Interview with Suzanne Bambule, Breeder of Monarch Pointer & Cocker Spaniels
Where do I live? How many years in dogs? How many years as a breeder?
Suzanne Bambule: I live in Manhattan, Illinois. I have been actively involved in Cocker Spaniels for 39 years and I acquired my first Pointer to show in Junior Showmanship in 1990. My first litter of Cockers was in 1990, and Pointers in 1993.
What is my kennel name? How many dogs do I currently keep?
Suzanne Bambule: My kennel name is Monarch. Currently, I have 10 Pointers, six Cockers, and a Maremma Sheepdog.
Which show dogs from the past have been my noteworthy winners?
Suzanne Bambule: My noteworthy winners have been GCH Monarch Laurent’s I Heart Stargazer. “Angel” was the No. 1 Owner-Handled Pointer for two years. Some winning Pointers that did well at National Specialties have won Best of Opposite Sex, Winners Dog and Reserve Winners Dog, Winners Bitch, Futurity, Sweepstakes, Awards of Merit, and Best Puppy.
Which have been my most influential sires and dams?
Suzanne Bambule: In 2005, CH Northfield Monarch Witchcraft (Salem), and in 2018, CH Monarch Laurent’s Ready To Run (Dixie), were the Top-Producing Pointer Dams. I hope that my young male, GCH Monarch’s Fly Away (Doc), can prove to be an influential part of the breed. He has some beautiful, sweet puppies from his first couple of litters that we are excited to see grow up.
Can I talk a bit about my facilities? Where are my puppies whelped? How are they raised?
Suzanne Bambule: I have an addition on my house that the dogs are housed in, and the puppies are whelped and raised in my den. The neighbor girls often come by with their friends to help care for and socialize the puppies.
What is my “process” for selecting Show Puppies? Performance Puppies? Field Puppies?
Suzanne Bambule: When I do a breeding, I have an idea of what I am trying to accomplish phenotypically from each breeding and what I want to hopefully accomplish in the next generations as well. When selecting a puppy for show, I generally wait until six weeks before I even really evaluate them. If the puppy has what I was hoping to get in that breeding, then I plan on holding on to them and grow them up more. When they start really getting their legs under them, that is when I really decide if I feel they will be successful in the show ring or not.
Do I compete in Companion Events? Performance Events?
Suzanne Bambule: I mainly compete in Conformation Events, but my cousin has started doing bird work with several of them.
Are Field Trials or parent club Hunt Tests important to me?
Suzanne Bambule: These events are definitely important to both breeds, Cockers and Pointers, as the functionality of these breeds needs to be preserved, and even better if it is exhibited in a beautiful example of the breed!
How would I define “conditioning” as it relates to my breed?
Suzanne Bambule: Pointers definitely are very lean, graceful, yet powerful dogs that need to get adequate exercise. Road-working is very helpful, as is good genetics. Good muscle tone in a Pointer is an exquisite trait, and this trait needs to be taken into consideration when breeding. Some people overlook this quality.
Are there any health-related concerns in my breed? Any special nutritional needs?
Suzanne Bambule: Like all breeds, there are health issues that may arise, and as breeders, we try our best to breed healthy animals and do the testing necessary to ensure the healthiest animals are produced and to help keep a record of genetic issues. I explain to families that are looking into the breed that they should be aware of issues like epilepsy and hip dysplasia. Adult Pointers definitely need a diet high in protein so that they can keep up their nutritional needs.
Do I think my breed is supported by a sufficient number of preservation breeders?
Suzanne Bambule: I feel like there are great preservation breeders all over the world. People are constantly trying to breed quality Pointers, both in form and function. Communication and sharing opinions on breeding and health concerns continue to make the Pointer a great breed.
Is my breed well suited to be a family dog? Who are the best candidates to own my breed?
Suzanne Bambule: Pointers make fantastic family dogs! When raised properly, they love people and kids and are excellent additions to the family. Any person can be a great candidate to own a Pointer. I would say people who tend to do activities and are more social make the best homes, as Pointers definitely need to be socialized regularly with new people and dogs.
What is the biggest misconception about my breed? What is my breed’s best-kept secret?
Suzanne Bambule: Pointers rank over 100th in popularity and this does not denote what a wonderful companion they make. Their sweet, sympathetic, fun-loving personalities are their best-kept secret. People read about Pointers being extremely hyper and always wanting to be outside running. Yes, they do love to be active, but they are just as content curled up on your lap.
People read about Pointers being extremely hyper and always wanting to be outside running. Yes, they do love to be active, but they are just as content curled up on your lap.
If I could share a comment or two with judges of my breed, what would I like to say to them?
Suzanne Bambule: The head and tail are definitely the hallmarks in this powerful breed of graceful curves, but they also need to move with the correct sporting movement, reach, and drive! Incorrect front movement, whether from the elbows or especially hackneying, is one of the two written faults in the Standard. Movement is important!
Do I have any words of wisdom to pass along to newer breeders?
Suzanne Bambule: Remember that this is hard work and takes a lot of time and heart. These are living creatures and we can only do our best when it comes to breeding. Make informed decisions and always be honest about health issues.
For a bit of fun, what’s the most amusing thing I’ve ever experienced with a Sporting Dog?
Suzanne Bambule: Always sweet and willing to please, the Pointer might not always be the smartest pup. Our larger adult Pointer, “Bailey,” once jumped into the van as we were packing up to leave a show and loaded himself into a small Cocker crate. He was also able to turn his entire body around and just stayed in there. We, of course, removed him and put him in his proper crate.
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.
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