Interview with Dennis and Katey Brown of Solivia Pointers, 2022 AKC Sporting Group Honoree
The Pointer is a classic Sporting Breed known for its high style in the field and in the ring. What is it about the breed that has sustained your interest for so long?
In looks, a Pointer is aesthetically beautiful. Their outline simply flows from their nose to their tail tip. It is a beauty no other breed has, in our opinion. In temperament, Pointers are generally kind and sensitive. They can be quirky and need lots of socialization as they grow, but they are truly devoted to their people and are always up for anything you’d like to pursue, from lounging on the couch watching TV to field work to hiking to taking laps around the show ring.
Breeding dogs requires the vision of an artist, the curiosity of a scientist, and the commitment of a philosopher. As a breeder, do you view yourself as an artist, a scientist or a philosopher? Maybe you’re a combination of all three?
I suppose, on some level, all three are true for any longtime dog breeder.
- The Artist: You want balance but with beauty.
- The Scientist: For a random example, you need their heads to be held high while moving and yet their fronts cannot be lifted. So, how is this feasible without exact calculations?
- The Philosopher: Again, for example, knowing through years of trial and error which dogs (or line) will give you the balance while holding their heads high.
In dogs, selection is key. How do you select your sire and dam combinations? How do you select which puppies will appear in the show ring?
We are on our 12th generation, so we base a lot of our breeding decisions on pedigrees; not only on their physical attributes, but also on our past experiences with certain lines that we have brought in.
What are their temperaments like? How are they personality-wise? Can you live with them? Are they too hyper or destructive? Are they good, dependable show dogs? Are they good pets? Birdy? Outgoing? Too reserved? How is the health behind them—not just OFAs but other Pointer-related health issues, and should “A” be crossed with “B” or is that too close to chance certain possibilities?
Then we look at the dogs themselves to see what their pros or cons are and what they have produced previously and go from there.
The Breed Standard is the preservation breeder’s most essential tool. What are your thoughts on the importance of breeding to the Standard and presenting the breed in the ring accordingly?
We put great emphasis on the Breed Standard. There should be an overall feeling of beauty when you see a Pointer in the ring. Class! That is the first thing that should come to your mind when you see a Pointer. You should never think “hound.” Round bone, thick skin, thick, long ears, ropey tails carried over their backs, too much skirting, and too much lip are all houndy traits that we are especially sensitive to and avoid.
Presentation is subjective. Every dog is different and every dog should be presented how it looks the best. There is no cookie-cutter way to do it.
Today’s breeders have found themselves on the defensive from public criticism and from legislative proposals that would restrict breeding practices. In your opinion, what can preservation breeders do to counter the anti-purebred rhetoric that has taken hold in this country?
I think there have been quite a few compilations of studies on dogs in shelters, with the vast majority of them being mixed breeds. If it were possible to share these more publicly in some way, I think that it would help tremendously. Most breeds have a rescue set in place so that if one ends up in a shelter it is networked out of there pretty rapidly. The amount of genuinely well-bred dogs that end up in shelters truly makes up a faction of what is there.
Are you looking for a Pointer 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 Pointer 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.
Pointer Dog Breed Magazine
Read and learn more about the loyal Pointer dog breed with articles and information in our Pointer Dog Breed Magazine.
Pointer Breed Magazine - Showsight