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Lakeridge Standard Poodles | Debra Ferguson Jones

Debra Ferguson Jones

Interview with Debra Ferguson Jones, Breeder of Lakeridge Standard Poodles

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

Debra Ferguson Jones: I live in the Greater Seattle area, home of Microsoft, Amazon, Boeing, Starbucks, Expedia, and the Seahawks. Outside of the dog world, I am a Developer of single-family neighborhoods.I have been showing dogs since 1968. Found my first Poodle in a snow bank in Alaska.

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

Debra Ferguson Jones: My kennel name is Lakeridge. I usually keep about seven dogs at a time.

Which have been my most influential sires and dams?

Debra Ferguson Jones: My most influential sires have been “Spender,” the MBIS No. 1 Standard Poodle 2017 GCHP Lakeridge Kaylens Hey Big Spender, PCA BIS Winner GCHB Lakeridge Simply Irresistible, and “Spade,” MBIS GCHG Lakeridge Adventures Of Sam Spade. My most influential dam was BIS CH Lakeridge Brighton Summer In The Hamptons.

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

Debra Ferguson Jones: I have the Poodle Place, a kennel for five dogs. It has the normal grooming facilities and covered runs and pens. Because I judge so much and show the other weekends, my puppies are whelped by Cathy Petrie. Cathy home-raises the show puppies we keep until they are about six months old, when they come to my house and are trained. I usually start them out in shows at about nine months old.

What is my “process” for selecting show puppies? Performance puppies?

Debra Ferguson Jones: We evaluate the puppies at eight weeks and place the bottom half in pet homes. At 12 weeks we evaluate them again and place the bottom half. At 14 weeks we pick our show puppies. Most of my puppies are show quality. A performance puppy needs to be built correctly. Show puppies and performance puppies have the same requirements.

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

Debra Ferguson Jones: Poodles love to please. The only preparation they need for Conformance or Performance is to understand what we expect out of them. You must let them think through the process. Once they understand, all they want to do is please.

In my opinion, is my breed in good condition overall? Are there any trends that warrant concern?

Debra Ferguson Jones: I breed for front construction and a balanced dog. A lot of people do not understand their Breed Standards. They don’t understand that the Standard is the blueprint and we are the builders. You must understand your Standard and not breed to the flavor of the month. You must know a well-built dog and understand balance. It amazes me when I go to someone’s home and see very different examples of their breeding. No consistency.

Is my breed well suited to be a family dog? Who are the best candidates to own my breed?

Debra Ferguson Jones: Poodles are very well suited to being a family dog. They love who they are with and will help a burglar carry out the furniture unless there is a wall or fence between them and the burglar. Then they are “vicious.”

What is the biggest misconception about my breed? What is my breed’s best-kept secret?

Debra Ferguson Jones: So many judges say that every Poodle has an awful front. This is not true. So many dogs of various breeds have an awful front. But when I judge a Poodle, or any dog with a good front and balanced rear, I reward it.

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?

Debra Ferguson Jones: Dog shows are a wonderful sport. I have been to dog shows all over the world. It is a universal sport. As Michael Gadsby once told me, what we have in common is we love dogs. You’ve asked about judging. We have a lot of new judges, and most of them are working hard to learn the breeds they judge. As a judge, I welcome those who come up to me NICELY and tell me what mistakes I make.

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

Debra Ferguson Jones: Social Media is good for the sport. Everyone sees the same Standard and they interpret it differently. Social media allows people to discuss their differences.

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

Debra Ferguson Jones: Keeping the sport affordable to all.

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

Debra Ferguson Jones: The one thing that all show people have in common is THEY LOVE DOGS.

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

Debra Ferguson Jones: Don’t come to the ring with the conception that all dogs in this breed have the same problem. Put your hands on the dogs and reward the greatness. Do not fault judge.