Interview with Young Breeder • Giovanni Monteverde
Published in Best in Show Annual 2020
Q: Thanks for doing this interview with Best in Show Magazine. How did you get involved in dogs?
A: Thank you for thinking about me for an interview in your Best in Show Magazine. The passion for dogs and animals was born with me, helped by the big cattle breeding of my family. I loved spending my afternoon since I was a tiny child taking care of all of the animals on the farm. I was 5 years old when Diana the sheepdog of my family gave birth to her litter in the farm. I still remember like it happened yesterday, this event was emotional for me. My approach to Golden Retriever’s started when I was twelve years old, it was love at first sight and from that moment I decided to put all of me into this innate passion. I made up Oliver,who was my first Italian Champion at the age of 17 and since then my dogs have never let me down. With hard work and a big passion I have achieved 9 Italian Champions. My mentor, the person who thought me every thing I know today about the breed, and who always supported me over the years is Heather Morss from Xanhos Kennel in the UK.
Q: Why have you chosen this breed to focus on breeding?
A: I have fallen in love with them because of their temperament. They perfectly represent my character and the way I like to be.
Q: Which are your priorities when breeding.
A: Soundness is very important to me, when you start looking at a Golden Retriever from the head, everything has to flow, without exaggeration and with a touch of elegance untill the end of his tail. My ideal Golden Retriever and what I am looking for in my breeding plans is a dog with an important head but at the same time with a gentle expression. A well settled and correct front construction with a good length of leg is for me a must! Unfortunately nowadays this point is a bit underestimated, but the correct length of leg is so important in Goldens. Level topline with a perfect tail set, substance in bone and correct back angulation without exaggeration, all of this has to work together during movement making a beautiful dance.
Q: How many dogs do you keep in your kennel and do you co-own dogs in some other households or families?
A: At the moment I live with 8 dogs as I think it is very important be able to give each dog, every day, the right amount of individual attention. I’m lucky to have friends who have some of my dogs in their beautiful families, giving them the “only child” life that some dogs particularly deserve. This allows me the chance to show or breed from them.
Q: How do you evaluate your breed quality in your country and other countries in Europe, and Europe and rest of the world?
A: I think in Italy the quality of the Golden is pretty high actually, greater in the bitches than in the dogs. Having a look all around in different countries it happens very often, it is easier to breed a stunning bitch than a stunning stud dog. The European countries who represent the higher quality Golden to me is the UK where the breed originates. Holland, Sweden, Finland, Spain and Australia have magnificent example of the breed and very interesting bloodlines.
Q: Of which achievements in the breeding are you most proud?
A: I will answer these two questions together, as the most important results I’ve achieved come from dogs I own and bred. I am so proud of having made up the first 2 Italian Golden Retriever’s to ever gain the UK Show Champion Title, BOB at the WDS in Leipzig 2017, BOB and Gundog Group 3rd at Crufts 2019 and 2 Times Best In Show at The Golden Retrievers Championship Show organized by The Golden Retrievers Club in the UK.
Q: Which 3 dogs showing in recent years, not from your kennel, do you most admire?
A: Dutch Consolidation Galaxy, Dewmist Sympatico, Marybel Fashion Guy.
Q: What do you think are the strong points and weakest points in the breed today?
A: For strong points I would say substance, bones and top lines. Weak points, the biggest to me is the lenght of leg, sometimes it is too short and sometimes we see a low tail set.
Q: Do you think judges generally understand your breed well?
Q: Which judges would you consider ‘specialist’, meaning that their understanding of the breed is deep enough that their opinion should represent a point of reference to breeders?
A: I consider “specialists” to be judges who breed gundogs and at the same time have achieved great results with their dogs in the ring and in their breeding.
Q: Finally, please share with all of us what makes your breed so irresistible?
A: The elegance, the will to please and the constant needing of contact, sometimes just with a look of love.