As I look back on this past weekend's Ameri-Can Stabyhoun Association's (ASA) 2019 Specialty in Latrobe, PA , it strikes me that we can literally see the success the association has achieved in the U.S. and Canada:
Many young dogs attending after some wonderful litters were bred in the last two years
New members participating in the Specialty and other events
Successful litter evaluations
Dozens of dogs receiving very good or excellent evaluations from the two respected Dutch judges
Record number of Stabyhouns achieve AKC Farm Dog title and AKC Canine Good Citizen title
Successful fund-raising at the auction, wine pull, merchandise, and raffle events which help fund the activities of the association to steward this wonderful breed
Breeder Advisory Committee (BAC) Report on Diversity Project
Breeder Advisory Committee Report
This Specialty brought the news that the Breeder Advisory Committee and Lee Brewer's
efforts in DNA analysis has brought about a new tool for breeders and advisers to identify, sort and compare data on our dogs' DNA for optimal use of this new data in breeding decision-making.
In the new PEDIGREE-DNA Database, they have compiled all of the data that is most useful to breeding Stabyhouns today. Each column can be sorted to see the best available by Sex, DOB, DNA COI, Mean Kinship, Location, Color, MT DNA, Y Haplotype, Cerebral Dysfunction, Von Willebrand's disease, Degenerative Myelopathy, etc. A breed advisor can add health data to this also or just leave that part to the final check on ZooEasy. It gives us the opportunity to search quickly for a match.
It was also good news that the number of Stabyhouns that have submitted DNA analysis to the BAC has doubled since the project started, and Lee Brewer's trip to the Netherlands to identify non-registered Stabyhouns that may contribute unique DNA to our population located 13 Stabyhouns that have had their DNA tested.
The BAC also produces the Specialty catalog of member dogs in the ASA which contains a wealth of information about conformation and the breed standard, our member dogs, and a section on the EMBARK DNA and Genetic Diversity Project. I do not know of any other breed associations that provide this level of communication, education, and information to its members and breeders. I sometimes think that members forget that this is totally a volunteer organization because of how effectively the committees work to steward our rare breed!
Great Dogs, Great Members, Great times!
Evaluating our Stabyhouns is the main priority of a Specialty; every 2-3 years we hold the Specialty and bring Dutch Stabyhoun judges to the U.S. to individually evaluate dogs and to judge our Breed Show. Each dog needs at least 2 evaluations with a evaluation of "Very Good" or "Excellent" to be suitable for breeding, as it is in the Netherlands. We are very pleased that Judge Angelique Plasman feels the dogs she saw this year at our Specialty were "gorgeous" and "the quality that I see here astounds me". See more of her interview at the Colorado Meet here:
Every Specialty brings new faces and new dogs, but also friends from the last Specialty, Facebook, and regional gatherings. This year folks traveled from Newfoundland, Canada, Washington state, and Arizona to be at the Latrobe gathering!
Junior handling, agility, rally obedience, AKC Farm Dog Certification, AKC Canine Good Citizen, barn hunt, costume contest, and the Breed Competition were some of the activities for owners and their dogs. Saturday night's banquet and auction showed just how fun our members can be, and the contributions to our auction and raffles show just how talented are members are, too!
I truly am thankful that OUR breed has such support and care from concerned owners both here and in the Netherlands. I am grateful for those who are leading the way towards making sure this breed survives.
How Can YOU Help?
Do the EMBARK DNA test on your breeding dog or bitch
Consider testing all of the pups in your litter early (week one if possible) to determine which pups might be more genetically valuable breeding potential and choose owners with this in mind
Support the ASA's Diversity Project with a donation to the ASA which will allow us to test look-alikes and possible outcrosses for DNA diversity and to hire scientists to analyse all of the data