Interview with Jo Lynn, Breeder of Tipperary Glen of Imaal Terriers
Where do I live? How many years in dogs? How many years as a breeder?
Jo Lynn: I live near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I bought my first Glen of Imaal Terrier in 2001 and had my first litter in 2007. I just recently earned my “Ten Bred-By Champions” gold medallion from the AKC.
What is my kennel name? How many dogs do I currently keep?
Jo Lynn: My kennel name is Tipperary, and I have ten Glen of Imaal Terriers at present.
Which breeders have provided the greatest influence on my decision to breed dogs?
Jo Lynn: I blame my father for having a couple litters of Boxers in the early 1960s and for starting my love of dogs and breeding. Bruce Sussman, Peg Carty, and Dr. Mary McDaniel were all very helpful and encouraging as I was getting started with showing Glens in 2002 and eventually breeding in 2007. Liz and Harold Gay (Malsville) in the UK were also excellent mentors.
Can I talk a bit about my foundation dogs? How have they influenced my breeding program?
Jo Lynn: My foundation dogs came from Peg (Rainbow Springs) and Dr. Mary (Finnabair). Both were very knowledgeable in the breed and both were very active in showing. They were committed to health testing and producing dogs with a good temperament in addition to conforming to the breed standard.
Both of my first Glens, one a brindle and the other a wheaten, had gorgeous, deep pigment, something we need to hold onto. I finished both of them myself. They were good examples of the breed with wonderful temperaments. In 2009, Rosie was BOS at Westminster where she was owner-handled.
What about my facilities? Where are my puppies whelped? How are they raised?
Jo Lynn: I live on a farm where I have horses and ponies and one very old parrot in addition to my Glens, but I do not have kennels. My dogs share my house and puppies are whelped in one of the guest bedrooms. I follow the principles laid out in the Puppy Culture protocols created by Jane Messineo Lindquist.
Do I have a “process” for selecting show puppies? At what age do I make my decisions?
Jo Lynn: I routinely take and share stacked photos of all my puppies between 7-8 weeks of age. Picks are made at that time and fingers are firmly crossed! I wish I had a crystal ball to see them in the future at 6 months of age, or even better, 2 years of age, but being able to go back and review all those old stacks is very helpful. The quality is there, but without years of experience it can be difficult to see in a wiggly puppy.
How do I choose the homes for my puppies? Is puppy placement important to me as a breeder?
Jo Lynn: Puppy placement is extremely important and rarely easy. The number of people interested in the breed combined with relatively few litters born each year makes screening potential homes a time-consuming task. If I could place all my puppies within a one-hour drive of my farm that would be ideal, but it happens very rarely. When that does work out, I can help with grooming and I get to see and evaluate them as they mature, which is wonderful. I look for buyers who are willing to make a strong commitment to proper grooming (hand-stripping), training (CGC and beyond!) and socialization. Needless to say, provision of good veterinary care for the rest of their lives is a must and purchasing health insurance is highly recommended.
Can I share my thoughts on how my breed is currently presented in the show ring?
Jo Lynn: Our AKC Breed Standard says, “The coat may be tidied to present a neat outline characteristic of a rough-and-ready working terrier.” I would like to see more adult coats with a correct harsh texture. We have no disqualifications, but we still need to pay attention to size. The standard gives a height of 12.5 to 14 inches. If we started pulling out a wicket, we would likely find more under the standard for height than over it.
Don’t let the number of Glens in the ring under 12 inches fool your eye into thinking that the 12.5-14-inch ones are too tall. When the front legs are overly short combined with rear legs that are too straight (lacking bend of stifle), it gives the topline a ski-slope appearance that is incorrect. Backs that are too long (not having the correct 3 to 5 ratio) and those with dips behind the withers or drops at the croup are not desirable. The rise to the loin should be very slight.
This is a breed that should typify moderation and balance. Straight fronts are not correct. They should have a good layback and a forechest. Their action should be “free and even.” They should be shown at a ground-covering, brisk walk, not at a run. We have improved so much since our 2004 recognition, but we still have work to do.
Are there any health-related concerns within my breed? Any special nutritional needs?
Jo Lynn: The Parent Club’s Code of Ethics requires four health tests prior to breeding: OFA Hip or Penn Hip, OFA elbows, CRD3 genetic testing (late onset PRA), and a dilated eye exam. Premature Closure of the Distal Ulna (PCDU) is of concern in the breed. It is rare, but has been seen. Careful regulation of diet and exercise in the first 12-18 months of life is highly recommended to minimize the occurrence of this condition.
In my opinion, is my breed in good condition overall? Any trends that warrant concern?
Jo Lynn: I feel the breed is in good hands with the AKC Parent Club, the Glen of Imaal Terrier Club of America. Our commitment to health testing, breed education, and good temperament have served us well. We do what we can to encourage having the dogs shown, which is an integral part of breed education. We participate in AKC Meet the Breed events whenever possible, and we also encourage participation in sports other than Conformation. Glens are out competing in Obedience, Rally, Agility, Earthdog, FastCat, Tracking, Trick Dog, and many other activities.
Is my breed well-suited to be a family dog? Who are the best candidates to own my breed?
Jo Lynn: Glens make great family dogs. As a true Terrier, they might not do well with other dogs, cats, or small household pets, but they are usually very patient and gentle with children. They do not need a great amount of exercise, so they do well in the city or the country. Since we recommend no stairs for the first year of life, to give the growth plates a chance to mature, this could pose a challenge to those living in apartments without elevators. The need for regular grooming should be emphasized above and beyond the fact that they are low shedding. The double coat will mat if not combed-out down to the skin on a regular basis. A metal comb should be in every owner’s tool box.
Do I feel that my breed is supported by a sufficient number of preservation breeders?
Jo Lynn: This term “preservation breeder” can be misinterpreted. Just acquiring a couple Glens and setting out to produce puppies does not make you a “preservation breeder.” Unfortunately, we live in an age where dog shows, a critical component of “preserving” a breed, are falling out of favor. Even being called a “breeder” in some circles has a negative connotation. Would I like to see more breeders like myself? Absolutely! But that means finding people with a commitment to health testing and showing and working with experienced mentors, something few people today seem willing to do. I’ll keep looking for them though!
For a bit of fun, what’s the most amusing thing I’ve ever experienced with my breed?
Jo Lynn: I had the honor of participating in the AKC Puppy Pack 2.0 promotion during 2019-2020 with one of my pups, Tipperary the Importance of Being Earnest, or “Earnie.” A video of him patrolling the farm with a flashlight appeared on the AKC Instagram and Facebook accounts, receiving tens of thousands of views. I still meet people who ask me, “Is that Earnest?”
Are you looking for a Glen of Imaal Terrier 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 Glen of Imaal Terrier 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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