Top Notch Toys November 2023

The dog show magazine celebrating the Toy Group of dog breeds - featuring articles, tips, and information provided with help from breeders, owners, handlers, club members, and judges.


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*AKC STAT AS OF 7/31/23 # 1


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AJ ARAPOVIC CEO & Publisher Office 512-686-3466 ext. 102 Cell 512-541-8128 HANIFA ARAPOVIC Vice President 512-686-3466 ext. 104 Cell 512-541-8687 MICHAEL R. VERAS Chief Operating Officer 512-686-3466 ext. 101 SAMANTHA ADKINS Production Co-Ordinator Advertiser Relations 512-686-3466 ext. 103 DANIEL CARTIER Director, Social Media & Web Site ADVERTISING DIRECTOR MEEGAN PIEROTTI-TIETJE Customer Relationship Manager call/text 512.593.5517





12 The National Dog Show’s Amazing Genesis David Frei 18 The Chinese Crested American Chinese Crested Club 20 Cavalier King Charles Spaniel One Judge’s Approach Dr. John V. Ioia, MD, PhD 24 TNT 40th Anniversary 26 Looking Back on 40 Years 34 Florida Safety Tips For Your Dog When Visiting Susan Thibodeaux 38 Judging the Miniature Pinscher Pamela DeHetre

42 The Brussels Griffon

‘Almost Human Expression’ Lorene Vickers-Smith

PATRICIA KARNIK Customer Relationship Manager call/text 307.413.3377 SOCIAL MEDIA ELMA BEGIC Manager, Social Media & Creative Content 1-512-686-3466

46 The Pug Cheat Sheet Patt Kolesar Stoltz 50 Training the Performance Shih Tzu Beth Scorzelli 52 Beauty Is As Beauty Does Marjorie Fagan 56 Maltese: The Consummate Canine Companion Larry Stanberry 58 The Spirit of the Chihuahua Virginia (Jenny) Hauber 61 Rates 62 Index to Advertisers


TOP NOTCH TOYS is published twelve times per year by AraMedia Group, Inc. PO Box 18567, Tampa, FL 33679. Postage paid at Omaha, Nebraska. No part of this publica- tion may be reproduced in any form without the express written permission of the editor. The opinions expressed in this publication either editorially or in advertising copy are those of the authors and do not necessarily constitute en- dorsement by the publishers. The editor reserves the right to reasonably edit all copy submitted. All articles become the property of the publishers. Subscription price for third class service in the United States: $75.00. Canadian and U.S. First Class: $110.00. Overseas rates upon request. In- quiries to: Michael R. Veras, COO, AraMedia Group Inc., PO Box 18567, Tampa FL 33678512 686 3466 ext 105 or

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Owned by Kennon Hudson Bred by Jeanne Haley Beautifully Handled by Pat Keen Fernandes

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left to right: John; Mary; David Dogs, left to right: Golden Retriever; Labrador Retriever; French Bulldog; German Shepherd Dog; Poodle

By David Frei Photos by Simon Bruty/National Dog Show AMAZING GENESIS AND THE PARODY MOVIE, ‘BEST IN SHOW’ The National Dog Show’s

W hich of the following quotes from the movie Best In Show pushed NBC Vice President of Sports Program- ming Jon Miller (nearly 22 years ago) into suggest- ing that his network put a dog show on television on Thanksgiving Day, replacing It’s a Wonderful Life ? • “I used to be able to name every nut that there was. Pine nut, which is a nut, but it’s also the name of a town. Pistachio nut. Red pistachio nut. All-natural white pistachio nut,” –Harland Pepper (Christopher Guest). • “We are so lucky to have been raised amongst catalogs,” –Meg Swan (Parker Posey). • “Don’t water the plants, they’re plastic,” –Gerry Fleck (Eugene Levy). • “He went for her like she’s made outa ham,” –Buck Laughlin (Fred Willard). • (musical): “God Loves A Terrier!” –Gerry (Eugene Levy) & Cookie Fleck (Catherine O’Hara)

“All of them,” Miller says, laughing. “My wife, Jan, rented the DVD for us one winter night in 2002 and we laughed so much that we had to watch it a second time.” The next day at work, Miller went to his boss and made his suggestion. He was “tossed out of the office,” he re- members. He kept working on it, and eventually got to Jeff Zucker, head of NBC Entertainment at the time, who liked the idea, especially given that It’s a Wonder- ful Life was not drawing big numbers, and that NBC no longer had NFL football on Thanksgiving. Boom, off to the races. Miller called Purina and got a sponsorship “yes” right away. Then he called Wayne Ferguson, Board Member and TV coordinator for the Kennel Club of Philadelphia, which had been staging dog shows for over 100 years. Ferguson made some sugges- tions as to what the dog show world would like to see, and they shook hands.

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*Dog News Magazine Top 100 Dogs based on AKC All-Breed Competition and RBIS through 12/31/22. The handlers or owners of these champions may have received Pro Plan dog food as Purina ambassadors. Purina trademarks are owned by Société des Produits Nestlé S.A.

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Miller went after some television tal- ent to host. His first call was to Sein- feld alum and “America’s 7th most interesting man,” John O’Hurley. Here’s the conversation: O’Hurley: “Hello.” Miller: “Woof, woof.” O’Hurley jumped on board. Next up: Yours truly, longtime USA Network host of the Westminster Ken- nel Club. With the blessing of West- minster, the American Kennel Club, and Ferguson and KCP, it was a no- brainer for me. After a couple of years working around her Olympics sched- ule, Mary Carillo joined the team to be the backstage feature reporter. Miller got Paul and Kathy Carson of Carson International, longtime producers of “The Incredible Dog Challenge” on NBC to agree to stage the event. He signed Steve Griffith of Vizion PR, one of the best sports and entertainment PR people on the plan- et, in my humble opinion.


By Steve Griffith

T he National Dog Show Therapy Dog Symposium at Rowan University, co- founded by prominent dog world per- sonality David Frei, presents its fifth annual day-long conference for practitio- ners, advocates and aspirants on Friday, December 8. The event is open to the pub- lic, including the veterinary healthcare community, with registration available at Therapy Dog Symposium Dec. 8. A non-profit partnership between National Dog Show Charities and

National Dog Show Therapy Dog Sympo- sium co-founders Michele Pich (left) and David Frei

Rowan University, the symposium launched in 2019 with over 200 on-site participants at Rowan University. In 2020 and 2021, instead of taking the years off amidst the global pandemic, symposium organizers went virtual, presenting a day-long livestream which attracted an international audience of over 200 online participants. This year, the program is available both onsite at Rowan University and via Internet for both domestic and international participants. It will emanate from the Glassboro, New Jersey, campus (30 miles from Philadelphia), home of The Shreiber Family Pet Therapy Program at the University’s Wellness Center. The all-day series of informational sessions features an array of prominent experts in the field, including Frei and Michele Pich, the assistant director of the Shreiber Family Pet Therapy Program at Rowan. The conference has established itself as the most prominent platform for the Therapy Dog and Veterinary communities to share information and develop best practices. The keynote speaker is Ann Howie of Olympia, Washington, an author ( Teaming with Your Therapy Dog ) and expert on animal-assisted interven- tion and animal-assisted therapy. Other speakers will be announced and listed at Therapy Dog Symposium Dec. 8. “We have successfully navigated the pandemic, adapted to virtual engage- ment, and found our niche,” said Frei, the 2019 keynote speaker. “With the COVID-19 pandemic mostly in the rearview mirror, we look forward to growing dramatically now with the help of our partners in the dog world, sponsors including Purina, and Rowan University, which has committed to growing the event within its wide-ranging community and its newly-an- nounced school of veterinary medicine, opening in 2025.” Steve Griffith is a public relations and marketing specialist who has promoted The National Dog Show, the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, and AKC Meet The Breeds in a 30-year career. Employers and clients over the years in- clude Manhattan College, NBC Sports, Madison Square Garden, and Vizion Group PR, his Philadelphia-based agency. He is the owner of a purebred Aus- tralian Shepherd and the curator of a list of attributes that dogs have in abun- dance and that humans desperately need.

David Frei trying to figure out why all-breed dog show judges don’t like the Lab (left) and the Golden as much as others in competition for Best in Show.

National Dog Show co-hosts David Frei (left) and John O’Hurley contemplate why it is that the immensely popular breeds Labrador Retriever (left) and Golden Retriever rarely win Best in Show honors at all-breed dog shows around the world.

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Papillon Club of the Carolinas • Mr. Elliott Weiss 7/20/23 • Mr. James Moses 7/21/23 Our sincere appreciation to these gentlemen for these wonderful wins!

Owned by Joy Carpenter, Linda Foiles and Darlene Kelly Jax is exclusively Owner Handled by Joy

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And we all set to work to get ready to put the show on televi- sion on Thanksgiving Day, 2002, in a wonderful two-hour time slot right after the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. The show that November drew nearly 20 million total viewers in its very first year and was the number one show on NBC that week. And it has continued to compile big viewership through the next 20 years, with the past few years—even in the pandemic—viewership remaining strong at 20-25 million total viewers each year. With constant re- broadcasts on Thanksgiving weekend and throughout the year, one can only imagine what that aggregate total view- ers number is with the show’s third decade under way. “We were already pretty sure that people love their dogs, and we continue to be thrilled every year with our audi- ence.” Miller said. “We love the idea that multiple genera- tions within families are watching the show, waiting for dinner, in the meantime, being entertained by the visuals and the competition. “And we are even more thrilled that we are able to put sig- nificant support back with the Kennel Club of Philadelphia and to dogs everywhere, purebred dogs and rescue dogs, to animals and their people in need. “The event has done great things for all involved, and is cer- tainly a great performer for our network,” he says. The great Winston (registered name GCHP Fox Canyon’s I Won The War At Goldshield) was raised by San Diego Chargers defensive end Morgan Fox.

Handler Perry Payson and Winston, 2022 Best in Show at The National Dog Show Presented by Purina.

Much of that original production team lineup is still in place. Alexa Maarema is the producer now, and meets the challenge every year to come up with great features to go along with the competition. The show has a home at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center in Oaks, Pennsylvania, a Philadelphia suburb. And the Kennel Club of Philadelphia, led by President Fer- guson, continues to provide an entertaining and competi- tive dog show for all. As for Miller, he has added to his “holiday” claim to fame by creating the NHL Winter Classic, which the New York Times said “has stolen New Year’s Day.” And now, welcome to the 22nd edition of the National Dog Show, hosted by the Kennel Club of Philadelphia, presented by Purina. And thank you Christopher Guest, Parker Posey, Eugene Levy, et al, for capturing Jon Miller that fateful win- ter night in 2002.

New York Magazine once called David Frei “probably the most famous human in the world of canines.” He has been the co-host of NBC’s National Dog Show Pre- sented by Purina since its inception in 2002, a role that he perfected in 27 years as the longtime (1990-2016) co-host of USA Network’s Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. David was director of communications for Westminster from 2003 to 2015, and in 2018, he was named to the Dog Writers Association of America’s Hall of Fame. He has been a breeder-owner-handler and judge in the world of purebred dogs for more than 40 years with his Afghan Hounds, Brittanys, and Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. But David’s true passion comes from the work that his dogs have been doing over the past 30 years as Therapy Dogs in Seattle and in New York City at places including the Ronald McDonald House, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, and at the VA Medical Center. He is an author and the founder of a much-recognized charity, Angel On A Leash, which creates and advocates for Therapy Dog programs nationwide.

David Frei and his Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Therapy Dog, True Dat.

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by the American Chinese Crested Club

T he origin of the Chinese Crested has many theories, myths or leg- ends and is still obscure in pin- pointing the breed’s exact origin. It is generally accepted that hairless dogs similar in stature and type are documented in Africa, South and Cen- tral America, as well as China dating to the early 12th and 13th centuries. For many people, the first impression of a Chinese Crested is how much it looks like a little pony. A Toy dog with a mane (crest), tail (plume), and feath- ering on its feet (socks) describes the Hairless. Most people are surprised to learn there is a fully coated Chinese Crested variety called a Powderpuff. Both varieties are elegant and grace- ful, and structurally are the same dog except for the coat. They are quite an active, athletic breed, and can entertain them- selves playing with toys but can also be “cat-like” and enjoy sitting in high places like the back of a couch or the arm of a chair. Cresteds are the ulti- mate comforter dog and many people with chronic pain conditions rely on Cresteds to improve daily life. A Crested wants nothing more than to be as close to its owner as possible— they love laps and sharing food, yet are easily trained to not be obnoxious about begging. The activity level of a Crested is me- dium to high, but they do enjoy quiet times with their family and can be a great apartment dog. Naturally, a dog that bonds so closely with the person in their life can excel with the chal-

lenge of Obedience, Agility, Flyball, Lure Coursing, and other activities— a loving team working together is their idea of a great time. The breed is well-suited to being Therapy or Service Dogs and enjoy visiting with residents or patients in hospitals and nursing homes. Some Cresteds have a great sense of humor and enjoy play- ing whatever games you can create. Conformation shows can be a fun family activity (children can compete in Junior Showmanship), and the Ca- nine Good Citizenship program can lead to a CGC title as well as teaching your pet to be a good citizen. The Hairless should have a weekly bath and protection from extremes in weather conditions—sun and cold. Powderpuffs require more frequent brushing and care of their coat. The American Chinese Crested Club participates in the Canine Health Information Center (CHIC) pro- gram with the Orthopedic Founda- tion for Animals (OFA) and the AKC Canine Health Foundation (AKC CHF). Currently, the recommenda- tions for breeders to screen and test their breeding stock for disorders are noted on the OFA website: http:// html?breed=CHC . The Chinese Crested is a rather long-lived breed, living well into their teens is expected. There are several options when choosing a Chinese Crested; they come in the two coat varieties and size can be variable. In the Hair- less, varying degrees of body hair are

evident, from little to no body hair to a fine covering of hair over most of the body. The hair on either variety is soft and silky in texture. The Breed Stan- dard calls for any color or combina- tion of colors as well as ideal size from eleven to thirteen inches in height. You will find the Hairless skin will tan with exposure to sun and will fade in winter. The Powderpuff coats often change color throughout their lives. Chinese Cresteds may not be the breed for everyone, but those who decide to share their home with a Crested will find a loving and loyal companion as their reward.

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2023 A TOP 5 BIEWER TERRIER * BREED A TOP 10 BIEWER TERRIER * ALL BREED Multiple Best of Breed All under the age of 1.5 years of age

Thank You Honorable Judges For These Recent

BOB Placements: Mr. Bryan Martin Mrs. Jean Nelson Ms. Patricia Proctor Ms. Gloria Kerr

Mr. Harold Tatro, II Dr. Jose Luis Payro Mr. Raymond V. Filburn, Jr. Mrs. Connie H. Clark

GCHB CH Perfección Del Cielo Gran Patrón Bred & Owned by Yolanda Cendejas / Expertly Handled by Pat Keen Fernandes

*AKC breed stats as of 9/30/23

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The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel ONE JUDGE’S APPROACH

here are three words that should come to mind when de- scribing our breed: Friendly, Elegant, and Graceful. T The “must haves” for a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel are fairly simple. If not for its beautiful head and expression, coupled with a gay, active, and friendly demeanor, the Cavalier would be a generic spaniel. The Cavalier Breed Standard makes this clear in describing that the tail shall be “in constant motion when the dog is in action.” This illustrates the happy nature of our breed. by Dr. John V. Ioia, MD, PhD

Coming at you, the front legs should also be straight and true; they should not be out at the elbows or exhibit paddling.

In profile, the balance of the dog should be obvious, making an elegant picture from nose to end of tail in one flowing movement, with proud head carriage and good arch of neck, good reach, and making good use of the hindquarters. When approaching a Cavalier, you want to be met by a sweet, melting expression. This comes from large, dark brown, lustrous eyes set well apart and with good cushioning under those eyes. While the skull is slightly rounded, the ears, when alert, should appear to flat- ten the skull as they fan forward to frame the face. This adds to the expression. The muzzle completes the picture and should be broad, slightly tapering, and the bite should be scis- sors. For me, a level bite is acceptable if it does not detract from the overall appearance. An undershot is a no-no!

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Thank you to all the judges who have recognized Ori’s true qualities!

Bred by Markus Kirschbaum

Owned by Christine Meager

Handled by Alexis “Lexi” Schlott & Kim Hess

Assisted by Penny Carson

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depth of chest, nice prosternum, and proper layback of front assem- bly with matching rear. This assembly will provide proper reach and drive with a level side gait and correct, level tail carriage to com- plete the picture. While Cavalier breeders strive for a nice layback of shoulders (40- 45 degrees), the reality is that many specimens are more upright. This will be apparent both on the table and as soon as you watch side gait. I love to see a front reach extending to the point of the nose. Similarly, the rear angulation should match to balance the dog, and once again, movement will expose correct or incorrect structure. There are many good to excellent specimens in the ring today and the breed continues to improve. I do, however, see some is- sues. With popularity comes large numbers. With large numbers comes some disparity. The Cavalier is a Toy Spaniel, and I am con- cerned when I see some very large or coarse specimens winning. The Cavalier is a “moderate” dog, and anything overdone should be avoided, whether it is size, coat, bone, heads, or eyes. An impor- tant issue to Cavalier breeders concerns the eyes. A tiny amount of white in the inner corner may be acceptable, but white around the eye is unacceptable. Similarly, light brown eyes ruin the warm Cavalier expression. The manner in which Cavaliers are being exhibited is also impor- tant. The Cavalier is a natural breed, with many accomplished own- er-handlers and professionals in the ring. I am concerned that ex- cessive grooming, sculpting, and trimming, plus an over-abundance of coat, are becoming all too common. The ACKCSC reminds judg- es in their education program: “Specimens where the coat has been altered by trimming, clipping, or by artificial means shall be so se- verely penalized as to be effectively eliminated from competition.” I need to remind judges that there are only four acceptable colors for the Cavalier: Blenheim, Black and Tan, Ruby, and Tricolor. All other colors are to be disqualified. This is made clear in the recent revision to our Standard. Like so many other breeds, colors outside our accepted four may be accompanied by health concerns attribut- able to the gene pool. Finally, an issue which is extremely important to our breed and to the sport relates to Junior Handlers. The Cavalier is to be shown naturally and free-stacked. The American Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Club is proud of our Junior Handlers, our program, and their accomplishments. A Juniors Judge should never ask a Junior Handler to hard-stack their exhibit. This is incorrect and our Ju- niors know better.

A judge must remember the roots of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and its history. This is not an English Toy Spaniel or “Charlie,” which is a de- lightful breed in its own right. Remember that it was Roswell Eldridge (an American) who, in 1926, sought to re-establish the breed as depicted in the seventeenth- and eighteenth-century paintings. Those dogs were depicted as having a “Long face, no stop, flat skull, not inclined to be domed and with the spot in the center of the skull.” A Cavalier must not appear to have a domed skull or deep stop. A Cavalier King Charles Spaniel must have good A lovely young female head in repose (top); a young female (bottom), alert, and the Blenheim daughter of the Tricolor on the top.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Dr. John Ioia has a 50-year history in AKC activi- ties. He began judging in 1982 and now judges all Toy, Terrier, and Non-Sporting Breeds, Best in Show, and Junior Showmanship. He is a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel breeder and has been active in Conformation, Rally, and Therapy Work. Dr. John V. Ioia, MD, PhD American Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Club:

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FIT FOR A KING Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are unique from the inside out – from their sweet and intelligent nature right down to their every nutritional need. That’s why Royal Canin Cavalier King Charles Spaniels formulas are precisely tailored to support cardiac health, maintain an ideal weight in adults and support digestive health in puppies.


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©ROYAL CANIN ® SAS 2023. All Rights Reserved.


40 th Anniversary T NT and Aramedia Group, Inc. would like to take this op- portunity to thank our readers, advertisers, and contrib- utors for 40 Years of devotion to the greatest little dogs in the world—the Toys! THIS COMMEMORATIVE EDITION ACKNOWLEDGES FOUR DECADES OF DEDICATION TO THOSE INDOMITABLE TOY DOGS

Thanks to your dedication and support, TNT remains one of the oldest purebred dog publications in the world. Through the generous support of breeders, exhibitors, judges, and par- ent club members, we have been able to showcase the dedica- tion of those who work tirelessly to preserve, promote, and protect those most delightful of purebreds. On behalf of every aficionado of Affenpinschers, every cham- pion of Chins, and every sponsor of Toy Spaniels, we extend our gratitude for allowing us to be part of your dedication and devotion through the years. As the Holiday Season approaches, we wish you and your family a joyful celebration together and a generous New Year to come.


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40 Years Looking Back On

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©Emily Olkkola

Preservation Breeder/Owner/Handler: JOSIE M. ORNUM


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40 Years Looking Back On

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CH Jade

CH Shang


GCH Lng Lng

Thank you to all the Judges who helped us get here, and Group judges who believed we were worthy. PLUS A NEW 6 MONTH OLD CHAMPION! PRODUCER OF CHAMPIONS 14 & COUNTING



#10 ALL BREED * *AKC stats as of 12/31/22

Thank you judges Betty Nelson Pollock, Jean Nelson and Carolyn Taylor, (Not Pictured Caralyn A. Herbel, Claudia Seaberg, Gloria Kerr, Richard Miller, Linda Hurlebaus, Nancy D. Simmons, Elizabeth Muthard and Tempest Deptuch)

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Are You Looking to Find the Best Homes for

your Purebred Puppies?

Download the FREE App

Find Us on Instagram

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The Hands2paws App Matches the Perfect People with the Perfect Purebred!

Puppy Buyers To ensure the right fit, puppy buyers should avoid purchasing puppies online or from pet stores. Not all cute and adorable breeds may meet everyone’s expectations and lifestyle. Hands2paws helps in finding the perfect pure breed through a series of questions, and their algorithm takes care of the rest. Additionally, Hands2paws provides guidance to the breed association website for more information on available litters. Breeders Hands2paws is virtually pre-screening potential dog owners for your specific breed. By asking specific questions, the app’s algorithm matches the breed based on the user’s profile. This saves time for readers as they no longer need to explain certain breed attributes like drooling, high-energy, or barking, since the algorithm has already matched them with their desired breed based on their answers.

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40 Years Looking Back On

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40 Years Looking Back On

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by Susan Thibodeaux

Y ou can’t wait to come to Florida for the shows. Getting away from winter snow and cold, and visit- ing Florida, can seem like para- dise. You picture your off-time away from the shows with visions of your dog playing in waves at the beach, swimming in the ponds and canals playing fetch, and hiking with you through the many nature trails. May- be you just envision yourself in a lawn chair while your dog plays happily in a pen or yard. What you don’t picture are the many dangers Florida offers dogs and how easily your dog can end up with a trip to the emergency veterinarian or worse. Let’s start with the beach. After watching the movies, you might think the biggest danger is sharks, but in reality, the most dangerous thing for your dog is the ocean water itself. Many thirsty dogs, or over exuberant but poor swimmers, swallow the salt water which can quickly lead to toxic levels of sodium in your dog. The high levels of salt in the sea water can lead to a fluid imbalance. At the very least, dogs that swallow the salt water will have vomiting and diarrhea; however, dogs that ingest large amounts have a high mortality rate. If you notice your dog acting “off” or it has an upset stomach after going to the beach, you will need to visit the ER vet as the dog will likely need to be treated medi- cally to survive. Other issues at the beach are hot sand,

jellyfish that sting, such as washed up Portuguese Man O’ Wars, and rotten pieces of dead animals that are left by the tide or dropped by seagulls. The hot sand burns their paws, the ten- drils of the jellyfish have a fierce sting, and the other items can be viewed as irresistibly gourmet by your dog and lead to a very upset gastric system. Bodies of fresh water in Florida, while not causing sodium toxicity, can have their own dangers. In the warmer temperatures, there is the danger of blue-green algae. If you see algae that looks like pea soup on the surface, or dead fish floating in the water, don’t let your dogs swim or drink from it. Even if your dogs don’t drink it, they can lick their coat with the algae in their hair and ingest it. The toxins in blue- green algae can lead to serious and of- ten fatal illnesses in dogs. Similarly, on the gulf side of Florida, there is an almost annual, but spo- radic, “red tide,” an overgrowth of an algae which causes dead fish to wash up on the beaches en mass and causes respiratory distress. Dogs will need to be kept away from the beach and the water during these events. Having been to the beach when the stench of the fishkill was overwhelming and the irritation of the algae bloom caused burning eyes and coughing, I can as- sure you that you will want to avoid it. Just watch the news before going to the beach to see if there is one while you are there.

picture courtesy of Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

photo courtesy of Caressa Thomas

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Number 1 Biewer Terrier in Breed * 2022 National Best in Specialty 2023 Westminster Best of Breed Multiple Group Winner and Placements

Bred By: Michele Lyons

Owned By: Michele Lyons & Lynn McKee

Shown By: Jody Paquette

© Photo by Jay

number one

GCHS Triple Crown Chad’s Winning Lotto Ticket for Lynn Biewer Terrier *AKC breed stats as of 9/30/23

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panhandle also has copperheads. If you are a member of the “What Kind of Snake Is This – Florida?” group on Facebook, you will quickly see that the snakes show up everywhere, in- cluding in houses, on patios, in garag- es, and in yards. Most resident snakes are non-venomous, but it’s best to not let your dog get close to find out. And there are the famous Florida bugs. This week, one of my four-month-old puppies decided it was a good idea to explore a fire ant bed and began to dig and nose around in it. After catching the puppy, who began running and rolling on the ground and swishing off all the ants, I can only hope her curi- osity has been assuaged. In addition to fire ants, we also have to watch for recluse spiders, widow spiders, bees, hornets, and stinging caterpillars. In my experience, dogs that are curious or have a high prey drive are attracted to all of them. Living here with Toy Dogs also means we have to be cautious of hawks, bald eagles, owls, bobcats, and of late, coy- otes. Our neighbors’ ring cameras and game cameras have been taking quite a few photos of bobcats and coyotes in their yards and even on their carports, and of course, there are news reports and visual sightings of them in neigh- borhoods across Florida. Bears too. And if the danger from the local fauna wasn’t enough, the flora can be deadly to dogs as well. Sago palms, cardboard plants, and Florida arrowroot contain at least three toxins that can affect your dog. They’re very common Florida plants, dangerous for dogs, and can be found across the state. The toxic compounds in the sago palm, a decorative plant used frequently in landscaping here, can cause irreparable damage to your dog’s health within fifteen minutes of ingesting the plant’s parts. While all parts of the Sago Palm contain the toxin, dogs are frequently tempted to taste and swallow the seeds. In addition to the plants that are tox- ic, sandspurs near the beaches and cactus in Central Florida forests can all cause your dog to come up lame with sore feet.

Below the water surface is another danger common in Florida. Florid- ians know that any body of water can have an alligator in it. Every year, there are reports of tourists’ dogs being snatched by alligators at the edges of lakes and ponds while playing fetch in canals or just enjoying a swim. There is a wetlands area near where I live that has roads through it that people drive, ride bikes, and walk through to enjoy the natural surroundings and see the wildlife. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve been engrossed in tak- ing pictures of an alligator and I hear someone walk by on the roadway with their dog and hear them grouse that it was a wasted trip; they didn’t see any- thing. They walk their dogs right past the alligators and never even notice. Another animal common in the lower half of Florida, but making incursions into Central Florida, that is very dan- gerous for dogs is the Cane Toad. Pre- viously known as the Bufo Toad, this invasive, non-native amphibian lives primarily on dry land and is frequent- ly found in yards, near canals and ponds, and around buildings. Cane toads are often confused with the native and safe Southern Toads but they’re much larger when grown and they can reach nine inches in length. The glands on the sides of the Cane Toad contain a potent milky-white toxin which can be fatal if your dog attempts to grab or lick the toad. If your dog comes in contact with one, wash its mouth out with a lot of water and head immediately to the emergency veterinarian. Even Florida residents’ dogs have encounters with animals they should have avoided. I received a text mes- sage one morning recently from one of the people who has a Toy Fox from me. Her dog, a lovely champion who is a beloved pet, had an extremely swol- len muzzle, and a trip to the vet con- firmed he’d been bitten by a venomous snake. Large vet bills and lots of med- ications, and good care by his owner, and he’s completely recovered. Flori- da has pygmy rattlesnakes, diamond- back rattlesnakes, water moccasins (cottonmouths), coral snakes, and the

photo courtesy of UF Extension Office

Florida has many wonderful attri- butes, such as the warm weather in winter, lovely beaches, and fun tourist attractions. The multitude and size of the Florida dog shows make dog show exhibitors want to bring their dogs to Florida to show and maybe even stay over for the winter. We love living in Florida, but like anywhere, it has its benefits and its risks. Thankfully, the majority of the risks to our dogs can be avoided. I don’t want to scare peo- ple from visiting our state, but visitors with dogs should get familiar with the things that could affect their dog’s well-being while here. Welcome to Florida, enjoy your stay!


S u s a n Thibodeaux began showing dogs in 1978. Ten years ago, after decades in the Sporting Group show- ing primarily

Vizslas, Cocker Spaniels, and English Cocker Spaniels, she made the decision to segue to the Toy Group and now has Toy Fox Terriers and Toy Manchester Terriers. She is President of the Ameri- can Toy Fox Terrier Club, on the Board of the Brevard Kennel Club, Secretary of the Florida Association of Kennel Clubs, and a member of the American Manchester Terrier Club. In addition to showing, Susan can be found hav- ing fun in various events such as Rally, Fast CAT and Barn Hunt, stewarding, teaching handling classes for BKC, and judging sweepstakes and matches.

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Pictured finishing non defeated from 6-9 puppy

Vogelflight sending wishes for

success & fun in Orlando!



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I t is an honor to be asked to write about Miniature Pinschers, as they are one of my favorite breeds. My love of this breed began in the late 1960s and continues to this day. Their spirit and presence captured me. Hopefully, some of you judges who are newer to this breed will under- stand the Min Pin better after read- ing this article. I’m hoping that some of you breeders out there will also benefit from my “words of wisdom.” However, my opinions are just that— my opinions. Judging the Miniature Pinscher can be challenging as they are not shown stacked motionless like most other breeds. They are very animated, with complete self-possession and a spirited presence. If you have one in the ring without these characteristic traits, please do not reward it. I bought my first Miniature Pinscher in 1968. What an experience that was! She was fearless in my arms and fear- less on the ground, but a real wimp on the table. Not being an experienced handler, I would get so embarrassed every time my wonderful Min Pin would shrink from examination. I was told by those with more longevity in the breed to simply exclaim, “Oh my, I don’t know why she is doing that, she has never done that before!” Well, that


worked fine until the day she won the Breed and then wimped on the table to the Group judge (same judge). Before I knew what I was saying, I declared, “Oh my, I don’t know why she is doing that, she has never done that before!” Well, needless to say, I learned my les- son to keep my mouth shut. So, in a further effort to learn about this breed, I actually talked to people who really knew them. Mr. John Mc- Namara of Jay-Mac fame was one. I spent quite a bit of time listening to him at the shows, and he graciously let me come to his home for more Min Pin education. Most are now better trained for the table than the dogs of old. New techniques and a concen- trated effort can produce stability on the table. However, they are big little

dogs and should be examined on a ta- ble—and judged on the ground. Some advice for you breeders is to get a grooming table and put your pup- pies on it (one at a time, of course) on a leash, and play with them using some bait and toys. You could even take it a step further and feed them on the table. If they are comfortable on the table at home, you have a much better chance of them being happy on the table in the ring. Take the time to do this even if you have to put the table in front of your couch or chair and do it while you are watching TV. I know I don’t have to mention this, but I will anyway: Never leave a Min Pin alone on the table. Other breeds you can leave alone on a table, but NOT a Min Pin!

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Mr. McNamara used to pay the kids a dollar a dog to take his extra dogs in the ring. My daughter, Angela, was so thrilled when she became one of them. At one of her first shows as a “handler” for Mr. McNamara, she came out of the ring with a reserve ribbon—so proud of her accomplishment! She actually got the dog to stand still. However, when I casually mentioned that she got the Reserve because there were only two in the ring (of course, the one Mr. McNamara took in got WD) her reply was, “The judge didn’t have to give it to me.” Nothing was going to disturb her happiness with that Reserve and, of course, her dol- lar. Back in the early ‘70s, you could actually purchase something with a dollar. She was correct, the judge did not have to give her the Reserve. Since that time, I have bred some champion Miniature Pinschers. How- ever, most of my accomplishments with them came as a handler. I fin- ished many and won some Groups. My grandson, Seth, traveled with me quite a bit. When he was about 8 or 9 years old, we were showing a Min Pin bitch that did not take to strangers too eas- ily. I was awarded WB with her. I had a special, however, so I made a snap de- cision to let my grandson take her back in for the Breed. Even though he was not an experienced handler, the bitch knew and loved him. So, I thought she would look better for him than with a stranger. I was right. He won Best of Breed! One of the things to realize when judging this breed is that they are totally devoted to their people. They are great show dogs whenever they are comfortable with the person on the other end of their leash. Many years ago, we were training sev- eral puppy Min Pins for a client and decided to take them to a fun match. I got a youngster to practice with them and take them in the ring. They, of course, walked quite nicely outside the ring, but in the ring… walk a step, spin, walk another step, spin twice, walk another step, jump, another

step, jump twice. Get the picture? The judge said, “Why don’t you train your dogs?” My little handler’s response was, “They are Min Pins.” That ex- plains it! So, in judging them, there are times when you will need patience and the ability to look beyond the spinning and jumping. They can be walking along perfectly and, quick as a blink, they can do a total spin around and then walk perfectly again. When examining the breed on the table, just walk right up to them. You can have the handler show the bite or you can gently do it yourself. As a judge, I do prefer to do it myself be- cause, sometimes, the handlers are inexperienced and they let go of the dog to show the bite. This causes the dog to move, and time is lost waiting for the handler to get the dog back under control so that you can finish the examination. It is more benefi- cial to use the time watching the dog move than waiting for the handler to restack it. Min Pins should be shown on a loose lead. They should not be stacked on the ground, but should stand and ei- ther focus on something off in the dis- tance (only they know what fascinates them so much), be baited, or they can stand and look at each other. They can flit from one position to another from one second to the next. Please don’t penalize this type of behavior, for to do so would be overlooking the very essence of this breed. The trick is to catch them being still enough to look at them. Of course, I understand you can’t put up a dog that doesn’t stand still long enough for you to see it, but don’t expect them to be still the entire time they are in the ring. As an interesting aside, since I have lived with many Min Pins, they are great pets. My first went to dog shows with me all her life, and she lived to the wonderful old age of 17-1/2. Min Pins love their owners and friends. The flighty attitude that you see at the dog shows is not there at home. They are totally devoted and focused on you at

home, but at the shows they see imagi- nary objects that demand their atten- tion, causing them to flit from one posi- tion to the other rather quickly. One of the most important attributes to look for in judging the Min Pin is its hackney-like action. Without its hackney-like gait, it is NOT a Min Pin. From the standard: “The hackney-like action is a high-stepping, reaching, free and easy gait in which the front leg moves straight forward and in front of the body and the foot bends at the wrist.” This gait, combined with “correct temperament of fearless ani- mation, complete self-possession and spirited presence,” is very important. These characteristics set this breed apart from all others. I would like to go a bit further to ex- plain that the true hackney-like ac- tion is one of reach and break. This is very hard to get, but should definitely be rewarded when found. Many will break in front of their nose, but will not reach out at all. And then you have those with plenty of reach, but abso- lutely no break whatsoever. If faced with two exhibits that are equal in all other aspects, I would choose the one that does have break, thus making it a Min Pin. No hackney? It’s not a Min Pin!! Simple as that. Also, this is a powerful, confident breed that struts its stuff—the tail should be up. After examination and after your ex- hibits have been moved, you may have a few dogs that, in your opinion, look equal. Move these around the ring (not down and back) and look for the true hackney as a decision maker. Re- member, head and tail carried high, high-stepping, reaching, free and easy, with a bend at the wrist. The Miniature Pinscher is a compact dog with a level or slightly sloping topline and a tail set high, and held erect. The whole package is one of confidence, authority, and presence. The breed has an unmistakable take- charge attitude. He’s a remarkable little guy, full of energy and drive. This breed is the “King of Toys.”

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Multiple Best In Show Multiple Reserve

Best In Show Multiple Best In Specialty Show

POMERANIAN 2023 * # 1 Our sincere Platinum Grand Champion MOUNTAIN CREST My Boy Watson

appreciation to all of the judges who have rewarded Watson’s exquisite breed type and soundness.

Bred and Owned by David & Carlene Gilstrap, Mountain Crest Pomeranians Owned by Anna Gilstrap & Joshua Marshall

Professionally Handled by Michelle M. Jones

*AKC stats as of 9/30/23

T op N otch T oys , N ovember 2023 • 41


Also from our ILLUSTRATED STANDARD: The very essence of breed type is found in the unique head of the Brussels Griffon. The almost human expression evolves from the proper placement and re- lationship of eyes, skull, nose, lips and jaw. Our standard is very clear in the paragraphs on the Griffon head and leaves no room for the exercise of personal preference by breeders or judges. The head is to be evaluated as a whole. It is the responsibility of all who breed and judge to see that the Brussels Grif- fon does not lose that which makes him unique. The eyes must be set well apart to allow room for the extremely short, well laid back nose to fit deep in line between them. The very large prominent eyes are a part of what gives the Griffon that “almost hu- man” expression so important to breed type. The eyes are not really

Brussels Griffon Association’s AKC STANDARD and our ABGA ILLUSTRATED STANDARD. As I look over photos for this article, I must admit I am having trouble finding any that physically LOOK like a human person. Yet I completely understand what the writers of our STANDARD meant. Our Griffons DO look like lit- tle people,? Don’t they?? The STANDARD of the Brussels Griffon states: HEAD: A VERY IM- PORTANT FEATURE. AN AL- MOST HUMAN EXPRESSION. ABGA ILLUSTRATED STAN- DARD: The proper placement of eyes, nose, and upswept jaw char- acterizes what some call the Grif- fon “pout”. When you look deep into the large soft eyes, you will see looking back an enchanted little be- ing with startling intelligence. All of these features give him that “al- most human” expression. This is a little dog with a lot of personality.

By Lorene Vickers-Smith

I will endeavor to write about the Brussels Griffon’s “almost human expression”. I have searched out mention of this in our American 42 • T op N otch T oys , N ovember 2023

black but very dark brown, appearing almost black. Eye rims should be edged with black adding to the intensity of the dark eye. Well opened eyes are essential for cor- rect expression. From studying other breed standards, I know some also mention the resemblance to humans. Most always these are brachycephalic breed standards. I think for starters that the lack of fore face sticking out puts them in more of a human category. It probably would be more difficult to see the ‘human expression’ in a dolichocephalic or mesati- cephalic canine. The level of intelligence of some of the breeds with ‘noses’ may arguably be higher, but Griffons are EXTREMELY intelligent in their own right. While looking into a brachycephalic face, it is probably easier to see a little person looking back at you. When judging our breed it is important to recognize that because of this high intelligence and ability to show their feelings, you must approach and handle table exams care- fully. Any wrong move that you make that could be inter- preted by the Griff as threatening, could forever ruin a fu- ture show dog.

I’ll conclude by leaving the conformation ring and talking about living with our breed. I believe that every canine, whether used for breeding, performance, conformation, field or whatever, deserves to be a family member under their human’s care. This unique bond with humans is what sets domesticated dogs apart from their wild ancestors. When people form an intimate connection with their pets, they are more closely in “tune” with their pet’s feelings and desires. It has been written about for ages that many do- mesticated dogs have become pseudo children for their hu- mans; Fur kids, Fur babies, etc. Many people easily trans- fer their own feelings and needs to their dogs. Perhaps this is the case with our breed in particular because of it’s large expressive eyes. The Griffon eyes definitely are the ‘win- dows’ to their soul! The Brussels Griffon’s eyes can convey hurt, loss, anger, disgust, need, comfort and practically the whole spectrum of human emotion. I think that because of the Brussels Griffon’s extreme in- telligence, it is possible that this “human likeness” is in the owners mind more than in the actual physical features of the dog.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Lorene Vickers-Smith has has been "in dogs" all her life. Her parents and pater- nal grandparents bred and showed Boston Terriers. Lorene established the Wis- selwood, Reg. line of Pugs in 1964 and added Brussels Griffons about 15 years later. She dedicated her life to establishing and improving the black color in both breeds. Lorene became an AKC judge in 1980. She is Judges' Education Chairman for the American Brussels Griffon Assoc. and she served on that committee many years for the Pug Dog Club of America and formulated the Illustrated Standard for both clubs. Lorene has the honor of being Life Member of both parent clubs. She was long time President of the National Brussels Griffon Club. She founded the Mid Michi- gan Pug Club in 1979. Lorene is past President of Ingham County K.C. and was a long time member of both her breed clubs in England. When Lorene is not doing judges education, her time is divided between public edu- cation and breed rescue. T op N otch T oys , N ovember 2023 • 43

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