Interview with Sporting Group Breeder Lori Whorff
Where do I live? How many years in dogs? How many years as a breeder?
I live in East Texas and I’ve been in English Setters for about 22 years. Growing up, my parents raised field Golden Retrievers. I’ve been around dogs all of my life and bred my first litter of English Setters in 2011.
What is my kennel name? How many dogs do I currently keep?
My kennel name is Camellia English Setters. Usually, we have 6-8 dogs.
Which show dogs from the past have been my noteworthy winners?
Our best so far is Group-Winning, Multiple Group-Placing BIS O/H GCHS CH Camellia Love is Here to Stay.
Which have been my most influential sires and dams?
In 2011, I imported a bitch from Italy that had some old American lines and some European lines. My goal was to improve the front assembly; I was looking for proper shoulder layback, forechest, and length of upper arm. I was blessed to get a puppy from Barbara Gruzzi, Latin Lover Kennel. The pups in the litter that I got “Bettina” (GCH CH Latin Lover Night and Day) from all had proper fronts, and I was excited to start over with this foundation. Once I had that front assembly, I began to work on type, incorporating lines from Honeygait and Reidwood.
Can I talk about my facilities? Where are my puppies whelped? How are they raised?
We raise our pups in our home, and have a large backyard with dog paddocks for running, playing, and chasing doves and squirrels. Our pups are whelped in our large laundry room that is just off the kitchen. It has a sink and counter, and enough room for the box and my cot! We utilize the Puppy Culture socialization program. They are raised in our home with lots of playtime outside.
What is my “process” for selecting show puppies? At what age do I make my decision?
We grade our puppies at eight weeks of age, looking for balance, angles, topline, and type. I have other breeders over to look at the pups as well.
How do I prepare my pups for the show ring?
I take them to Tractor Supply, Lowe’s, indoor and outdoor handling classes, and I get them used to other people and to riding in the car.
Are Performance and Companion titles important to me as a breeder?
This is something that I would like to pursue myself. I do have several puppies in homes where several different titles have been earned, and yes, this makes us just as proud as any conformation title.
In my opinion, is my breed in good condition overall? Any trends that warrant concern?
I think our breed is in good shape overall. However, I am seeing too many straight shoulders in the ring, and also croup and tail issues. I like to see good heads; our standard gives a good description of the head, and as breeders, we should keep this in mind.
Do I feel that my breed has a promising future as a family companion?
English Setters are wonderful family companions.
Do I have any thoughts I’d like to share about the sport of dogs in general?
I think that we, as a sport, need to find a way to share our passion and knowledge of dogs and breeds… and why it’s important. The rescue group has a much bigger voice, so we need to share more about purebred dogs. When there is a local dog show, I have started inviting folks to attend through Facebook. I get the word out and invite them to come meet my dogs and see other breeds. It’s been a really great way to get more people to experience the wonderful world of purebred dogs.
I think that we, as a sport, need to find a way to share our passion and knowledge of dogs and breeds… and why it’s important.
For a bit of fun, what’s the most amusing experience I’ve ever experienced with a Sporting Dog?
I was showing one of my puppies, her first time in the ring, and on the down and back she stopped and perfectly pointed a butterfly.