Best in Show Magazine USA • April 2021

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Best in Show

WE ARE

I have always wondered what it is that attracts people to take a

magazine, look at it, read it and continue to subscribe. If a magazine has beautiful photos, nice design, and amazing ads it is something that attracts all of us, but great content makes a reader pick up the magazine, open it up and read it. Great articles keep the reader looking forward to every issue.

What we have been trying to do is to bring something different to

our audience--interesting, well-written articles that are worth reading. In this edition you will be able to read amazing stories, articles and interviews including the Life of Mr. Frank Sabella (written by B. Bengston), an interview with Mrs. Peggy Beisel (by L. Grogan), Michelle Scott (L. Grogan), Two Icons (by M. Marshall), Crowned 100 • Tryst the Afghan (by M. Marshall and A. Tureen), interviews with one of the most famous Airedale Terrier and Kerry Blue Terrier breeders, Deep Smart Breeders (by. V. Huber). Along with reading this excellent content you will be able to enjoy exceptional photos of gorgeous dogs.

We would also like to hear any feedback from you, what do you

like and what to change about the magazine so we can work harder and make it better for you, our readers. Until the June issue. Stay safe.

JOVANA DANILOVIC Chief Editor

CHRISTIAN RANGEL Marketing Director

BISCREATIVE.COM Art Department

MARY MARSHALL, BO BENGTSON, LEE GROGAN ANNE TUREEN & CARLA IVANCIC Contributing Writers



INTERVIEW WITH JUDGE

PEGGY BEISEL

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CONTENT

INTERVIEW WITH HANDLER

FRANK SABELLA

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TWO ICONS

KENTUCKY & KENTUCKIANA

IN MEMORY OF

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MICHELLE SCOTT

SHOW REPORT

OCALA, FLORIDA

CROWNED 100

TRYST, THE AFGHAN



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CONTENT

MEET THE BREED

AIREDALE TERRIER

MEET THE BREED

INTERVIEW WITH J. HANDLER

KATELYN MEYERS

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KERRY BLUE TERRIER

VANDRA HUBER

DEEP SMART BREEDERS



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INTERVIEW WITH A JUDGE

Peggy PEGGY BEISEL Beisel by Lee Grogan

Old English Sheepdog opening my eyes to the world of pedigreed dog shows I wanted my own. I got an Tell us something about your beginning in dogs. How did you get involved in the world of pure-bred dog sports? When did you get your first dog and when did you start showing? I didn’t know dog shows existed until I was in high school. My sister got an Old English Sheepdog in 1971

Old English Sheepdog in 1974 from Frank and Louise Olszewski I had a part time job, and was in college at the time, but I finished her championship. You had some very famous mentors such as George Wart, Frank and Louise Olszewski. Please tell us more about those times.

and started showing. I would tag along to the dog shows

Mary and Bob Eldridge helped me a lot when starting

with her and got hooked very quickly. We always had

out. In the summer of 1977, I worked for George and

purebred dogs as house pets growing up, but after the

continued to for three years. George handled a lot of

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terrier breeds. I saw a Wire Fox Terrier while working for George and I fell in love. It was through George I met my husband, who (before we met) had Cairn and Scottish Terrier’s. He asked George to finish one of his dogs and that is how we met. When we married, we decided on breeding Wire Fox and Cairn Terriers, Our kennel name is a combination of both breeds name“Foxerin”. You started out as a handler of your own dogs first, and that led to a professional handling career. How did that happen? I started handling my first client dogs in 1981-82 and I specialized in terriers. I have handled Springer Spaniels and have won a Best in Show with an Affenpinscher. The very first toy group win I ever had was with an Affenpinscher. He went Best In Show that same day. I stopped handling professionally in 1996. My children got involved with sports and other school activities and I didn’t want to miss their childhood. Family always comes first in my book. What was your greatest achievement as a handler? Any national win or breed wins at the Garden or large shows with quality dogs entered are great achievements. One achievement that really stands out was with a Cairn Terrier, known as Tinman. I took him to Montgomery, and he won the breed from the veteran class. My son Patrick was there that day, he was in the seventh or eighth grade at the time. I will always remember on the day that Patrick said that he had a good feeling that Rusty (aka Tinman) was going to do well that day, and how right he was! He had such presence at that show, and won under a breeder judge, Mildred Bryant.

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My judging has taken me to almost every state in the U.S., I am missing five states to make up all 50. Outside of the USA some countries I have visited include, Venezuela, Colombia, Argentina, China, Philippines, Japan, South Korea, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Spain, Canada, Mexico, Ireland, and the UK. Tell us about some of your favorite judging assignments That is a difficult question to answer as each appointment brings with it some great memories. Some of my favorites that stand out was judging the 2010 Best in Show at Montgomery County, and the group 2 at Westminster Kennel Club. The AKC shows assignments are always fun, and to judge at any national is always an honor. When you decided to become breed specific with show

What are your favorite breeds to judge and why?

dogs what breed did you start out with?

Good dogs of any breed.

My first client was a Cairn Terrier breeder. She bred to

Do you prefer to judge at all breed or specialties?

one of our dogs at the time and produced a pretty dog and bitch. I showed them both, they were sired by my dog Calypso. My first group win when I started out was with an Airedale Terrier. When did you decide to become a judge and why? It was in 1996 when I stopped handling professionally. I started judging on a limited basis and only terriers.

Specialties for sure. Montgomery is always so special. Big shows such as Westminster Kennel Club and AKC attract quality entries across all breeds, which makes for amazing judging assignments. Lately all breed shows have been excellent. With less shows, more top dogs in each breed are going to the same shows which makes for interesting and exciting judging.

I planned my judging around my kids, as I mentioned

What are some of your most memorable moments judging

earlier. My family always came and always will come

at Westminster?

first. I no longer handled but judging kept me involved in the world of pedigreed dogs.

There have been many. From judging Best in Show and the groups to the first-time judging terrier breeds and

Where have some of your assignments taken you around

junior showmanship. Judging junior showmanship was

the country, and the world?

the toughest assignment I have had at Westminster. I judged juniors both days and found it so difficult to

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I NT ERVI EW W I T H JUDG E · PEG G Y BEISEL

select only two winners to go forward to the final. It is

handlers that have spent time learning as an apprentice

so fun to see juniors go on and do well in our sport.

and branch off from experienced and established

How do you think professional handlers have changed through the years? I think the equipment available has had a great impact on their change. They travel in huge rigs that enable

handlers. As I said earlier there are lots of great young and up and coming handlers. What is your perception of owner-handlers vs. professional handlers?

them to attend so many more shows and being on the

Truthfully, the handler does not matter to me, it’s all

road so much I can have an impact on the dogs and the

about judging the dogs in front of you and nothing else.

way in which they are presented. Years ago, handlers

I have no problem with professional handlers, they are

worked for other well-established handlers for a longer

accepting of their placings and I personally have had

period before going out on their own, Nowadays we see

no bad ring experiences. I in no way favor dogs that

others going out on their own so early without learning

professional handlers show over owner- handled dogs.

as an apprentice. Presentation has changed, dogs are

I do wish owners would look at professionals and learn

not always hand stripped as they traditionally should

from them. I think many can improve themselves and

be. I see more scissor marks and coloring of dogs that

their dogs just by watching some of the professionals.

I would not like to see and would not have seen in the

Sometimes professionals do have the better dogs, but

past. I do believe we have a great many young and

not always.

newer professional handlers that are doing a great job. What impresses you about the younger professional handlers in the show ring? I am really impressed when I hear of and see younger

What do you think about having Lyndhurst as the new venue for Westminster this year? I think it’s going to be very different. I hope WKC moves back to New York City for the historical factor,

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although I am sure that it will be fun to have the show at Lyndhurst. It is a beautiful venue! Organizers are working hard to ensure the show will be a success. I am sorry to be missing it. I have a judging assignment in Louisiana but as soon as I am finished judging I will be rushing back to my room to watch Westminster on tv. What international show is your favorite to judge? All overseas shows are an honor to judge. Some favorites include the big shows in Finland, Welsh Kennel Club in the UK, and judging the final of the UK’s Eukanuba Champion Stakes, where the winner traveled to the USA to represent the UK in the world challenge. I like to take in the culture of the country of the overseas show I judge, and every country brings something special. Who are some of your favorite dogs that you have judged over the years? Mick the Kerry Blue Terrier. Rufus the Bull Terrier I gave him the group 2 at the Garden, and Lincoln the smooth Brussels Griffon. What dog or dogs you would like to have judged or handled but did not? A white Standard Poodle by the name of Kiss Me Kate shown in the 70’s. The Alaskan Malamute Take No Prisoners who won the group at the Garden one year. Is there a breeder who’s dogs you seem to find in judging by their breed type? It happens to me often that I find the type in my ring that I favor and later am told that the winning dog is related to a dog I put up some weeks, months or even years ago, all bred by the same breeder. I like when this happens, it’s always nice to find out after judging.


I NT ERVI EW W I T H JUDG E · PEG G Y BEISEL

Is there a breed you would judge all day long if given the

thought one day I would be breeder, doors opened to

opportunity?

become a handler, and everything progressed. I never

Just good dogs, it doesn’t matter about the breed. If the dogs are good specimens of their breed, I am happy.

thought about being a handler or a judge, but natural progression took over. I never looked back; it has been a great ride. I have met so many wonderful people

Are there any shows that you have not yet judged that

through dogs, I even met my husband. Dogs have taken

you would like to officiate?

me places I have never imagined I would visit; they have

I think it would be fun to judge every terrier breed national. I have judged quite a few, I would compare it

given me great friendships all over the world. Dogs are amazing.

to visiting every state in the USA as a goal. Any breed national I am invited to judge is a huge honor in my opinion. What breed/breeds do you have now? We have two Bull Terriers: a young male and a veteran girl. Do you still breed and show your own dogs? We stopped breeding Wire Fox Terriers in the late 90’s, and our last litter of Cairn Terriers was bred 15 years ago. I do show my own dogs occasionally, mostly at specialties. I have taken the Bull Terrier’s to specialties and handle them myself. Our female was awarded best veteran bitch at a specialty not long ago. Are there any breeds you would like to own that you have not already owned in the past? Manchester Terrier and Staffordshire Bull Terriers. My son has a Beauceron, they are a great breed. What are your closing thoughts looking back on your life as a judge, breeder, and dog show competitor? It has been an interesting ride. When I started out, I just wanted to learn about how to take care of dogs, I

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I N T E RV I E W W I T H H A N D L E R

MICHELLE Scott

Hi Michelle, thank you for taking the time to answer the following questions for Best in Show magazine. Please tell us, how did you get involved in dogs? My mother arrived from Switzerland in her early 20’s on a work visa and she met my father shortly there after. They together had a love for dogs and as a young child my earliest memories were of my father’s security agency with security

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I NT ERVI EW W I T H HANDLER · MICHELLE SCOTT

guards and their trained guard dogs. So my initial involvement was caring for German Shepherds and Dobermans that were used by the agency as well as the local police force for apprehending suspects. Fast forward from there my mother loved collies and began assisting a famous breeder (Lynn Butler, Milas Collies) with the care of the dogs and whelping litters. That was the foundation that then led my family into the world of show dogs! We had a few Collies we showed but in due time my mother decided to dive back into her Swiss heritage and Bernese Mountain Dogs entered our lives. My mom much preferred being home and raising dogs as opposed to showing them. My dad tried his hand at showing as well and it was not for him either. For me-- I loved it! That was the beginning. Who were your mentors when starting out in the sport of dogs? And how do you feel about mentoring newcomers? My first mentor was John Horan, a local handler that showed my parent’s dogs. Others included Shirley

and I have experienced the gratitude people have for the time spent helping them, even as simple as a kind word of encouragement, just like Gretchen offered me all those years ago. Do you remember your first BIS win?

Boxer, Ross and Carol Petruzzo, Gwen DeMilta, Bruce

My first best in show was with Ch. De-Li’s Standing

and Gretchen Schultz and Norma Smith. These were

Ovation our homebred Bernese Mountain Dog. The

the people at the very beginning that taught me and

judge was Melbourne Downing and I remember him

inspired me! As I sit and think about the people and

telling me he gave Peter Green his first best in show

experiences that helped create who I am today I always

as well many years before. I always remember that

remember a trip to Oklahoma/Alabama with my mom

conversation and at the time wondering what my future

and our Bernese Mountain Dog. Gretchen Schultz was

might hold.

there as well with a Bernese and every day she won best of breed and I did not. She made a point to come to my mother and I to say “keep up the good work.” Because

What made you decide to become a professional handler? What career other than dogs would you pursue?

of her kindness and encouragement I went to California

Becoming a professional handler was never a clear cut

several times to work for Bruce and Gretchen. The time

decision on my part. I definitely enjoyed showing dogs

I spent with them (and the learning experience) I would

but never did I say “I want to be a handler,” and yet I

not trade for anything. Mentoring newcomers is so

did not have other ideas of what I wanted to do with

important. Mentoring comes in so many different forms

my life. I did go to college and completed my degree

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in public relations while showing dogs every weekend.

Carlee she was a well oiled machine. She always knew

The only time I considered another career path was

her job and did it well. However her night to sparkle

after winning Best in Show with Josh at Westminster KC

was completely the opposite from Josh in terms of how

(2004). At that time I was exploring the idea of going to

she handled the noise and lights. She soaked up each

school to become a dog chiropractor. My reason was I

moment without any help from me. She had a beautiful

could not imagine being a single woman handler on the

arrogance as she planted her “stack heard around the

road all the time.

world.”

You have had many remarkable wins in your career but

Although you show many breeds, you are well-known

two very special ones--BIS at Westminster Kennel Club

as a handler of working and sporting dogs. How did you

dog show in 2004 and 2005. Can you tell us about that

become interested in these particular groups?

experience? Please share with us the story of Josh and Carlee.

Working dogs have always been my strength. Maybe just because my family breed is Bernese Mountain Dogs.

Winning Westminster KC back to back with Josh

From the beginning Rottweilers and Dobermans were

(Newfoundland, 2004) and Carlee (German Shorthaired

breeds that I was involved with simply by coincidence. I

Pointer, 2005) was incredible! Josh had the experience

am very comfortable with working dogs and can relate

of Madison Square Garden from the previous year and

to their temperaments and sensitivities. Sporting dogs-

we knew I had to keep him focused and grounded.

-when I was young I wanted a Gordon Setter. I never

The spotlights and noise of the evening was a lot for

did end up owning one but I worked with a breeder

a “gentle giant” to deal with. So much positive energy

and I showed her dogs (best of breed WKC Ch. Valley

went into each moment of that night and he shined! For

View’s Wiseguy) to some nice wins over the years. I

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I NT ERVI EW W I T H HANDLER · MICHELLE SCOTT

have also been involved in Weimaraners (several were

For me my passion is training and conditioning. Michael

number one in the breed rankings and best in show

is the groomer in our family. Physical conditioning of

winners). For about 13 years I have had the privilege to

a sporting dog versus a working dog is more intense.

show the top winning Wirehaired Pointing Griffon (Ch.

Working dogs, especially the large boned and more

Fireside Spontaneous Combustion) and have shown

bulky dogs, need more low impact and less regimented

several Chesapeake Bay Retrievers to top rankings in

workouts. One has to be very careful about the joints

their breed (including national specialty winner Ch.

on large working dogs. Things like free play and water

Chesabar’s Pawprints In The Sand). It is curious how we

treadmill are excellent options. Sporting dogs can

all get connected with certain breeds and have a strong

benefit from a more regimented exercise plan as well

involvement with them over the years.

as free play.

You make a team with your husband Michael, who is also

We know that your personal pets are Chihuahuas. Please

a handler. How long have you been working together and

tell us about them and what makes them special? Do you

do you consider that being with someone who shares the

have any other dogs of your own?

same passion and job makes your work easier?

I love Chihuahuas. Muffin my 11-year-old was the first

Michael and I have been together nearly 20 years now.

Chihuahua I ever showed. He in quirky to say the least

Definitely working together makes our job easier. We

and he has been with me for about eight years. Louie is

are better as a team and we both have our strong points.

nine and also a retired show dog. For us it is easy to have

As I said above without a partner I’m not sure I would

little dogs as pets. We have just the two and they hang

have devoted my life to handling.

out on the front seat when we are on the road. They do

How do you decide on who is going to campaign a dog? How is it to compete against each other? Because each of us have different strengths it has always worked out easily figuring out who is the right match for which dog. With that being said there have been a few dogs in our past that began with one of us and it turned out the other was better suited. We are a team and never are competing against each other. No doubt that is a great attribute and I feel as though it is something our clients really value about us. Would you say that you take a different approach when conditioning and training a working dog compared to a sporting dog? Please share with our readers some advice on conditioning a show dog.

not take up any room that is reserved for a show dog. They are very portable and super cute.


I NT ERVI EW W I T H HA NDLER · MICHELLE SCOTT

the least? What I love the most about my job is conditioning,training, and socializing. Beginning with the development of puppies--I love being part of breeding programs, working closely with each new generation, and bringing along the “special ones” all the way through a specials career. I love making people happy and bringing them joy when their dogs succeed. I love all the interesting people I meet showing dogs. The least favorite part of my job is the long tiring days. The alarm going off at 4:45 on show days is getting harder each year. What is your handling philosophy? My handling philosophy is positive energy and make Which breed would you have if you did not have Chihuahuas? I love all breeds so I cannot easily say if not for a

it fun. Pretty simple. Also practice a lot and make sure dogs are in top condition. Do you have a favorite show?

Chihuahua what other breed I would have. Honestly I

Without a doubt the Westminster Kennel Club is my

cannot imagine any other breed instead of a Chihuahua.

favorite show!

Please name three dogs of the past that you admire (not

What do you think about Lyndhurst as the new venue

shown or owned by you).

for Westminster this year?

Three dogs from the past I admire: Ch. Nanukes Take No

Lyndhurst Estate is an excellent alternative for

Prisoners, Ch. Royal Tudors Wild as the Wind and Ch.

Westminster Kennel Club. Such trying times due to

Torums Scarf Michael.

Covid and the WKC members have been working

Are you superstitious? Do you have any special habits with your top dogs?

endlessly to make sure WKC is special no matter what curve ball is thrown at them. I am one of the lucky ones that has fond memories of shows on those grounds and

I am not a superstitious. No special habits except each

am very excited to be back for this special event. While

dog has its own special things like leash, brush, cooler.

I love New York City, it will be a lot easier to attend the

I’m not sure that is being superstitious or rather having

show outside the city.

a routine. What part of your job do you like the most and what part

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What is your greatest concern regarding the sport? If you could, what would you change in the dog world?


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I NT ERVI EW W I T H HANDLER · MICHELLE SCOTT

Two of greatest concerns about the sport are first

Michael and I love to travel. Seeing and experiencing

many of the great breeding kennels are gone. In

the world is our passion. Our motto is “work hard to

current times those type kennels are frowned upon

play hard”. So while we are very busy with our job we

(dog legislation) and I feel as though quality in a lot of

do take time off. I believe life should have balance.

breeds has suffered. I see more “hobby breeders” that results in not seeing breeding programs reflected in the ring where you can immediately recognize what

What advice would you give to young people who aspire to become professional handlers?

lines the dog is from. My second concern is more dog

My advise to anyone wanting to be a professional

fanciers need to give back. I wish everyone involved

handler is first and foremost expect to work hard.

in dog shows would be part of a club and be an active

Michael always says it best, “professionals in any

participant. I find people are ready to criticize because

job that are successful put in long hours and work

they are misinformed. Especially over the last year

hard.” Secondly, never undercut yourself or sell

dealing with Covid and so many show cancellations.

yourself short. Your time and effort has value. Third,

Is there anything in life that you would like to do other than being involved with dogs?

keep balance in your life. Balance work and pleasure. Fourth, live life in the present but save to prepare for the future and have a rainy day fund. Last advice

Being involved with dogs has given me a very good

I would give is that customer service and customer

life and I feel very blessed to be able to do what I love.

relations are essential.

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FRANK A ROCKSTAR

in dogs

Frank

by Bo Bengtson

Frank Sabella, who died on February 14 at the age of 91, was as close to a rock star

as we will ever have in the dog world. Deservedly, much space has been devoted to reminiscenses of how brilliant this man was, but I think it’s nearly impossible for anyone who did not grow up in dogs in the second half of the 1900s to understand how deeply Frank influenced all of us — not just handlers, Poodle people, or in the United States, but all dog people.

To that end I would like to recap his life history, with a few personal

anecdotes. Much of the following comes from when I interviewed Frank in 2003. This was published in the 568-page February-March 2004 Annual issue of Dogs in Review, which ceased publication in 2017. Frank grew up in New York and had no association with dogs in his early years.

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on her and later took her to Annie, who finished her

Sabella

pretty quickly. Annie also helped Frank decide what male to breed her to: the ensuing litter included several champions, including the black Ch. Pavillon Baldassare, whom Frank brought with him when he moved to California a couple of years later.

Frank was a dancer by profession and not

able to get seriously involved in dogs yet. He must have

1962-1963 Ch. Tedwins Top Billing

been quite good: he had a scholarship to the School of American Ballet, but did not stay for a career in classical dance. Instead, he and two partners formed a small dance troupe that performed in night clubs across America and Europe. They were very successful, got a contract at Lido in Paris for a year and a half, and then danced their way across the American continent until they got to Moulin Rouge on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles, where Frank decided to stay and retire as a dancer.

Tom and Ann Stevenson, the couple who

were later behind Santa Barbara Kennel Club show in its heyday, were just getting married and moving out of Los Angeles, so Tom was selling his dog-grooming salon. Frank bought it, and forever after credited his success

1967 Sabella KR Annual 1969

as a handler to Tom’s advice that he would go crazy if

He bought his first Poodle, a Standard, from an ad in

he ONLY groomed pets, so maybe he should try to be a

the New York Times, and showed her mainly because

professional handler also …

the dog’s breeder asked him to. The first dog show that

Frank had already learned a lot about clipping and

Frank went to was the Poodle Club of America in 1953,

showing Poodles from Annie Clark back East. The

where his bitch, shown by a professional handler he had

first mention I can find of Frank in Kennel Review,

been told to use, was third in a class of three. However,

the magazine that Frank was to be closely associated

at the show Frank watched a girl who handled several

with (it ceased publication in the 1990s) was a full-

dogs and seemed to have a natural affinity with them.

page advertisement in 1956, showing Frank going

That girl turned out to be Anne Rogers Clark, who told

Best of Variety as a breeder-owner-handler with the

him that his bitch was not in condition to be shown

“magnificent” Baldassare at Glendale Kennel Club

yet. On her advice he brought the bitch home, worked

under judge O. C. Harriman. Baldassare was advertised

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A L EGEND · FRANK SABELLA

1987 Westminster Non-Sporting Group, Frank studying black Standard Poodle Ch. Longleat G. Willikers.

at stud with three Group Firsts, nine Group Seconds and

country’s top winning Non-Sporting Dog and among

21 Best of Variety … but much more was to come.

the Top Ten of all breeds in 1961.

Things moved fast. Only a year later there

At a Poodle specialty where Ernie Ferguson

was an 11-page section in Kennel Review for the

judged and Frank watched, Annie Clark won Best Puppy

“Licensed A.K.C. Handler” Frank T. Sabella. His first

with a white Miniature that Frank really liked. Col.

important client was Col. Ernest Ferguson, who had

Ferguson subsequently bought him, and after starting

been a successful exhibitor of Great Danes and Poodles

to win back East with Annie, Ch. Tedwin’s Top Billing

in the 1930s and ‘40s, and was ready to start showing

came to Frank in California. He had the kind of show

again. He provided Frank with his first top special, a

career you dream of: in 1962 he won 31 Non-Sporting

brown Miniature Poodle sent out by Annie Clark from

Groups and was BIS 21 times — an exceptionally high

the East Coast: Ch. Cappoquin Bon Jongleur. “Charlie

ratio. In 1963 he won even more: 37 Groups and 25 BIS.

Brown” won at least a dozen BIS in California, was top

Top Billing was top dog of all breeds in 1962 and runner-

Poodle in the U.S. and No. 2 Non-Sporting dog in 1959.

up in 1963 (defeated that year only by the Boxer Ch.

The following two years another of Frank’s charges,

Treceder’s Painted Lady, handled by Joe Gregory, who is

the white Ch. Estid Ballet Dancer, won 25 BIS, was the

still an AKC judge).

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1. With Ch. Frederick of Rencroft at Westminster 1967. 2. Group winner Westminster 1972, Pem Welsh Corgi Ch. Nebriowa Bobbi Sox. 3. Best in Show Pekingese 1962, Ch. St Aubrey Seminole of Wanstrow. 4. Cover Kennel Review 1969, Ch. De Russy Lollipop.

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5. Awarding BIS to Smooth Fox Terrier Ch. Ttarb The Brat, top Terrier 1980-1981. 6. With Beth Sweigart and AKC National Championship BIS 2003, Norfolk Terrier Ch. Cracknor Cause Celebre. 7. Cover Kennel Review 1958, Italian Greyhound Ch. Winterlea Piero. 8. Saluki Ch. Jen Araby Mumtaz Mahal (“Kitten”).

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A L EGEND · FRANK SABELLA

SHOWING ALL BREEDS

coat that show Poodles had in the 1950s and early ‘60s

Although Frank was primarily associated with

was enormous, ridiculously so by modern standards,

Poodles, he showed all breeds. He had a soft spot for

but Frederick was eventually presented in shorter

Italian Greyhounds and was on a 1958 cover of Kennel

hair. “People really took notice and decided that’s how

Review with the imported Ch. Winterlea Piero, bred

Poodles were going to look,” said Frank. Later, cutting

in England but with parents from Italy. The larger

off of hair went to extremes, probably supported by

Greyhounds were Frank’s favorite breed, even more

Frank’s saying, “I don’t think you can ever cut off too

so than Poodles: he told me that if he could only have

much!” — but he qualified that by saying that “The only

one dog, it would be a Greyhound. (Possibly the lack of

problem I have is when people have these really tightly

coat and grooming had something to do with it.) Frank

scissored mane coats and then leave this ridiculously

showed several top Greyhounds and later, after retiring

long topknot and ears. It lacks balance!”

from professional handling, he imported a Greyhound

What were the reasons for Frank Sabella’s

from Norway: Ch. Dogcastle’s Panda With Feather, a

success? A talent for grooming and handling certainly

Best in Show-winner in the U.S., owner-handled by

helped, but it was combined with a strong work ethic,

Frank. (Panda did not produce any puppies, however,

lots of energy, good assistants (Frank gave a lot of

and later went to live with Gloria Reese.) Frank was also

credit to Donna Young, Gary Wittmeier and Mike Shea),

very fond of Afghan Hounds and showed several top

plus a real knack for getting his clients to let him take

winners, including Ch. Gandhi of Lakoya, the exotic

care of the careers of his show dogs without too much

Ch. Sahadi Shikari and Ch. High Ho’s Moon Majesty

interference. Frank’s handling style was, according to

O’Bahara.

both himself and many spectators, quite different from

But it was, of course, mostly with Poodles that

that of his idol, Anne Rogers Clark. According to Frank,

Frank’s claim to greatness lay. In 1965 he was passed

she had this “innate ability to almost disappear when

by the Kennel Club in London to judge Poodles at a

she’s showing a dog,” but Frank was much showier. He

championship show there, even though he was not yet

credited his background in dancing with having a sense

an AKC judge. He put up an almost unknown dog from

of timing, a rapport with the dog, knowing how fast or

a little-known kennel: I think Frederick of Rencroft

slow a certain dog should be moved. In addition to this,

became an English Champion later, but he reached a

he said, “I had learned from Annie the way she set the

peak of winning after Frank brought him over to the

dogs up in the ring and then stood back and made it look

U.S. Frederick became an AKC champion by going Best

like the dog stood on its own … I took that and made it

in Show three times from the classes, and was top dog

my own in a different way — I think that helped me a

of all breeds in 1966 with 26 BIS. (He was also famously

lot.”

defeated in the breed at Westminster that year, but

that’s a different story …)

In 1969 Frank again handled the No. 1 dog of

all breeds — the third time in nine years that he won

Frank and Frederick are credited with affecting

this award. The winner was the black Standard Poodle

a change in how Poodles were presented. The amount of

Ch. De Russy Lollipop, outstanding in many ways but

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A L EGEND · FRANK SABELLA

The situation was even less favorable for other

breeds. When Frank won e.g. the Hound Group with an Afghan Hound or with the Saluki Ch. Jen Araby Mumtaz Mahal (“Kitten,” another of Frank’s all-time favorites), he often also won the Non-Sporting Group with a Poodle — and usually had to show the Poodle for BIS. Kitten only won a single BIS; Frank claimed that she deserved far more, and that he had a difficult time winning with Shikari, who won most of his BIS with Jack Funk in the Midwest.

Having admired Frank’s handling from

ringside during an earlier visit to California, it was a privilege to travel to shows with him and his assistants 2017 Last Best in Show

exemplifying what Frank saw as a problem with being a professional with a large string of winning dogs. The focus necessarily had to be on the top winner, and Frank felt that some worthy dogs he had didn’t get the recognition they deserved. The prime Poodle example was the black Miniature Ch. Tranchant Annabelle, one

shortly before Frank retired as a professional handler. I had thoughts of becoming a professional handler, but seeing close up the work that was involved made me decide that I would definitely not become one … All I knew of handlers in those days was what I had seen on photos in magazines: silver trophies and colorful ribbons, well-groomed dogs and handlers wearing nice

of Frank’s favorite show dogs ever. Annabelle had a wonderful career by most standards, won BIS at Santa Barbara Kennel Club twice, but “only” won eight BIS during her peak years. Several others could have won a lot more: the silver Miniature Ch. Starfire Dancing Master (nine BIS in 1965 but retired to give way for Frederick); the black Standards Ch. Acadia Xzaari, Ch. Bel Tor Black Helen and Ch. Bel Tor Come Hither, all BIS winners. (This did not apply to Ch. Haus Brau Executive of Acadia, however, a pivotal stud dog who introduced a “new” kind of showmanship to black Standards: his owner just didn’t want to part with her dog very often. Frank respected that and showed “Zec” when he could, resulting in a few BIS every year for several years in a row.)

Awarding an early BIS (1979/1980?) to Standard Poodle Ch. Rimskittle Ruffian

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jackets and broad smiles for the camera. The reality of

professional handlers to take a break after retiring (six

the grueling and unglamorous work that Frank and his

months? a year? I can’t remember); for another, Frank

assistants performed when the show was over, breaking

had many other interests that had been neglected

down the set-up, loading the car and driving to a new

during his years as a professional handler.

show site — it was all new to me. (Exercising the dogs I

STARTING TO JUDGE

could deal with.)

And the rest of the world kept calling! Frank

I think that at that time Frank was already

had already judged in England and went back many

showing a Poodle named Ch. Tally Ho Tiffany. She was

times; he judged the Poodle Club centenary show there

one of several glamorous white Miniatures that Frank

with Annie Clark and Ann Stevenson. He also officiated

was responsible for. Tally Ho won at least 16 BIS, was

at shows in both Australia and Sweden prior to

top Non-Sporting Dog and one of the country’s Top Ten

becoming an AKC judge. Later, he judged worldwide and

of all breeds in 1971.

At this point Frank himself was tired. He was

a professional handler for less than 20 years, a shorter time than most, but he had experienced great success and worked hard during those years, always carrying a large string of usually coated dogs and keeping them in perfect condition. Only one big win had escaped him — Best in Show at Westminster — and when he won that, too, in February of 1973, there was no reason to continue. The winner, Ch. Acadia Command Performance, was one of the most spectacular Standard Poodles Frank had ever seen in his life, but he also felt that he had absolutely no control over him in the ring … “Bart” was a very headstrong dog: when he wanted to behave he was wonderful, but often he didn’t, and then there was nothing that even Frank could do. At Westminster he chose not to behave, but won anyway. It was not a popular win with the spectators: there were loud boos from ringside …

Later that year, Frank retired from professional

handling, ending one of the most successful chapters of American dog show history. That he would be a brilliant judge was a foregone conclusion, but he did not start AKC judging right away. For one thing, AKC required 1972 Kennel Review Annual

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3

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1. Judging the Toy Group Westminster 1998, Toy Poodle Ch. Dignity of Jewely House Yoko. 2. Showing the Afghan Hound Ch. Gandhi of Lakoya, ca. 1960. 3. Awarding BIS to Wire Fox Terrier Ch. Galsul Excellent, No. 1 All Breeds 1986, 1987. 4. Kennel Review Annual 1969. 5. Escorted into the Afghan Hound Club of America 1995 by Fran Reisman. In the background Dave Frei. 6. With his Greyhound Ch. Dogcastle’s Panda With Feather. 7. Judging the Poodle Club of America 1985: BOB Ch. Valhalla’s Jaquelyn.

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of Breed. The next weekend Frank judged Afghans at a Sighthound specialty where his traveling companion, Mrs. Godsol, came out of retirement to judge BIS and put up the young Afghan Hound bitch that Frank had awarded Best of Breed.

(I still believe that Frank was the first

American to judge in Sweden, but as my friend Geir Flyckt-Pedersen pointed out in Dog News, this was not Frank’s first visit to Sweden. He judged a Poodle Ch. Tally Ho Tiffany 1970-71.

was considered one of the most brilliant ambassadors for American dogdom.

At that first visit to Australia Frank was

expected to judge large entries of breeds he was not entirely comfortable with, so he took a crash course, courtesy of Beatrice Godsol, whose judging Frank had always admired. She was nearing the end of a distinguished judging career but will be forever remembered for having the intestinal fortitude of awarding a politically incorrect but widely admired Best in Show at Westminster in 1957 to a young and then little-known Afghan Hound, the legendary Ch. Shirkhan of Grandeur.

The crash course must have worked: they loved

Frank in Australia! In Sweden the reception was equally enthusiastic. I lived there then and was instrumental in bringing Frank over; I can still remember hearing the Poodle girls in the hotel room next to mine grooming dogs when I went to bed the night before the show, and they were still at it when I got up the next morning … Ringside watching Frank’s judging was several spectators deep, and the Puppy Dog class winner that he really liked was completely re-trimmed, according to Frank’s instructions, before coming back to win Best

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specialty in Stockholm a few months earlier, which I do not remember, even when confronted with my own write-up of the show. It was nearly 50 years ago …)

It may come as a surprise to many that Frank

was never AKC-approved to judge all breeds. This was partly his own choice. He first asked to be approved for just four breeds — Poodles, Italian Greyhounds, Pekingese and Afghan Hounds — and credited AKC’s Len Brumby with saying that he could certainly get a whole Group right away, but that it would be wiser to just start with a few breeds. By 1977 Frank was approved to judge the entire Toy Group, Standard Manchester Terriers in the Terrier Group, and Bichons Frisés and Chow Chows in the Non-Sporting Group.

More than 40 years later, in the 2018 edition

of AKC Judges Directory, published after Frank’s last assignment, he was still listed as approved for “only” four Groups — Hounds, Terriers, Toys and Non-Sporting — plus a dozen breeds in the Sporting Group, a half-dozen Working breeds and Welsh Corgis (Pembroke and Cardigan) in the Herding Group. One wonders why AKC did not automatically approve Frank to judge all breeds, or convince him to apply, but the fact is that although he enjoyed judging and officiated at some of the most prestigious shows worldwide, Frank did not WANT to judge all breeds. As he said in


A L EGEND · FRANK SABELLA

2003, “The more I judge, the more I find that I want to

America 16 times, including Best of Breed four times.

judge just the breeds that I like.”

(He officiated for Standards seven times, always

Frank awarded BIS at Westminster in 1990

with more than 200 entries, 422 in 2000 and 414 in

to the Pekingese Ch. Wendessa Crown Prince, but

2006.) Between 1998 and 2017 Frank judged 23 Parent

although there were some famous winners among his

Club specialties, including the Bichon Frise Club of

finalists, he was a rather disappointed with his line-up.

America three times and the Yorkshire Terrier Club

With typical candor, he said that “It seems like all my

of America, the Dalmatian Club of America, the Silky

favorites that year got beaten in the breed or in the

Terrier Club of America, the Italian Greyhound Club

Group.” In 2003 he judged the AKC/Eukauba National

of America and the Greyound Club of America twice

Championship and found his BIS winner in the Norfolk

each.

Terrier, UK & Am. Ch. Cracknor Cause Celebre, top dog

of all breeds that year.

On July 16, 2017, Frank awarded Best in Show

at an AKC show for the last of what must have been

To list all Frank’s assignments as a judge

more than a hundred times. (There’s no way to tell,

would require far too much space. A print-out of the

since AKC unfortunately deletes all records of decased

AKC shows listed under “Past Assignments” for him

judges’ assignments.) His last BIS ribbon went to the

in the Judges Directory would be 438 pages — and

Borzoi, Int. Ch. & Am. GCh. Belisarius JP My Sassy Girl,

that Directory only takes you back to 1998, so there

imported from Japan and top Hound that year.

are no records of the first 20-plus years of Frank’s

So ended one of the most brilliant careers

AKC judging. However, I have been able to figure out

ever in dogs. There will never be another like Frank,

that he judged at Westminster 16 times and the AKC

but I hope that the accompanying photographs,

National Championship (started in 2001) seven times.

selecred from several hundred that I have of “the rock

But even more than these shows, Frank

enjoyed speclalties. He judged at the Poodle Club of

star of dogs” in action, will give some idea of the huge impact that Frank Sabella had. Frank Sabella at PCA 1991. Photo Paul Lepiane.


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L O UI S VI L L E, TWO ICONS

LOUISVILLE Two icons The Kentucky Derby & The Kentuckiana Cluster by Mary Marshall

The skyline of Louisville, Kentucky rises to meet the rugged foothills that lead into the valley that claims the Ohio River as her benefactor. Louisville, Kentucky’s largest city and metro area with over a million inhabitants, is well known for its colorful festivals, bourbon, basketball, baseball, and first and foremost the Kentucky Derby. Within the expansion of this burgeoning border town near the Indiana state line there is also another event that is well known to dog show lovers throughout the country; the Kentuckiana Cluster that takes place in early to mid-March. Louisville, with its spectacular culture and renowned history, also has a unique pronunciation of Lou-uh-vull—based on local jargon that has remained the “correct” pronunciation from a state-wide perspective. The city was named after the French King Louis XVI, who might have a little something to say about the pronunciation if he was around to dispute it.

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L O UI S VI LLE, TWO ICONS

There are few sporting events with the history and popularity of the Kentucky Derby held at historic Churchill Downs in the heart of downtown Louisville on the first Saturday in May. The rich traditions that transcend into a celebration of southern culture make it a true icon of Americana. Sipping a mint julep, wearing a spectacular hat, and joining in song singing “My Old Kentucky Home” with fellow sporting patrons as the threeyear-old super star Thoroughbreds parade to the post unite people from all over the world as racing fans for a day. The Derby, nicknamed the Run for the Roses due to the garland of red roses presented to the winning horse, hosted its inaugural running in 1875. It is the longest continuously running sporting event in the United States and without fail has produced “the most exciting two minutes in sports” without interruption even during The Great Depression, World War I and II, and most recently the pandemic when the Derby was held on September 5, 2020. Since it’s inception, the Kentucky Derby has drawn horse racing fans, Hollywood stars, sports heroes, and the common man under the shadows of the iconic Twin Spires atop Churchill Downs to watch the greatest Thoroughbreds in the sport of kings compete for the first jewel in the American Triple Crown. This year the Derby will be held on schedule on May 1, and the Kentucky Oaks for three-yearold fillies on April 30. The Kentucky Derby’s colorful history began in 1872 when Meriwether Lewis Clark, a grandson of famed explorer William Clark (of Lewis and Clark fame), traveled to Europe and attended the Epsom

Derby in England and the Grand Prix de Paris at Longchamp Racecourse. Clark was determined to create a race just as astounding as the Epsom Derby. He engaged the help of his Uncles John and Henry Churchill, whom Churchill Downs was named after, and they gifted Clark the land he needed to build his dream racetrack that officially opened on May 17, 1875. Clark and a group of racing investors, including the Earl of Derby and

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L O UI S VI L L E, TWO ICONS

If the pageantry of the Kentucky Derby is all about horses, tradition, and the road to the Triple Crown it is all about the dogs with the kickoff of the Kentuckiana Cluster hosted by the Louisville Kennel Club for two weeks in March. At the beginning of the first week of the cluster, dog owners and handlers from all over the country, as well as internationally, come rolling into the Kentucky Fair and Exposition Center parking lot in their RVs and vans, unloading their crates, pens, shop vacuums, grooming tables, and most importantly their beloved dogs. The parking lot is packed, and the parade of breeds begins early in the morning, as the owners and handlers bring their dogs out to walk, check out the scenery, and enjoy a little down time before the competition begins.

Sir Charles Bunbury, christened the race the Kentucky Derby after the prestigious Derby in England. It could have very easily been called the Kentucky Bunbury, had it not been for a discussion with the Earl who conscientiously voted for “Derby.” The first running of the Kentucky Derby was won by Aristides who bested fourteen other starters over the 1 ½ mile race in front of 10,000 cheering spectators. Somehow Kentucky Bunbury just doesn’t have the same punch as Kentucky Derby and the rest is history.

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The cluster not only features all-breed dogs shows, a wide array of breed specialties, but also agility trials, obedience competition, dock diving, rally, and barn hunt trials. Before the sun rises the whirl of blow dryers sends clumps of just trimmed hair flying, dogs are being stacked, prepped, and primed and added into the mix is a continuous hum of conversation, barks, and whines. It is the colorful spectacle that is the Kentuckiana cluster hosting four days of all-breed conformation shows hosted by local kennel clubs, and a wide array of additional events and specialties for every breed of dog imaginable. The Mid-Kentucky Kennel Club, Evansville Kennel Club, and Greater Louisville Training Club all host their own respective show during the event.


Photo • BIS at Louisville Kennel Club’s 100th anniversary show in 1986, Saluki Ch. Karim Al Zahab, handled by Eugene Blake for owner Julie Mueller (right). The judge was Robert Waters, Canada. Photo by Kim Booth from Bo Bengtson’s archives.

Inside the Expo Center the handlers and owners dodge around the rows of kennels as hundreds of purebred dogs of nearly every breed are prepared for competition. Scurrying about and working under time constraints, the assistants and handlers busily prep their charges on the grooming table, practice their show runs down the tightly packed aisles, and assess the competition. The four-day conformation show begins on the first Thursday of the event and is held in the Expo Center’s West Wing, West Hall, and the Pavilion. A wide array of vendor booths offering everything from show leads to pet massage encircle the vast show rings on the interior of the Expo Center. There is an event, a breed, or a service available for every dog lover at the Kentuckiana Cluster. The conformation show, which was first held

by the Louisville Kennel Club in November of 1915, is a prestigious event that rivals the famed Westminster Kennel Club show as far as entries are concerned. In previous years the cluster has featured anywhere from 3,200 to 4,000 dogs per day on Saturday and Sunday. It is run like a welloiled machine with specific times for each breed to strut their stuff in the breed ring under many of the same prestigious judges that also judge Westminster. The show can be overwhelming to a first-time attendee, but unlike the confines of New York City, the vast show grounds of the Expo Center and ease of access off the highway provide a much more convenient and relaxing venue for participants. The show is a family friendly event that provides a great opportunity for learning about a wide variety of dog breeds, and what it takes to be a dog handler at the top of their game.

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L O UI S VI L L E, TWO ICONS

Last year it appeared as though the Kentuckiana Cluster would go off as normal even as the growing cancellations of public events during the Covid-19 pandemic escalated. State officials warned the public to avoid large gatherings and practice social distancing, but the dog show went on as planned during Thursday and Friday. The 1500-plus participants from throughout the U.S. had expectations that the show would continue through the weekend, but it all changed later in the afternoon on Friday when show organizers made the announcement to cancel the remaining two days of the show. Within 48 hours the expansive wing of the Expo Center had nearly cleared out. Crews dismantled the white fencing that sectioned off the rings, and a few remaining vendors packed up their wares and loaded up for the journey home. Handlers packed up dogs, crates, and gear into awaiting RVs with a mixture of sadness, apprehension, and concern. What did the future hold? Amid the growing pandemic dog show cancellations escalated throughout the country during 2020. The Louisville Cluster, for safety concerns, was also cancelled in 2021 but the show is scheduled for March 18-22, 2022 with a renewed sense of optimism for the future. Like the Kentucky Derby, the Louisville Kennel Club is steeped in history, and has rarely had to alter the scheduled event. It was founded in 1886 and incorporated in 1894. The first recorded dog show in Louisville was held in 1883 on the site of the present-day St. James Court as a feature

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of the Southern Exposition, which was a World’s Fair type of event opened by then U.S. President Chester Arthur on August 1 of that year. The dog show was lit with 4,600 lamps and may possibly have been the first dog show held under electricity. The American Kennel Club’s oldest catalog lists the Louisville Kennel Club show to be held on May 9-12 in 1894. That event took place at the Legion Armory located on 741 South Seventh Street, and the catalogs cost 15 cents. Thirty-three breeds were entered plus miscellaneous. During this era traveling to a dog show was quite a feat if you didn’t live within the area and most competitors arrived by train. The first Louisville Kennel Association held it’s first all-breed show on November 23-27, 1915, and the club was elected to the American Kennel Club the following year. The Kentucky State Fair Dog Club, along with the Kentucky State Fair, hosted the shows from 1918-1922. The AKC was eventually notified by the Fair Board that the KSFDC had nothing to do with the fair. As a result, the AKC changed the name to the Louisville Kennel Club on August 23, 1922. The Louisville Kennel Club held it’s 100th show on February 25, 1979 and it’s 100th anniversary show on March 16, 1986. Louisville’s unique southern hospitality is reflected in the Kentuckiana Cluster and Kentucky Derby, both unique events that will continue to thrive into the future and offer pedigreed dog enthusiasts and horsemen throughout the country a venue worth waiting for. As the locals say, “Y’all settle in and stay awhile.” We hope you do.


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OCALA SHOW Florida

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O C A L A S HOW, FLORIDA

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T RYS T T H E

A F GH A N

H OU N D

by Anne Tureen & Mary Marshall

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C RO W NED 100 · T RYST, THE AFG HAN HOUND

Sunny Shay did not start out with any intention of becoming a breeder or handler. Dancing was her primary interest as a young person. However, she must have guessed early on that her passion for dogs could not be ignored. The tale of Tryst of Grandeur would not be complete without the back story of her breeder Sunny and the realization of her dream of breeding the best Afghans in the world. At the tender age of nine, Sunny acquired her first Fox Terrier, Sniggy Wig of Grandeur, and won the Fox Terrier class at Westminster (Flaim, 2019). During a stint working at a Poodle kennel, she first set eyes on an Afghan, and from that day forward she never looked back.

dedicated kennel, Kay Finch’s Crown Crest kennel in California, began breeding top winning dogs at the same time as Sunny Shay’s Grandeur. This direct rivalry between two top kennels made the Afghan ring one of the most exciting places at any show. The edgy competition pushed the breed not only to extreme popularity but more importantly to deep quality. The two kennels traded BIS placements and top breed honors until 1957 when Sunny Shay’s Shirkhan won that BIS at Westminster, a first ever for any hound, placing them in the history books. Moreover, the win was owner handled, impressing upon spectators that dog shows could never again be classed as an elitist event-- a remarkable personal accomplishment.

She began right away building her line with imported dogs from England and followed the breeding theory according to Lloyd Bracket’s book Theory of Breeding Better Dogs. She imported a dog from Juliette de Baïracli Levy named Turkhuman Nissim’s Laurel and won the group with him at Madison Square Garden in 1950. Then in 1957 she went Best in Show with her own Shirkhan of Grandeur, a third generation Grandeur Afghan who, together with the Turkhuman lines positioned the Grandeur kennel as a force to be reckoned with at the highest levels. As Bo Bengtson points out in his definitive work Best in Show the World of Show Dogs and Dog Shows, (Bengtson, 2008, p. 355) the Afghan world came so solidly to the fore in the decades that followed due to the coincidence that an equally

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It was a perverse irony that on the evening of a gala thrown by her close friend Roger Rechler to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Shirkhan’s historic win, a fire was deliberately set in the Grandeur kennel which destroyed not only her entire premises, but also killed 20 of her dogs. The deliberate Sunny had already demonstrated that she was anything but ordinary and did not let the tragedy set the course for the future of her kennel. The story of her amazing comeback makes the individual career of Tryst so poignant.

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The Rechler family partnered with Sunny and began to rebuild the line. They started with the dogs that had been at Rechler’s home for the party just before Westminster, and entered the ring with another outstanding dog, Boy Blue of Grandeur. Showing him in Connecticut only one year after the fire Sunny Shay gaited her dog then collapsed in the ring due to a heart attack. The people who had been her left and right hand, Michael Canalizo and Roger Rechler, came together and decided to carry forward the banner of Grandeur as though Sunny had never left them. Faithful to her breeding principals and interpretation of breed type they were again on top and breaking records. About this time a bright young girl showing her Afghan in Canada made an impression on Rechler and Canalizo, and a new tradition came to be established. Young show dogs were brought to Pamela Bruce in Canada to enjoy growing up in her home for a while and to gently break into the lifestyle of a show dog. In the late 1980’s the dog Triumph of Grandeur made waves and appeared set to enjoy a legacy as the top winning Afghan of all time.


C RO W NED 100 · T RYST, THE AFG HAN HOUND

Shortly thereafter Triumph sired a very special litter. Four black bitch puppies all named with a TR in honor of their famous sire Triumph of Grandeur. Tryst was one of these puppies, and she was not necessarily the obvious pick as it was a uniformly quality litter. Canalizo recalled that they chose Tryst based on her charm that distinguished her from her excellent littermates. “It took a few years for us to fully understand just why dogs like Tryst achieve greatness.” Canalizo said. “One being her flawless character and temperament. Being an Afghan Hound meant she made her own set of rules. She insisted on only a totally loose lead, and it was obvious that she excelled in holding the shape and outline of the breed when free stacking. I never had to pull, tug, stretch her in any way at any time…she stood alone in perfect form. Think of some of the other great ones in the sport and you will realize that they had those same attributes. She knew how to relax at the shows, loved her exercise routine, always ate when traveling and so many little things of which one lacking would affect a dog that went to 150 shows a year.” Her strong character was her salvation when she contracted parvo virus as a youngster. The vets had advised the kennel to be prepared to lose her, but Canalizo held out and so did Tryst who with each passing day began to show growing strength. Soon she was standing, walking, and showing interest in the world again. “I was busy showing TR and she was with a handler as a puppy and while at the KC of Philadelphia

came ill (with parvo virus),” Recalled Canalizo. “She was rushed to the University of Philadelphia Vet School where Dr. Dubler warned us she might not make it through the night. But her resolve and heart got her through, and she would recover completely. She never had a sick day in her life after that.” Canalizo sent Tryst to Bruce for conditioning and dedicated care in preparation for her show career following her recovery from parvo virus. Bruce, who eventually became an AKC judge, started handling dogs as a child and came from a family with a legacy of involvement in the Canadian dog show world. She gave Tryst the individual care that she needed to recover to her full potential, and that included a little gift from her grandmother. “My nana knitted her a little red turtleneck sweater to keep her warm and Tryst thought that was the best accessory ever,” Bruce said. “I cooked for her daily and we started into a routine. We went for

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very small walks each day that eventually turned into five kilometer runs together over time. Her hair started to grow back slowly but surely, and she sported a tight glossy black saddle. Her health returned inside and out. Tryst was so trusting and rose to any challenge given. As her immunity improved, she had more exposure to other dogs and people. She took everything in stride with that familiar confidence that every Grandeur dog possessed. Tryst had never lost the belief in herself that she was ‘the one.’ Then the day came to make that call to Michael that I honestly believed she could have a career and be shown again. I felt nauseated, yet hopeful at the same time. Tryst and I quietly worked another few months. I then entered Tryst and her halfbrother in huge shows in Calgary, Alberta. I will never forget arriving at Maxine Keith’s home with

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Tryst and Bo. I brought Tryst out of the vehicle and Maxine’s eyes almost popped out of her head. I started to gait her for Maxine and Tryst jumped as high as my head and pulled my ponytail holder out and shook it, sending it flying across the grass. Her next trick was she jumped up and bit me so hard on the butt that I screamed. She seemed immensely proud of herself and was delighted that Maxine found her antics so humorous. Maxine commented ‘best of luck with that’ and just shook her head laughing at Tryst’s fire and sauciness. The next day Tryst and I walked into the show ring and never faltered. We went Group 1 from the classes -followed by a SBIS and BIS. She had completed her Canadian championship in just over twenty-four hours! I will never forget calling Roger that evening to tell him what had transpired. He had expected Bo to do well that weekend but was speechless to find out


that Bo had not been shown and Tryst was back in the ring. All I could do was cry and yet I was So proud of how far she had come. She took everything in stride.” Tryst’s debut in the United States came that following November and she won her first AKC Best in Show title. Her winning ways continued for three years in a row as Top Hound. In 1995 she went on to top dog in all breeds with over 100 BIS wins. But it wasn’t all glory without a little fun according to Bruce. “What can be said about Miss Twizzle--Tryst was one of my heart dogs,” Bruce recalled. “I nicknamed her Twizzle after the black licorice Twizzlers as she would spin with excitement on the leash. Twizzlers happened to be my favorite treat. Tryst was a busy girl and needed a job! I always reminded her as per the Afghan Hound breed standard that she was to be aloof and dignified. That was quite the challenge on some days – for example, the day a furniture company delivered a king-size bed set to my home. By the time I had signed for delivery she had ripped off the manufacture tags and was squatting to pee on the brand-new bed as I came back into the room while shaking the ‘do not remove until delivered’ tags firmly between her teeth at the time of the alleged offense.” Covered in glory, she retired to the whelping box and extensive grounds of the million-dollar kennel the Rechler’s had built. However, in 1999 The young male that Michael was preparing for the

ring injured himself and it looked like Grandeur would have to sit out for a round. Instead, Tryst was brushed down and walked out to bring home another astonishing twenty BIS awards and a fourth turn at the Top Hound position and finished among the top ten dogs all breeds. “You never show a dog that is less than 100% in every way,” said Canalizo. “Tryst never went out of condition. She joined all the others in the daily routine and it only needed a few tweaks to upgrade her level of conditioning.” At nine years of age, Tryst, who had survived parvo virus as a puppy, made an encore into the ring as a veteran and found her place among the greatest dogs of all time. The fact that she had even been whelped was testament to the amazing story of a tenacious girl from Hicksville, New York, with the pluck to reach for the highest accolades and the courage to rise to excellence again after complete devastation. Sunny Shay and Tryst share this phoenix like quality and are deservedly revered among the heroes of our world.

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WITH

GERARDO Reyes Please tell our readers how you got involved in the world of pedigreed dogs and what attracted you to the Airedale Terrier. As a young teenager, I was watching the world dog show on TV, and that was my first time seeing anything about dog shows.

REYDALE

After seeing the show, I got increasingly

AIREDALE TERRIER

a chance to buy a Great Dane show dog, I

interested in showing dogs. When I had did and started showing her. Then, when I was working as a veterinarian assistant, a customer brought in his Airedale Terrier show dog, and he was looking for a home for his dog. The veterinarian told the customer that I showed my dog, and that he should talk to me. I met the dog (Leger), and the

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MEET T HE B REED · AIREDALE TERRIER

rest is history. This was in 1982, and I’ve been showing and breeding Airedales ever since. Where did you get your foundation dogs and what other breeders do you like to collaborate with. Leger was my foundation dog. As I started studying his pedigree once I got him, I discovered he had a great pedigree with many of the old English lines. I don’t base who I breed with based off the breeder, but rather based off the pedigree. Did you have any mentors in the breed/dog world that helped you. I have had several mentors over the years, both in Mexico and the United States. Some of the mentors who have had the biggest impact on me are Mrs. Lieberman, Manuel Gutierrez, Dr. Jose Luis Payro, Maripi Wooldrige, and Steve & Mary Clark to name a few. But there have been many over the years, and I continue to learn from some many people in the dog show world.

the years. Specifically, the breeders have collectively worked on developing shorter backs with square bodies, better head planes, nice angulation in front and

Airedale Terriers are often described as “The King Of

rears which has helped to develop better movement

Terriers”, what makes the Airedale the king? We would

in the breed. They have also worked to improve the

love to read breed characteristics that create this

wire coats, almost eliminating the soft coat gene in the

prestigious title.

Airedale show world.

They are the king of terriers because of the regal

What are points you wish all judges knew about the

personality. They command your attention in every

Airedale Terrier before judging the breed.

room they are in. The specific breed characteristics are their personality, which is intelligent, commanding of attention, their presence, bravery, and their ability to do many tasks (often said to be able to do anything). How has the Airedale changed since you first started showing/breeding.

First and foremost, I wish all judges who judge Airedales would be very familiar with the Airedale temperament. Second, they should be looking for a balanced dog with good substance. Please mention 3 Airedale Terriers not bred/owned by you that you have greatly admired.

I have seen several improvements in the breed over

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Decision on the opening day of the show. I then went on to win Best of Breed that same year with Ch. Reydale Executive Decision at the Montgomery County Kennel Club. More recently, I have had three special moments. The first was winning Best of Breed with Ch. Reydaleterrydale Star Trek at Westminster Kennel Club in 2018, and then winning Best in Show at the Tournament of Champions in Mexico with Ch. Reydaleterrydale Once Upon a Time in Mexico in 2019. Finally, winning Best Bred by in Show at Montgomery County Kennel Club 2019 with Ch. Reydaleterrydale Rangel The Great Gatsby. Given their large size and stature, the conditioning and presentation of the Airedale Terrier is no easy task. Please talk us through some of the work involved with presenting the Airedale Terrier. Preparation of an Airedale for showing is a long and extensive process that takes at least 3 to 6 months of Ch. Bravo Star Buck, Ch. Flora King of Scots at Stargus,

conditioning before they should be shown in the ring.

and Ch. Finlair Isis.

It is a constant and continuous process to maintain

Please mention 3 influential dogs from your kennel over the years. Ch. Reydale Executive Decision, Ch. Reydale Prince of Thieves, Ch. Reydaleterrydale Prince of Persia. What is your favorite show in the world to attend.

their coat. It is not for the faint of heart or for those not dedicated to the work. From your experience, where in the world do you believe Airedale Terriers seem strongest, in terms of quality. In the past, I believe England had the best quality Airedales, but currently, I believe the United States has

Montgomery County Kennel Club.

surpassed England in quality.

Please share some of your proudest memories from the

What are your goals/dreams for the future of your

show ring.

Airedale Terrier journey.

My proudest moment came at the 1999 World Dog

To continue to breed and show exceptional Airedale

Show Weekend in my hometown, Mexico City, where

Terriers. I hope to be able to leave a legacy of improving

I won the Best in Show with Ch. Reydale Executive

and strengthening this amazing breed.

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WITH

VALERIA Rickard Please tell our readers how you got involved in the world of pedigreed dogs and what attracted you to the Airedale Terrier. We purchased our first purebred Airedale Terrier in 1985. At the time I was living in Russia and with that dog I participated in

JOVAL ANGEL’S AIREDALE TERRIER

conformation shows, as well as obedience competition and protection training. His wonderful temperament and trainability, together with the majestic nature of the Airedale Terrier, was what drew me to the breed and quickly established my lifelong love for them. Shortly after we moved to the United states. Years later, in 1999 when I was finishing my veterinary education, I got more serious with showing and breeding. I

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MEET T HE B REED · AIREDALE TERRIER

researched different kennels, invested into a strong

section that specifically outlines the overall presence

foundation bitch, and focused on establishing our own

and balance of the breed. Therefore, in my opinion,

kennel and breeding program.

besides being the tallest terrier in the terrier group,

Where did you get your foundation dogs and what other breeders do you like to collaborate with?

when an Airedale walks in the ring it is his presence that makes him the King of Terriers, owning the ground he stands on and staring down upon all the

Our foundation bitch was Eng. and Am. Ch, Jokyl

smaller terriers. The keenness in their eye, which is

Flashback. Zeta came from the Jokyl Kennel in England.

full of terrier expression, greatly contributes to the

She was a granddaughter of the two famous dogs of the

king’s presence and attitude. This attitude can be best

1980’s – Ch. Jokyl Gallipants and Ch. Ginger Xmas Carol,

exhibited when Airedales spar and pull themselves

who won BIS at Crufts in 1986. Zeta possessed many

together. During this battle of wills and display it is

of the qualities that I was looking for in a foundation.

truly an awesome sight to see that exemplifies what it

She had a tight line bred pedigree, great conformation,

is to be king or queen.

soundness, and sweet temperament. We bred her three different directions and from then on, we focused on developing our line. Did you have any mentors in the breed/dog world that helped you.

How has the Airedale changed since you first started showing/breeding. Within the show ring, throughout decades there has been emphasis on differing styles but for the most part the breed and standard have remained unchanged.

Honestly, I cannot attribute my current knowledge

Different kennels have focused on different “parts”

to one person, nor could I call any specific person my

of the body over the years, creating improvements

mentor. I consider myself a truly self-taught person

in conformation. Currently the breed has nice, long

when it comes to dogs. Through lots of research

rectangular heads with good ear placement. The

(books, old magazines, yearbooks, studying successful

front construction has remained an issue over the

pedigree combinations, etc.), asking questions, visiting

years. Recently, the breed has moved away from

kennels, and watching shows all over the world - I

being a square, moderate breed to be longer and more

have been able to learn from those bits and pieces

angulated in the rear variety.

what appeals to me the most, piece it all together, and from that I have developed my breeding program. Airedale Terriers are often described as the King Of Terriers what makes the Airedale the king? We would love to read breed characteristics that create this prestigious title. Airedale standard does not have a “general description”

What are points you wish all judges knew about the Airedale Terrier before judging the breed. For the judge to be able to appreciate the breed and its qualities, they must first have a strong understanding of what the Airedale Terrier was bred for and the job they were intended to perform. It is not the type of terrier that was meant to go in a hole like many smaller

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terriers and does not have the same front construction.

Please mention three influential dogs from your kennel

It must have a structure that allows for an effortless

over the years.

movement that will allow them to work and hunt all day long without getting tired. Understanding the anatomy and structure that supports this purpose would provide a judge the basis on which to see beneath the grooming and be able to truly judge the dog. Then, learning the details, nuances and specific characteristics that contribute to the breed type will help judges to find outstanding individuals who possess the most virtues of the breed. Please mention three Airedale Terriers not bred/owned by you that you have greatly admired.

We have been so blessed with so many outstanding dogs that it is difficult to single out just three. GCHG Joval Sweet Time is my most special dog, she is also my heart dog. Splenda was Reserve Best in Show at Montgomery, Top Airedale, and Top five Terrier in the nation for two consecutive years in 2014 and 2015. Besides outstanding conformation, her temperament makes her one of the best representatives of what the breed should be like. People that met her, understand what I mean by this. GCHS Joval Angel’s Glory, WW, is the dog I won the most with myself, owner handled. In very limited showing

My three favorite Airedales not bred by me are Ch.

she was top female Airedale in 2018, and together we

Evermay’s High Performance, Ch. Sterling Cool Hand

won the Airedale Terrier National at Montgomery. We

Luke, and Ch. Greenfield Celtic Legend. Besides being

also won BOB and Terrier Group 1 at the World Dog

very attractive dogs conformation wise, these dogs also

Show in Amsterdam.

had an important contribution and big impact on my breeding program, which I am very thankful to them for.

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Some of my other favorites and very successful dogs were GCH Joval Angel’s Kiss, who was our first World


MEET T HE B REED · AIREDALE TERRIER

Winner when the WDS was in Sweden in 2008. Her

on three other occasions. My proudest moments have

daughter GCHG Joval Angel’s Whisper was the number

come when I have been able to handle my dogs as a

one Airedale in the USA in 2013, and GCHB Joval It’s My

breeder/owner/handler. As mentioned before, winning

Time, who among many notable wins, was also reserve

the Airedale Terrier National at Montgomery, res.

BISOH at Montgomery.

BISOH at Montgomery, BOB at Crufts and the World Dog

What is your favorite show in the world to attend?

shows, and most notably winning the Terrier Group at the World Dog show in Amsterdam were a dream come

Montgomery weekend is Mecca for the terrier people.

true. It is something you think about, hope for, but even

It has the largest entry of the best terriers from all over

after it happens sometimes it does not seem real.

the USA, some of the best international dogs, and is also the site for the Airedale National Championship. The level of competition at these shows and being able to spend time with our terrier friends from all over the world makes them very enjoyable to attend and a win at

Given their large size and stature, the conditioning and presentation of the Airedale Terrier is no easy task. Please talk us through some of the work involved with presenting the Airedale Terrier.

any of the shows during this weekend carries a special

Preparing an Airedale for the show ring is not an easy

prestige. So, this must be my absolute favorite.

task and is a labor of love. It takes a minimum of 12 weeks

There are several other shows that carry the unique

to stage the jacket to get it into proper condition. And

atmosphere that I look forward to attending (not always necessarily showing) such as Westminster, Eukanuba, Crufts and the World Dog Show. Please share some of your proudest memories from the show ring. Over the past two decades our dogs have done very well in the show ring and there have been honestly too many proud moments to count. Having the top dog in the nation for four-to-five years straight has been a roller coaster ride of a lifetime. But with that being said, as a breeder, every time I stand outside the ring watching a dog that we have bred look beautiful and win, I get a feeling of satisfaction that reinforces how the hard work has paid off. We are very proud of our strong female line winning the Airedale Terrier National and the Bowl five times with three different bitches and being BOS

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it takes four-to-five months to achieve good volume

What are your goals/dreams for the future of your

and quality of furnishings. Nowadays, I believe it is a

Airedale Terrier journey?

lost art and it is very hard to find people experienced in correct Airedale preparation among both breeders and handlers. But it is a majestic sight to see the final product when an Airedale is properly presented by the few remaining terrier experts. Unfortunately, the newer generation is not very interested in learning the proper ways and looking for the shortcuts where they can find them.

Our Airedale journey has brought us consistent successes over the past two decades. We have won all the most prestigious shows in the USA and around the world. For this we will always look back with great pride and will have wonderful memories of the consistency that we were able to achieve over a long period of time. But with an increased pressure of work and life in general, and slightly changing

From your experience, where in the world do you believe

interests we have decided to work on sizing down our

Airedale Terriers seem strongest, in terms of quality.

breeding program and gradually retire, while we are

In my opinion, American Airedales remain among if not the best in the world. There have been a few Russian dogs who have caught my eye during my international judging assignments.

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on top. Also, over the past decade, I have become more involved and really enjoy judging at the dog shows and I am looking forward to focusing more on that aspect of the sport.



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The

KERRY BLUE Terrier by Sean Delmar President, Irish Kennel Club


D

og breeds are usually a reflection of the

track, scent, guard, eradicate vermin, are comfortable

terrain, the practices, and the social

over land and water, and are enthusiastic and brave.

attitude of people in their country of origin. All were developed as purpose bred

dogs with functionality being the main influencer. The Kerry Blue Terrier reflects that as they are interwoven in the history, mythology, and the hearts of the people of Ireland. In Celtic Ireland the Wolfhound were the dogs of the kings and chieftains, the gundogs were associated

They were developed over centuries but came to prominence as the people of Ireland made the final push for sovereignty during the early 1900’s. One of our leading patriots Michael Collins owned them and was promoting the breed to be recognized as the national dog of Ireland.

with the earls and landowners, and the terriers were

So, what makes them so special that from humble

the dog of the small farmers and town dwellers.

beginnings they have become so popular worldwide.

Known originally as the Irish Blue Terrier they were bred as multi-purpose dogs. They possess the capabilities of a decathlon athlete in that they can herd,

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There are certain characteristics and features that make individual breeds of dogs unique and in canine terms this is called type.


The Kerry Blue Terrier should have a freestanding, assertive upstanding body posture with its head held high. The tail should be carried straight or slightly forward. All this combines to create a clear look of focus and dominance. This is well described by the old saying “He should own the ground he stands on.” They should have a distinct and unique expression. It should demonstrate terrier intensity and be hard not soft, not cute, nor obediently begging for a biscuit. Correct eyes, ears, and head carriage with an assertive attitude create the “true Blue expression.” Kerries have a single coat that is non-shedding however is should be plentiful and not sparse. It should be soft to the touch with an obvious sheen (never a dull matte finish) and should have a gentle wave or half curl. A coat that is harsh, wool like, tightly curled or totally lacking in sheen is untypical. A typical finished adult Kerry Blue Terrier should have an assertive upstanding and independent posture (not stacked). It should have great ring presence with a determined expression and be clearly colored with an obvious bloom (shine) in its coat. These are the qualities that have endeared the Kerry Blue Terrier to so many people worldwide. After many years of promotion by a dedicated few the Irish government recently granted the Kerry Blue Terrier, along with the other eight other Irish Breeds “National Heritage Status.”

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WITH

HAROLD& HELENA Quigg Please tell our readers how you got involved

IRISBLU KERRY BLUE TERRIER

in the world of pedigreed dogs and what attracted you to the Kerry Blue. My father showed Kerry’s, as a young boy I attended local shows with him. Kerry’s have always been a part of my family and I have been fortunate to grow up in their company. My father carried on his successful showing career with Hackney horses, but my heart stayed with the dogs.

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Where did you get your foundation dogs and what other

Kathy Garahan (Kilgawney) and my good friend Lloyd

breeders do you like to collaborate with?

Booth (Melbees).

We tried a few potential show dogs from various

Did you have any mentors in the breed/dog world that

kennels, but they proved not to be good enough for

helped you.

what we wanted – no doubt all reading will have been in that same situation! I had booked a puppy from a breeder in England; however, my mother was ill with cancer at the time. On the weekend I was due to travel for the puppy, she took a turn for the worse. I wanted to cancel my trip, but she insisted that I go and get my new pup and said that she would be lucky for me. Off we

Jack Doherty lived in Derry and I was fortunate enough to become great friends with him, he was one of the best natural dog men I have ever met. He showed lots of “Louisburgh” dogs and always gave me great advice. We shared many laughs travelling to shows. Jack has since passed, but I was lucky to have him in the beginning.

went to England and we met the breeder at a show. Her

When I started showing more seriously, I met Sean

friend had brought a pet puppy for a family- that pup

Delmar. He was always there to give me moral support,

was gorgeous, and between us we agreed a swap and I

especially in the many defeats.He always encouraged

took her home. That pet turned into Sharp N Shocking

me to keep going. This led to my travelling to shows

of Irisblu (Izzy) who was top Kerry Blue in Ireland

in the UK. I wanted to challenge myself and become

and then the UK was BOB at Cruft’s and went on to

better, it was at those shows that I met Ron Ramsay

become No 1 all breeds in Thailand. She produced many

who happened to be a lifelong friend of Sean’s. Ron’s

champions for me. Notably Saredon Shockwaves of

enthusiasm inspired me, and he has always got behind

Irisblu (Lexi) who was BOB at Montgomery. My mother

me, we have had some top winning dogs together. Both

was right, she was a lucky dog.

are hard task masters and pushed me to earn their

I have collaborated a lot with Ron and Carol Ramsay

approval…. on that I am still waiting!!

of Torum Kerry Blues. My bitches seem to match well

Can you please educate our readers on the stages of

with Ron’s dogs. Together we have produced some

color of the Kerry Blue? At what age should we see the

great Kerry’s. In the USA we have worked with John and

hallmark Blue color of the breed.

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are happiest laying at home in front of the fire. Finally, every country has their own grooming style. The more I travel and judge around the world, the more this is evident. Russia, America, Ireland, and England all have their own styles and here lies the problem. You could send the same dog to 3 different counties, and the dog would have 3 different looks. Groomers have taken over and have lost the terrier shape. They have gone for a smooth scissor finish which in turn kills the coat texture and leaves it resembling a Bichon Frise. What are points you wish all judges knew about the Kerry In a nutshell some people are color fanatics and will

Blue before judging the breed.

pass a much superior dark dog to award a silver dog top

A Kerry should be a natural upbeat and alert dog

honors. I have found in my time that slower coloring

standing 4 square. They should have an intense look

dogs have better pigmentation, darker eyes, darker

with a small eye. The tail should be well set on, carried

gums and a stronger coat with better texture and wave

as straight as possible. The rear should be powerful as

not as “wishy washy”.

that is the engine room. When they move from A to B it

Personally the 18-month rule for aspiring judges should

must be with purpose.

mean some form of color breaking, even if it’s along the

Please mention 3 Kerry Blues not bred/owned by you that

back, in front of the tail or down the back legs.

you have greatly admired.

A Kerry is often at its best between 3 and 6, judges

Torums Ready to Rumble, Danja Iz goluboi legendy,

should not be too harsh on a young animal that is slower

Dinnyesvarosi Dixi

to mature. At this age their brain, body, coat and color are ready. They will be like a stallion full of confidence. How has the Kerry Blue changed since you first started showing/breeding? The temperament has softened a lot around the world, although in Ireland and USA they seem to have kept some spirit. The most noticeable change has been the curly tails on the back or the tail half-mast and head down when moving around the ring. This is often linked to lack of spirit. These dogs, however beautiful

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Please mention 3 influential dogs from your kennel over the years. Sharp N Shocking of Irisblu, Torums Calico Jack at Irisblu Irisblu Boomerang What is your favorite show in the world to attend. Without a doubt Montgomery, Please share some of your proudest memories from the show ring.


M EET T HE B REED · K ERRY BLUE TERRIER

Winning Best of Breed at Montgomery in 2016, winning

There is a lot of quality Kerry’s in Russia, America, and

Best of Breed and Terrier Group 3 at Crufts, and winning

Scandinavia. The numbers are numerically high there

Best of Opposite at Westminster.These are fantastic

also, but I am a bit biased as I come from the country

memories.

of origin, I have to say Ireland. There is only a small

The conditioning and presentation of the Kerry Blue is no easy task. Please talk us through some of the work involved with presenting the blue stallion that

number of breeders, but the Irish dogs have won top honors all over the world and continue to do so. Long may it continue.

is the Kerry Blue. Please also mention the Kerry Blue

What are your goals/dreams for the future of your Kerry

temperament/attitude.

Blue journey?

This begins in the whelping box, the brain development

My goal is to breed a dog that pleases me 110%. I have

of the Kerry is so important, table table table as if it’s

bred some really nice Kerry’s over the years, and I like

not done then it creates so much work down the line

to score them on a scale of 1- 10. Some have been 9’s,

when the dog matures. A happy confident pup usually

leaving me room to improve and there have been plenty

makes the best show dog. I find that more than lead

of 7 and 8’s along the way, but we are always striving to

work, lots of free running and lots of experiences help

breed better.

build character. Quality food is a must. If this is all done correctly your 80% there, and the final 20% can be achieved with products and scissors.

My dream has been to win Best of Breed at Crufts, Westminster, and Montgomery to date we have achieved 2 out of 3 and hit the cross bar in 2019 with

As for attitude a Kerry at a dog show should be on

Irisblu the Fiddler (Maggie) when she went Best of

his toes from morning to night. Therefore, it’s vitally

Opposite at Westminster. There is always work to do.

important that he is confident from a very early age. We sometimes see in the ring some judges have Kerry Blues (and other terriers) come to the center and face each other, please explain to our readers the reason for this, and how you feel about it. The only time you really see a terrier is in the spar, when they lift themselves from the shoulders the neck comes up another inch, the tail goes forward and their whole body will transform in front of you. A good sparing Kerry should remind you of an Arabian stallion. Love it. From your experience, where in the world do you believe Kerry Blues seem strongest, in terms of quality.


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LLOYD Boothe Please tell our readers how you got involved in the world of pedigreed dogs and what attracted you to the Kerry Blue. My daughter made me do it. In 1975 and 1976 we were living in Brazil. My daughter fell in love with a Papillon. When we

MELBEE’S

returned to the states, I located a puppy in

KERRY BLUE TERRIER

a contract to show it to its championship.

St Louis. Purchasing it required that we sign That’s how it all got started. The same breeder had Borzoi, which I fell in love with and purchased. We joined the Heart of America Kennel Club. As my daughter became involved in the dog shows, she wanted something larger than a toy dog to show. Billie Kneale had just had a litter of

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Kerries and suggested that the size and attitude would

about grooming. Our friends Jack Cummings and

be perfect for my daughter.

the Boutwells, Vic, and Loraine were both critics

Where did you get your foundation dogs and what other breeders do you like to collaborate with? Our first Kerry was from Billie Kneale, Ch Camshron’s Whiskey & Lace. She was from Kerries that Billie had obtained from Mel & Bee Schlesinger, Melbee Kennels. My first litter was from Whiskey & Lace, bred to Tontine’s

and mentors. Additionally, Ric Chashoudian, Brad Woldridge, Bert Tormey, and Lil Schwartz were all very supportive and influential. Can you please educate our readers on the stages of color of the Kerry Blue. At what age should we see the hallmark blue color of the breed?

Warlord who was owned by Richard & Carol Basler. In

The stages of color in Kerry Blues is truly a crap shoot.

subsequent years we worked with Marie Sostmann of

Most are born black. Occasionally some are born with

Pot’O’Gold Kennels, Nick & Doreen Fletcher, Dornick

streaks of silver in their legs. In my experience, color

Kennels, Larry & Carol Brown, Bluebeard Kennels, Lois

often begins to surface in the hind quarters and will

Greer, Krisma Kennels, Anita Norman & Kelly Nordman,

then spread throughout the rest of the body. Hopefully,

Ballymoon Kennels, and most recently, Harold Quigg of

signs of blue will become apparent by 18 months.

Irisblu Kennels.

However, some of the most beautiful colors I’ve seen

Did you have any mentors in the breed/dog world that helped you?

have not occurred until 3 or 4 years of age. I had a male who had silver streaks on his legs as a pup. He kept getting lighter until about 18 months when he began to

I was very fortunate to have had many. I was fortunate

darken to a beautiful medium dark blue at 3 years old.

to have had Bee Schlesinger as a mentor and partner.

He continued to darken to a dark blue at 10. Some get

Billie Kneale, and Fred Young taught me the basics

darker; others get lighter.

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How has the Kerry Blue changed since you first started showing/breeding? That’s a tough one. In the beginning, for me, the Kerry was more likely to be owner groomed and handled. Judges were more focused on the dogs, how they behaved naturally and how balanced, athletic, and alert they were. Judges were assigned fewer dogs to judge each day so the dogs were able to be seen more casually. Today, when judges are assigned 175 dogs in the classes and one or more groups each day, they don’t have the time or stamina to really look at the dogs. I think that has led to requiring the dogs to be showier and more robotic. Certainly, the conformation has changed as well to cause them to be more “upright,” with shorter loins, longer necks, higher tail sets and cleaner heads. I have been guilty of promoting this “more elegant,” forgive me please, look. What are points you wish all judges knew about the Kerry Blue before judging the breed? A: The Kerry Blue was a farm dog and family dog. It should be approachable and friendly. When around other dogs, it should stand its ground without being in attack mode. The coat is unique, lush and curly or wavey, as is the color, in all its shades. The Kerry movement should be steady and strong, with reach and drive, not choppy or bouncy. Please mention three Kerry Blues not bred/owned by you that you have greatly admired. Obviously, Mick, Torum’s Scarf Michael. Also, Ballymoon’s Flynn Tango, Torum’s Corky Capers and Pot’O’Gold’s Luck of the Irish. Please mention three influential dogs from your kennel

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M EET T HE B REED · K ERRY BLUE TERRIER

over the years. A great producer and producer of even greater producers was Camshron’s Whiskey & Lace. Melbee’s Must Be Magic, and Melbee’s Great Expectations also. What is your favorite show in the world to attend? Hands down, Montgomery County. Please share some of your proudest memories from the show ring. I was just a novice at my first Montgomery County when

Blues (and other Terriers) come to the center and face each other, please explain to our readers the reason for this, and how you feel about it. Again, I touched on this a bit in earlier answers. My belief is that this exercise should allow the dog to demonstrate how to “stand ground.” They should be keenly focused on the other dog(s) and be “on guard” without attacking. From your experience, where in the world do you believe Kerry Blues seem strongest, in terms of quality?

I won the breed with Whiskey & Lace. I was intimidated

I’m not knowledgeable enough of Kerry Blues in other

and humbled. Another was when I won Sweepstakes

parts of the world. I do believe dogs imported from the

and Best Opposite in the Futurity with Melbee’s Great

UK, Ireland, Finland, Russia, Spain, and Poland have

Expectations a few years ago. The other time was

enhanced our breeding programs here in the US.

when Melbee’s Must Be Magic finished her Canadian championship and went Best in Show in Vancouver. The conditioning and presentation of the Kerry Blue is no easy task. Please talk us through some of the work involved with presenting the Kerry Blue. Please also mention the Kerry Blue temperament/attitude. I touched a bit on this in an earlier answer. I think Kerries should learn to walk on a lead before they are weaned and be socialized as pups. They are natural herders. Taking them around farm animals and encouraging them to watch and not attack chickens, to be around cows, horses and other animals gives them confidence. I have found they enjoy keeping other animals away from you, because they seem to think they are keeping you for themselves, not wanting to share. When you have them in the ring on a lead, they should be alert to what’s going on. We sometimes see in the ring some judges have Kerry

What are your goals/dreams for the future of your Kerry Blue journey? My Kerry Blue journey is solely focused on being a resource to anyone interested in our breed.


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KATELYN Meyers Thank you so much Katelyn for doing this interview with us. It was our pleasure to get to know a bit better another passionate young lady. We hope you’ll remain in our sport and continue your great career. We wish you a lot of success and all the best in every field of your life! Tell us a little bit about your beginnings in the dog show world. When and how did it all start? In 2009, my family purchased our first show dog Zack a Bernese Mountain Dog. Zack’s breeder suggested that my sisters participate in Junior Showmanship, and they by Carla Ivancic

instantly fell in love with the breed and the sport of dogs. This was the catalyst to my family spending every weekend attending dog shows. I began showing in the breed ring at five years old which naturally led to my junior career that started at age nine. Today, my entire family is still actively involved in showing and breeding dogs. What was your opinion about our sport after you attended your first dog show? I was four years old when I attended my very first dog

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show and five years old when I first entered the ring. Being so young I did not truly understand dog shows and their purpose. As I got older and participated more frequently in shows, I began to appreciate this sport and have become an advocate for purebred dogs. At what age did you get your first dog? Was it immediately a show dog? I can’t remember a time where my house did not have at least one dog around. The first dog I remember connecting with was our very first Bernese Mountain

dislike about dog shows are the really early mornings,

dog, Miley. Miley was not a show dog, but me and my

especially for multi-day shows. Although I am used to

family’s bond with her made us fall in love with the

early mornings as I am responsible for my dogs every

breed. After Miley passed, we knew that we would

day, some dog shows require that we are up and on the

always have Bernese Mountain Dogs in our lives, which

road by 4 a.m..

led us to our first show dog, Zack

When did you decide to try and go into Junior Handling?

What are the sides of dog shows you like, what do you

Do you remember your first JH competition and was it

dislike and how would you change them?

successful?

There are many aspects of dog shows that I like. To

As soon as I turned nine years old, I showed in Junior

begin I like the connections I get to make with every

Showmanship. My older sisters, Danielle and Rachel,

dog I handle. Despite the many challenging dogs I

were showing in juniors at the time. I always enjoyed

have encountered, I enjoy these moments as I am able

watching them in the ring, ultimately leading to

to grow and learn as a handler. I also enjoy the time I

my interest in juniors. My first time in the Junior

get to spend with my family and the friendships I have

Showmanship ring will always be a memorable moment.

created. The most disappointing aspect of dog shows is

I was showing my two-year-old Bernese Mountain Dog,

poor sportsmanship. Fortunately, it is not the norm, but

Juliette. Although Juliette was the sweetest dog, she

when it occurs it creates a negative atmosphere that

would much rather spend her time on the couch than in

transfers to the handlers and the dogs. The only way I

the show ring! As my class was called into the ring, my

have found to change this is to always remember to be

entire bag of bait fell onto the floor, which Juliette was

kind and considerate of others. Whatever the outcome,

determined to eat. I quickly turned around and went

I am always happy for my competition and congratulate

back to pick up the pieces and entered the ring, where

them. Most importantly, I always appreciate my dog

the judge was very understanding. Although I was very

and how hard they worked for me! I always make

nervous that day, the support of my family and friends

time to play and bond with my dog. The other thing I

helped me get through it!

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How do you get ready for shows? Before leaving for the show, I pack the van with all of the necessary supplies for the dogs and my family. I like to create a list of all the supplies we need in order to make sure everything is packed. I typically bathe and groom the dogs the day before the show, to ensure that they are clean and will be ready for grooming at the show. The night before the show, my family and I will

be Sarah Janner. Sarah Janner is a Rottweiler breeder and handler, and owner of my juniors’ dog, Rolando. Through showing Sarah’s dogs, I have become heavily involved in the Rottweiler breed, and hope to continue this involvement after my Junior Showmanship career. The guidance and support I have received from Sarah has turned me into the hard-working handler I am today.

go to the show site to set up our grooming area, which

Which Junior Handling win do you consider the greatest

saves some extra time in the morning. The morning of

and most memorable one?

the show each dog must be walked and fed accordingly. I then get myself ready for the show, and head over to the show to start the day.

My most memorable Junior Handling win would have to be winning Best Junior Handler with my Rottweiler Rolando at Brevard Kennel Club at the Orlando Cluster

In handling, is there someone who you can call your

in December 2020. This cluster was my first all-breed

mentor?

show, since the start of the Covid-19 Pandemic. There

There are a number of people who have helped me along my dog show career. My older sisters, Danielle and Rachel, have become my greatest supporters and the reason I began showing dogs. However, if I had to name one person who I call my mentor, it would

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were over 100 talented Junior Handlers entered, with almost half of them being in the open senior class. My only expectation when I entered the ring was that I felt confident and believed that Rolando and I performed to the best of our ability. I felt proud of my exam and


I N T ERVI EW W I T H J UNI OR HANDLER · K ATELYN MEYERS

would have left the ring happy knowing that Rolando

succeed in the show ring. Knowing that I aided in a dog’s

and I had a great time! I was overwhelmed with emotion

journey to show ring success, will always be rewarding.

when I won the open senior class and felt over the moon being awarded Best Junior Handler. I then went on to compete in Best of the Best Juniors in Cluster, where

How much time does it take to prepare a puppy or young dog for shows?

Rolando and I placed second runner-up for a $2,000

I am actively involved in my family’s breeding program

scholarship!

and have worked with a number of puppies. When I am

Do you also handle dogs in the breed ring?

preparing a puppy or young dog for show, it is usually pretty quick, as they are hard to keep still for long

Yes, I do handle dogs in the breed ring and have even

periods of time. I always make sure that the puppy is

handled dogs in the groups. I have handled several dogs

happy and has a good experience on the grooming table.

to their championships, and even some dogs to Best of Breed! Do you have a favorite breed or group you specifically like to show or prepare for shows? Or is there any breed in which you would like to have at home one day?

You also handle dogs outside of JH. Please tell us which win you consider your biggest win in the breed ring and why? My greatest accomplishment in the breed ring was when my Rhodesian Ridgeback, Marcy, won an Award

Personally, I favor the working group when it comes to

of Merit at the 2015 National Specialty. The show was

showing and preparing for shows. I am most comfortable

held locally, and I decided to enter to gain experience

and familiar with the working group since I have grown

and learn more about the breed, as I just began showing

up with working dogs. However, I am also very fond of

Marcy. This win will always be special to me because

the hound group. After my first junior’s dog retired, I

Marcy was the first dog I consistently showed in the

began showing a Rhodesian Ridgeback, which I handled

breed and junior showmanship ring.

in the breed and junior’s ring. I currently own one of her daughters and hope to become more involved in the hound group in the future. What do you enjoy more: Showing dogs or grooming and preparing them?

How much are you practicing to become a great handler? Before the Pandemic, I attended 1 -2 conformation classes a week. During these classes, I would work with my junior’s dogs, as well as my own dogs who needed practice for the breed ring. I enjoy these classes, as my

Being able to connect with my dogs one on one in the

dogs are able to train for shows, and I am able to receive

show ring is one of my favorite parts of dog shows.

handling advice. I still attend confirmation classes

Although I enjoy grooming and preparing each dog,

when they are available in my area. I usually practice

I do not get the same relationship as I would being in

at home a couple times a week. My family currently

the ring with them. I enjoy the experience of training

has two 12-week-old puppies, who I work with every

a dog for show at a young age, then finally watch them

day, training them in basic obedience, as well as

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conformation training. How do dog shows influence your life? Were there a lot of sacrifices you had to make over the years? Dog shows have influenced my life in a variety of ways. I have become actively involved in the sport of dogs and have grown a deep passion for purpose-bred animals. I have had to make several sacrifices over the years, such as missing out on summers with friends. In fact, I have never attended my high school’s homecoming dance as it always occurs the same weekend as the Kennel Club of Philadelphia (The National Dog Show), in Oaks, Pennsylvania. Although I have made several sacrifices for dog shows, I have managed a schedule that allows

Have you ever considered becoming a breeder? What breed would you choose for yourself? I actually breed Bernese Mountain Dogs with my family’s kennel, Twin Hearts Kennel. I have gained most of my knowledge of the breed and the working group through my family’s breeding program. I have had the opportunity to assist in breeding decisions, whelp litters, care for newborn puppies, and make puppy evaluations. Through this experience, I have come to appreciate maintaining the integrity of purebred dogs and advocate for safe breeding practices. In the future I plan on continuing my involvement with my family’s kennel and hope to breed Rottweilers as well.

me to stay engaged in school, extracurricular activities,

Have you attended or watched any shows outside of the

and participate in dog shows. I attend a high school that

USA? If not do you wish to visit some of them? What

has a vocational agricultural program called Future

in your opinion is different compared to the ones in

Farmers of America (FFA). Through this program I

America?

have been able to apply my knowledge of animal husbandry in my animal sciences courses. To stay in the program students, need to participate in a Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE), which is an agriculturally based job. My SAE is dog shows and working for my

I have never been to a dog show outside of the U.S but I have always enjoyed watching international shows, such as Crufts. I hope to attend a Canadian National Specialty for Bernese Mountain Dogs in the future.

family’s kennel, allowing me to combine my passion for

When you have some free time, what else do you like to

dogs with my education.

do?

Would you like to become a professional handler one day

In my free time, I enjoy going on hikes with my dogs

and do this job for a living or do you have other plans?

and swimming in the pond with them. I also enjoy

I am currently a junior in high school, and plan on attending college. I am unsure if I want to pursue showing dogs professionally, but I hope to continue handling and being active in my family’s breeding program. The sport of purebred dogs will always be a passion of mine, and I hope to continue advocating for purebred animals.

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participating in some of my school’s clubs and activities. I am a very social person and love to stay active in all parts of my life. I have participated in the National History Day competition and won the Outstanding Entry Award at nationals in 2019. In my community I have helped with various community service events such as, Trick or Treat Street, a safe alternative to


I N T ERVI EW W I T H J UNI OR HANDLER · K ATELYN MEYERS

trick-or-treating for students in my town. Another club

school at 7:00. Now that my school is online, I usually

I am an active member of is Unified Buddies, where I

let my dogs sit out with me all day! At night, I feed

participate in a variety of social events with students

the dogs, and clean the kennel for the next day. Prior

with disabilities. In addition, I am a part of a leadership

to the pandemic, I would attend conformation classes

group at my school called Wingman, where I assist in

on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Although conformation

a number of events and activities in order to create

classes are limited in my area, I attend whenever

a safe school environment for students. I am also the

possible, and typically practice a few nights a week at

Treasurer of my graduating class, where I plan and hold

home. If we have a dog show that weekend, I pack and

fundraisers. I am an active member of my FFA chapter,

prepare for the show Thursday or Friday after school, in

where I served as my chapter’s sophomore treasurer.

order to leave by Friday night.

Within that program, I have competed in a number of leadership and career development events and have even competed at the state and national level. How many dogs do you have at home? Are they all yours? What breeds are they?

What do you like most about dogs? Dogs have been involved with every aspect of my life. I of course love showing and handling dogs, but it is the small moments that will always be special to me! My dogs have become a part of my support system during

I currently have eleven dogs at home, only seven of

difficult times. I love that my dogs are always willing to

which are mine. I have five Bernese Mountains, two

participate in any of the activities I am involved in. The

of which are retired champions, one who is working towards their grand champion, and two that are working for their champion. I also have two 12-weekold Bernese Mountain Dog puppies from our past litter, that my family is training for shows. In addition, I have a Rhodesian Ridgeback and a Havanese that are retired show dogs. Due to the Pandemic, my older sisters have moved back home, who own a Havanese and Japanese Chin, that are also retired champions, and currently live with us. What does your day look like? Do you have a usual routine you repeat every day or is it changing all the time? If my alarm does not wake me up, my dogs sure will! I usually get up at 6:00 a.m. to let the dogs out and feed them. Before the Pandemic, I would make sure the dogs were away and the kennel was clean before I left for

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dogs that I have bred will always be special to me, as I

for me, my family, and my dogs. While I missed being

get to enjoy their journey from the whelping box to the

in the ring with my favorite dogs, the absence of dog

show ring.

shows allowed me and my dogs to experience new

How do you manage your school activities with all your hobbies? How much do they affect your school and how do you manage to be successful on both sides?

activities, ultimately creating a stronger bond between us. I spent a lot of my free time devoted to my dogs. We participated in hikes and neighborhood walks, continued our training for shows, and always ended

My education will always be a top priority of mine.

the day with lots of cuddles! When dog shows began to

My education and grades will always come before any

reopen, my family decided not to attend many shows,

extracurricular activity, even dog shows. I have been

due to my parents being high risk. I attended two small

able to effectively manage my time, so I can complete

specialties for my two heart breeds, Bernese Mountain

school assignments and still participate in dog shows.

Dogs and Rottweilers. I was fortunate enough to attend

I have spent many hours at dog shows studying and

the AKC National Championship in Orlando, Florida at

completing homework. My school is currently online,

the end of 2020 as well. Now that my parents are fully

due to the Pandemic, which has made it easier to

vaccinated, I plan to attend some local all-breed shows.

participate in purebred dog events. As I previously stated I am an active member in many of my school’s clubs and activities. When these clubs were in person, I created a schedule that allowed me to participate in

Were there any special dogs for you along the way with whom you had a special bond and connection and what made them that way?

these activities. During the school year, I typically only

There have been many dogs who will always hold a

attend shows held on Saturday’s and Sunday’s, which

special place in my heart. My first juniors’ dog, Juliette

has allowed me to devote a lot of my time to education

the Bernese Mountain Dog, taught me the basics

and school activities.

of handling. I will always appreciate her patience

How has Covid-19 influenced you in the past year? Did it change everything, or did it help you have more free time for learning something new? The Covid-19 Pandemic has presented several challenges

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and willingness to deal with an inexperienced and young handler. My Rhodesian Ridgeback Marcy was the first dog I continually showed in the breed ring. She allowed me to grow as a handler. I have gained many extraordinary opportunities handling her, such


I N T ERVI EW W I T H J UNI OR HANDLER · K ATELYN MEYERS

as showing at a national specialty and showing at

beyond the ribbons. All that truly matters is that my

Westminster Kennel Club. My heart dog will always be

dogs and I exit the ring knowing that we had fun. There

my current juniors’ dog, Rolando the Rottweiler. The

is no ribbon or placement that could ever replace the

summer I entered the open intermediate class, Marcy

bonds me and my dogs have.

had a litter of puppies. I was devastated, as Marcy and I had grown so much. My sister Danielle was showing a Rottweiler in juniors at the time, and the breeder offered to mentor me. She introduced me to Rolando,

Do you have any suggestions for younger kids just entering the dog show world? What should they be aware of and what are the usual mistakes kids make?

and we had an instant connection. We began going to

One thing I suggest for kids just entering dog shows is to

conformation classes together, where we created a bond

have fun with your dog! At the end of the day, it does not

and developed as a team. At our first show together,

matter what ribbon you or your dog received, but rather

Rolando was only nine months old, and I had just moved

you both enjoyed your time in the ring together. I think

up to the open intermediate class. We ended up winning

one of the biggest mistakes that kids make is giving

the class, but I was just happy that we had a successful

up or losing confidence after one bad performance.

performance.

A phrase we say in my family a lot is “Another day,

What are the most important things when showing dogs? And how should a junior handler or handler behave, in your opinion, at the show and at home?

another dog show,” meaning that one bad day or even one bad weekend does not make you a bad handler. It is important to maintain your confidence and learn from your mistakes. Do not be afraid to reach out for

It is important that a handler maintains good

help or ask for advice from mentors, breeders, handlers,

sportsmanship, both in the breed and junior

juniors, and even judges.

showmanship ring. A junior handler should behave professionally and responsibly at the show ring and at home. It is imperative that a junior handler have a good

Do you have any funny memories or stories which you would like to share with us?

work ethic and behave respectfully and responsible in

In 2019, I attended the Kennel Club of Philadelphia in

all aspects of their life.

Oaks, Pennsylvania. I was in the Junior Showmanship

Have you changed your opinion regarding dog shows since you first came to this world?

ring showing Rolando’s littermate Hoppy. Hoppy and I were doing our final go around into a free stack, when one of my shoes came off and landed in the middle of the

As I got older my perspective on dog shows has

ring! Instead of running to get my shoe, I continued my

advanced. Through dog shows and my family’s breeding

go around and focused on Hoppy’s free stack. I quickly

program, I have increased my knowledge on different

grabbed my shoe and acted like it never happened, in

breeds, handling and grooming skills. I appreciate the

order to stay calm. Hoppy and I then went on to take

time and effort handlers and breeders have devoted to

first place in the Open Intermediate class out of 30

this sport. I have learned that my success extends far

competitive junior handlers.

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DEEP SMART & PRESERVATION BREEDERS By Vandra L Huber©

“Throughout the dog community, there are people with deep smarts. Their judgment and knowledge—both explicit and tacit—are stored in their head, in their hearts and visible through their actions”

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D EEP S MA RT S A ND PRESERVATION BREEDERS

Get Hands on Learning Pedigree analysis is a necessary but not sufficient approach to breeding and preserving a breed. In today’s technology driven world, genetic analyzers also are available to interpret genetic compatibility. Both are decision aids that may or may not be useful to breeder. Sometimes, it what you might have learned without awareness that may be most useful. Drawing from the business world, the best saleswoman in a company may not know what she’s doing that separates her from the rest of the pack. It’s the same with a super-breeder. Deep smarts that are difficult to codify is often what makes the difference. You still must get your hands on the dog to truly see how he measures up relative to the standard and whether the dog produces what you

American Cockers are neurotic and aggressive). These things are usually negative or demeaning. They do not reflect an absolute or some inescapable reality for that group. Wait and See Before Choosing a Sire A breeder with deep smarts assesses the breed attributes of a sire before using him. If the dog is from outside of a breeding family, she may hold off judgment until she sees numerous offspring. By focusing on what is produced an experienced breeder is better able to determine how dominate the sire is and for what structural and temperament features. Being able to put your hands on the stud dog, and his offspring, is a valuable opportunity.

need. I recall one dog that did a lot of winning in the

Nor does a breeder use a dog because of its color or

U.S. The dog was particularly noted for its long head.

lack of a color gene or because they like versus dislike

From ringside, it looked like a long, well balanced head.

the owner of the stud dog. Novices may use a dog that

Close up, I found that the top skull and muzzle were not

is convenient to home. She may also use a stud for

proportional. Nor were the planes parallel. The top skull

which a breeder has taunted the merits of his dog and

had been cleverly lengthened with hair built up behind

bashed the merits of others dogs. Breeders with deep

the ears to create the illusion of parallel planes equal

smarts want the best stud dog possible – preferably

top skull to muzzle length.

the one who potentially can minimize two or three

In sum, you not only need to know what is right, you need to determine through action if what you see is what really is . This can only be accomplished through experience (e.g., by touching live dogs – particularly exemplars of the breed again and again until you develop a category prototype against which a specimen is assessed. The prototype enables final decisions to be made about the quality of a specimen relative to the exemplar. In contrast, a stereotype is something that is repeatedly attributed to one breed versus another (e.g., Chinese Shar-peis are willful, obstinate, and dominant,

faults. Smart breeders make it work with the right dog. Sometimes you’ve got to move away from your line and try an outcross. If it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work, and the breeder can add that knowledge to the toolbox of knowledge. Help Others – You Might Learn Something Helping others to evaluate their puppies is also a useful learning tool. A hands-on evaluation of a litter got me one of my most important bitches, namely Westminster BIS winner Am. Can. Ch. McVan’s Gaelforce Postscript,

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aka Peggy Sue, who was bred by Camille Partridge.

held the specialty record. The record was broken in

We were friends, but I had never acquired one of

2015 by Peggy Sue’s great-great-grand daughter, Can.

Camille’s dogs. She was more focused on performance

Am. GCh. McVan’s Be Bop Baby HOF CHIC aka Betsy.

than conformation. I was happy when she asked me to evaluate several show prospects out of a litter. We

Acknowledge and Try to Minimize Health Challenges

began the evaluation the same way. I always evaluate

The question to ponder as a breeder is which

litters by measuring and weighing. We watched the

problems can you tolerate, and which are impossible

puppies interact and play. I made loud noises, dropped

for you to live with. I am not a believer that dogs that

a chair, introduced one of my puppies to mix it up a bit.

carry a specific health fault —even a significant one --

We watched the puppies for more than an hour.

should be neutered. If we do that, then our gene pool

Despite a long coat, one bitch caught my eye. I went over her first and then I went over the others. I can’t completely articulate (tacit knowledge) why but I knew this bitch was very special. Even ungroomed, she had structure, attitude and potential. She did have one top

shrinks even more than it has. Recall that the number of purebred Scottish Terriers in the U.S. and U.K. are about half what they were 15 years ago. Genetic tests are growing in number. I am hopeful we will have significantly more markers in the near future.

tooth out of alignment but I had never been a tooth fairy.

I am greatly concerned about health transparency.

Camille ranked her third in the litter. She didn’t walk on

Some breeders don’t do testing: then they don’t have

a lead; she was as shaggy as President Roosevelt’s dog

to face up to the results. Others have the information

Fala. I didn’t have any money, but I really wanted this

but hold the information tight to their chest. They

bitch. I had to ask.

will talk about a health issue in their line only if you

” Is there any way I can get this bitch,” I asked. “I’ll show her and get a U.S. and Canadian title. I could pay over a period of time.” Camille thought for what seemed like forever, she then stated, “Well I know you will show her much more than I will. I could use a stud fee on one of your dogs. So, if you promise to show her and give me a free stud service, she is yours.” “Yes!” I said immediately. Camille’s belief in me, propelled me forward. I would do the absolute best. The rest is history. I showed Peggy Sue in Canada to two owner handled Best in Shows. With her handler Maripi Woolridge, Peggy Sue won six national specialties (a record that holds), a record of 22 specialty wins, and eventually Best in Show at Westminster Kennel Club. For 20 years, Peggy Sue also

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ask the right question. Otherwise, they are mum. Partial disclosure is still a lie. Breeders who do open up about a serious health issue are not generally rewarded; they are branded. The scarlet letter effect is so strong that it can be difficult to get a bitch bred. I’ve speculated about the reasons for this shunning. They may be protecting their line; they may not have solid knowledge of genetics; or they know it’s in their line or all lines and they cowardly won’t acknowledge it. Achieving transparency regarding health is one of the most important goals in the preservation of purebred dogs. Deep smarts require dealing with health challenges head on through open registries, education, and sound breeding practices.


D EEP S MA RT S A ND PRESERVATION BREEDERS

Develop a breeding circle One of the most helpful things I have found is to develop a breeding circle composed of individuals with deep

can find. I also provide a safety net of information and a lifetime return policy. What is your strategy with your line of dogs? Are your practices strategically-aligned?

smarts in areas where you are not as knowledgeable.

One tactic I use that may differentiate me somewhat is

The individuals in your inner circle also should have

that I always have at least two bitches of breeding age

similar goals as you. It’s interesting to have a close group

that are related but from different branches of a certain

of breeders who have different levels of experience. A

line. I was unaware that I was doing this until a handler

novice may ask different questions (e.g., Why should

friend pointed it out to me. The alpha bitch is typically

a Shepherd’s eyes be well set) and make you stop and

the star, conformationally and in the breed ring. She

think. A circle of friends provides you with a relatively

is my priority when I think about stud dogs. However,

safe place to raise and ask difficult questions. You can

she may or may not be the star in the whelping box.

share the names of stud dogs you are considering and

While my alpha bitch is being shown by my handler

have a serious discussion about the dogs. If a health

and breeding partner Rebecca Cross, my beta bitch is at

challenge pops up, you can discuss it, cry on a colleague’s

home with me. I try something different with her initial

shoulder, pick yourself up and jointly develop an action

breeding and perhaps the second breeding. But on her

plan. Breeding cohorts are also the ones you call or text

final breeding, I usually go with what has worked best

when you achieve something special or are dragged

with her or with my alpha bitch. Having two bitches

down by something bad.

that are similar but also from different bloodlines

Develop a Breeding Strategy Finally, deep smarts require a breeding strategy. I limit my breeding to a maximum of three litters a year. Now that I am retired, I don’t know how I was able to plan

provides me with a safety net if things go awry. As the saying goes, it’s not good to have all your dogs in one basket. Set Proximal and Distal Goals

a breeding, whelp, and care for puppies, show, judge

Acquiring deep smarts entails goal setting. Goals on

and work in my professional job simultaneously. If I use

the immediate horizon are called proximal goals. Long

business terminology, I am not a low-cost provider. Save

term goals requiring a 5-10-year investment are called

that designation for large scale commercial breeders.

distal goals. And then there are bodacious, gutsy goals

Nor am I a high-priced elite provider of Scottish Terriers.

such as ensuring the preservation of a breed. Goals need

I seldom if ever make money on a litter. Sometimes I

to be difficult but attainable to motivate action. They

give my dogs to people to help them overcome a crisis

also require performance feedback so you can revise a

or because I feel the dog needs more attention than I can

failing strategy and renew a winning strategy. Some

provide. My kennel could be called a boutique kennel,

initial proximal goals might be to finish a first show

with the aim to produce healthy and conformationally

dog. A second goal could be to owner-handle a dog

correct dogs and match them with the best human we

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first in a class at your national specialty. Goals may be

Preserving a breed requires deep smarts in new areas

specific to showing, whelping litters, increasing your

such as counteracting the “fake news” about purebred

knowledge, giving back via involvement in clubs or to

dogs and propaganda about the value of designer

the breed.

dogs. It requires working together rather than against

Because I am getting older and I have no genetic children interested in carrying on with my dogs, I’ve been concerned that my line will just end. All that work and poof- it is gone. I am taking steps to prevent the demise of McVan Scotties. I am strategically locating some of my dogs in different parts of the world. The goal is to diversify the gene pool. I hope the dogs I place will be used and the bitches will provide some amazing puppies. My instincts or deep smarts tell me this is the right thing for me to do. I’ve placed dogs in numerous countries (e.g. Finland, Singapore, Germany, Israel, Italy, Denmark, and The Netherlands). I’ve had great success in Brazil, Japan, and Australia. I am delighted to see more breeders following in my footsteps.

other breeders, and incorporating the power of many, rather than the few. We need more committed people and younger people. It requires educating companion dog breeders, so they comprehend and breed to the standard, health testing parents according to national club recommendations, and placing puppies in homes with purpose. Summary For the sport of purebred dogs to evolve and endure in these tough times we must develop and nurture dog women and men who have deep smarts and are willing to transfer that knowledge to others less advanced. Deep smarts is anchored on tacit (non-quantifiable, implicit) knowledge. Such knowledge is based on

The objective, of course, is to strategize like a chess

observation and first-hand experience. It is shaped

player and think at least three or more generations

by beliefs, social forces and emotional knowledge. It

ahead. The problem is that “stuff” happens. Stud dogs

requires not only knowing how and knowing who but

become sterile; a health issue crops up; or a brood

also on knowing how to bridge fault lines and taking

bitch needs to be spayed. COVID-19 makes it nearly

action. Deep smarts are what allow breeders and

impossible to import or export dogs which require

preservationists to make good, and often excellent

digging deeper to ensure that purebred dogs endure.

judgments well before others. Techniques range from

A second superordinate goal relates to doing what can be done to preserve a breed for its original purpose and design for the future. When FDR had his Scottie FALA in the White House, the Scottish Terrier was one of the most popular dogs in the United States (e.g. No. 3 in 1935). From 2008 to 2018, the number of registered Scotties dropped 35% and from 65th to 90th in popularity.

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passive observation and presentations, application of rules of thumb that mostly work, the telling and recalling of stories with a purpose and moral and learning by doing at the actionable end. To ensure the survival of our sport and the preservation of purebred dogs specifically, coaching and mentoring must be part of the equation. Only then, can the transfer of knowledge and evolution of deep smarts occur.


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