Kim Byrd | KISA Kennel

Interview with Kim Byrd, breeder behind the KISA Kennel


Interview with Kim Byrd, Breeder Behind the KISA Kennel

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

Kim Byrd: I live in Powhatan, Virginia. I have been in dogs for 35 years; 30 years as a breeder.


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

Kim Byrd: My kennel name is KISA (Kim Is Still Around). I currently keep eight Basenjis, eight Miniature Pinschers, and one German Wirehaired Pointer.


Which show dogs from the past have been my noteworthy winners?

Kim Byrd: CH Ben Lyn’s Curtain Call (Min Pin), BISA BISS CH Altanero Barnstormer (Min Pin), CH KISA Adare Glamour Girl (Min Pin), CH KISA Love At First Sight (Basenji), and CH KISA Tarragon (Basenji).


Which have been my most influential sires and dams?

Sires: Curtain Call and Barnstormer (Min Pin); CH Sanderlin Adare Prince Of Tides (Min Pin); CH KISA N Marlex Firestorm (Min Pin); CH KISA Love At First Sight (Basenji); and CH Akuaba Tornado (Basenji), owned by Susan Coe.

Dams: CH KISA N Hiland Command Performance (Min Pin), CH Marlex Adare Seven Come Eleven KISA (Min Pin), CH KISA Surrender The Storm (Basenji); and CH Jasiri-Sukari Inherit The Win (Basenji).


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

Kim Byrd: I have a separate building for the dogs next to my house. It’s heated and air-conditioned, has water and bathing facilities, and large running areas for the dogs. I separate each breed for safety.

Puppies are whelped and raised in my puppy room in the house. The floor is rubber-matted for safety and play, and has a television and a radio for sound. I have many folks come to visit to play with the babies when they are young. Puppies are litterbox-trained and cuddled often.


What is my “process” for selecting Show Puppies? Performance Puppies?

Kim Byrd: I sit and watch puppies play. They are placed on very low tables and “stacked.” They each wear little collars (which mostly they chew off). Puppy play shows the outgoing ones and allows me to watch toplines and movement. Choosing show Basenjis is pretty much WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get). However, I wait until they are between 9-12 weeks to finally decide. Then it’s up to them. Choosing Miniature Pinschers is a longer process of watching and touching. They go through so many growth changes; however, their movement style either gets better or it never was. I’m a soundness nut for both of my breeds. If it’s not sound and healthy, I’m going in the wrong direction, in my humble opinion.

I don’t have the time to enjoy Performance training; however, the Performance puppies I’ve placed have been because they are clever. They figure out things faster and are just as busy. Both breeds are not the easiest in Performance, but the folks who have done so have been extremely patient.


How important are Breed Specialties to me? How important are Group Shows?

Kim Byrd: Breed Specialties are where I learn where my breeds are going. I’ve gone with and without dogs just to talk to other breeders and friends to find where our breeds are heading. Groups Shows are important as they afford me a chance to show off what has been created and allow me to show other breeds and learn.


What are my priorities when it comes to breeding? What are the drawbacks?

Kim Byrd: Health, structure, and type are my priorities. One drawback for me is not finding a stud dog to work with my pedigrees, to add those things I feel I lack in regards to type and health.


How would I define “conditioning” as it relates to my breeds? How important is coat care?

Kim Byrd: Miniature Pinscher and Basenji conditioning is space to run and be outside to play. Eating a high-quality food keeps their bodies running and working at their best. Coats are conditioned from the inside (food) and bathed to keep clean.


Are there any health-related concerns in my breeds? Any special nutritional needs?

Kim Byrd: Miniature Pinscher health concerns are patellar luxation, cervical (dry) disc, Legg-Calve Perthes, epilepsy, thyroid, heart defects, and eye problems in varying degrees of severity. Basenji health concerns are Fanconi Syndrome, progressive retinol atrophy, and thyroid.


Do I think my breeds are supported by a sufficient number of preservation breeders?

Kim Byrd: We have come a very long way in Miniature Pinschers as far as preservation breeders. In Basenjis, we are losing longtime breeders as many breeds are; however, there are new breeders coming up who have decided to learn from the great ones while we still have them around.


Are my breeds well suited to be family dogs? Who are the best candidates to own my breeds?

Kim Byrd: Miniature Pinschers are great family dogs, with some structure. Children should be taught patience and kindness to them. Basenjis are good family dogs for families with patience and a fence. Basenjis are hunting dogs and love to explore.


What are the biggest misconceptions about my breeds? What are my breeds’ best-kept secrets?

Kim Byrd: The biggest misconception about Miniature Pinschers is they are yappy and can’t be taught not to be. Their best-kept secret is how sweet and loving they can be. The biggest misconception about Basenjis is they are not nice and also can’t be taught anything. Their best-kept secret is that they are really smart and clever and funny.


If I could share a comment or two with judges of my breeds, what would I like to say to them?

Kim Byrd: Miniature Pinscher judges, please remember they are to be saucy and judged on the ground. It’s a moot point to judge on the table, as our Standard says. You will see a variety of styles of hackney, but remember, soundness counts.

Basenji judges, please understand that the Basenji is an individual and should be approached as you would a cat; from the front and don’t grab the head.


Do I have any words of wisdom to pass along to newer breeders?

Kim Byrd: Please talk to us old-timers. We have been there and done that, and we can help you.


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

Kim Byrd: I had a dog Special that loved lady judges. He would prance and show off, and look to see if they were looking. I put him on the table for one particular judge and he just wanted her attention so badly. She put her hands on his back and he spun around and began to breed her arm! Thank goodness she had a wonderful sense of humor and experience with Min Pins. She patiently waited a few moments for him to relax and said, “NOW put him on the floor!” I was red and quite embarrassed.

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