Interview with Kendall Lake, Breeder of Lochinver Cairns
Please tell us a little bit about yourself. Where do you live? What is your breed? What is your kennel name? Do you have a website? How long have you been in dogs? How long have you been breeding dogs? Who are some of your best-known dogs?
Kendall Lake: I reside in Texas and breed Cairn Terriers as Lochinver Cairns. I am a very small kennel, enjoying the process of finding the right stud to continue to improve my line and maintain Cairn type. I have been breeding for 17 years, so I’m still a newbie. I have had two top Cairns, BIS MBISS CH Winsome Fergus Mac Flynn and the current Top Bitch, GCHS Lochinver Jennifer Juniper, whose dam, GCHS Lochinver Katriona Of Queenstown, was a Top 10 Cairn.
As a Breeder, can you share your thoughts on your breed today? Is breed type strong? Are there things to be concerned about? Are there any health-related issues? Have you worked with breeders overseas? Are pet homes typically available for your breed?
Kendall Lake: The breed today is at an interesting crossroads. A judge looking at a ring of Cairns and our current American Breed Standard must wonder what the Cairn type is today. Size, weight, length of back vs. square back are always awarded at the judge’s discretion. While many judges do judge as close to the Standard as possible, the variety in the ring must be challenging. I see the breed going the route of the Beagle, with two sizes: e.g., under 12 inches and 12-plus inches.
I have bred to foreign dogs with pleasing results. Our national breed club has a very involved health foundation, educating the membership and providing grants to areas of key health concerns. If I could provide healthy Cairns to all the great pet homes that contact me, I would be quite the breeding operation.
As an Exhibitor, can you comment on recent entries in your breed? Are majors available in your area? Does your breed often participate in Companion and Performance events? How can newcomers in your breed be encouraged to join the sport of dogs?
Kendall Lake: Regional club outreach to new Cairn owners is pretty robust. Here, at the grassroots, is where most engagement/mentoring needs to take place. Though having the new folks enjoy all the “political intricacies” of the show ring does lose us some pretty quickly. The breed does have growing Performance participation. Watching Cairns in Dock Diving, Agility, Obedience, and Earthdog is really something!
What are the biggest challenges facing the dog show community as a whole and how can we address them? And finally, what are some of the positive changes you’ve seen in your breed and in the dog show community as a whole over the past decade?
Kendall Lake: There are too many shows with low entry breeds and not enough judges. This is just not helping anyone. Outreach from AKC to the regional organizations has gotten much more positive for everyone. Mentoring a long-term breeder with a new owner needs to be more routine. I see some clubs hosting some great specialty shows and really engaging the Cairn community. Regional clubs are the lifeblood and, to survive, they need more members who want to work for the success of our breed.