Interview with Working Group Breeders Terri & Rachel Sigulinsky | Snowbright Samoyeds
Where do we live? How many years in dogs? How many years as breeders?
Terri & Rachel Sigulinsky: We live in Columbus, Ohio. I have been in dogs for 40 years, breeding for 35 years.
What is our kennel name? How many dogs do we currently keep?
Terri & Rachel Sigulinsky: My kennel name is Snowbright Samoyeds. My foundation started with my mother’s kennel, Goldstar Samoyeds. When my daughter decided to step into the ring, we started Snowbright Samoyeds. We currently keep nine dogs.
Which show dogs from the past have been our noteworthy winners?
Terri & Rachel Sigulinsky: Noteworthy winners include: RBIS BISS GCH Snowbright’s Ziggy’s My Star Dust (Top 5 Samoyed) and BISS GCH Snowbright’s Million Dollar Baby (Top 10 Samoyed – #2 Bitch 2021).
Which have been our most influential sires and dams?
Terri & Rachel Sigulinsky: There’s been a variety of wonderful stud dogs. CH Snowbright’s Faith Trust N Pixie Dust is our most influential dam.
Can we talk a bit about our facilities? Where are our puppies whelped? How are they raised?
Terri & Rachel Sigulinsky: Our dogs are kept in our home. They are pets at home and show dogs at the shows. We maintain indoor kennel runs for when we are away, with a video security system to ensure their safety. Puppies are whelped in our bedroom, then moved to our family room at three weeks old. Our pups are raised family-style. They are surrounded by the daily happenings of our family (both two-legged and four-legged), so they are well prepared for their forever homes.
What is our “process” for selecting show puppies? At what age do we make our decisions?
Terri & Rachel Sigulinsky: We invest a lot of time with our pups, to learn their personalities, feel their structure, and watch their movement. Attitude and function are the basis of a show puppy. We do a puppy grading at eight weeks and make a final decision at ten weeks, when the puppies go home. Often, we place puppies in pet homes where we have access to show them.
How do we prepare our pups for the show ring?
Terri & Rachel Sigulinsky: If a dog is conformationally correct, then just the basics are needed. Stand, stay, showing the bite, lead training, and grooming are all done at home. Then, we visit shows to build confidence and acclimate our pups to the sounds, smells, sights, etc. This introduction is critical as we want the shows to be positive for the pup. Next, we participate in puppy matches and 4-6 Month competitions. From there, we hit the big ring.
Is ours a cropped and/or docked breed? Can we share our thoughts on cropping and docking?
Terri & Rachel Sigulinsky: There’s no cropping or docking on Samoyeds.
Are Performance and Companion titles important to us as breeders? Are parent club titles?
Terri & Rachel Sigulinsky: Yes. While we focus on conformation and breeding, I greatly enjoy agility, lure coursing, hiking, sledding, etc. They show the versatility of our breed and the ability to perform the functions they were purposefully bred for.
In our opinion, is our breed in good condition overall. Any trends that warrant concern?
Terri & Rachel Sigulinsky: Is the cup half-full or half-empty? Overall, we’ve done a good job preserving the breed. There was a trend of bigger being better, but bigger doesn’t mean proper angulation; therefore, movement may be compromised. Legs won’t pull you out of snow. Legs with proper angulation will. Proportion is critical. We are moving back towards a better balance of size, angulation, and balance. A couple more things slipping are eye shape (they should be almond!) and the Samoyed smile. Every part of the Samoyed serves a purpose… even the smile.
Is our breed well-suited to be a family dog? Who are the best candidates to own our breed?
Terri & Rachel Sigulinsky: Samoyeds are excellent family dogs. It is one of the reasons why I breed this breed. The best homes are where they can be with their human pack, receiving proper training and regular exercise. Active families that include their dogs in their activities make the best homes.
Do we feel that our breed is supported by a sufficient number of preservation breeders?
Terri & Rachel Sigulinsky: Yes. Our nationals pull in 400-600 entries and it is a solid seven-day event celebrating our breed. We celebrate every aspect of the Samoyed, from yarn art to herding, along with the conformation show. This could only happen with the support, hard work, and dedication of preservation breeders.
For a bit of fun, what’s the most amusing thing we’ve ever experienced with a Working Dog?
Terri & Rachel Sigulinsky: There are so many stories… Samoyeds can be quite comical. One day, one of our girls got out (our gait is now delivery-proof with a lock). I drove around the neighborhood very slowly, calling out that it was dinnertime (Pixie’s very favorite time of the day). I was asking families that were out doing yardwork or with kids playing if they had seen a fluffy white dog. The third person I asked said, “You mean like the one following your car?” Pixie was trotting directly behind my car where I couldn’t see her with my mirrors. She wasn’t going to miss her dinnertime!
Snowbright Samoyeds | Terri & Rachel Sigulinsky