by Rolf Schettler (Germany)
At the age of 89, the Swiss FCI Honorary President Hans W. Mueller passed away at the beginning of September 2022. Mueller was President of the FCI for 29 years – longer than anyone else before and after him – since he was elected in Madrid in 1984 after only one year on the board. For 15 years he was President of the Swiss Cynological Society SKG, the national Swiss Kennel Club.
As the founder and long-standing chairman of the Swiss Rhodesian Ridgeback Club, he repeatedly addressed health aspects in dog breeding. It all started at the end of the 1950s with a German Hovawart bitch: Blanka von der Warthebrücke (born 1957), with whom Hans Mueller had tasted blood in dog showing. First as a Hovawart special judge, then as an international all-breed judge with assignments all over the world, including multiple “Best-in-Show” judgements at World Dog Shows, Mueller made a name for himself as a competent and always fair judge. His sentence became famous when asked whether dogs with professional dog handlers had better chances of winning a show: “A good judge recognizes the quality of a dog even when it is shown by a bumpkin!”
The change in the identification technique of pedigree dogs from tattooing to micro-chips was largely due to Hans W. Mueller, who, by taking over the FCI presidency, also campaigned internationally for this innovation, which had already proven its worth in Switzerland.
As a great communicator Mueller supported dog journalism in general and the World Dog Press Association (WDPA)in particular. He became and stayed friend to the WDPA-CEO Karl Donvil and several colleagues, even after his retirement as FCI President. A great dog lover and philanthropist passed away. Rest in peace!