Tara Martin Rowell on Drop Coats and Competitive Spirit
Tara Martin Rowell, breeder, handler and second generation dog woman, joins host Laura Reeves with recommendations on maintaining drop coats, the genetics of her competitive spirit and pro tips for succeeding at the highest level in the sport.
“Basically, I was born into Maltese,” Tara said. “My mom (AKC judge Vicki Abbott) and dad had me right after my mom had kind of gotten involved in the breed. In my younger life, it was all about the Maltese and my mom was very successful. (She) had the top winning toy dog of all time, a Maltese that she actually handled. That’s how I got introduced into dog shows as a young child.
“Something that I always say when people ask me, I think it’s very important, especially today for our younger generation, to at least get some sort of a business degree. You want to handle dogs, you got to know how to do the business side of it too, because it’s not just the glamour and the walking in the ring and the winning. I mean, that’s very small portion of it.
“I started my life picking up a lot of poop. A lot of dogs that I never walked in the ring with doing a lot of holding of dogs, doing a lot of keeping my mouth shut. I mean, there’s a lot of work that goes into that process of success, you know?
Favorite Dog Book
“I think Dog Steps would be the one everybody has to read. I think that you should reread it as you get older, especially if you’re aspiring to judge, even if you’ve been judging. I still think structure and anatomy is so important in a breeding program. In a breed like my main breed Maltese, I think people get away from the structure and the anatomy because they think the hair is so important. Hair’s very important, but it’s one piece of the puzzle that makes the whole puzzle work, and you can’t have one without the other.
Listen to the full episode for Tara’s recommendations on grooming routines, favorite products and secrets for success.