Chris Schmidt has been a show
breeder for 6 1/2 years. She handles all her
own dogs, showing once or twice a month, at
least eight months of the year. She
occasionally helps handle shelties for others
and has recently started handling other breeds
as well. Since the start of Road’s End Shelties
in late 2000 she has finished four champions,
three of which she bred. Also has three other
homebreds, two of which are minor pointed, the
third only needing a major to finish. Her
have been finished with Specialty and All-breed
wins, multiple Best of Breeds and a few Group
She is striving to produce show
quality dogs that meet the AKC standard, are
healthy, sound in body, excelling in movement
with her husband Jim
in rural Oregonia, Ohio, on five acres. She has
a grown step-daugher, Cherie and two
grandchildren: Braden and Bree.
Ch. Road's End Obvious Conclusion
Road's End By Private Treaty x Ch. Road's End Miss
Kerri: 1. How did Road's End come
to be and how did you decide on a kennel name?
was certainly not a deliberate venture into "sheltiedom", but a gift
of a small biblack male that got us hooked on the breed and then
with his passing, the gift of small tri girl that really got us
going and became the foundation for Road‘s End. My husband, Jim,
came up with the farm name when we moved here with our horses and it
just seemed appropriate to use it as our kennel name.
How long have you been showing and breeding shelties?
6.5-7 years; our first litter was born in 2000 and I started showing
in matches that year and the AKC ring in Spring of 2001.
You are quite successful for the short time you have had in the
breed, can you share with us what were you looking for in breeding
stock when you began and how did you obtain it?
I was very fortunate to have a
friend, Betsy Guttman, who let me have a beautiful little tri bitch
with an amazing pedigree who turned out to be a non-stop showgirl
and great producer. I couldn’t have asked for a better start even
if I had planned on this path. So I guess it was really Good Luck
and a Really Good Friend.
What dog or
lines would you say have been an asset
to you in your program?
BISS Ch Homewood Hurricane ROM and the Starhaven lines.
How much of a problem has
size been to you?
In the five litters we
have bred to date, we have placed almost half of those puppies in
pet homes because they were on the smaller side. We won’t keep
males under 14 ½” and females under 13 ½”. At this point we have
not lost any due to oversize.
What do you go by in determining size
in a puppy?
To determine size
we use the Noble Chart, watch weights and use past litter notes to
try to calculate adult size. We have had a couple puppies who were
6.5 lbs at 8 weeks, but have stayed in size. One of those matured
at 13 7/8” and another at 15 ¼”.
At what age do you feel you can safely
begin to “cull” out the show puppies from the pets?
Usually by six to
eight weeks I know which ones I will pet out. Between eight and
twelve weeks we can usually pick the pups we want to grow out for
our show/breeding prospects. Where
do you draw the line in your breeding stock?
Since we keep our
numbers small, all dogs must be what we want to continue on with in
our breeding program and compete in the breed ring. Health,
soundness and temperament are of the utmost importance.
Road's End Kioko (ptd)
Best of Breed winner
AM/JAP GR Ch. Kencherry's Keep Top
Ch. Road's End Miss Fit Maggie
How many dogs are in your kennel? Is
there such a thing as an “ideal” number of dogs in a kennel in your
Presently we have
eight dogs, six adults and two hopefuls. None of the dogs live in
the kennel, all have daily house privileges at different times and
all but three sleep in crates in the house at night. These three
have earned their right to be permanent house dogs. In my present
situation I have an “ideal” number I keep in the back of my mind.
This ideal number has increased slightly from the one I used to have
since I am no longer working outside the home. Although we have
plenty of room here for more dogs, each day we have group play time
out in the back field in the morning and evening; along with each
dog receiving individual “special” time. Then there is regular
maintenance and chores; this takes a lot of time, but we feel is an
essential part of raising our dogs, so our numbers will always be
low. The “ideal” number of dogs in any kennel is different for
everyone and very much an individual decision hopefully based on
time and finances to properly care for the dogs.
How many litters do you have per year?
We breed one to two
litters per year, mainly when we are looking for our next
show/breeding prospect to go on with.
How do you handle
whelping? Do you use whelping boxes, crates, etc? Do you use heating
pads, shredded paper, blankets, etc? How and when are puppies weaned
at your kennel?
All our litters are
whelped in our bedroom in a whelping box with heating pad and for
bedding I use white quilted horse leg wraps. We also have 3x4 puppy
pens with baby bed bumpers set up in the family room and kitchen as
by day two our bitches want to be wherever we are and so the puppies
come along. Our puppies are started weaning approximately 3.5 - 4
wks and are on wet kibble by six weeks.
Little Girl Blue
Ch. Oakcrest Bach GI Joe x Ch. Road's
End Miss Fit Maggie
9. How do you socialize
your puppies? Do you use any type of chart that you go
by as far as testing the puppies?
puppies are handled several times a day right away, with
the turning on the sides and back while getting lots of
kisses and rubs. They are moved regularly to different
locations in the house; TV and radio are left on at
different levels even before their ears/eyes are open.
Small road trips start, trips to the back yard with mom
on a blanket as weather permits and the experiences just
increase from there after they get their shots. We have
no particular testing charts we go by.
10. How soon do you start training your prospect puppies for the
show ring? Any tips you’d like to share?
All our puppies get
the same treatment and training until they go to their new homes.
At about four weeks we start standing them up on a computer mouse
pad on the floor for a few seconds and increase it little by little,
then the mouse pad moves to the coffee table and then to the
grooming table. We love to tell them how pretty they are and
whistling at them seems to make a big difference. Seems that the
natural show dogs just start progressing naturally on their own and
all you have to say later is “let’s see how pretty you are“. My
favorite thing is putting them in front of the mirror and telling
them, “Look how pretty you are, that is you in there!” Then I
whistle. In my grooming room I have a big mirror on the wall and my
grooming table in front of it so I always see the whole dog. I have
several vain little dogs that love to try to take a peek out of the
corner of their eye at themselves in the mirror while I am
grooming. And three that insist on sitting facing the mirror after
I am done to look at themselves. Of course we always tell them how
pretty they look then. They seem to enjoy it more.
Road's End Renegade
Ch. Apple Acres Expedition, ROMC, ROM x Road's End
do you condition your dog for the show
ring? What grooming products do you use and would recommend?
Just the daily
exercise they get here in the yards and our walks, occasionally they
love to go biking with me, but if I take one, I have to take them
all--that’s a lot of bike trips for me. I have several different
products I use for different dogs, but I guess two things come to
mind that I really like and use on almost all of them. One is
Treseme Hair Sprays, it comes in so many different varieties, but my
favorite is the one especially made for humid days! Doesn’t get
tacky, such a fine spray you hardly can tell it is there, but it
holds. The other and my all time favorite is Guts by Redken, it is
a spray on mousse--it gets right to the roots of the ruff.
With all of the talk about
diets and what works for our dogs, what do you feed your dogs, and
do you use supplements?
have done very well on Purina One Adult and Puppy food which we mix
with a little Pedigree canned food. The only supplement we use
regularly is Edge. We now use supplements for bitches being bred
and in whelp called Oxy-mate and Oxy-momma.
is your opinion on the new vaccination
protocols the past few years?
We have chosen to
stay with the yearly vaccinations mainly because we feel our dogs
are continually exposed since we live in a rural area abundant with
wildlife and the fact that our dogs are always out at shows,
traveling on vacations with us. We feel it is the easiest way to
ensure that our dogs are always protected.
Road's End Obvious Conclusion
Taking Best of Breed at the Warren County Kennel
in June of 2006.
You have handled your own dogs,
and been quite successful, can you share that experience with us?
Have you ever used a professional handler? And if so what would you
look for in a handler?
All I can say
here is that I feel I had a great handling instructor, Sue Geesler,
who put the fear of God in me by telling me if she ever saw me do
anything stupid or dishonest in the ring while she was ringside, I
would hear about it right then. I have also learned to watch the
professionals in the ring, especially those that win a lot, no
matter what breed they were showing. You can learn an awful lot
this way, sometimes it may even be what you know you don’t want to
do in the ring. It has been fun to watch myself evolve--it wasn’t so
much fun watching those videos of myself in the beginning--but I
know I still have a long way to go with a lot more to learn. There
have been several disappointments along the way, it hasn’t been easy
and I can certainly understand why a lot of newcomers choose to quit
after only a few years. But mostly, it has been fun and I wouldn’t
have it any other way. Twice I have used a handler, once in the
beginning mostly because of my nerves and to see if that is how I
wanted to go and the second time was when I sent Ch. Road’s End
Obvious Conclusion with Rusty Cromer of Merlyn Kennels to the 2006
Nationals in Virginia Beach when I couldn’t go. He is a special boy,
not to mention a Moma’s boy and I knew I needed someone who would
have the patience and understanding to deal with him. I was very
pleased with the results.
How do you handle stud services in
your kennel? Do you breed naturally or AI? Do you use ovulation
tests? What tests do you require in advance before breeding an
We do a stud fee
with balance due when pups are born. We do all our breedings by AI
now. If requested by the bitch owner we can have progesterone done,
but normally our boys are very good at telling us when the girls are
ready. Tests required for breeding are eyes, hips, thyroid and
16. In your breeding program, which dog do you feel was most
influential to your success?
Ch. Road’s End Miss
Fit Maggie. In only three litters to date she has produced three champions for us
and has possibly two/three more in the wings. Time will tell.
Ch Road's End Miss Fit Maggie - 3 champions
BISS Ch. Homewood Hurricane, ROM
Starhaven's Black Orchid
faults would you say you can not tolerate?
Rusty Cromer always
says, “Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water.“ I always keep
this in mind when faced with certain minor faults that are pet
peeves . But if I had to pick one thing that I would eliminate a
really nice dog from my breeding program for and couldn’t tolerate,
it would have to be Bad Temperaments.
18. If you could bring a certain dog into your breeding program,
who would it be and why? Any certain lines that you would like to
Oh my gosh, there
are several, but I will touch on a couple. Before I ever dreamt of
even being in the sport of dogs, Betsy Guttman gave me a Pacesetter
issue and it had a photo of Ch. Dundee Amos Moses in it and I
immediately fell in love with that dog. I loved his expression, his
outline and he appeared to have an aire about him.
Later I started
seeing photos of his offspring and liked what I saw, one in
particular was Ch. Dundee Hullston Jambalaya. When I started
breeding I knew somewhere down the road I would bring these lines
into my program and today I have a couple of dogs with splashes of
Amos Moses in their pedigrees.
I would like to
bring more from the Macdega lines into my program. I have long
admired many of the Macdega dogs and the Coens for their
accomplishments and dedication to the breed. There are several dogs
from the Macdega lines that I like, but Ch. Macdega Piano Man and
Ch. Macdega Asterisk are among two of my favorite dogs from these
Road's End By Private Treaty (ptd)
Ch. Oakcrest Bach GI Joe
Ch. Road's End Miss Fit Maggie
a newer breeder, what do you find to be the most
rewarding aspect of this sport? What do you enjoy most
Mmm, I truly love the dogs and just being with them and
don‘t mind the work that goes with it, the grooming,
training, etc. It was the same when I was doing
horses. It is rewarding exhibiting and winning with
your dog from bred-by classes; also meeting good people
who share the same interest and truly have the bests
interest of the dog in mind.
Road's End kennels
How have you overcome the obstacles
as a breeder?
Oh Geesh, you know I keep thinking that if I get them all over with
now, the road will be smoother ahead, right? All I can say here
is, “Thank God I have some good friends, who are willing to give
advice, share experiences and tell you to keep the faith, no matter
when you call them.” This is what has helped me.
do you feel has been the one key to
your success so far in your breeding program?
determination, a good gut instinct and my friends tell me a good
natural eye for a dog.
22. Who was your first true mentor?
Who has influenced you the most? Whom do you admire?
My first true
mentor was Betsy Guttman, a very small hobby breeder who breeds in
conjunction with Carl & Amy Langhorst of Starhaven Kennels. I
always love to “blame” Betsy for getting me into dogs, when the
truth really is, I couldn’t be more grateful to Besty for the
wonderful start/introduction into the world of dogs. Sue Geesler of
Campio Kennels has had a tremendous influence on me ever since we
met in October 2000 and still manages to keep me on my toes via long
distance. She has not only influenced me the most, but taught me
the most. This also puts her at the top of the list for those I
admire, along with Betty & Bob Abbott of Abbeyhill Collies, Rusty
Cromer of Merlyn Kennels and Julie Desy of Ilemist. These people
have certainly earned my admiration and respect. If I can manage
even half of their dedication, knowledge, experience and outlook
into the world of dogs, I will have it made. .
future goals do you have for yourself and the breed?
My goal is to breed
the perfect sheltie, which of course is totally unrealistic and
unattainable. But hopefully before all is said and done, I will
have come as close as I can and I will have made a positive impact
on the future of the breed.
Visit Chris on the web at
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