The breeder interview
was printed in The Scandinavian Poodle Magasin 2005-2006
Q1:We would like you to think back and tell us the very first time that you encountere a poodle and do you recall who it was and what impact it had on you?
Connie: Dogs have always been part of my life. Growing up my parents had a doberman then a fox terrier-mix, who was a real smart dog taking ride with the bus by hinself alvays finding his way home and on market days stealing a side of bacon and bringing it home.
When I was nine years old the first poodle entered into my life as my parents wanted an easier dog to rise. He bonded well with the family and didn’t wander. With the knowledge I have today it was he was a so called "skipper poodle" seize wise a big miniature or small standard. He was called "Perle" (Pearl) had a thick curly black coat and had a kind happy go lucky temperament. I played with him all day long and he took part in all my dad’s activities working in the workshop and even gardening. When I ran errans for my mom he went along but it often took some time as he had to greet everybody.
The next dog in my life was the first pure breed small standard poodle also called "Perle #2".
Lene: The first poodle in my life was my grandparents I don’t know which number "Perle" – all my grandparents poodles was called "Perle". I have nice memories spending many holidays at my grandparent's brushing, feeding, playing and taking long walks together with grandpa and "Perle" the small black standard poodle. I loved to wash and clip his coat and to decorate his basket with ribbons of all colours. I felt so sorry for him as he had to stay in the basement as my grandmother didn’t want him upstairs in the living rooms. I tied to persuade her to let him come up but never succeeded so I was hardly upstairs. When my holidays were over I always had tears in my eyes when I had leave Perle – my first but not last "best poodle friend".
Let’s start with your early years in dogs: Did you come from a doggy Family? We would like for you to share with us a little about your family, how you live and where you live?
Lene: The first black standard poodle bitch joint the Jakobsen family in 1971 as we lived in Belgium. She was bred by the Danish breeder Ruth Fisher and registred as Eminent Jou Jou Noir later to become WW 74 Int. F. B. DK. champion.
Connie: My husband and I had 3 children and our "fourth child" had to be a standard poodle as we thought Lene and her two brothers had to experience the many joys a dog brings. In those days a standard was quite seldom so "Jou Jou" caused quite a stair where ever we took her. Our groomer encourage me to show her which I did and Jou- Jou won quickly many CACs, CACIBs, BOBs and Groups.
Lene: Yes, in your thorough way you first finished her Belgian and French championship under the Association Cynologique Européenne by coincidense and as The Danish Kennel Club didn’t recognise those titles you showed and finish the same championships besides world winner in Paris 1974 under FCI rules ending up as the Danish bred and owned standard with the most champion titles in those days. Being a teenager I thought it was so boring to attend dogshows as Jou-Jou always won and then we had to stay for group judging!
: What was it that attracted you to the poodle and when did you decide to start breeding?
Connie: There has only been one breed for me: the standard poodle – I love their temperament being smart and at the same time a clown besides the elegant look.
When I was looking for our first standard poodle, I attended at couple of Danish dog shows and I constantly noticed offspring of the legendaryEng. Can. Am. Ch. Bibelot's Tall Dark And Handsome. They caught my eye especialy because of their balanced outgoing temperament and their elegant outline and I was lucky to accuire a granddaughter of his who later became our foundation bitch and to whom most of our standards go back Ch. Eminent Jou-Jou Noir.
In the beginning I didn’t intend to become a breeder. When Jou-Jou’s show carreer was over I just wanted to have a daughter of hers, but it was only in her 3.litter sired by DK. Ch. Leander Reagal Air, I felt, I had enought knowledge to choose the right pup and found what I personally liked. At the time I hadn’t registered our kennel prefix so the bitch we kept was named Chaperon winner of 5 CACs and 4 CACIBs and later on became Top producer of 9 champions.
Lene: I like several different breeds, right now I also own a tibetan terrier. When I was looking to buy my first "own" dog I was very attracted to west highland white terrier but as Connie would say " I came to my senses" and got a Canadian import the lovely black standard Multi Ch. Bibelot Sweetheart For Jouet bred by world known Susan Fraser.
At the time my plan was to obedience train "Bibelot" and never have her groomed as a ridiculous show poodle. But when she was around a year old The Danish Poodle Club held a jubilium show where some nice prices were offert. I badly wanted to have one of those prizes so I entered Bibelot in a very short T-clip and as fate wanted it she won the certificate with Connies’s bitch Jouet Duchesse De Jou-Jou going reserve under well respected allrounder William Taylor. I had promished myself that in no way would I ever spend my time so foolishly but the seed was planted and the next time I showed her she won the certificate under another well respected allrounder Bo Bengtson and from then on I got more and more involved in the dog show world. From the first Jouet litter, I was attracted to the creative innovativ process, breeding is all about. Planning a new litter and evaluating the result besides dog judging are my favourite parts of the dog sport.
: What year did you breed your first litter? Tell us about the breeding and did the first litter produce well for you and has it had any impact on your dogs of today?
Connie: In 1976 Ch. Eminent Jou-Jou Noir had her first litter sired by Ch. Jo-Ki Black Superstar the most winning standard in Denmark at the time. Both Lene and I were looking very much forward to have a healthy black litter, so big was the commotion as the first born pup wasn’t black but dark brown.
Lene: Yes, I clearly remember how disappointed I was, as I thought it was a major fault, so I went strait to bed and didn’t witness the birth of the 5 black puppies. As the novices we were, we started studying literature about colour breeding and found out that our brown male pup "Ainé" (meaning the first born) wasn’t "an accident" and specially unusual. He was always catching our eyes as he had a very showy attitude and was well constructed.
Maybe today we would have kept him knowing that one can have male and bitches together without problems. But experiences breeders told us it would be very complicated to keep him together with Jou-Jou so he was sold to a nice family and shown a couple of times winning the first certificate for us as breeders but was never used as stud. Nowadays we have bred the brown gene out of our lines as we only want black & white standards and miniatures. It certainly would ruin the pigmentation if a stud with brown gene was used. We find it extremely difficult to find a dominant black stud in miniatures and to find a standard stud not carrying the brow gene has become increasingly difficult to find too, so we a grateful for the colour gene test.
: Your first poodles were Standards, then you followed with miniatures. Please tell us about your early foundation stock in both varieties?
Connie: Our second litter out of Ch. Eminent Jou-Jou sired by Ch. Jo-Ki Black Superstar didn’t produce Jou-Jou’s black heir we were looking for but two bitches sold to nice families won certificates and l one became the foundation bitch for The Have’s standard poodle breeding.
Only in our 3. litter Chaperon appeared as the right bitch to keep, as mentioned above. The fourth and Jou-Jou’s final litter was sired by Am. Can. Ch. Oakgrove Heaven Forbid a line breeding back to the Ch. Bibelot Tall Dark And Handsome. From this breeding our first 2 Danish champions was produced Ch. Jouet Duchesse De Jou-Jou and Ch. Jouet Desiree De Jou-Jou.
Lene: I have a soft spot for white dogs and I like challenged too. In 2000 we were lucky to have an exciting litter sired by Sanvar’s Terrin Around – a son of Ch. Edryn Of Valcopy out of Ch. Sanvar’s Sunrise. Out of this combination Can. S. DK. Ch. Jouet Feet Of Fire appeared – he himself has produced 2 champions offspring out of two litters and has just sired a new litter in England.
His littersister Jouet Believe It Or Not "Caitlin"is a wonderful producer and is currently the dam of 3 champions – Ch. Jouet Once Upon A Time, Ch. Jouet Now Or Never and Ch. Jouet Trick Or Treat and more should finish in the future. We have been lucky to be able to bred to Multi Ch. New York D’Appolon’s Land - his ability to produce healthy well constructed pup together with Caitlin’s exquicite type, wonderful fronts and sweet outgoing temperament has produced some quality offspring who even can match the black miniatures.
: Have you imported any dogs to help with your breeding program? Please tell us your reasons for your selection of the dogs you imported. Were the results achieved beneficial to your breeding program?
Yes, in standards we have imported 4 black males, 4 black bitches, 2 white males and 2 white bitches mostly from Canada but also from USA, Sweden, Holland and Switzerland.
In miniature we have imported a German breed bitch out of our own Can. S. DK. Ch. Jouet Feet Of Fire.
As always in life you win some and you lose some – all 13 imports have been our beloved pets, many have had spectacular show career and about half of them have proven their worth in our breeding program. The import that has had the greatest impact in our breeding program is Int. Nord. Am. Can. D. VDH. L. Ch. Pamala Bibelot Jouet Noble who has sired 11 champions offspring for us so far besides a good number for other breeders too and hopefully will sire some more under the Jouet banner in the future as we have stored frozen semen in Denmark and Norway.
The imports have been bought to complement our dogs and broaden the gene pool generally as we find it important not breed too closely. Unfortunately nowadays we pretty much all have the same lines especially in standards so it gets more and more difficult to find a typy, healthy, correct tempered outcross.
: As a breeder, you are aware of the value in quality breeding bitches. Is their one special bitch from your kennel that has proved her worth as a producer of consistent, quality offspring?
Well, we have been blessed with several very well producing bitches. As mentioned above Chaperon as the topscore with 9 champion offspring. But we have had many other especially black standard bitches who have produced nicely. Talking about the present we believe Top winning standard in Denmark 2004 multi Ch. Jouet Lets Celebrate has produced several really nice offspring sired by Multi ch. Safari All The Right Moves and Multi Ch.Watten’s Aragorn Af Midgaard. They should hit the rings here in Europe soon.
Jouet Second 2 None owner-handled by Cynthia Huff in the States has already won two majors and has total of 10 points at the age of 9 month. Jouet Way 2 Go co-owned with Lisa Goodwin will soon be shown in Canada.
: Of all the stud dogs that you have used over the years is their one that stands out from the rest that has proved to be a valuable influence to you breeding? Please tell us why?
With out a doubt, as mentioned before, "Blackfoot" – Multi Ch. Pamala Bibelot Jouet Noble.
Born in 1984 he was ahead of his time compared to the other standards in Europe and was therefore controvercial - either loved or hated by judges and breeders alike.
His look was more extreme – he had longer legs, neck and muzzle than most at the time. He had a correct front set under him, shorter back and a higher tailset that on most standards in those days beside he loved to show from the first time he entered the ring at a dog show. He could free stand for hours as all his parts were in balance. His temperament was sweet and he loved to please yet he also knew he was the absolute leader till the day he died.
Already at that time we were aware that we might never again have such a dog and we were extremely please when we realised that he had the ability to stamp his gets with his temperament and look bred to many different lines.
Our last two litters have been sired by Nord. Int. Ch. Watten’s Aragorn Af Midgaard "William" who remind us in many ways of Blackfoot. William has the same ability to stamp his gets and as a judge it’s easy to pick out the William offspring. Such studs are difficult to find and Connie and I have been very pleased to allowed to breed to him.
: How many litters have you bred? Which of your litters has been the most successful and please tell us about the breeding and the results and success of this litter?
From 1976 until now we have bred 41 standard poodle litters and 6 miniature litters and so fare we have homed 59 champions with at least one champion title in front of the dogs name.
We both agree on the litters sired by Multi Ch. Pamala Bibelot Jouet Noble "Blackfoot" brought us the biggest improvement confirmation wise. Our goal is never to finish championship titles on as many dogs in each litter as possible. The most important issue for us is to match the right dog with the right coming owner so each Jouet poodle have a wonderful life. That said the 4 littermates Multi Ch. Jouet Jarmero De Chaperon, Multi Ch. Jouet Joliette De Chaperon, Multi Ch. Jouet Jasmine De Chaperon, Multi Ch. Jouet Jeunesse De Chaperon was shown out of the combination Blackfoot X Chaperon and all finished their championships in several countries winning many BOBs, Groups and BIS. Layet on the younger litterbrothers Ch. Jouet Khan De Chaperon, Ch. Jouet Ksaro De Chaperon also finished their championships. All littermates had wonderful outgoing showy temperaments and the type and style we strive for in each new litter. We kept " Joliette" and "Jasmine" as we couldn’t decided which one were the better one.
Both bitches produced beautifully later on and are the ancestors to our black standards we have today.
Another successful combination was sired by the Canadian import Multi Ch. Ellery The Prime Mover out of Multi Ch. Jouet Joliette De Chaperon which resulted in the black littermates Multi Ch. Jouet Qualite De Joliette, Multi Ch. Jouet Querelle De Joliette, Ch. Jouet Quirite De Joliette, Ch. Jouet Question De Joliette. These offspring were all very well constructed and had the right poodle movement pattern.
The last litter we want to mention is our first all white litter sired by Am. Ch. PCA winner Ledjen Immortality CD out of Ch. Sanvar On The Mark At Sandant (our foundation bitch in white standards) out of this combination born in 1989 three littermates finished:
Multi Ch. Jouet Shinning New Hallmark, Multi Ch. Jouet Getting High Marks, Multi Ch. Jouet Making The Clear Mark. They had the balance and style seldom seen at the time.
: As a Poodle breeder health is a major topic of discussion. We would like to know what you as a breeder test for? Have you uncounted any major problems over the years and do you think that most breeders have an open mind when it comes to health and health testing?
We test for hip displasia, sebaceous adenitis, PRA, patellar luxation and have our miniatures Optigen scored. We have been very lucky health wise - the only problem we have had appearing now and then is hip displasia in some of our standard poodles lines which we then have discontinue to work with.
We believe it isn’t impossible to breed HD totally out of any standard poodle lines. But we have to talk openly about it, do the health test on all offspring if possible and then choose the stud best suitable.
Unfortunately there are still breeders who close their eyes and ears and only point fingers at other breeders. It’s sad as honesty and willingness to talk openly would solve many problems. We believe breeders who have bred a certain number of litter will eventually be confronted the some health issues and the action speaks louder than words.
: Of all the dogs that you have bred, is their one dog that stands out from the others and please tell us your reasons why?
Lene: It so difficult to pick one as all our dogs have added to my life. In bitches I’ll choose "Naomi" –
Multi Ch. Jouet Plaisir De Jasmine for her wonderful balanced outline, beautiful cisellied head
and never ending showmanship
In males "Teddy" – Multi Ch. Jouet Shining New Hallmark is my favourite - my first own white
standard male. He was my loyal companion for 16 years, the perfect gentleman and oh so smart
that he could read my every mood.
Connie: Ch. Eminent Jou-Jou Noir, Ch. Jouet Joliette De Chaperon, Ch. Jouet Plaisir De Jasmine and Ch. Jouet Lets Celebrate are all bitches – yes, I prefer bitches – who stands out from the rest of the Jouet poodles. Besides their beautiful, elegant movements and their majestic appearance they all were smart loving dogs.
: You have exported a number of dogs, tell us about some of your most successful or important exports?
One of the exciting experience being breeders is to successfully export some promising puppies.
At Jouet 7 blacks and one white male has been export and made their marks:
Int. D.VDH. Ch. Jouet Gamin De Chaperon,
Int.D.VDH. Ch. Jouet Hamlet De Duchesse and
Int. VDH. D. L. Ch. Jouet Viking De Ravissante all black males exported to Germany has been used for breeding and shown very successfully.
Int. F. B. NL. L. Ch. EUjw. Jouet Qualite De Joliette and
Int. B. L. Ch. DPKsg. Jouet Kicking Up A Shine were shown very succesfully winning many groups and Best In Shows.
Int. Can. DK. D.VDH. PL. NL. AUT. KLB. Ch DPKsg. Jouet Samourai De Plaisir living in Czeck Rep. had a spectacular show career and produces also some nice litters. As did Int. I. SLO. CR. AUT. Ch. Jouet Quirite De Joliette living in Slovenia and Aust. Ch. Jouet Noble House At Marechal living in Australia.
Not forgetting the two young hopefulle starting out in North America as mentioned above.
In bitches we have exported Int. CH. Ch. Jouet Jeunesse De Chaperon, DK. D. VDH. Ch. Jouet Politesse De Jasmine, CH. Ch. Jouet In Step With Time to Switzerland.
NL. Ch. EUjw. Jouet Ode A L'Amour and CAC, CACIB and BOB winner Jouet Copine De Tarentelle
to Holland and finaly Int. D. VDH. CZ. RECsg. DPKsg. Jouet Tresor De Plaisir to Germany and
S. Ch. Jouet I'm A Bitch When I See Red to Sweden. All in all 5 black and 2 white bitches
In miniaures we have exported to 2 to Finland, 2 to France, one to Slovenia and one to England and they are all current being shown.
Many of the owners of the exported poodles have now become our good friends and trustworthy cooperation partners with whom we share ups and downs.
: How many dogs do you currently have? How are you dogs housed and please tell us your day to day routine with the dogs?
We each have four poodles for the moment. Connie is retired and at home all day to tend the dogs daily needs. We live in each our own house on the countryside 10 minutes apart from one another situated in Jutland, Denmark about an hours drive from the German border. We both have several large running yards, a covered run besides large grass area fenced in. We often take our dogs for walks at the nearby beach and in the wood in our spare time or bring a puppy to town to socialize.
: We would be interested to hear how and what you feed your dogs? What is your bathing routine and how often do you bath and what are your secretes for preparing for shows?
We feed our adult dogs twice a day either a quality Danish or Canadian made dog food product together with some home cooked food. We are lucky that the dogs we have are all good eaters so we don’t have to give any special treat.
For the moment we have a young standard and two miniatures in show coat the rest are kept in a T-clip.
We bath the dogs in show coat every second week and the rest depending on the season every 3-4 week.
We really don’t have any secrets for preparing for shows. We believe in a healthy, well conditioned, well fed poodle as basic and then you find a quality shampoo and conditioner suitable for each individual coat. The challenge is through experiment and experience to find the right product and then use your commend sense. As a groomer one is doing a better grooming job when blessed with the ability to evaluate ones dog based on the standard of the poodle and emphasize the strengths and hide the weaknesses of the dog through cleaver scissoring.
: How often do you attend shows? Please tell us some of your most memorable wins?
Lene: The last two years we haven’t shown any of our own standards or miniatures due to my professional career. But we have been spectators at a few shows and then my judging engagements keep me updated on what is being shown in the poodle ring in Europe.
Connie: The world dog show in Paris 1974 was a fantastic experience. The surroundings were very exclusive for those days – the floors was covered with carpet all over and ribbons of all colours covered the ceiling and when the light shinned through it gave a marvellous light and delightful atmosphere. The judging took a looong time and all standards had to stand on the judging table. Even dogs from USA were shown which were extremely seldom. As Jou-Jou won CAC, CACIB, BOB and the world winner title it caused quite a stir as it was the first time ever for a Danish breed and handled standard poodle to win in France. An experience I’ll never forget
Lene: The first white standard poodle I groomed and handled myself was Int. DK. D. VDH. Ch. Kbhv. BDw. Wdsg. Jouet Estello De Chaperon. He was the only white standard to gain his Danish title in a 13 years periode and as a teenager I was very proud of being part of it.
Then handling 19 months old Blackfoot at his second show winning CAC, BOB and BIS at the Danish Poodle Club Show - the biggest poodle specialty ever with an entry of 254 poodles.
At PCA 1986 Barbara Humphries showed Ch. Pamala Bibelot Jouet Noble. I was so nervous watching outside the ring that I almost fainted cause by the humidity but mostly because Blackfoot won the open class dog which I hadn’t dreamed of.
It was a thrill for both of us when Multi Ch. Jouet Always On My Mind won the first all breed BIS internationally in Hannover under the president of FCI at the time Uwe Fischer.
: What are your views on the standard quality of judges? Do you think that most have a good understanding of the breed?
Lene: That is a ticklish issue being a judge myself but from a breeder-owner- handler standpoint Connie and I are aware that judges are just as different from one another as everybody else.
Some are judging the general poodle, some are more focused on details, some are judging a dogs merits other are fault judging.
The new poodle standard hasn’t been an improvement and isn’t helping judges, who isn’t so familiar with our breed, to focus on type, balance and movement. On the contrary the new FCI standard of the poodle can encourage judges to only pay attention to details of less importance.
Connie: Judging is a very subjective affair and I believe most judges have quite a good under standing of anatomy but they have different emphases. It all comes down to the ethic of the different judges.
Being the vice president of The Danish Poodle Club it is essential to me that we invite judged who have their own opinion and dare stick to it. It is a bonus the more a judge has been involved in handling, grooming and breeding so she or he hopefully can see through all the fancy handling and grooming technique.
: Looking ahead, what are your future plans as a breeder?
Our goal as breeders is to continue to improve and promote the black & white standard poodle and the bigger challenge the white miniature poodle. We hope to continue a very limited breeding program, so we can enjoy a line of wonderful companion dogs of the highest quality possible who also represent the Jouet banner well in the show ring as well as at other performance venues such as agility, obedience, hunting and so on. We enjoy the many friends we have made through the dogs all over the world and look forward to meet new friends who share our passion.
If the future Jouet standards & miniature can continue to bring as much joy to their owner as their ancestors have done in the past we are very pleased. When a poodle of our breeding is incorporated in other breeders breeding program with success we are of caused delighted and honoured.
We live by the saying: "Always challenge yourselves to breed the very highest quality of dogs with as little breeding as possible" and look forward to the teamwork as mother-daughter for many more years to come. In other words when planning a breeding we look at breed type, the possibility of improving weaknesses in either parents, dept of pedigree and possibility or probability of producing the type of poodle desired.
: Please mention a few of the best poodles you have ever seen and why you were impressed with them.
Lene: Over the years I have admired many great poodles so I find it difficult to single a few out.
During my stay in California working for Barbara Humphries I had the privilege to work together with and learn from Kathy Poe among other and to share the grooming room with the Queen of the house the lovely Ch. Bar King’s Scintilla. To me she was the ideal miniature in body and mind.
I have very found memories of Ch. Pamala’s Manderley Spellbound as an impressive showdog and a wonderful mover besides a male that produced some really nice offspring. This year at PCA the Top winning toy poodle in the history of the breed the white toy Ch. Smash JP Win A Victory took my breath away.
: Our last question to you and maybe not so easy to answer. If you could have changed just one thing you have done in past years what would that be and why?
We both meet other people with open honest mind without any ulterior motives and expect other to do the same. Sadly we have experienced the contrary from time to time so we have learned to evaluate people on their actions and not on their statements.
We regret to have let Ch. Pamala Bibelot Jouet Noble be used on some Scandinavian bitches from lines with tendency to produce HD. 20 years ago we trusted people’s word nowadays we know we need to see written proof. We are very much aware about mutual respect and trust between us and the dog people we are cooperating with.