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Victor Hewer | Tyneside Curly-Coated Retrievers

Victor Hewer

Interview with Victor Hewer, Breeder of Tyneside Curly-Coated Retrievers

    1. Please tell us a little bit about yourself. Where do you live? How many years in dogs? How many years as a breeder? What is your kennel name?
    2. What is your “process” for selecting show puppies? Performance puppies?
    3. In your opinion, is your breed in good condition overall? Any trends that warrant concern?
    4. As a Preservation Breeder, can you share your thoughts on the sport today? How’s the judging these days? What do you think about the number of shows?
    5. In your opinion, is social media good for the sport? Is it harmful?
    6. What are the biggest challenges facing the dog show community as a whole today and how can these be addressed?
    7. What are some of the positive changes you’ve seen in the sport over the past decade?

1. I started showing and breeding Labrador Retrievers as an older teen. I got out of dogs when I joined the military and came back 25 years later with the purchase of our first Curly-Coated Retriever under the kennel name of Tyneside.

2. We spend full-time playing and working with our puppies. We evaluate our puppies for show at seven weeks. We pay close attention to temperaments, energy level, and overall biddability. Based on each pup’s individual personality, we are able to place them in their ideal home.

3. I believe that the overall health is fairly good. Breeders do clearances and most try to do their best to avoid issues. The breed remains a dual-purpose breed and is not split between hunting and show lines.

4. Curlies are not a showy, flashy breed. Our Breed Standard uses the term “aloof” when describing their personality. This means they are more reserved and not as exuberant in the show ring. They seem to be getting recognized in the Group ring more often, which is great for the breed. We have only a couple of breeder-judges. It is important to have judges who actually care about our breed when judging it. Too many judges are awarding people over dogs, which really hurts a breed. As with many other breeds, it is difficult to get numbers for points. The more shows there are, the less chance of competition.

5. Social media has allowed for world-wide connection and conversation among breeders and owners. It is easier to promote and educate the public about our breed through social media. The platforms do, however, create avenues of misinformation and
facilitate bullying.

6. The dog show community is aging and we are losing breeders, judges, and great knowledge. We need to encourage and support the younger generations and Juniors coming into the sport. We need to mentor them in the show ring and the whelping box.

7. More clubs are participating in having special attractions. The addition of BPUP has been a positive step in helping to prepare puppies to compete. I think that splitting the age of the BBE class was appropriate, and the tournaments are also great for breeder recognition.