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.
CIDNEY BIS BISS GCHG BK’S CONEMARA EL CID
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*AKC stats 2023
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BISS GCHG WENSHU IN THE MIDNIGHT HOUR Skylar
2023 AKC NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP VETERAN CLASS Thank you Judge Mr. David J. Kirkland.
2019 AMERICAN SHIH TZU CLUB, INC NATIONAL SPECIALTY WINNER Thank you Judge Mr. Luke Ehricht.
Bred by Donna M. Gerl, Carolyn Michaels & Sarah L. Lawrence Owned by Sarah L. Lawrence & Dona M. Gerl Shown by Sarah L. Lawrence
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Presenting our new Champion, Skylar’s grandson
He finished under judge Mr. Dana P. Cline a couple of days after turning 12 months old.
THE SECRET OF FIRE
Bred, Owned and Shown by Sarah L. Lawrence
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CONTENTS TABLE OF
AJ ARAPOVIC CEO & Publisher email@example.com Office 512-686-3466 ext. 102 Cell 512-541-8128 HANIFA ARAPOVIC Vice President firstname.lastname@example.org 512-686-3466 ext. 104 Cell 512-541-8687 MICHAEL R. VERAS Chief Operating Officer email@example.com 512-686-3466 ext. 101 SAMANTHA ADKINS Production Co-Ordinator Advertiser Relations firstname.lastname@example.org 512-686-3466 ext. 103 DANIEL CARTIER Director, Social Media & Web Site email@example.com ADVERTISING DIRECTOR MEEGAN PIEROTTI-TIETJE
Customer Relationship Manager firstname.lastname@example.org call/text 512.593.5517 SOCIAL MEDIA ELMA BEGIC Manager, Social Media & Creative Content email@example.com 1-512-686-3466
14 A Word or Two Dennis Sprung 16 Learning When Not To Show A Dog Allan Reznik 18 The Bubble Stephanie Hunt-Crowley 22 All Politics Is Local Sheila Goffe 24 Juniors & Toy Breeds Susan Thibodeaux 27 AKC National Championship Various Guests
39 Judging Brussels Griffons Carole Ross 43 A History of The English Toy Spaniel Richard LeBeau 44 A Brief History of The Shih Tzu Madonna Holko
MAILING ADDRESS PO BOX 18567 TAMPA, FL 33679
49 Rates 50 Index
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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# 1 BREED & ALL BREED * SMOOTH COAT CHIHUAHUA We are looking forward to an exciting year!
*AKC BREED & ALL BREED STATS AS OF 12/31/23
CIDNEY BIS BISS GCHG BK’S CONEMARA EL CID OWNERS & BREEDERS: BARBARA K. (KATHY) SMITH & CONNI M. ROBINSON CO-OWNER: SHARON MASSAD
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2023 WAS A GREAT YEAR FOR US!
PAPILLON IN BREED * & ALL BREED *
18 Best of Breed wins, including 2 Best in Specialty Show wins
PAP I LLON IN NOHS *
18 OH Group placements, including 7 Owner Handled Group 1 wins Canadian Championship in 4 shows/3 days including Winners Dog at the Papillon Canada National Specialty Exclusively owner handled..... shown only 16 weekends... All as a TWO YEAR OLD! Our sincere appreciation to ALL of the judges who pointed to Jax in 2023!! We are thankful for EVERY win!
*AKC NOHS stats 2023
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JUST THE FACTS,
MBISS GCHS/ CAN CH RIESA’S JACK OF ALL TRADES
Jax welcomed the New Year by winning the first Papillon Specialty of 2024! Papillon Club Of The Carolinas THANK YOU to Toy Specialist judge Sharon Masnick for this honor!
Breeders Doug Kelly, Mardell Leppington & Darlene Kelly
Owners Joy Carpenter, Linda Foiles & Darlene Kelly
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FROM AKC PRESIDENT & CEO DENNIS SPRUNG A WORD OR TWO
H appy New Year! We are excited to begin to share with you the many wonderfulthingsAKChasinstoretobehelpfultoourcoreconstituen- cies in 2024. Your contributions, commitment, dedication, and vol- unteerism to AKC are vital and appreciated. There is an abundance of announcements to start off this year and we are thrilled to share some with you. We begin by congratulating the AKC National Championship Best in Show Winner, “Comet,” a Shih Tzu. He triumphed over more than 5,700 competitors this year at the AKC® National Championship Pre- sented by Royal Canin, held December 16-17, 2023 at the Orange Coun- ty Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, to earn this prestigious title. Comet, owned by Bonnie J. Miller, Susan Carter, and Luke & Diane Eh- richt of Monclova, Ohio, bred by Luke and Diane and handled by Luke, was crowned “America’s National Champion” by Best in Show Judge Mr. Clay Coady and is America’s only National Champion in Confor- mation for 2023. In January, we recognized the 201st breed. We are very happy to have the Lancashire Heeler join the AKC registry. The Lancashire Heeler, also known as Heeler, is an affectionate, versatile, and intelligent breed whose history dates back to the 17th century. Heelers are small yet stur- dy, energetic workers and would be a great companion for active fami- lies. We look forward to seeing them competitive in various AKC sports. Lastly, we are pleased to share with you that we have launched AK- CRx as a new health and wellness initiative. AKC is working with Al- livet.com, an award-winning pet pharmacy authorized to dispense pet medications in all 50 states. This program will offer a full complement of FDA and EPA over-the-counter and pharmacy selections for a wide range of animals, including dogs, cats, horses, livestock, fish, and birds. Orders that are placed on AKCPetRx.com are processed and filled by Allivet.com. AKCRx welcomes every dog enthusiast. Our goal is to pro- vide a trusted, easy, and effective way for breeders and owners to secure the medicines their pets need. New registrants will receive a compli- mentary dose of Simparica Trio, valued at up to $32. I am appreciative of your contributions as responsible breeders, exhibi- tors, owners, and judges. You are truly what makes us great. We are ex- cited to see what this year has in store!
© American Kennel Club
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GCHS CH COACHLIGHT AFF-TER BLOWIN’ IN THE WIND
BEST IN SHOW WINNING MULTIPLE GROUP WINNING MULTIPLE GROUP PLACING
BREED & ALL BREED IN LIMITED SHOWI NG * #4
HANDLED BY SERGIO & MEAGAN OLIVERA
OWNED/BRED BY MONTE & SHEILA WYMORE DYLAN
CH COACHLIGHT N BAUHAUS KNOW WHEN TO HOLD EM
BREED & ALL BREED IN LIMITED NOVEMBER & DECEMBER SHOWING *
*AKC STATS AS OF 12/31/23
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TO SHOW A DOG
By Allan Reznik
A s responsible, committed breed- er-exhibitors, we consider it a duty to mentor all our puppy buy- ers. If any express an interest in showing, it behooves us to encourage them in every aspect of learning the sport of Conformation, from study- ing the Breed Standard and becoming proficient at breed-specific grooming to finding a handling class and build- ing confidence in the ring. We know how hard it is to motivate a newcomer to try Conformation, and we must wel- come them with open arms. They are the future of our breed, and the sport. However, just as important as teach- ing a protégé how to show a puppy is helping them understand when NOT to show their dog. It is an irresistible temptation for a proud new owner with just one show puppy to want to enter it every weekend. We’ve all seen promising puppies that weren’t ready for prime time get dragged to shows, only to lose all interest once they filled out and bodied up. Disappoint- ment all around. Judges have two-and-a-half minutes to examine and evaluate each dog in their ring. As a judge myself, I can tell you how frustrating it is to see the potential that an out-of-condition dog might have, yet know that our job is to evaluate and place the dogs on the day. That means an exhibit that is underweight, high in the rear, with a questionable bite and a poor topline is not likely to be in the ribbons that day.
tor an opportunity to get in the show ring while providing one of your adult dogs with lots of extra, one-on-one attention. Definitely a win-win. We probably all remember the generous breeder-mentor who gave us our start and shared the wealth. Paying it for- ward never goes out of style. It’s not unusual to see new faces at ringside, full of hope and expectation. We must all be cheerleaders for our sport, and make some time to offer advice and encouragement. Recently, I judged a specialty and was happy to explain to a new exhibitor that she should hold the lead in her left hand, rather than in both, and slide it higher up the dog’s neck. The dog immediately moved better, and the exhibitor looked visibly relieved, even managing a smile. I urged her to find handling classes in her area, and was happy to see that other, experienced people in the breed were introduc- ing themselves to her, as her puppy’s breeder evidently lives overseas. She seemed to accept my explanation of why her young dog was not competi- tive that day. I’m glad she went home with more than a pretty yellow rib- bon; good advice and perhaps a few new friends made the experience less intimidating. New exhibitors, like promising pup- pies, need nurturing. As breeders, we must be proactive. Make that call, send that text or email, and don’t let novices flounder. Even if the dog is not one that you bred, take a newcomer under your wing at the next show.
If the puppy buyer is lucky enough to live nearby, you have the advantage of providing in-person, one-on-one coaching. However, knowing your bloodlines, you can certainly look at videos, and gently explain to the owner the growth spurts and gangly stages to expect, and when the puppy is likely to come into his own. With entry fees for Conformation shows running around $30 or more per day, those few minutes in the ring make for an expensive weekend of practice, es- pecially when you then have to factor in gas, meals, and lodging. Introduce the owner to the wide array of AKC performance events that can be enjoyed while the puppy is grow- ing up; everything from Obedience, Agility and Rally to Field Events and Lure Coursing. By joining their local kennel club and meeting fellow dog enthusiasts, they will get to social- ize, volunteer, and compete in venues where their puppy or adolescent dog won’t be judged on his appearance. With an earnest novice who quickly masters the intricacies of your breed’s grooming and loves attending han- dling class, this might be the right time to offer them a mature, finished dog of yours to show and to learn on while the puppy is growing up. Many of us have a few adult dogs at home that loved the excitement of going to shows, the attention that was lavished on them, but have now been retired to the couch or a kennel run while we work with the next generation. Such an arrangement gives the new exhibi-
ABOUT THE AUTHOR Although Allan Reznik has worn many hats in the dog world over the past 50 years—breeder, exhibitor, judge, broadcaster, men- tor, club officer—he is probably best known as the award-winning journalist and Editor-in-Chief of several acclaimed national dog magazines. Three different publications were honored as "Best All-Breed Magazine of the Year" by the prestigious Dog Writers Association of America while he was at the helm. Allan Reznik has bred champion Afghan Hounds, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, and Tibetan Spaniels; has served on the Board of both the Afghan Hound and Tibetan Spaniel parent clubs; and appears regularly on national radio and TV, discussing all aspects of purebred dogs and responsible dog care. He writes monthly for SHOWSIGHT and is also the Tibetan Spaniel breed columnist for the AKC Gazette. In addition, he is an AKC-approved judge of more than 20 breeds from the Hound, Toy, and Non-Sporting Groups.
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KENNELS, COSTS & CREDIT REPORTS
By Stephanie Hunt-Crowley
L ooking back at the past year, we have seen things get pretty much back to normal after the COVID years. I say “pretty much” because there is probably no way to get back to where it was before. Some things have changed—and not all necessarily for the better. It has become increasingly difficult for owners and breeders to get vet- erinary attention on short notice, and emergency clinics are tighter than they used to be, with many refusing to perform an emergency C-section without also performing a spay. I hope these problems can be resolved in the coming year. The differences in attitudes that are now paramount and which affect ev- ery aspect of dog breeding, showing, and ownership, not just since COVID but over the whole of the last 50 to 75 years, are striking. This has been reflected in the drop in AKC regis- trations, litters born, and purebred dog ownership. I have covered most of these in the past year already, but when you look further back at the
I see comments on social media over and over that dogs should always be pets first and show dogs second, and the idea of having a kennel is met with derision. I see this as a very di- visive issue. Both show dogs and pets should have optimal care and atten- tion, but this concept is used to vilify those who have—horror of horrors—a kennel building, and who do not keep every single dog and puppy in the house 24/7/365. Fifty years ago, the breeders who were the lifeblood of the dog world were the people who main- tained enough dogs to have a breeding program with a new litter (or two or three) every year. They had dogs be- ing shown in all age groups and were able to provide other breeders with fresh bloodlines. Yes, that did mean that with medium-to-large breeds having litters of anywhere from 7 to 12 puppies, they could not all sleep in the house at the same time and needed the infrastructure which al- lowed for it. Some breeders would convert a double garage into a liv- ing area for their dogs, others would
20th century and the changes from how things were then and how they are now, these decreases have not been helping. I have been thinking a lot about the words that we use, and not just words like “fur baby” and “pet parent” but the broader terms which affect the opinions of people in general. Let’s take the word “kennel.” Fifty years ago, a dog kennel could have been a wooden doghouse like the one in the Snoopy cartoon, out at the end of the garden in a backyard, or it could also have been a boarding kennel, set up with divided pens for each dog, or a family of dogs kept for showing or breeding and sharing a bloodline. The latter could have lived in the house or there may have been a kennel build- ing, from the humble to the luxuri- ous. Today when we refer to the great kennels of the past, we think of what they accomplished, not how the dogs were housed or even the number of dogs that were maintained. Now the word “kennel” has almost become a dirty word.
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“NOW THE WORD ‘KENNEL’ HAS ALMOST BECOME A DIRTY WORD.”
move to the country. These breeders were not judged by how many dogs they owned or how many litters they bred. The health, care, and atten- tion provided to their dogs was what mattered most. We see a lot written about mentors and mentoring when it comes to en- couraging newcomers, but peer pres- sure has a big effect on how mentor- ing is received and how it is used. Attitudes have changed over the past 50-75 years, from when newcomers would talk to many people and buy and read books on their breed which had been written by people with de- cades of experience, until now. To- day, people fall in with the majority, whether it is the current style of trim- ming, the “right” dog food to buy, how often breeding a litter is acceptable, or which style of dog should be shown if they want to win. Another difference I see in the dog world is the attitude towards money, and to some, it has become a fixation. When I started showing and breed- ing, money never became a topic of discussion. Today people discuss and
complain about the cost of everything compared to what it was when they bought their first dog in 19XX, but they never think of the relative value of that sum in today’s currency. I have seen complaints galore about the price of a dog show entry, but when asked, “Compared to what year?” they are shocked when they are given the 2022 equivalent. I use the measuringworth. com calculator. The same people who complain about the cost of entries and hotel accommodations forget (or never knew!) that back in the 20th century, exhibitors would drive the same vehicle until it dropped or until they needed a larger one. (Some still do, guilty as charged!) Now, looking at any parking lot at any dog show tells a different story. The newest and shiniest predominate. This fixation prevails in too many instances these days. It bothers me when I see comments that AKC is “only in it for the money,” with crit- ics and complainers not acknowledg- ing all the good that is done in terms of fighting anti-breeder legislation, or funding and sponsoring research
into health issues and veterinary medicine. I see critics slamming oth- er breeders, not about the quality of their dogs or the care they receive but with the accusation that if they breed more than occasionally they must be in it for the money; and at the same time claiming that if they do it right, they lose money on every litter! I have seen breeders advocating online that people should ask for a credit report on a potential puppy buyer, which is not only invasive but does not guar- antee the quality of care that a puppy will receive. Now that we are entering another New Year—2024, I feel as if we are in a speeded-up time machine, and I would like to see a meld between all the valuable new discoveries and a return to more of the old ways. Get to know more people personally, even if they live too far away to meet in per- son. (People can call over the phone or through the Internet.) Learn about who they are, and their values, not what you have gleaned online. Make new friends, not enemies. You may be surprised.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR Stephanie Hunt Crowley started to show the puppies from her first litter as a teenager in England. She was also one of the origi- nal breeders who introduced the American Cocker Spaniel to the UK before relocating to the United States. She gained approval from the KC to award CCs in the UK and subsequently judged the breed there and in the US, Canada, Australia, and New Zea- land. Stephanie has written for breed and all-breed magazines, as well as general interest publications, and now lives in France.
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NUMBER ONE Longcoat Bitch 2023 * TOP FIVE LONGCOAT CHIHUAHUA ALL BREED 2023 *
OUR SINCEREST APPRECIATION AND THANK YOU JUDGES FOR THESE SPECIAL WINS
LITTERMATE TO MBIS NUMBER ONE LONGCOAT DOG 2022 AND 2023
Breeder and Owner Tina Bregman
Handled Exclusively by David Welsh
*AKC all breed stats as of 12/31/23
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ONELOVE BIS MRBIS MBISS GRCHG C’est La Vie T op N otch T oys , J anuary 2024 • 21
ALL POLITICS IS LOCAL EASY WAYS TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE FOR DOGS IN YOUR COMMUNITY
AKC GOVERNMENT RELATIONS: JACOB HUPP, BOB RILLING-SMITH, CHARLEY HALL WITH JENNIFER CLARK AND SHEILA GOFFE
I n November, local communities throughout the country held elections for county and local officials. Only four states (Louisiana, Mississippi, New Jersey, and Virginia) held elections for state legislatures. “Off year” elections like 2023 typically capture less public and media imagina- tion, and voter turnout can struggle to reach even half the rate achieved in presidential election years. The irony is that local elections—the ones with the great- est impact on the daily lives of dog enthusiasts—are also the ones that the fewest people participate in. Local elections and other local engagement represent a missed opportunity—and the greatest opportunity for dog lovers to advocate for dog- and breeder-friendly laws. For dog owners and enthusiasts, all politics truly is local. Over the past several months, the AKC Government Relations team has tracked an increase in efforts by local governments on a wide range of issues impacting responsible dog owners and their dogs. The most prominent and troubling efforts include new mandatory spay/neuter proposals and efforts to restrict intact dog ownership and breeding. In each case, engagement by local clubs, dog enthusiasts, and breeders has been crucial in protecting the future of purebred dogs in these communities. HERE ARE TWO CURRENT EXAMPLES Las Cruces, New Mexico, recently held a work session to dis- cuss a mandatory spay and neuter ordinance. In response, local clubs are stepping up to educate their mayor and the city council about the harm this ordinance could cause for canine health, responsible breeders, and dog enthusiasts. These education efforts can often lead to long-lasting rela- tionships that create opportunities for clubs to shape canine policy in their communities. In Kern County, California, a proposal before the local board of supervisors would overhaul dog licensing—and require mandatory spay/neuter for many county residents. Here again, local area club members and dog enthusiasts, along with the California Federation of Dog Clubs, got in- volved early (and often!) in the process to help push back against misinformation offered by the proposal’s propo- nents. They have attended numerous local meetings, writ- ten letters, and held meetings with elected officials to shape the proposal in a much more dog owner-friendly way. Developing relationships with local lawmakers is critical to preventing bad dog laws. Educating candidates about the
value of responsible dog owners, enthusiasts and breed- ers (https://www.votervoice.net/AKC/campaigns/94533/ respond) and participating in local elections is an easy way to make an impact. The run up and immediate aftermath of an election—when lawmakers are most available to their constituents—also offer a valuable opportunity for clubs to introduce themselves and develop a productive relation- ship with lawmakers and candidates. HERE’S AN EASY WAY TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE—BEFORE BAD LAWS ARE INTRODUCED Considering local elections were held across the country in November, and most state legislatures are adjourned until 2024, now is a perfect time for individual dog owners, club members, and clubs to get in touch with newly elected and re- elected local lawmakers. • Introduce yourself (and your club). The first step is to let local lawmakers know who you are. Always be on the lookout for opportunities to meet lawmakers at commu- nity events and office hours designed to foster dialogue between lawmakers and their constituents. Often, you can find this information on their social media pages. To further aid in these introduction efforts, you can find a sample introductory letter in the tool box in AKC’s Leg- islative Action Center at: www.akcgr.org (chrome-exten- sion://efaidnbmnnnibpcajpcglclefindmkaj/https://cdn. akc.org/Government_Relations/Club_Introduction_ Letter.pdf?_ga=2.128189007.2145456587.1525696617- 1422814510.1521724924), which you can send or use as a guideline in your introductory conversations.
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• Attend or designate someone to attend regularly scheduled public meetings. Consider attending gen- eral council/board meetings as well as key commit- tees, and taking the time to introduce yourself to the elected officials and the appropriate staff (manager, admin assistant, etc.) so that you become a known en- tity. They are generally approachable before and after meetings. • Before an election, send local lawmakers a survey about their position on animal issues. Let them know that your club and community take these is- sues seriously and that responses will be shared with your club. Visit the Legislative Action Center toolbox for sample surveys and election guides. Support the AKC Political Action Committee, and if you are work- ing with a candidate worthy of strong support, contact the AKC PAC (www.akc.org/pac) to learn how the PAC can help to elect dog-friendly candidates. The AKC’s GR Legislative Action Center and Toolbox (https://www.votervoice.net/AKC/Home) provides a wide range of resources, including outreach planners, policy and issues analyses, sample letters, fact sheets, and more. When local issues do arise, AKC Government Relations is here to help you—but we can’t do it without you! With thou- sands of local communities across the country, local clubs and dog owners play a key role in working together with AKC GR and in being vigilant in monitoring for proposals impacting dog owners. HOW YOU CAN HELP AKC STAY INFORMED ABOUT LOCAL PROPOSALS • Monitor local media and follow your lawmakers on social media. Keep an eye out for animal incidents in your community. These incidents are often the cata- lyst for changes to the law. In some cases, you may also find local stories about the development of these ordi- nances in local media and on social media. • Regularly check city and county websites. Most cities and counties have websites where they post meeting agendas. Learn when the council or commis- sion meetings are held and find out when agendas are posted. Also, check to see if your city or county has an animal advisory committee and check those agendas as well. When you learn of an issue, contact AKC Gov- ernment Relations and we can help you with analysis, talking points, and spreading the word to other local clubs and breeders. AKC Government Relations is happy to help you in com- municating with lawmakers and developing policy solu- tions. Whether its participating in educated voting for lo- cal elections, supporting the AKC PAC, or participating in your community, your engagement is crucial to protecting the future of purebred dogs and dog events in your commu- nity. Visit AKC’s Legislative Action Center at www.akcgr.org. The Toolbox, Blogs, and Key Issues tabs are updated fre- quently with new resources. You can also always contact AKC GR at: email@example.com. We are glad to work with you to be effective advocates in your community on behalf of our dogs and our sport. T op N otch T oys , J anuary 2024 • 23
• Contact lawmakers via phone or email at their of- fice and see if you can schedule an appointment or arrange a telephone call to introduce yourself and ex- plain your willingness to serve as a resource for any issues related to responsible dog ownership, breed- ing, and issues related to zoning. The vast majority of elected officials are not dog experts. They rely on their constituents for advice. If we as enthusiasts and breed- ers do not share our expertise, lawmakers are forced to rely on the resources that are offered them… often by animal rights groups. Check your local community and county’s websites for contact information. If it’s not listed, you can also ask the Clerk’s office for the best way to reach out to local officials. • Invite them to shows and events. This is a great way to introduce lawmakers to the fun of our sport and the importance of supporting responsible breeders and hobbyists. Let them know how dog events and respon- sible dog owners and breeders benefit the community. Consider giving them a tour—or better yet, allow them to present a Best in Show or another award. If your club is participating in local community activities and events, be sure to let your local lawmakers know. AKC GR can help you with all aspects of this, from inviting the lawmakers, to tips on communicating, to appropri- ate resources and materials to provide, and more. • Let them know of your club’s good work in the com- munity. When communicating with lawmakers, AKC GR always lets them know if there are AKC clubs in their district/city/county. You can help to strengthen this talking point by letting them know what you do in the community. If you are offering a training class or CGC certification, write your local lawmaker and let them know. Did you donate money for K9 vests or par- ticipate in the Adopt a K9 Cop Program? Let your law- makers know and let your local media know too. This demonstrates your value to the community and also, again, shows your expertise on local dog issues. • Volunteer at your local shelter. Not only is this a great community service, but it shows your local ani- mal control officers that you care about these dogs and want to be a part of the solution. Often, too, local proposals are brought forward by local animal control directors and officers. By having a relationship and working with them, you may be able to better learn about these concerns and offer your expertise before a negative proposal is introduced. • Sign up for local boards and advisory commissions. Many counties and communities have an animal advi- sory board or commission. Consider applying for open seats on these boards to ensure the voice of local clubs and hobbyists are heard. If there aren’t any open seats or animal boards in your area, consider other boards or commissions that deal with issues of interest to you. Involvement in your community helps to develop es- sential relationships with leaders who can impact your ability to breed, own, and show dogs.
JUNIORS & TOY BREEDS By Susan Thibideaux
A major mission of the AKC is to protect and as- sure the continuation of the sport of purebred dogs. One way for them to do this is to look to those who are the future of our sport. In AKC’s words, “…encourage participation in the sport by young purebred dog enthusiasts; to teach good sportsmanship, win or lose; and to educate the next generation of the fancy.” AKC offers a number of ave- nues for Juniors to participate, and the most well-re- ceived and recognized event is Junior Showmanship. Generally, children begin with the family pet, but in- creasingly, we see parents on social media looking for guidance on a dog for their family and their children’s participation in dog shows. The AKC Junior Face- book group has 6,000 members and the AKC Ju- niors Facebook page has more than 1,100 followers. Parents and Juniors often ask for advice on breeds and search for dogs using those social media sources. Some children get started in Juniors with their cur- rent pet and then, as they get deeply involved and more competitive, they begin to seek out a dog spe- cifically for their Junior’s career. It’s no secret that many Toy breeders are seniors, and as time goes by our ranks are getting smaller. Unfor- tunately for those of us in Toys who want to encour- age young people to get into Toy breeds and join our clubs, we discover that when our youth are choosing a dog for Junior showmanship, the Toy breeds are of- ten overlooked for the bigger, flashier breeds. Some of this is due to familiarity and to the exposure they have to the larger dogs. Family pets are often bigger breeds from the Sporting, Working, and Herding Groups. When new Juniors begin showing, they will often see the more experienced Juniors showing in Open and Masters with dogs such as Doberman Pin- schers, Pointers, Australian Shepherds, and other similar breeds. At the Royal Canin AKC National Championship Junior Competition, with 152 en- tries, only 18 were listed as showing a dog from the Toy Group. A number of the Toy breed clubs holding specialties in Orlando on the day before the AKC National Cham- pionship have begun making an effort to reach out to Juniors and introduce them to their Toy breeds. Sev- eral Toy breed specialties held Junior competitions
© Frank Horvath
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We are FULL of the
# 10 TOY FOX ALL BREED * & # 6 NOHS ** IN SIX MONTHS SHOWN
FINISHES CH ATFTC NATIONAL JOHNNY SHOEMAKER
TOY GROUP 2 1ST TIME SPECIAL EVALYN GREGORY
RBIS OH LINDA TILKA
GCH AT AKC NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP 3-5 POINT GCH MAJORS ORLANDO WEEK DANA CLINE, RICHARD ALBEE & DAVID KIRKLAND
GCH KALLMEE THE HEARTFUL DODGER
BRED BY SUSAN THIBODEAUX COCOA, FL ALWAYS OWNER HANDLED BY JANET WEERTS OSPREY, FL
*AKC STATS AS OF 8/31/23
**AKC NOHS STATS 2023
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© Heather Lee
© Heather Lee
© Joan Eldridge
Florida Yorkshire Terrier Club had amazing rosettes for the Juniors. All the clubs promoting their breeds to Juniors have worked hard to make it a great experience for them. We will continue to promote Toy breeds to Juniors, and as the youth spend time with our Toy dogs and have success with them, I believe we will encourage a whole new gen- eration of Toy dog lovers and help to assure the preservation of our won- derful Toy breeds. If you have the op- portunity to educate a Junior on your Toy breed, it is worth the effort. The Toy breeds are an excellent option for Susan Thibodeaux began showing dogs in 1978. Ten years ago, after decades in the Sporting Group showing 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. youth wanting to show dogs. ABOUT THE AUTHOR
about the Toy breeds and came to the specialties to show and to learn. One Junior, Hadrian Towell, compet- ed with a Toy Manchester both in the Manchester Specialty, where he won Best Junior, and in the AKC Junior Competition where he made the Fi- nals, and ultimately, 4th Place. Anoth- er Junior, Izzy Burg, showed her Toy Fox Terrier, winning Best Junior at the Toy Fox Specialty and then went to compete with adults and won 4th in the NOHS Finals Toy Group. These Juniors are just two of the talented youth who are showing Toy breeds in Juniors and Conformation, and dem- onstrating how the Toy breeds can be outstanding dogs for Juniors. Some clubs make a year-round ef- fort to support and promote Juniors in their events. An example is the American Manchester Terrier Club whose members have fundraisers for their Junior competitions and to assist their Junior Members. They mentor Juniors, have Junior events at their specialties, including activi- ties outside the ring for Juniors, and have earned an excellent reputa- tion for being a Junior-friendly club. The American Toy Fox Terrier Club doesn’t charge an entry fee for Ju- niors to enter Junior Showmanship at their Specialties. The Biewer Ter- rier Club of America had great prizes and reduced entry fees. The Central
for the first time with their annual Orlando Specialty that Friday. Other clubs, to increase interest in their breed, invited Juniors and offered the use of dogs for them to show. Some Toy breed clubs promoted Junior competition at their specialties with large rosettes and great prizes. The number of Juniors participating at the Toy breed specialties this year was quite impressive and very encour- aging. Italian Greyhounds (15), Biew- er Terriers (9), Yorkshire Terriers (4), Toy Fox Terriers (8), Papillons (7), Cavalier King Charles Spaniels (8), Chinese Crested (9), Pomeranians (10), and Toy Manchester Terriers (6) are some of the Toy breeds whose clubs chose to promote themselves to Juniors successfully this year. The AKC rule change allowing children to show in Junior Showmanship with a dog they don’t own is also helping the Toy breed clubs to promote their breeds. A number of Toy breeders, me included, brought dogs specifically for Juniors to show. I took three retired champions for Juniors to show at the ATFTC Specialty. One young lady from my hometown showed at her very first shows ever with my Toy Fox Terrier, “Flirt,” that she’d practiced with at handling class for a few weeks and then showed in Novice. Some Ju- niors normally show in other breeds but enjoyed the opportunity to learn
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2023 AKC NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP ANDREW BRACE BRED-BY-EXHIBITOR TOY GROUP JUDGE
1. Can you describe your reaction to receiving an invitation to judge the Bred-By-Exhibitor Toy Group at the AKC National Champion- ship Presented by Royal Canin? Obviously, such an assignment is a great honor, especially for a judge from overseas, and having
the breed fail, hav- ing the correct head proportions, clas- sic outline, good length of leg, and a correct coat. The Miniature Pin- scher standing Sec- ond pressed hard as she is an out- standing example of the breed with a natural charisma. The Pekingese who
attended many of the events in Orlando I realize how seriously exhibitors take this very special show. I was thrilled and humbled. 2. What does it mean to judge this event at the only all-breed show organized directly by the American Kennel Club? It means you have the opportunity to evaluate the cream of purebreds in front of the world, and so there is a huge responsibility to get it right! 3. In your opinion, how does this show differ from other AKC events? It is unique in its magnitude and atmosphere, and so many dogs in a breed come together to compete who may not normally meet up due to geography. 4. What were you thinking or feeling moments before you stepped into the center of the BBE Group ring? Focus on nothing but the dogs! 5. Was there a heightened energy coming from the dog and handler teams? Did you feel the energy of the spectators? The ringside was packed and enthusiastic, and all handlers gave of their best, maybe moving up a gear in a central ring. 6. How challenging was this assignment? Can you share your selection process? No more challenging than any other. Select firstly on breed type and excellence in terms of quality, then make close decisions based on movement and carriage. 7. Do you have a word or two about your BBE Group winner? About the dogs that placed? The Pomeranian who won excels where so many of
placed Third has a magnificent head and handles so well on the table. His presentation was flawless. Completing the quartet was an enchanting Toy Manchester. In the UK we call them English Toy Terriers and I have seldom seen a better one. 8. Breeders are fundamental to the health and welfare of the sport of dogs. Based on this assignment, are today’s breeders doing well by the sport and for their breeds? Purebred breeders are so conscious of health and well- being, despite what detractors of the sport may say, and this collection of Toy dogs proved categorically that American breeders are doing a wonderful job. 9. A dog show of this magnitude is a monumental under- taking. Is there anything you’d like to say on behalf of the AKC and the show’s sponsors? I have, as a journalist, repeatedly pointed out that the AKC does more than any other governing body in the world to promote purebreds to the public and this show- case event demonstrates its commitment and that of its sponsors, Royal Canin. 10. Now that it’s over, what are your thoughts on the 2023 show year? Any thoughts on the year ahead? I will continue to judge the occasional show as my activi- ties have been much reduced since becoming a full-time caregiver for my 96-year-old blind mother—which made the trip to Orlando all the more special.
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2023 AKC NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP ROBIN STANSELL NOHS TOY GROUP JUDGE
1. Can you describe your reac- tion to receiving an invitation to judge the National Owner- Handled Series Toy Group at the AKC National Championship Presented by Royal Canin? It is an honor to be invited to pass judgement on the dogs exhibited by these dedicated enthusiasts.
2. What does it mean to judge this singular event at the only all-breed show organized directly by the Ameri- can Kennel Club? I have been involved with the National Owner-Han- dled Series since its inception, so it is indeed a special event to me. I am totally impressed by the number of exhibitors who attend and the distances they trav- eled to participate in this competition. I believe this clearly demonstrates the popularity of this event. 3. In your opinion, how does this show differ from other AKC events? There are no championship points given for this competition. The only way these exhibits earn cham- pionship points is by winning in the regular classes, competing against both professional and amateur handlers. This competition is for the pride of suc- cessfully competing against their peers. 4. What were you thinking or feeling moments before you stepped into the center of the NOHS Group ring? There are certainly wonderful dogs exhibiting here! 5. Was there a heightened energy coming from the dog and owner-handler teams? Did you feel the energy of the spectators? I could feel the excitement of the exhibitors and the pride of their being there. 6. How challenging was this assignment? Can you share your selection process? It is far less challenging to judge when you have a ring filled with quality dogs than when you have to pass on less correct exhibits. Perhaps it would be good to
offer awards of excellence in addition to the current BOB and BOS placements, to give recognition to additional quality exhibits. 7. Do you have a word or two about your NOHS Group winner? About the dogs that placed? The NOHS winners class is a pleasure to judge. These dogs are competitive at any level of competition. 8. Are there specific ways in which the NOHS furthers the cause of purebred dogs? NOHS highlights the hobby exhibitors. It offers an ad- ditional opportunity for hobby owners to highlight their dogs. It gives AKC the opportunity to recognize the larg- est segment of enthusiasts competing in Conformation. 9. A show of this magnitude is a monumental undertaking. Is there anything you’d like to say on behalf of the AKC and the show’s sponsors? Thank you to the American Kennel Club and to Royal Canin for providing this tremendous event. Particular thanks to Michael Canalizo and the AKC staff for their organizing this event. 10. Now that it’s over, what are your thoughts on the 2023 show year? Any thoughts on the year ahead? The 2024 show year will provide an opportunity for ex- hibitors and dogs to excel. I look forward with anticipa- tion to see the current dogs develop and the new dogs to be introduced.
28 • T op N otch T oys , J anuary 2024
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2023 AKC NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP BREEDER OF THE YEAR
2023 AKC National Championship . December 16-17 photos by Frank Horvath of Overdrive Media
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2023 AKC NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP BEST IN SHOW
2023 AKC National Championship . December 16-17 photos by Frank Horvath
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CH AVALON’S DARK CRYSTAL AT SNOPEKE
CH SNOPEKES ACE OF SPADES X GCH CH AVALON & SNOPEKES CELTIC WOMAN
Breeders & Owners HELANA KUSALA, DONALD PUTZBACK & LOUISE PUTZBACK
AVALON’S CALL THE WIND AT SNOPEKE
CH SNOPEKES ACE OF SPADES X GCH CH AVALON & SNOPEKES CELTIC WOMAN
Breeders & Owners HELANA KUSALA, DONALD PUTZBACK & LOUISE PUTZBACK
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AVALON’S THE BLACKLIST
GCHS CH HYACINTH’S CRIMINAL INTENT X CH AVALON’S CONFESSOR
Breeders & Owners LOUISE & DONALD PUTZBACK
AVALON’S PARTNER IN CRIME
GCHS CH HYACINTH’S CRIMINAL INTENT X CH AVALON’S CONFESSOR
Breeders LOUISE & DONALD PUTZBACK
Owners HELENA KUSALA & LOUISE PUTZBACK
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2023 AKC NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP TOY GROUP
2023 AKC National Championship . December 16-17 photos by Frank Horvath
© Phyllis Ensley
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2023 AKC NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP TOY GROUP
2023 AKC National Championship . December 16-17 photos by Frank Horvath
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2023 AKC NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP
2023 AKC National Championship . December 16-17 photos by Alyssa Janiszak
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JUDGING BRUSSELS GRIFFONS by Carole Ross (A version of this article appeared in the December 2017 edition of SHOWSIGHT.)
W hen talking to people about what the judges are looking for in the Brussels Griffon ring, the most common answer will be: “It is a head breed.” They are com- monly referred to as such because the head probably is the most endearing feature the Brussels Griffon has. The head represents 35 points out of 100 on the point scale. To quote Jeffery Bazell (breeder-judge): “A Brussels Griffon’s head is its crowning glo- ry.” Jeff goes on to say, “...but only
when found in combination with a well-balanced, cobby body.” That statement could not be truer. It is so important for a judge to judge the “full package.” The head, body, and move- ment make up the “full package.” The AKC Breed Standard calls for a head with an almost human-like ex- pression. The head is a very impor- tant feature. Eyes are set well apart, very large, black, prominent, and well opened. Eyelashes are long and black. Eyes should be edged in black. We are
seeing Griffons in the ring with very little or no “eyeliner.” We are seeing a lot of small eyes in the breed and that is incorrect. Breeders should be breeding for proper eyes and judges should be looking for them. Ears should be small and set rather high on the head. Ears may be shown cropped or natural. If natural, they should be semi-erect. Some will say they are “rose ears.” Rose ears, howev- er, are not part of the Brussels Griffon Breed Standard in the United States.
T op N otch T oys , J anuary 2024 • 39
The body should be a thickset, short body. Bris- ket should be broad and deep, ribs well sprung. The Brussels Griffon is a slow- maturing breed. It usually takes the breed 2-1/2 years for the head to be fully de-
higher and in deeply between the eyes, forming a layback. The skull shall be large and round, with a domed fore- head. The forehead shall not be flat. Judges should examine the head to be sure the groomer didn’t leave a lot of hair on the dog’s skull so as to make it look like it is domed. A smooth Griffon shows everything it has. No cover-ups! What you see is what it is. A rough-coated Griffon with a good groomer can cover a lot of faults. I have seen pin heads look like they had large heads with domes when, in fact, it was just hair left lon- ger and left in the shape of a dome. The nose is very black and extremely short. When I bred my first two litters, I got “button noses.” I thought they were so cute. Then I really started studying other dogs in the ring, and the Breed Standard, and learned that the nostrils should be large. I like to see a nice-sized nose pad now, rather than the “button noses” I used to get. A Dudley or but- terfly nose is a disqualification.
The jaw must be undershot. The inci- sors of the lower jaw should protrude the upper incisors. Brussels Griffon’s should have black lips. I say that they should look like they are pouting. Neither teeth nor tongue should show when the mouth is closed. Judges should carefully examine the mouth. The undershot jaw can be checked without prying the mouth open. I pre- fer to have the judge ask me to “show them the bite.” IF the judge prefers to examine the bite, they should be very careful not to close off the dog’s air- ways by covering or pushing against the nose. They can actually check the bite visually and, with just their fingertip, lift the lip. The lower jaw is prominent, rather broad, with an up- ward sweep. A wry mouth is a serious fault. Disqualifications are an over- shot bite or a hanging tongue. The heads usually get broader by the time the dog is mature and the under jaw will tilt up to its maximum po- tential, which should place the nose
veloped and for the ribs to spring and the chest to drop to the maximum. The body that a judge sees in a young- ster will be quite a different body in the same dog at maturity. The weight is usually 8 to 10 pounds and should not exceed 12 pounds. There are larger dogs being shown, and the Standard says that type and quality are of greater importance than weight . There are also smaller dogs being shown, and the Standard states that a smaller dog that is sturdy and well proportioned should not be penal- ized . Let me make emphasis on the fact that the smaller dog should not have spindly legs and be stringy in appearance, nor shall the larger dog be built like a Border Terrier. Their bodies must be thickset, compact and with good substance. They must be well-boned; however, they must not be Terrier-type. The neck should be of medium length with a graceful arch. The back should be level and short. The tail should be
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With your generous support, in 2023, the AKC Canine Health Foundation (CHF) awarded $2.6 million in 36 new health studies benefiting our canine companions. It is heartening to witness the investment of dog enthusiasts working together to positively impact the lives of dogs. Thanks to your generosity, researchers worldwide are diligently working to advance the health and well-being of our beloved dogs. Your support plays a crucial role in new discoveries, including: What an incredible year!
• Uncovering genetic markers linked to glaucoma in American Cocker Spaniels, • Revealing a connection between respiratory and gastrointestinal disease in dogs, • Challenging our preconceptions about pain sensitivity in different breeds, • And more!
These advancements that impact the care of dogs are only possible because of you! Thank you for your commitment to building a healthier future for all dogs.
To learn more and continue making a difference, please visit akcchf.org.
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