Interview with Marie Zink, Breeder of Bret D Dalmatians
Where do I live? How many years in dogs? How many years as a breeder?
Marie Zink: I live in Madison, Ohio. I have been in dogs for 52 years; as a breeder for 45 years.
What is my kennel name? How many dogs do I currently keep?
Marie Zink: My kennel name is Bret D Dalmatians. I currently keep three Dalmatians.
Which show dogs from the past have been my noteworthy winners?
My noteworthy winners are:
- CH Korcula Midnight Star Bret
- D/CH Bret D N Engine Co To The Rescue
- CH Bret D Sergeant Major
- CH Cyncar Head Coach Of Croatia
- CH Bret D N Adventureland Star Coach (just retired)
Which have been my most influential sires and dams?
My most influential sires and dams are:
- CH Korcula Midnight Star Bret D ROMX (52 champions)
- CH Bret D Sergeant Major ROMX (Midnight Star is his great-grandfather)
- CH Snow Hill Indy Bret D ROM, and CH Monarch’s Could This Be Magic ROM
Can I talk a bit about my facilities? Where are my puppies whelped? How are they raised?
Marie Zink: I have three Dalmatians. Each dog spends evenings with me. Crates are used only when I will be leaving the premises. There is a large fenced-in yard and daily walks as weather permits. I recently moved to Ohio and have converted an unused room to my whelping/puppy room. I allow people to interact with the puppies after two weeks of age and I introduce new items to their area every couple of days.
What is my “process” for selecting show puppies? Performance puppies?
Marie Zink: Our breed has major faults and disqualifications. I start looking at the puppies as soon as they are comfortable on their legs. I take weekly photos and notes, checking to see how each puppy reacts to new sounds, environments, etc. With Performance puppies, I look for a puppy that has drive. Soundness is important to me on both.
At what age do I place puppies in show homes? In Performance homes?
Marie Zink: No earlier than 8-9 weeks for show homes, and the same for Performance homes.
Does my breed require any special preparation for competing in Conformance or Performance Events?
Marie Zink: No special preparation is needed.
Do I compete in Performance Events? If not, do these competitive arenas interest me?
Marie Zink: No, I have not competed in Performance events, but I’m just starting Scent Work classes with my recently retired show dog.
In my opinion, is my breed in good condition overall? Any trends that warrant concern?
Marie Zink: I do not know what this means after showing for over 50 years (my first show dog did NOT finish). I don’t know if this is what you are looking for, but size, color, and soundness seem to be a problem right now. There are some nice dogs/bitches being shown right now, but some of the class dogs are average at best. Over-markings (too dark), size, and substance are concerns.
Are there any health-related concerns within my breed? Any special nutritional needs?
Marie Zink: Yes, Copper Storage Disease and Juvenile Renal Disease are concerns. Some Dals are on special diets for urate stones as are dogs diagnosed with CSD.
Is my breed well suited to be a family dog? Who are the best candidates to own my breed?
Marie Zink: Yes, my breed is well suited! The best candidate is someone who has previously had/has Dalmatians. Also, I like to mentor new people who have done research on the breed they are thinking about getting.
Is my breed a good choice as a Performance competitor? If so, in which events?
Marie Zink: I am happy to see that we are seeing many people showing in Performance events. Dals are eager to please, and with proper instruction, are capable of great things.
What is the biggest misconception about my breed? What is my breed’s best-kept secret?
Marie Zink: The biggest misconception is that Dalmatians are mean. The best-kept secret is Dalmatians make great Therapy Dogs.
For a bit of fun, what’s the most amusing thing I’ve ever experienced with a Non-Sporting Dog?
Marie Zink: At a national specialty, I had a friend show my puppy dog as I had a conflict and could not show both. I forgot to tell my friend, Laura, that she should NOT raise her arms up and tell him that he was good boy, as I had taught him to jump in my arms. I was horrified when I looked, only to see Laura holding up her arms (telling him he was a good boy) as he leapt into her arms. I could hear people clapping and laughing. I still smile about that!
If I could share one suggestion with judges of my breed, what would I like to say to them about my breed?
Marie Zink: Judge by the Breed Standard; balance, type, and soundness.
I am happy to see that we are seeing many people showing in Performance events. Dals are eager to please, and with proper instruction, are capable of great things.
Are you looking for a Dalmatian 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 Dalmatian 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.
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