Saving a breed is no easy feat, and I set out with a long-term plan with strategies and goals. We’re still in the process of executing it, and the progress is promising.
2017 – Build a foundation with education.
- Data – This year I gathered the data, I got myself a nice show puppy, and I started to learn about the currently landscape of the breed. Though I had been in the breed and parent club since 2005, things has changed dramatically.
- Research – This year is when I started research what dogs I wanted to bring into a breeding program. This was the start of bringing in new bloodlines to the United States.
- Socialize – Socializing the data and the effort to save the breed was no easy feat. During this time, owners and other breeders stepped up and made saving the lowchen a priority. This took the idea of “Meeting the Breed” to an entirely new level.
2018 – Recruit established breeders and import new blood.
- Recruit established breeders – A breed will not survive without breeders, and I went to the lowest hanging fruit. Established, successful, and accountable breeders in other breeds were invited to join the effort to save the lowchen. These breeders already knew what it takes to breed healthy dogs that are quality examples of their breed.
- Import new bloodlines – I, along with a few other breeders, imported Lowchens from other countries to complement the Lowchens in the United States. This was a task that took logistical coordination and many of my holidays spent in International airports, but I’m pretty good at understanding import/export regulations in many countries now.
- Continue to recruit new exhibitors in dog sports – I got into Lowchens in 2005 because of sports, and they are absolutely an idea breed for many sports. The goal is to share this breed with an audience who is looking for a dog that has the qualities of the lowchen – smart, fast, biddable, and healthy!
2019 – Exposure in the purebred dog community and start breeding.
- Exposing judges and other exhibitors to the breed – to grow awareness of the breed, I encouraged others to attend conformation shows. The goal of this was to show judges quality dogs and to show other exhibitors that this was a desirable breed.
- Breeding – Not only did I encourage others to breed, I also bred my own dogs. The females from my litters went to other breeders to ensure that they would be in homes that would be willing to breed them pending health status and what they could contribute to the gene pool. The goal isn’t to simply breed dogs. It is to produce quality of dogs that could help other breeders get started.
2020 – Health understanding and revitalizing the community.
- Global Health Understanding – In late 2019, I released a survey to collect health information worldwide. The plan is to publish the results at the end of 2020.
- Culture management – Every microcommunity has its own culture. In order for the Lowchen community to be able to work together, the culture needs some grooming and nurturing. Changing a culture is notoriously difficult, and this may be the most difficult part of the long-term plan.
- Increased presence at AKC events – In addition to regular conformation shows, Lowchen Club of America event are planned to increase visibility at in the United States.