitors, and offers so much encouragement and support from fellow exhibitors and judges as well. Although the rankings in NOHS are fun to calculate, my main focus is in the whelping box.
How important is the Bred-By Class to you? How important are Specialties?
Julie Gritten | Julerr Cesky Terriers : What I breed, and what I present to the judges in both the Owner-Handled Groups and in the regular Terrier Group, is important. I consider myself a preservation breeder, breeding for healthy type, structure, and character… to maintain the vision of what the breed was meant to be. The Bred-By Class is my favorite class, as I want the opinions of the judges I present my dogs to in order to help me make decisions within my breeding program. It is a challenge to show the Cesky Terrier as a breeder/owner handler, but it’s also joyous at the same time. There are no Ceskys in my area, so we travel extensively for competition.
Are you intimidated by the professional handlers? By the judges?
Julie Gritten | Julerr Cesky Terriers : I have never been intimidated by professionals. The ones I have had the pleasure of meeting or being in the ring with have always been so very gracious and encouraging, always offering tips and suggestions. They have been wonderful teachers along the way and I am so grateful that they are so willing to share their knowledge. I have had the pleasure of three very special mentors here in the United States: Laura Reeves of Pure Dog Talk has been so wonderful to me and my Ceskys as a breeding mentor as well as with some handling; Lee Whittier of Dog Show Mentor, which I was a member of for a few years, has certainly guided me with handling and much positive encouragement through her approach to teaching owner handlers the necessary skills; and professional handler Beverly Wright Osment for her coaching and support in “all things dog show.” I have been blessed with these three very special dog show ladies for lending me a hand through this journey, along with the Cesky mentors from the Czech Republic who are my constant resource for information and learning about their national breed.
What are your goals as an Owner Handler? As a Breeder? Is there a Milestone that has eluded you?
Julie Gritten | Julerr Cesky Terriers : My goals as a breeder/owner handler are to continue to showcase this beautiful breed and to preserve in the whelping box the Cesky Terrier of Mr. Horak’s vision; and to preserve type in the hopes that he would be very proud of what I produce. I always hope that, as a breeder, I continue to breed Cesky that are not only beautiful to look at and correct in every way, but are also still able to work and hunt in the field in a pack, as Mr. Horak intended: Purpose-Bred Ceskys.