Westminster, just saying the mere word garners the attention of the masses that have never even been to one dog show. So of course you know how us dog people feel about our very own Super Bowl, Wimbledon and the Kentucky Derby all rolled up in one. This is a show where many great dogs will hang up their leads and walk out of the ring for the last time- it is the ONLY show where a Lost can get you future wins- I’’ll explain... while talking on the phone with a top Professional Handler while he was driving to the airport from the big Portland show- the subject turned to the importance of “being seen” at Westminster as he told me “I have gotten more BIS wins from judges who watched my dog at Westminster and felt I should have won”. And of course now with the Live streaming in recent years everyone,everywhere is watching...... so from the second you walk into the ring keep your dog looking his very best.
What a great year 2017 was for my wonderful clients– 4 Working Dogs are in the Top 10 Dogs of all Breeds (see page WD 54 for complete results). As the publisher of The Working/Herding Dog Digest I just can not express how proud I am of these amazing teams. Applause to the Breeders, Owners and Handlers on such incredible accomplishments. I can't wait to see what 2018 brings.
Disney World has some great rides but none could compare to the reality roller coaster of the race for THE Top Dog last year, that came down to the Giant Schnauzer and the Puli. Both dogs started the last week of shows off in Orlando for Tuesday, Wednesday, where the Giant went BIS, and Thursday and then after the Puli went second in the Group and the Giant went third in his group they BOTH got on the SAME plane Thursday night headed to 3 shows in Pennsylvania. One can only imagine how the handler of the Puli felt when she arrived at the show Friday morning with just minutes to spare only to find out that the entry service had made a grave mistake.... the dog was NOT even entered at any of the 3 shows! Probably the only person who could come close to understanding that feeling, but on a different level was the handler of the Giant Schnauzer who would return to Orlando for the Sunday show. Few could blame her, The Group Judge had bred Giant Schnauzers, The Best In Show Judge had bred Standard Schnauzers. Alas, he would not get into the group ring as he ended his day by winning Best of Opposite Sex under Judge: Houston Clark.
Speaking of Orlando, I would like to offer a friendly suggestion to the A.K.C. National Championship Show Chairman. Have the Group Judges judge ONLY the Group. I saw the forever young Bob Stein, married for 29 years to the always glowing Helen, judge 133 dogs on Saturday and some way, some how there he was front and center in the big ring at 5:00 PM sharp. Ready to preside over the Sporting Group. If that wasn’t enough on one judges shoulders, I go to Boxers at 8:00 AM the next morning and who is judging an entry of over 30 Boxers but Mr. Stein. Toddie Clark judged 158 dogs and then judged the Non Sporting Group Saturday. Peggy Beisel-McIlwaine had 174 dogs on Saturday and the the Herding Group to judge on the same night. Now please understand me, these are 3 of our best Judges and all did a great job, I just feel that with so many judges at this show every year I wish our illustrious Group judges could get a break.
Looking forward to attending the back to back Carolina Working Group Assoc. in Concord, North Carolina at the end of May. The Cane Corsos & Neapolitan Mastiffs are both holding their National Specialties in conjunction. I have heard nothing but great things about the Victory Lane Classic circuit and can't wait to experience it’s ambience first hand.
Calling all Boxers, Rottweilers Cardigan Corgis & Shelties the next issue of the Working/Herding Dog Digest is doing a special feature on your Breed- if there is something you have that you know would be educational to our readers please submit it to me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org and put the word ARTICLE in the subject header. This issue is passed out at all of these National Specialties for each of the Breeds.
Deadline is March:15th.
That’s All For Now, I’ll See You At The Shows.
James Perry Taylor, Publisher