Interview with Young Breeder • Katja Rauhut
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: Katja Rauhut, 33, Germany. I’m involved in the dog world since I was little girl. Together with my Mum Sabine I breed Tibetan Terrier and Lhasas and American Akitas under the Prefix “Ti La Shu”for a very long time. I will now start my own Kennel name which will be „TigerPaw“.
I got my very own Tibetan Terrier when I was 6 years old. Together we competed in the Junior handling competition. Soon I started showing our Tibetans in the breed rings too with great success.
I have won twice the “German-Junior handling-Final” (2002 and 2003) and represented my country at the International Junior handling Competition at Crufts (2003 and 2004). Furthermore I won the Junior handling Final in Monaco in 2004 which gave me the opportunity to represented Monaco at Crufts 2005. I became Runner Up Junior handler at Crufts 2005. The first German Junior handler to achieve a placement at Crufts.
What I enjoy a lot after I finished my own Junior handling carreer is judging the Junior handling competition all over the World. I have judged the Junior handling Competitions in Germany, Sweden, Australia, in Split-Croatia at the famous Summer Night Dogshow, Helsinki Winner Show, Worlddogshow in Milano, Italy , at the Worlddogshow in Germany, last year the Countryfinal in the Netherland and the State Final in Queensland, Australia. And if Corona doesn’t cross my plans I will hopefully judge the Swedish Junior handling Finale this year in Stockholm.
At home and abroad I give regular Handling classes for Breeders, Handlers and Junior handlers.
During my Junorhandling years I have spent a lot of time in the USA with different Breeders and I also got the opportunity to work a whole summer with Professional Handler Kathryn Mines. Later I also had the chance to work with other Professional Handlers in the USA including including Taffe and Bill McFadden, and Amy Rutherford. The Work with the dogs, the culture, the different grooming and presentation as well as the million Travels to different cities and dogshow places – the whole experience I wouldn’t want to miss. And I am very grateful to my parents making this possible.
Luckily I had the pleasure to handle and show almost all breeds over all the years. I love all long coated breeds. I love the grooming – and I almost feel “naked” when I don’t need a brush or comb when entering the ring. Some might say it’s a bad habbit. But some will agree brushing in the ring or while waiting got go in the ring keeps you calm ;). But that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy showing short coated breeds.
Q: Why did you choose the breed?
A: We used to have German shepherds, Bernese Mountain dogs and Newfoundland. Only big breeds. I wanted my very own little dog who I can take out for a walk when I was a kid. We started breeding TTs because we were for a very healthy breed- fit for function. Back then nobody knew what a Tibetan Terrier was.
Besides TTs we bred Lhasa Apso and American Akitas. All with the same Asian character and temperament. Little People through and through.
Q: Which are your priorities when breeding.
A: For me, the absolute priority is the correct breed-typical physique with the appropriate gait. Of course, a distinctive expression belongs to the breed. It is important for me to know what the breed was originally used for. Tibetan Terriers lived and still live in the Himalaya, therefor they should be built fit for function, lightfooted, yet sturdy with a deep and wide chest to live in those mountains. I also love this breed because of its typical independent nature. If you know how to work them they will do anything for you. My TTs usually love all dogs and people even though they can be reserved to strangers according to the breed standard. And ofcourse I value a good a coat in TTs. With the Tibetan Terrier this should always be the icing on the cake. If they have a good coat quality their hair will grow no matter what – if they play in your yard or run thru the forrest. We try to breed TTs that are manageable for pet people too. They need an easy coat and a wonderful temperament.
Q: How many dogs do you keep in your kennel and do you co-own dogs in some other households or families?
A: We have about 10 dogs at my parents house- Tibetan Terrier and American Akitas aged 3month up to 15 years.
We work worldwide with some exclusive kennels in America, England, Russia, Poland and Finland.
Q: How do you evaluate your breed quality in your country and other countries in Europe, and Europe and rest of the world?
A: Here in Germany we have three different Tibetan breeds clubs in the VDH(Our Kennelclub). Until about 15 years ago Germany was the leading country when it came to top quality Tibetan Terriers. In our eyes the quality unfortunaly is lacking quality these days. There is now a wide range of good quality dogs in the Nordic countries. Most of the Tibetan Terriers these days are bred in England, the standard leading country. They have excellent Tibetan Terrier breeders as well.
Q: Of which achievements in the ring are you most proud?
A: I am proud of many results. I have handled many breeds to various big wins but what fills the heart the most is winning with your own dogs, your own breed and most of all your very own breeding. Leading my Mr. Grey aka Kivi to his two BOB wins at Crufts over 250 entered Tibetan Terriers under Breed specialists was just a dream come true. Winning BISS the Tibetan Terrier Congress 2018 in the UK over 250 TTs or winning the Group at the EDS in Kiev still makes my heart skip a beat. Traveling the word and attending Dogshows has brought me so much joy and proud breeder Moments. Winning BOB and BOS at the Worldshow in Mexico, last year Shanghai AND the WDS in Helsinki – are just a few Moments I am more than proud of as a breeder.
My handling dogs did me proud also – many times. The most recent win would be Runner Up in the Toy Group at Crufts this year with the Havanese “Ritmo” from Poland. We met early I the morning at Crufts for the very first time and what can I say? I think it was love at first sight.
Very proud of Winning BIS at the famous Bundessieger Dortmund and res. BIS at the combined International Show last year with Australian Shepherd “Scamp” .
Iam proud to say Iam the only European ever to win the Tibetan Terrier National in America with a TT named “Bocce”.
With my own “Nike” the TT won Best in Show at Austrians KC Centenary Jubilee Show, with a Lhasa named “Dino” from USA I won Best in Show All Breed at the 75th Years Jubilee Show of the Polish Kennel Club. Another Dog from USA “Rowan” was the first TT ever to win a Best in Show All breed in Poland in 2006!. With the TT “Kalifha” I won Veteran Best in show at the WDS in Poland 2006. 2011 at the WDS Paris I won Puppy Best in Show with a French Siberian Husky and one year later Best Puppy in Show with our own bred by Lhasa Apso “Mylo”.
Q: Of which achievements in the breeding are you most proud?
A: I think winning the Top dog of the year award in Germany with three different bred by Dogs. And that Top dogs Worldwide carry the name „Ti La Shu”.
In Germany we are the most successful breeders of Tibetan terrier of all time.
We have bred, owned and shown dogs to many Worldwinner, European Winner, championtitles and Group and BIS awards. One of the biggest successes was winning the Top dog of the Year award 2009, 2016, 2018 and 2019 (Eukanuba Challenge State Final in Germany) and having the opportunity to represent Germany three times at the EWC competition. 2009 with one of our very own bred Tibetan Terriers “Multi Ch. BIS BISS WW. EW CH. Ti La Shu United Magic Colours”. He represented our Country in Long Beach, USA. And 2017 we had the great honour to represent our country again – this time the EWC took place at Crufts with our TT “Kivi”. 2019 the EWC took place again at Crufts and we represented our Country with our Tibetan Terrier female Chilli Multi Ch. BIS BISS WW EW Ti La Shu Broadway Babe. End of 2019 we won again the Top dog of the year award with our own bred by “Peanut” Multi Ch. WW, EW,JWW, EJW Ti La Shu Hall of Fame. Unfortunatly so far no EWC for 2020.
Our Nike also won BIS at the prestige Bundessieger Show in Dortmund 2009 over 6000 dogs. Our Peanut has won res. BIS at the very same show last year. Peanut is also the youngest Tibetan Terrier all times to win an All Breed BIS at the tender age of just 10 month in Europe at the famous Dracula Dogshow.
Q: Which 3 dogs showing in recent years, not from your kennel, do you most admire?
A: Dogs I admire are Bocce “Multi Ch. Arkeden N Kiskadees Havin a Ball” bred in the USA by J. Faust. “Multi Ch.Falamandus Remastered Edition” aka Kivi, bred in Finland by T. Hakamo and Tetsimi Moves like Jagger, bred in the UK by Neil Smith.
Q: What do you think are the strong points and weak points in the breed today?
A: A well groomed Tibetan Terrier is a wonderful dog for the Show ring. However, in recent years we have found perfectly groomed Tibetan Terriers on the podium, which are not built correctly under the long hair. The breed standard is asking for sturdy, medium sized dogs. Tibetan Terriers are no mini Afghans. It is not only the gait that distinguishes the breeds. Breeders must pay attention to a correct physique and a breed-specific expression. I think we are losing strong underjaws and good filled, strong muzzles.
I also think more and more TTs are losing the good front angulation we used to have back in the early days.
Q: Do you think judges generally understand your breed well?
A: Well, unfortunately there are some judges who judge the Tibetan Terrier by the length of hair only. Or the color seems to be more important than the rest. It can also happen that a judge does not know that the Tibetan Terrier may have a reverse scissor or that our wonderful breed comes in all colours- not only black and white. I think the pedigree clubs have to do more for the specific training of their judges.
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: For my mum and me absolute specialists for the Tibetan breeds are Paul Stanton and Torbjörn Skar from Sweden. These judges have accompanied us throughout our breeding and exhibition time. Both are pioneers in Tibetan breeding. We would also like to include Christopfer Habig from Germany.
I would also like to mention Juliette Cunliffe originally from the U.K, who has been living in Nepal for several years now and has shared her life with Lhasa Apsos. She knows the original Tibetan dogs from Tibet and the Tibetan camps in Nepal.
Q: Finally, please share with all of us what makes your breed so irresistible?
A: The independence and self-evidentness with which the Tibetan Terrier appears. On the one hand he is a clown, on the other hand he is a great buddy. The Tibetan Terrier fits in almost every living situation. Whether as a single dog or in a children’s household, as an office dog or at a show. They adapt just perfect. For the show, the Tibetan Terrier has a confident appearance. If you have them convinced that showing is great, they will do it for you and they will love it. Tibetan Terriers are also suitable as a dog for agility, as well as a therapy dog for retirement homes and kindergartens. They are highly intelligent.
It is simply an all-rounder and is represented in all colors of the world. No two Tibetan Terriers are alike.