Interview with Kathi Molloy, Breeder of Highpoint Norwegian Elkhounds
Where do I live? How many years in dogs? How many years as a breeder?
Kathi Molloy: I live in Hilton Head, South Carolina, with my husband, Bob. We found our first Norwegian Elkhound, “Prancer,” when we lived in Boston back in 1992. Then we got “Tellie,” and by 1997, we were ready to breed. The keeper in that litter, “Becky,” became our first bred-by champion.
What is my kennel name? How many dogs do I currently keep?
Kathi Molloy: Our kennel name is Highpoint Norwegian Elkhounds, as back then, we lived in the highest point of a suburb just north of Boston. Here in Hilton Head Island, we currently live with our three Elkhounds:
- “Cliff,” who is a veteran;
- “Pink,” who just turned three;
- “Munroe” who is four months old.
In addition to these three, I also co-own four other Elkhounds that have all been shown in Conformation.
Which show dogs from the past have been my noteworthy winners?
Kathi Molloy: Cliff is probably my best-known show dog. He was No. 1 All-Breed in Elkhounds back in 2019 and was handled by Paul Catterson to his Grand Champion Gold title.
Which have been my most influential sires and dams?
Kathi Molloy: Our CH Highpoint’s Nike was a very typey and beautiful bitch, and a turning point in our breeding program. I still see her features in almost all the puppies we have had since then.
Can I talk a bit about my facilities? Where are my puppies whelped? How are they raised?
Kathi Molloy: All of our puppies are whelped and raised right in our family room adjacent to the kitchen. We have followed many of the Puppy Culture guidelines to help ensure that our puppies have a solid start on socialization.
What is my “process” for selecting Show Puppies? Performance Puppies?
Kathi Molloy: When trying to select for potential show puppies, I do follow much of Pat Hastings’ guidelines for choosing the best puppy for structure at eight weeks, but tend to keep them a little longer to assess movement. Breed features and type strongly weigh in the decision-making as well. Performance puppies and show puppies both need to be structurally sound.
Do I compete in Companion Events? Performance Events?
Kathi Molloy: Recently, Pink has earned her Fast CAT title. She was No. 4 fastest in Elkhounds for 2022 and is No. 5 Lifetime to date.
Is “performance” part of my decision-making when it comes to breeding?
Kathi Molloy: I think Conformation and Performance puppies all need to be structurally sound.
How would I define “conditioning” as it relates to my breed?
Kathi Molloy: Elkhounds need to be in good condition. It is way too easy to have an overweight Elkhound. They need to stay active with their owners to be in good weight and condition. They are bred to be a hardy, athletic dog and to trot all day in rough terrain for hunting.
Are there any health-related concerns in my breed? Any special nutritional needs?
Kathi Molloy: Elkhounds can be predisposed for potential renal issues and have had a higher incidence of hip dysplasia in the past. They also can be prone to sebaceous cysts. They don’t need a special diet, but adding an oil (like salmon oil) helps the coat.
Do I think my breed is supported by a sufficient number of preservation breeders?
Kathi Molloy: There are still quite a few preservation breeders in Elkhounds. The breed tends to have a greater percentage of breeder/owner-handlers than some of the other more popular breeds.
Is my breed well suited to be a family dog? Who are the best candidates to own my breed?
Kathi Molloy: Elkhounds make great family dogs. They are faithful guardians and love nothing better than to spend time with their family. The best candidates are usually active people who like to walk or do things with their dogs.
What is the biggest misconception about my breed? What is my breed’s best-kept secret?
If I could share a comment or two with judges of my breed, what would I like to say to them?
Kathi Molloy: An Elkhound is a medium, square, athletic hunting dog. Its double coat is harsh and quick-drying, to withstand the elements. It needs enough leg to get through snow and rough terrain all day, with an effortless gait. Temperament needs to be bold and energetic, not shy.
Do I have any words of wisdom to pass along to newer breeders?
Kathi Molloy: It is important as breeders that we socialize our Elkhounds well and early.
For a bit of fun, what’s the most amusing thing I’ve ever experienced with a Hound?
Kathi Molloy: One of our dogs treed a black bear. Not sure if amusing is the right word, but it was certainly memorable.
Are you looking for a Norwegian Elkhound puppy?
The best way to ensure a long and happy relationship with a purebred dog is to purchase one from a responsible breeder. Not sure where to begin finding a breeder?
Contact the National Parent Club’s Breeder Referral person, which you can find on the AKC Breeder Referral Contacts page.
Want to help rescue and re-home a Norwegian Elkhound dog?
Did you know nearly every recognized AKC purebred has a dedicated rescue group? Find your new best friend on the AKC Rescue Network Listing.
Norwegian Elkhound Breed Magazine
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