Back in 2015, we wrote about Lydia Williams’ dog Huzzah, the sole White Miniature Schnauzer in attendance at Crufts that year. He drew a flurry of media attention and even ended the day on the purple sofa with Clare Balding!
Well this year Huzzah (Beanara Njals Saga at Lyzarho) was back again, with four other whites including his companion Madog (Saraswati Bonno Blue) who was handled by Lydia’s mother.
Whites are quite rare in the UK at present – there were 152 Minis entered at Crufts in total this year, for comparison – but they are slowly building a fan base. This is largely due to the efforts of Lydia and other exhibitors who are willing to be different; despite the official UK KC acceptance of the coat colour in 2010, some Schnauzer kennels are still prejudiced against white dogs.
Why is white 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 their 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.)
Huzzah the celebrity
Unfortunately neither of the boys were placed in their postgraduate class this morning, but they were certainly a hot topic of discussion around the ringside. Many people recognised Huzzah from Facebook or the telly, and any who didn’t were quickly informed of their story, and filled in about Madog’s more recent successes as well.
The official Kennel Club press were even sniffing around, and whisked Lydia and Huzzah away for interviews as soon as they were finished in the ring. Look our world; not only are the white Minis here to stay, but it seems their celebrity spokes-dog is about to become even more famous!