Karin Rezewski

EBZ Interview (2004 extract) (Part 1)
by permission of Alexandra Gav, Eurozone Boxers
Witherford Hot Chestnut
Donna vom Schütting
Hinnerk vom Schütting
Us-Ranus v.d. Reiterstadt Verden
Carlo v. Henningshof
Carlino v. Nassau Oranien
Perico du Val d'Europe

Who were your best or most important dogs, years they were born, how you came to the decisions to breed or purchase them?
The most important dog I ever had, definitely was HOT CHESTNUT: I had to struggle very hard for the recognition of his merits. His overall stylish appearance was different from the Boxers of that time in Germany. First of all we used him on our CAMMA-daughters. The results were two more champions DONNA and HINNERK V SCHÜTTING . While I had to travel long distances to shows all over Europe to get him made up as International champion and Winner of the World Show in l965 HOT CHESTNUT already was 5 years when he finally won the German BUNDESSIEGER title. At this time the first breeders, especially from other countries, turned up to use him.

The best Boxer I ever had definitely was CH US-RANUS V D REITERSTADT VERDEN. Again it was luck when I took him as pick of the litter at a tender age of 8 weeks from our friends the WILDEBOERS: At the beginning the same story. There were only a few people who had confidence in this “overmarked” young dog who frankly spoken gave goose-pimples. He grew proportunately into a most impressive Boxer. Inspite of the white markings and his scarcely brindled red coat. He won over 3 consecutive years the title of JAHRESSIEGER BK ( l969-l97O-l97l ) he won the Dutch and Austrian Champion, the title of International Champion and he was RESERVE BEST DOG ALL BREEDS at the winner in Amsterdam and at the equivalent in Copenhagen. As US-RANUS was from an outcross ( HOT CHESTNUT/CHAUKE VOM SCHUETTING) his offspring probably could not reach the top quality which HOT CHESTNUT left behind. It was the clever linebreeding and the potency behind him which made HOT CHESTNUT one of the best producers in the breed.

Who were people that mentored you in your first years? Are there any special people who you are grateful to for their help or inspiration?
During my first years in Boxers HERR LEO HELBIG took me to many shows all over Europe in order to train the eye and let me find out the good points in order to decide between a good specimen and a poor one. HERR HELBIG had a deep knowledge of the breed, he was a great mentor to me. Since my first visit to England in l96O up to now I´m still learning from PAT WITHERS; especially from the way she follows her breeding principles and after 5O years her breeding still is stamped with its unique WITHERFORD type In l966 HERR HELBIG and PAT WITHERS encouraged me to become a Boxer judge. Meanwhile up to the end of 2OO3, when my career ended, I judged approximatly l7OOO Boxers all over Europe, in USA, Brazil, South Africa and Australia.

What dogs, in your opinion, were crucial to the development of the Boxer breed? Which dogs brought the best qualities in? Which dogs did a disservice to the breed by being bred from?
There will always be matings which better should not have been done. The crux is that people often are not aware exactly what lies behind the dogs they are breeding from. Especially the newcomers. Nowadays many good lines in Europe trace back to CARLO and CARLINO who have given proof of their potence. Some matings of that time certainly brought forward overtypical dogs with narrow nostrils and other handicaps like cleftpalates and crytorchidism. These faults were mostly from matings when inbreeding with faulty ancestors was practiced.

What qualities do you consider to be of utmost importance in the breed? What are the qualities in lack of which the dog cannot be considered a Boxer?
We cannot afford missing the Buldog traits as long as we want the expressive head and the bone, but at the same time we should strive for the degree of refinement, which is necessary to achieve nobility. Therefore the breed is being run on a very small path, the breeders are responsible for the road to success. I personally cannot stand a flat head with too light muzzle, and I think a racy body, which is too fine in bone, detracts from the typical appearance, and cannot be considered a good Boxer. The bite which is too undershot, showing teeth and being wry, should be punished because it is hindering the working abilities. Moreover, it detracts from the typical Boxer expression. Bodywise it is the roached back which disturbs the overall picture.

What do you think were the troubles of the breed when you started? What do you think the troubles of the breed are now? How do you think the breed has improved or regressed in these passed years?
A breed is always in a state of flux, there are ups and downs, depending how much it is controlled by the judges and breeders. When we started during the fifties, the Boxer in Germany was a strong, powerful dog lacking a little elegance and nobility. I think at the end of 2nd world war, the best Boxers from LUSTIG had been sold out and what was left was only medium quality. Above this, the falling off quality happened in consequence of the ban for Whites and white markings the Boxer Klub had decided to give out. Fortunately lO years later the white colour ban was lifted and the breed in Germany began to burst into blossom. The heads developed into expressive, well chiselled Boxer heads, overall the dogs showed more elegance, some sort of class. Breeders and clubs must accept that the Standard Boxer needs the bulldog traits. So the problem “White” will always be there, obviously under control in order to draw the lines. Under the influence of HOT CHESTNUT the breed has been improved immensely. The crux is that the breed in Germany lives on a small base, through many breeding restrictions, which cut the breeding possibilities considerably. So it can happen very quickly that it comes to very close matings which brings forward not only the good points. During the eighties a considerable stagnation began when we had big trouble with respiratory defects and cryptorchism. It was a matter of chance, the German breeders followed the recommendation to outcross with some excellent dogs from other countries, so that there are coming up a few good German Boxers now. Unfortunately the outcrosses are confined to only a few foreign males because of the breeding restrictions we have. So in competition with other continental countries the German stock is somehow left behind the Italian and French. Moreover, the Boxer Klub recently recommended extra selection by electronical calculation of the esteemed breeding value of each specimen. This means additional limit of the stock and breeding possibilities.

Who, in your opinion, are people that were the most important to the development of the Boxer breed?
This definitely was FRAU STOCKMANN. The progress of the thirties achieved from the originally small, clumpsy dog to the tall, elegant LUSTIG was the most important progress which was ever achieved in the Boxer breed. Without FRAU STOCKMANN the development could not have gone so far worldwide. Then PAT WITHERS deserves deepest respect for sending out to us WITHERFORD HOT CHESTNUT, which led to the second significant progress of the breed on the continent.

What is the ideal Boxer head for you. Do you accept the 1:2 proportion as ideal or do you prefer a more “modern” head? Are there any dangers in deploying from the “classic proportions”? What in your opinion are the most serious head faults in the European Boxer of the present time?
The ideal head should be l:2 in proportion muzzle to skull. The “modern” European head often is overdone, it is accompanied by health problems caused by too narrow nostrils and too long tongue. The extremes are hare lips and cleftpalates. The crux is that over the years European breeders got used to those rounded, strong heads, the more muzzle, the better. Truely, we know from experience, the head type can be lost quickly when we breed from heads which are just “normal”. So from time to time, one partner with a stronger head is necessary. But breeders should not fall into the trap to breed from two overdone heads. This brings the problems and a somewhat brutal expression.

What is your opinion about overtyped dogs? Can the modern head retain the proportion 1:2 that the Standard requires and still be competitive in the ring? Examples?
The head with the proportion l:2 sometimes might be the reason for a dog not being placed, when there are many overtypical heads in the ring. Here the judges are asked, not to put the dog with the overtypical appearance over a dog with normal proportions. But mostly the overtyped dogs win. People are not aware of the difference between breeding and show principles. At the show the most balanced Boxer of “normal” standard proportions shall win, for breeding the principles are a little different. PERICO is the exception to this rule, breeders can rely on on his classy head, and this is why I value him so high.

What is your size preference in males and bitches of the Boxer breed?
The measurements of the Standard give plenty of room in order to achieve the best balance in structure. I would not disqualify a tall dog of l – 2 cm higher than the Standard, as long he is well balanced overall. Of course, a racey specimen is out of the Standard, the same applies to miniature Boxers.

How do you recognize a good movement and how important is it for you?
Movement is most important, because it shows every deficiency in structure. When the dogs is well balanced, the gait is smooth, reaching out far forward with adequate drive from behind, the top line straight forward.

What are the faults you can forgive to an otherwise typical specimen?
I can forgive comsmetic faults, light eyes and irregular teeth placement.

What is your opinion about the Boxer temperament? What is the ideal temperament for you? What is more important – the looks or the brains?
The Boxer should be self-confident, happy and friendly, yet “fearless in serious situation”. Often newcomers try to split the Boxer-scene into two parties by stirring the question which is more important, the looks or the brains. This argument often comes from people whose Boxer is not the great winner. A good Boxer should always combine a great character with a typical outlook.

© Karin Rezewski 2005, created by Dunja