Deb Schneider and DogJewelryMuseum.com: Pet Pro Profile

Pin It

A personal love of dogs draws many animal lovers to the pet professions–and, in the case of Ohio-based Deb Schneider, that love was combined with an appreciation for vintage jewelry. Deb’s love of dog-inspired jewelry is the basis for DogJewelryMuseum.com, a website devoted to vintage and collectible jewelry that portrays woman’s best friend.

Can you tell us about your background and how you came to start DogJewelryMuseum.com?

I got my first dog, a Miniature Schnauzer, when I was 13 years old. About that time a relative gave me a Schnauzer dog pin. That little Schnauzer lived in my jewelry box for years.

About 35 years ago, I got interested in vintage jewelry. I started selling it online in the late 1990s (still do sell on Ebay as adornment and from a shop http://adornment.ecrater.com).

I decided about five years ago to concentrate my personal collecting on dogs, as I am an avid dog person first and foremost! When I hit about 300 pieces I got to thinking that since moving to the farm in 1999, I don’t wear jewelry anymore, but I really wanted to share my collection. Since I was a professional web developer at the time, doing an online museum seemed a natural fit!

What can you tell us about your site?

I wanted the site to appeal both to dog people and jewelry people. I knew that the dog people would want to see a lot of different breeds (everyone looks for their own breed first :). And the jewelry people would want the “serious” data about the piece–manufacturer, date it was made, condition, value. So the images are categorized to be accessible to both groups. I also wanted to capture the true whimsy that is found in figural jewelry–so many pieces, while not terribly valuable, are humorous or silly…just plain fun.

How did you get interested in dog jewelry?

I am a dog person (you know, as opposed to a pet person). Currently I have seven dogs–6 Australian Kelpies and a Jack Russell terrier. I’ve also had a Schnauzer and an Alaskan Malamute. I’ve done just about everything with my dogs…conformation shows, obedience trials (I put a UD an my Mal…yikes :), herding trials, hunting with the terrier, even backpacking and mushing. Needless to say, dogs are integral to my life. So dog jewelry was just a natural outcropping of my interest in jewelry.

Do you have any tips for readers who are interested in collecting dog jewelry?

First, get what you love–this is not an area to collect with the idea that you are going to make money. Costume jewelry values are so fluid, that buying it as an investment is a bad idea. Pay attention to condition…make sure you get a piece that is in the best condition possible. The Dog Jewelry Museum is a good place to see the range of dog jewelry out there and get an idea of what prices may be, how scarce pieces are and in some cases whether there are reproductions to watch out for.

Most of us start out getting pieces that represent our dog breed. Sometimes that’s tough as jewelry designers tended to design dog jewelry based on breeds that were popular. So you find a lot of Scottie jewelry from the Roosevelt period, for example. There are some companies that specialize in dog breed jewelry…Kenart is a good example. You will find these kind of pieces with the rarer breeds represented at large dog shows. The vintage pieces, though, will tend to be of best known breeds: poodles, dachshunds, scottish terriers, bulldogs, for example.
A great alternative to vintage jewelry for those wanting to collect the rarer breeds are some of the contemporary artisans. People like Bettina von Walhof do a large range of breeds (she and her daughter have a shop or Haleyanne Dog Jewelry (shop at http://haleyannedogpins.com/default.aspx) are great sources for contemporary dog jewelry in a large variety of breeds. They may even do a custom piece.

Take the time to learn how to properly care for your jewelry too. Never clean rhinestones with liquid (it seeps between the glass and foil and discolors the stones). Some metal polishes can remove finishes from vintage jewelry and don’t ever use those ultrasonic cleaners on costume!

What else would you like the readers of DogTipper.com to know about DogJewelryMuseum.com?

Just that I’m always on the look-out for unique pieces. I accept donations of dog jewelry and provide acknowledgment and links to artists and jewelry dealers who donate to the Museum. I only display pieces I physically have in my collection…a plan which paid off this year as part of the collection went on display at the Kennedy Museum here in Ohio as part of a special exhibit :)

For More Information:

Photos courtesy DogJewelryMuseum.com

petties-title Please vote for DogTipper as Best Active Living Blog in the 2014 Petties!

If you enjoyed this article, please sign up to get our email updates (for free!)
About Paris Permenter

Paris Permenter is an award-winning author of over 30 pet and travel books. Along with her husband, John Bigley, Paris is the founder and publisher of CatTipper and DogTipper.

  • Mary

    Great article and the Dog Jewelry Museum is a labor of love! Beautiful pieces!

  • Dolli

    Really nice article. Lovely vintage figurals.