Back in 2015, we wrote a feature about Huzzah, one of a handful of white Miniature Schnauzers from the UK to ever qualify for Crufts. Born in Liverpool in April 2012, this ambassa-dog now lives in Wales with Lydia Williams, an exhibitor committed to championing whites in the UK.
Why are white Minis controversial?
Miniature Schnauzers were originally bred in Germany in order to size-down the popular Standard and Giant Schnauzers (both of which only come in two colours, salt & pepper and pure black). Other breeds like the Affenpinscher and the Poodle were used to achieve this, which lead to puppies being born in two new coat varieties: black & silver and pure white.
The black & silver pups, being very similar to the salt & pepper variety, were widely accepted. The white pups, however, were considered to be not true to type, as neither of the parent breeds (the Standard and the Giant) ever presented with white coats.
Genetics are quirky, however, and white Miniature Schnauzer puppies continued to be born. They could still be registered as purebred dogs but could not be entered in conformation shows. This is still the case in Canada and the USA, but in 2010, following a year of campaigning by pro-white breeders and exhibitors, the UK Kennel Club agreed to change the breed standard to include the fourth colour. (White had already been accepted by the parent German Pinscher-Schnauzer Klub and the FCI for some years.)
~~~ With our Editor just one of the members of #TeamWhite cheering him on, Huzzah (Beanara Njals Saga at Lyzahro), exceeded all expectations in 2015. Not in the show ring, sadly, but when he was invited to join Clare Balding on the famous purple sofa during the Sunday evening coverage!
His TV appearance clearly bolstered his confidence, because he qualified for the show again in 2016, along with his new friend Madog. The boys didn’t win any prizes in the rings, but their presence, along with a couple other whites from Europe, confirmed this rare variety’s place in the UK show scene.
Maddog, or Saraswati Bonno Blue With Lyzahro as he’s more formally known, joined Team White from Macedonia in late 2015. He lives with Lydia’s mother Anne, and in 2017 she joined the gang as his handler. They also let a black bitch named Hope (Habanera Eldzh Hope For Lyzharo) join the party.
Team White are going to need an even bigger bench for Crufts 2019, as Zeeva (Zantanas Something Special at Lyzahro), an exciting new import from Sweden has arrived at the kennel and has done very well at her first few shows. She may not have qualified for Crufts 2018, but she’s less than 12 months old, so give her time!
Hope, Madog, and Huzzah will all be at Crufts 2017, though, as will their humans; Anne, Lydia, and Lydia’s fiancé Austin. They’ll be competing against 145 other Miniature Schnauzers in Ring 2, Hall 1, on Saturday; do stop by and say hi.
You can follow all of Team White’s adventures on their blog.