In our interview with the reknown magazine "The Dog" you have got to know us and our passion for thr royal companions. Our intentions and attitude to both breeds is identical. In the spirit of these Royal breeds, or as the magazine stated:
All bow to the Royals
? der Hund: What do you find so fascinating about this breed and what made you choose them in the first place?
Kirschbaum: The origins – as so often is the case – can be traced back to my childhood. We always had a CKCS in our family and that must be the reason for my enduring love affair with the royal companion. My love of this breed has lasted for a good 25 years so far and I am quite sure that it was not just fate when I met my partner, Klaus Vorderstraße. He, too, had been a dedicated fan of the Cavalier and Charlie for a long time and had participated successfully in international exhibitions.
The Cavalier and Charlie are true companions – that’s what we find so fascinating about them. They are loyal, friendly dogs, with a steady, even temperament, lacking any aggressive traits, the Cavalier has been chosen by English kings for precisely these reasons for well over 600 years now.
The Cavalier and Charlie makes are good companions for the young as well as the old. A lively, active dog, who is also comfortable with a slower pace. His charm and aristocratic appearance as well as his gentle gaze are what we admire and love. Additionally, the Cavalier and the Charlie has an inherent, natural mental strength, which makes her an ideal dog for the elderly or for the disabled.
His moderate size and weight makes him suitable for somewhat more demanding dog sport, especially agility competition.
This versatile breed shows four different colours:
- Blenheim – brown and white
- Tricolore – brown, white and black
- Ruby – solid chestnut red
- Black and Tan – solid black with chestnut markings
Every dog-lover is bound to find his favourite colour here. We ourselves are intrigued by all four colour combinations and breed them all.
? der Hund: The step from owner to breeder – what made you take it?
Kirschbaum: My family’s love of nature definitely left its’ mark on me: I grew up with animals and I was lucky in that my parents were always very tolerant of my hobbies and supported me with infinite patience.
„Sein Charme, seine aristokratische Erscheinung sowie sein sanfter, weicher Blick faszinieren uns jeden Tag aufs neue“, so die Cavalier- Kenner.
Just barely 12 years old, I was passionately engaged in breeding and raising fowl. Thus our farm was full of carrier pigeons, Toulouse geese and other birds. Furthermore, I was able to realize my dream of becoming a gardener and in the plant world, cultivating and reproduction is daily business.
Another contributing factor is that I became self-employed and opened my own garden center. I was able to take advantage of the flexibility that an owner can enjoy when the dogs needed me. Time is a critical factor in breeding, as well as having a partner who follows the same ideals as oneself. Klaus and I complement each other here perfectly. He is also focussed on our breeding business. Additionally, he owns a dog salon and can take care of the needs of our dogs. A lucky combination with a good base of knowledge and skills!
? der Hund: Do you still remember well your first litter as a breeder?
Kirschbaum: Of course! It was sensational!There was all that excitement and surprise. Our dog, Lili, was not supposed to have puppies. With great expectations, I took her to our vet, for an ultrasound exam, only to learn that everything was fine. However, the ultrasound exam showed Lili was not expecting. Deeply disappointed, of course, I returned home and put away my hopes along with the freshly constructed puppy box for the next 6 months. The next weeks flew by. Lili was in good spirits and looking to play, as always. But then there came a winter, when she refused to go jogging with me. My dog began to sniff and scratch in the corners and make herself a bed. I thought to my self, “Well, this is a mock pregnancy straight out of the textbook!” So I wasn’t concerned, until in the middle of the night, her waters broke! That’s when I decided to get to the bottom of this “mock pregnancy.” I put Lili in the car and drove to the animal clinic. On the way to the clinic, as we were driving down the autobahn, a Blenheim-coloured puppy was born. After this spectacular event, we named him Armageddon. And he was one that we never could let go – our “Don” still lives with us today.
? der Hund: In your opinion, what are the most important personal traits that a successful breeder needs?
Kirschbaum: We, that is Klaus and I, feel very strongly that the most important characteristic trait is a deep love of animals. As a good breeder, you also need a strong sense of responsibility, for your animals first and then especially for the coming generations.
Rüde „Pascavale Tyler“, Stammvater einiger
„Bonitos Companeros“, gewann viele Titel auf nationalen und
Good breeders for us are those who look and think ahead. Good health should not be placed second to aesthetics. A good breeder has a goal in mind and should not be focussed on propagation but on maintaining and developing the particular breed.
Another important factor is that so-called hobby breeding requires huge amounts of your free time. Responsible upbringing of puppies takes uncounted hours, also at night.
? der Hund: Which breeder philosophy or motto would you ask first time breeders to take to heart?
Kirschbaum: It is especially important for first time breeders to take enough time to inform themselves well and learn everything they can. We recommend finding and visiting an existing breeder and even visiting the country in which the breed originates, to gain impressions about the origin and development. And then it is up to each person to draw his own conclusions and go his own way. What we mean by that is that each breeder should maintain the breeding standards. These are dictated by the FCI and are the heart of dog breeding. However, it is always the breeder himself, who has the influence on how his breeding develops. There should always be a possibility, some leeway, to develop your own strain.
? der Hund: What criteria do you go by when you chose new owners for your puppies?
Kirschbaum:As it often is in dog breeding, the choice of new owner for a dog is based to a large degree on a good sense of people. The so-called gut-feeling is usually ultimately the deciding factor. There really isn’t a golden rule by which it is possible to determine the perfect new family for a dog. None of us are capable of looking into someone else’s heart. We spend a lot of time with prospective owners, answering their questions. This way, we get a good sense of the person or the family in question. Keeping in touch after a puppy has been placed in a new family is mandatory for us.
We are always very curious to see how our little ones turn out. It is a joy to hear how they are doing and then be able to utilize that information for our future breeding strategy. We deliver some of our puppies directly to their new home. It’s a good feeling to know where the puppies will be living.
? der Hund: How important are shows for you?
Kirschbaum: Show are very important for us. Each evaluation is a momentary and subjective opinion of one individual judge, to be sure. Precisely these factors are of great importance for breeders like us. An evaluation at a show is comparable to holding up a mirror to the breeder and his work. An open and self critical breeder can gain much from the evaluation of a judge who is specialized in the breed and has broad experience. Show are often criticized as being a place of vanities, yet they are the place where it is possible to compare and check how well one is doing individually, as well as see how the breed is developing in general. A show is a good place to see the qualities and characteristics of the breed first-hand and possibly even find a male for starting up a new pedigree line.
The greatest successes Dogs owned by the breeder partnership won titles in the following categories in 2004 and 2005:
International Champion, German Champion, Austrian Youth Champion, Austrian Champion, VDH Champion, German Champion VK as well as German Youth Champion (twice) and European Youth Champion.
The 12-year old male, Immenhofs Klassiker, was VDH Champion three years in a row (1999, 2000, 2001) and has not been beaten yet. He also won Best in Show at the VDH German Breeder Show as the most attractive of 6000 dogs.
It is essential for us to travel to Great Britain, the country of origin for Cavaliers, several times a year. On one hand, we keep in touch with associates, on other hand we participate in shows.
We must admit that the shows have a certain “addiction potential” for us. Since our recent national and international successes, we have become determined to achieve similar success at future shows. (See box.)
? der Hund: What was your best and your worst experience during your career as a breeder?
Kirschbaum: here are ups and downs for every breeder. But one experience, where joy and sorrow are very close, is the birth of our puppies. It is always very exciting, sometimes frustrating or sad. And every time it’s different!
? der Hund: Which canine book or journal has been especially helpful to you?
Kirschbaum: There are so many good books that we have on our shelves, it’s almost impossible to choose just one. A good balance is what’s best! From genetic theory to homeopathy, we have the whole range but there is one book that I would like to stress, although it is older: “Review of Modern Dog Breeding” by Hans Räber (Paul Haupt-Verlag) This book is a gem in showing and describing how to breed dogs responsibly. I still have moments when I reach for this book and refer to it for advice.
? der Hund: Is there a dog expert that you would like to spend an evening “talking shop” with?
Kirschbaum: As I said, we are very lucky in that we have contacts in England to breeders with over 30 years of experience. Spending an evening with these friends, experts that they are, is like reading an encyclopaedia about Cavaliers and Charlies.But if we had one wish free, we would love to spend an evening with the very first breeder, a certain Mrs. Pitt. We would ask her “So, are you happy with how the modern day Cavalier has turned out?”