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TRC: To begin with I'd like to know about Dany Canino the person.. I
have a funny feeling you have led a very interesting life! Tell me a little
bit about your life and have you always been involved with dogs?

I grew up in a circus where I performed on the flying trapeze and
also did an act with a trick trained horse and some trick trained dogs. My
dad was a full blooded Cherokee and he had a great talent for teaching an
animal to do anything. I continued performing even after we closed the circus. I became a professional singer and dancer performing with many great stars, all over the country. I always had a dog in my company and where I went, the dog went. I purchased my first purebred dog (a German Shepherd) around 1962. I showed this dog in both breed and obedience.

Tell me about your Rottweilers, your kennel name, your Champions, your most favorite, and do you still own one?

I was at a show exhibiting my GSD when I spotted, what looked to be a small Quarter horse. He was square, muscular, defined headpiece, short back, strength personified and an attitude of awareness of his surroundings. I had to have this breed!!

I spoke with Betty Carroll (von Morgan Carroll) and she said she had just
taken back a 15 month old dog that she wanted to place right away. By 8 p.m. I was a Rottweiler owner. I called this dog Bull and his pedigree was a bit of Rodsden and a bit of Gastuberget. He was a very good specimen, but unfortunately his former home had not been a good one and he wasn't very trusting. Through obedience he started to come around. I did some nice winning with this dog, but he started walking around rather stiff legged and growling a lot. One night I awakened to find this dog standing over me with teeth barred. I decided to put him down, but Fred McNabb loved him and so he took him and put him to work as a sentry dog with a human partner. This dog thrived on this work. I guess he always wanted a full time job. (This certainly says something about our breed's need to work.)

I've not only owned many Rottweilers, but I've had the pleasure of
owning many different breeds of dogs from just about every group. However, Rottweilers have always had a special reserved spot in my heart.

I didn't breed very much and when I did, I didn't exhibit or campaign
because I was an all breed handler and that would have been a conflict of
interest. My kennel name was Wint Haus (Wint is classic old German for dog, and Haus, of course, is house.) I was fortunate to finish quite a few dogs of my breeding, but as I stated I showed very few of them. I am proud of the fact that many successful breeders got their start through my breeding  (Gladys Trout; Ebonbehr, and Laura Worsham; von der Lor, and there were others too).

As for favorites, there were a couple of bitches that are held dear in my
memory because they were strong of mind and body and taught me a lot about behavior among dogs in general. But as for a very special favorite, I'd have to say it was one of my last Rottweilers Ch Foreclosure vom Wint Haus (Mr Money). I don't think there was anyone that was involved in dogs (any breed) that didn't know this dog. He was such an Ambassador for our breed. He had no time to challenge or get into a battle with another dog. His favorite things in the world was children and puppies. I have pictures of him in the whelping box tending to pups while mom took a break. He hated the show ring so I never campaigned him. He finished rather quickly (mostly from BBE). I only accepted 3 bitches to be bred to him in his lifetime. He produced a couple of Champions, but most of all he produced his disposition. I lost Mr Money when he was 12 1/2 and I still cry about this loss. I no longer have a dog as my schedule would not allow me to be a good pet owner.

When did you first start judging? Thinking back to your first
Rottweiler assignment to present what differences have you seen in the
breed. tell us about your first assignment.

I started judging around 1979-1988. At that time there was no
Herding group, just the Working group. I think we had better toplines back
then. The dogs were slightly smaller. I think our temperament is better now and we have more consistency of type now. I think we have more bone and substance now, but the dogs were less "fat" back then. I think we have better color and markings; even though our markings are oftentimes larger than they used to be. The eyes are rounder than they used to be. Our mouths are better, I think due to the change in the standard that demands better mouths. The dogs still toe in a bit, but I think that partly because we want deep chests and well laid back shoulders. Rears are better. We have a few more short necks then we used to.

I'm sad that a few things were removed from our old standard: "well let
down hocks" -- "topline and bottom line should be parallel" - "a stupid
appearing Rottweiler should never receive an award". I wish these things
would have never been removed. I'd rather see the standard committee
remove: "a belligerent attitude towards another dog should not deem this dog vicious". This was never a fighting dog. I can tell you as a trainer that
any dog that is given a pass to be aggressive towards another dog, will
eventually become aggressive towards people. They come to feel that they are omnipotent.

You have a truly no-nonsense attitude when you judge, you go
right up to the dog and I don’t believe I’ve even seen a dog give you a
hard time......can you explain this. Was there ever a time you had second
thoughts about examining a particular dog?

I think my "no nonsense" attitude comes from three areas. 1) I was
sent into the ring to do a job and I don't intend to allow a dog or human
deter me from this. 2) I have been an obedience trainer for over 30 years
and have found that I can read a dog and his intentions very quickly. 3) I
sincerely like dogs. They are one of God's creatures that's never let me
down; unlike some of God's human creatures. I like to think it also has to
do with what most people that really know me say about me. They say that I'm part dog.

I have come across a few dogs that I knew could be a threat and, I've a few attempted bites (in many breeds). I've always allowed the handler to show the bite as many dogs don't like a stranger going into their mouths. Perhaps it reminds them of the vet. I also don't like the potential of spreading any diseases. If a dog does attempt a bite I do disqualify. I feel that I can avert a bite perhaps quicker than another judge because of my experience as a trainer. I strongly feel that it's the responsibility of the handler to be sure that this dog is not a threat to a judge that's trying to do their job.

My biggest beef about dogs attacking a judge is that even though this dog
may be permanently disqualified from being shown, he can still be bred.
Therefore, if this temperament is genetic, we can look forward to more like him in the ring. A bad decision, I feel, on the part of AKC.

What are your personal likes and dislikes in our breed?....What
catches your eye?

I love type, which means an attractive head and a muscular,
strongly balanced body. I like a dark eye. I like a dog that, when he comes
into the ring or when I look at him in the lineup, I find myself wanting to
go back and look again. I can still remember a couple of dogs that trotted
into my ring and I couldn't take my eyes off of them. They took over the
ring and commanded my attention. People tell me that I'm known as a topline freak. I don't know why this surprises people since this is supposed to be a working animal and has to have a strong level topline. I want sound temperament and character too.

You have been kind enough to let The Rottweiler Chronicle re-print some of your obedience also have an extensive obedience
background..tell us about it......when did you get started in this and are
you still training today.

I started in obedience around 1962, started teaching around 1966
and have never stopped since then. I have a special feeling for obedience. I would love to see a ruling that before a Rottweiler can be selected for BIS at the Nationals, this dog should have (at least) a C.D. I know this will
never fly as I tried this with the GSDC of America too. I teach 4-5
obedience classes a week and one breed handling class. During the day I
teach private sessions. I find that Rottweilers get bored quickly with
Novice training, but get much more excited to do Open, Utility and Agility.
I abhor food and clicker training. You can't use this in the ring, so why
get a dog used to it. I've never known of a farmer, canine policeman, or
sentry soldier that carried a delicatessen in their pockets. The dogs worked because it pleased the master and that made the dog feel good. These food trained dogs look like they have Velcro on the side of their heads as they wrap their heads around the handlers leg, this is not natural. I've also found that food trained dogs tend to sit in the breed ring, whereby non-food trained dogs don't. I know many people will, and do, disagree with my feelings on this subject. Non-food training requires a little more work on the part of the master, so I guess food training does make it easy to teach. However, I've never like anything I didn't have to work for.

Of course you know I was going to ask you was great to see
you in the opening scene of the movie BIS......tell us how this part came
about....and I bet you know a whole lot about share with
us we’re dying to know!

I was hired as the technical advisor for all California filming and
I was responsible for teaching the actors to look more like handlers than
actors. I was very proud as to how this came out. I think the actors did
very well; in fact, one of the actors won a Saluki match after he'd received
some training. The casting director spotted a video of me judging on Animal Planet and thought I'd be good for the part of the judge. It was known that I had been a professional entertainer before I retired to raise a family. Everyone in the film really liked dogs and many of them ended up buying pups after they did this film. I am very proud and happy that so many people liked this film.

I wish you much success with your magazine. I thank you for wanting to
interview me. I always welcome the chance to "ROCK N ROLL"

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interview by Linda Berberich

Past Interviews

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