(Formerly, Janet Perret-Green)

~Compiled by Sandy Steward, Pridesden Lowchens, Scotland

~Edited by Mrs Janet King, Duncarà Kennel, France

Mrs Janet King, Duncarà Kennel

Janet was brought up in a large Irish family and, being the youngest, was often on her own as her elder brothers and sister were away at school. As a family they were all animal-orientated having various pets between them ‒ dogs, cats, tortoises and a terrapin who answered to his name! Her mother kept hens and, for a time, ducks. Injured birds were brought home and cared for also. Janet’s personal collection of animals included two Belgian hares, bantams and, later on, a pony, and a small monkey.

Janet’s greatest joy however was when her first dog, a Cocker Spaniel, was given to her by her Aunts for her seventh birthday. Janet and Chum the dog became inseparable. It would be interesting, if her aunts were still alive, and could see to where their present had finally led her.

Her Mother did not consider that dog shows were a suitable place for young girls. However, when Janet’s ambitions to compete with horses, were dashed due to a prolonged childhood illness, her Mother relented and arranged for her to be trained in all aspects of kennel management and dog breeding. This was done over the period of a couple of years during school holiday times.

Both of the kennels where she trained bred Pekingese. One of these kennels also ran a grooming service, so Janet was well trained in all aspects of clipping and stripping coats. Terriers were in vogue at that time so hand stripping was important. Clipping was done with hand clippers and was not her favourite occupation.

After sitting her University entrance exam Janet was accepted by the Dublin Veterinary College but, for various reasons, did not take up the offer and trained to become a Medical Social Worker. It was a career which she loved.

Janet bought her first show dog, a Shetland Sheepdog, in 1955 and stayed with that breed until the mid ’70s. Although showing extensively at first, her lifestyle changed radically with the arrival of her children when showing became much more difficult. She continued with breeding and some showing of this breed until she discovered problems with the collie eye anomaly.

In 1968 Janet was forced into a personal situation of needing good guard dogs and decided on Anatolian Shepherd Dogs to fill this need. She showed but never bred them owing to the large size of litters and the difficulty of finding the right homes. Janet could never have culled the puppies so contented herself solely with the show scene.

It was whilst showing “Seacop Tuzlu” in 1969 that she first met the Lowchen. Her first reaction was “My God what sort of a woman has a dog like that”. It was not love at first sight however, but upon meeting Freda McGregor and her “Cluneen I’m Innocence of Littlecourt”, she did fall for the breed.

By this time her life experience had taught Janet, not just to take other people’s advice And she decided to study the breed for several years before embarking into it. She was also keen to study bloodlines and form to see where and with what lines she wished to start. Finally, on the 30th June 1975, “Prawls Happy Heroine” took up residence, followed shortly after by “Littlecourt Kelly”, “Littlecourt Loftus of Duncarà” and “Quinbury Gatanya Fable”. Although she admits she did not always make the right choices, this turned out to be a really good start in the breed, and she always maintains that it was Loftus who was the foundation of the lovely heads, for which her breeding is known.

Janet has felt blessed over the years in that Freda McGregor (Littlecourt), has always mentored, and supported her. In 1976 “Happy Heroine” was mated to “Littlecourt Akela” and from this mating her first champion ‒ “Duncarà April Melody” was born.

In all, Janet has bred over 40 champions worldwide, and there are champions of her breeding in 16 different countries. She has been judging the breed since 1979.

It is her firm belief that no-one should go into a breed without first studying it in depth. Once launched into a breed Janet believes it to be of paramount importance to keep up with all aspects of health and to watch carefully for any genetic problems that may exist. To quote her, “One should know what is behind each breeding as far back as possible”. How right she is!

Apart from the French line which she adopted following her move to France, she was able to go back eight generations and know the history and background of the majority of the dogs in pedigrees. Janet worked mainly on two lines, those of “Duncarà April Melody” and “Duncarà Heavens Above”. It has been necessary for her to divert slightly to avoid getting certain unwanted breed faults such as upright shoulders and insufficiently turned stifles ‒ hence the French bitch she took in. Janet considers that the main point she had to watch for in this mix was, that many of the heads were not typical and there was a tendency to short legs, and light eyes Fortunately these faults were not predominant in her own lines so the mixture has proved successful for her.

Janet believes that she has always adhered to certain principles in any breed with which she has been involved. She would never sell a dog for show purposes unless it was one which she would be proud to take into the ring herself. She believes that she should take responsibility for any dog that she breeds, as it is her decision that they come into the world in the first place. If dogs she has bred fall on hard times, they go back to her forever.

Janet also holds a firm belief that dogs should be allowed to exist as dogs and given good conditions in which to do so. They should not be changed from their original behavioural roles or conformation to gratify the whims of fashion or the egocentric ambitions of their owners. I’m sure some of us would do well to adopt this stance.

These wonderful animals give us their loyalty and trust and we mere humans should not abuse or take it for granted. Never was there a truer statement from Janet!

Thank you Sandy Steward (Pridesden/Scotland) for your patience in compiling this article. Mary and Jade Pascoe (Jadechar/England), your tireless efforts in scanning and sharing archival materials are most appreciated.

A FEW of JANET'S PERSONAL FAVOURITES... as shared with Linda Laidlaw Pringle

Foundation Dogs of Duncarà
Prawls Happy Heroine of Duncarà ~ Littlecourt Loftus of Duncarà ~ Duncarà April Melody

As the long awaited Third Lowchen World Congress was slated to take place in Douai, France: 2014, excitement escalated upon learning that Janet Perret-Green (now Janet King) had accepted the appointment as judge! Plans were quickly made to attend! What a thrill it was to finally meet the breeder who diligently crafted the legendary Duncarà breed line.

While the days leading up to the conformation event were filled with presentations by Lowchen world experts, followed by discussions on how best to improve and protect our breed, there was ample time to enjoy participants, both 2 and 4 legged. Evenings spent sipping French wine and chatting with this legendary breeder, provided opportunities for quiet reflection.

Indeed, it has been forty years since Janet spotted her first Lowchen, but looking at the glimmer in her eyes and the amused smile upon seeing a charismatic pup fully enjoying himself at the World Congress - and he did come complete with Duncarà in his pedigree - there can be no doubt that the flame still burns vigorously, that this love affair is moving along, albeit at a different pace.

Memories, both happy and sad, came to the fore. Quickly, one sensed that the Duncarà line was crafted by a lady with a true love of her fun-loving Lowchen companions. One need only glance at Janet's personal favourites and accompanying comments over the decades for confirmation.

Littlecourt Loftus of Duncarà
Loftus marked the beginning of the Duncarà breed line.
Ch Duncarà April Melody
She was Duncarà's first champion and was known as Janet's "Melody Moppett".
Duncarà Good Heavens
"O'Malley" was not typical of Duncarà Lowchen in that this lovely and loveable male did not like to show!
Duncarà Zap It Up in Heaven
He was a Loftus look alike.
With scarcely concealed amusement, as recollections are made of this colourful character, Janet wraps it up by stating that "Angel" was "naughty."
Duncarà Lucy Lockett
Janet shared her poignant story of life with Lucy, a few years back: http://www.thelowchenguardian.com/mane_media/articles/duncara-lucy-locket.php