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How To Breed Dogs
Did you know that even just talking about dog breeding can get you in hot water? I don’t think most people realize this is such a heavily loaded subject that you will make instant enemies almost regardless of what you say. If...
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Puppy Mills and The American Kennel Club: A Response to Readers Comments
When I told a friend who is very involved in the dog sport that I would be writing about AKC and the puppy mills she warned I would be opening a can of worms. Sure, I expected things to get a little...
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Puppy Mills and the American Kennel Club
Sometimes you literally cannot believe your ears. When a friend told me that the American Kennel Club had made a substantial financial contribution to the Missouri Pet Breeders Association I did not think that could possibly be true. This is, after all,...
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Foreign Judges, Too Many Breeds - And What's a Jämthund
Did you read Steven Seymour’s recent article about how judges are treated in the United Kingdom? If not, please do: go to http://www.bestinshowdaily.com/blog/an-undeniable-fear-to-speak-up/. Obviously it’s not just in America that there’s widespread discontent with how judges are allowed to progress and become...
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Russia: Politics,Dogs and Eurasia Show '14
The big question that faced nearly 70 foreign judges who had been invited to the Eurasia show in Moscow on March 22 and 23 was whether they should cancel their assignments or not. Russia’s recent annexation of Crimea has met with such...
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Last Word on Judges — and What Breeds Win the Most
May I add a few last words on AKC judges? Nothing I have experienced in my many years in dogs has caused even close to the response I got to a couple of articles about the way judges are approved (or not...
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AKC Judges On Strike? Spoiled Prima Donnas or Unfairly Maligned?
A lot has been written about dog show judges recently. This is obviously a subject that concerns a lot of people: 38 readers submitted published comments to my article last month about the AKC Judges Approval system, which may be some sort...
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To Crate or Not to Crate – and for How Long?
A well-known European breeder, someone whose opinion I respect, has created a bit of a stir by posting on his Facebook page that he will not ever sell a puppy to a home with a “cage,” or crate as we normally call...
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The AKC Judges Approval System: “Worse Than It Ever Was Before”
An Open Letter to the Dog Fancy The following article should be read, and preferably re-read, slowly and carefully, by anyone who contemplates becoming an AKC judge, or is already an AKC judge but plans on adding additional breeds, or is just...
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Inbreeding: A Force for Good – or a Skeleton in Our Closet?
A lot of people in Great Britain heaved a deep sigh of relief when they realized that our Westminster Best in Show winner, the feisty Affenpinscher GCh. Banana Joe v. Tani Kazari, would not be going to Crufts this year. This had...
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Looking Back: How It All Started, Stud Books and Show Dogs of the 1800s
Whether you think of purebred dogs as a relatively modern invention or as something as old as time itself depends on a couple of different things. For one, what do you mean by “purebred dogs”? There’s no question that distinct types of...
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Poodle Day in California: A Very Different “Dog Show”
How many shows can you think of that attract more than 500 dogs of one single breed? Even the biggest national specialties seldom have that many canine participants, and most have far fewer. Yet it’s a fact that a very informal, single-breed...
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Kennel Records — A Breeder Follow-Up
I received some encouraging comments as soon as the “Kennel Records” article appeared on the BIS Daily website yesterday: obviously readers enjoy reading what experienced dog people have to say. One of the breeders I had contacted, Karen Staudt-Cartabona of the Majenkir...
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Kennel Records: A Guide for the Future
“How Many Puppies Did You Breed?” The other day I was speaking to a breeder friend, someone who has been around for many years and been very successful. We were talking about the beautiful dogs she had bred, how many litters she...
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Preparing for Disaster
Regardless of which side you’re on when the debate turns to the question of climate change, most experts agree that the “new normal” will be more weather-related disasters in the future. Most of us have seen — in the news if not...
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Save the Date in 2015: The Fourth “Modern” Morris & Essex Kennel Club
There’s still nearly two years go to, but I can’t wait… Newer fanciers may not even have heard of Morris & Essex Kennel Club, the historical dog show event that’s held only once every five years, but that shouldn’t stop you from...
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P5 App Useful for New Dog Owners
I found Purina’s P5 app a very useful tool for new or newer dog owners who wish to become more active with their dogs. Downloading the app, however, was not as easy for me as it could have been. I rarely have...
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Take The Lead: 20 years of Helping Dog People - 2,500 Members, $3.5 Million in Aid
The dog fancy is not always for the faint of heart. The life blood of dog shows is competition, and since the success of anyone — dog or person — is predicated on the fact that others should lose, you might think...
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The 'Godless Girl' Who Went to the Dogs - Remembering a Colorful Life
The dog fancy has always attracted more than its share of colorful, even outrageous, individuals. Dog shows have their roots in serious livestock competition, but they soon developed elements of glamour and high drama that would naturally appeal to people with a...
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Judging the Judges
We’ve all done it. We may know it’s not exactly fair, but it’s frankly too much fun to abstain. It doesn’t matter if you’re an old hand or a rank novice – as soon as you plop down at ringside and start...
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The Santa Barbara Experience
By now the results from the Santa Barbara dog show weekend on August 23-26, 2013, are old news to anyone who cares about these things. We know the Corgi beat the Wire the first two days, the Fox Terrier came back and won...
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A Judge’s Conscience: Dog Shows, ‘Gay-Friendly Propaganda’ and Russia
This week’s column will be a little different, perhaps more personal than usual, but I believe a question I’m concerned with right now may apply to a lot of other dog people as well. Should dog show judges have a conscience? That...
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Looking Back: Western Reserve, Santa Barbara and a Survey
The more things change, the more they stay the same. It’s always interesting to look back to past days, and in dogs, as in most other things, you’ll find it was a very different world. At the same time it’s amazing how...
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‘Guidelines for Exhibitors’ a Good Idea
Did you hear the sad story of the top dog who had a Best in Show and several Group wins disallowed by AKC because it turned out that his handler had showed another, unrelated dog under the top winner’s co-owner, who is...
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A Sighthound Weekend and a 50th Anniversary in Art
To a few hundred dedicated exhibitors, the Lompoc weekend in late July means more than just another couple of California shows. For many years this was the highlight of the show season for those of us who love sighthounds, the closest thing...
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The American Kennel Club or the United Kennel Club: Is There an Alternative?
I don’t often write show reports, but the American Kennel Club shows in California on July 19-22, hosted by the Kennel Club of Salinas and Sierra-Tuolumne Kennel Club Inc., are worth highlighting for two reasons: the atmosphere and their proximity to four...
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What’s in My Archives: Saving the Past
Few activities are focused on the present as much as dog shows. If you don’t win today the disappointment is all consuming: nothing else matters, and the feeling of rejection can be so strong it’s easy to lose all sense of proportion....
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Hidden Gems, Great Beginnings and Non-Ranked Legends
The other day I heard about a dog with a show record that really impressed me. I know, we hear about big winners all the time, so what’s so unusual about that? Just look at the ads for any of the top-ranked...
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In Memoriam: Isabell Stoffers
Multi-Group AKC judge Isabell Stoffers, of Alta Loma, Calif., died peacefully at home in the evening of Thursday, July 11, 2013. A glamorous and much beloved fixture of the California dog show scene since the 1960s, Mrs. Stoffers maintained a small but...
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Words We Say: Breed Standard Language
Have you checked your dogs’ trumpets recently? Are their couples wide enough, even to raggedness? Are their shoulders perhaps a little too bossy, are their horns really strong, and does their bark sound like a broken bell? Welcome to the wonderful world...
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A New Obsession: Pedigrees on the Internet
When people talk about the good old days, I’m never convinced they were really as wonderful as they say. Distance adds a rosy luster to what was perhaps not so great in reality. Trust me, life 50 years ago may have been...
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Divide and Conquer: How to Classify Breeds into Groups
What makes a Terrier a Terrier and a Hound a Hound? How do we determine which characteristics define a particular kind of dog, and what possible reason can any kennel club give when trying to divide all the existing breeds into separate...
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World News: The Russians Are Coming!
Russia is more in the news now than ever, especially in dogs. We hear of huge shows, beautiful dogs, talented breeders and aggressive campaigns that force a lot of experienced European dog people to look to their laurels. Russian dogs have already...
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The Biggest Shows in America… and Anywhere, Part 2
Last week I presented some figures that clearly demonstrate, as everybody seems to know these days, that even our biggest AKC dog shows are fairly small compared to most major events overseas. Few all-breed shows in the U.S. have as many as 3,000...
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The Biggest Shows in America… and Anywhere, Part 1
Why are the biggest dog shows in America so much smaller than their foreign counterparts? That question is often heard these days, and in view of the huge entry figures that some overseas shows attract on a regular basis, it’s a justified...
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Dog Show Language: Talking About Winners, Specialty Bests, Sires, Dams and More
Is the written word still relevant in a digital world? Yes, of course: even if common wisdom holds that “nobody reads anymore,” it’s certainly a fact that everyone writes a lot more than they used to. In fact, how we write probably...
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The ‘Today Show’ Fiasco: Looking Back and to the Future
You’ve all seen the headlines, and they weren’t pretty: “AKC-registered breeders raising dogs in ‘miserable’ conditions’”; “Link Between Puppy Mills and the AKC”; “AKC Approved Puppy Mill Pups”; etc., etc. It was enough to make any right-thinking dog fancier’s blood boil. It’s...
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National Specialties: A Celebration of the Breed
If there’s anything more fascinating in the world of dog shows than a really great National Specialty, I don’t know what that would be. When a large number of like-minded people get together for the single purpose of celebrating a breed they...
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The Secret About Best in Show
Let’s talk about Best in Show for a minute. This is a term that’s become known far beyond our sport, the title of a large number of books and TV programs, even a critically acclaimed (and very funny) movie. Pretty much everyone,...
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World News: American Old English Wins Sydney Royal Show
The Sydney Royal show, held over 10 days at Easter each year, is one of the biggest of its kind anywhere in the world – and that’s not even talking about the dogs. The “Royal” shows in Australia are so called because...
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World News: Native Russian Breeds
The Russians love dogs, no question about that, and they always have. Peter the Great, the one who first turned toward the West and made Russia an empire to be reckoned with in the rest of the world more than 300 years...
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World News: American Scottie Tops 6,211 at Eurasia 2013
The second day of Russia’s biggest dog show weekend, Eurasia, had a total entry of 6,211 dogs, all judged on Sunday, March 24. Mostly the same dogs competed as the previous day, but the results were mostly different — not surprisingly, in...
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Eurasia 2013: The Crufts of Russia
The biggest dog show in Russia, in fact one of the largest anywhere these days, is called Eurasia and is held in Moscow each year. It’s been called “the Crufts of Russia,” and entry figures seem to increase every year. This year’s...
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Are Purebred Dogs Really at Risk?
The response to recent articles about inbreeding, linebreeding and the all-important question of how healthy our purebred dogs really are has been interesting. The first article, “Inbreeding: A Force for Good – or a Skeleton in Our Closet?” resulted in a lot...
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Westminster and Crufts BIS Breeders Speak Out, plus Goldens and Cancer Research
If there’s anything we dog people feel more strongly about than health in our beloved pets, I don’t know what it would be. Last week’s article, “Inbreeding: A Force for Good — or a Skeleton in Our Closet?” generated a lot of...
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The World’s Top Dogs: Cocker in Canada, Dalmatian Down Under
So close, yet so far. So far, yet so similar. That would sum up, very briefly, what we dog people in America know about what’s going on north of the border, and what we don’t know about dog shows Down Under, respectively....
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Britain’s Top Dog Wins Crufts
The top dog won Crufts, but it was not at all a sure thing. That’s what judge Geoff Corish told me just a few minutes after he had awarded ‘Jilly,’ the PBGV Ch. Soletrader Peek a Boo, the momentous win at this...
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Crufts 2013: Gundogs on Day Three
Because the third day of Crufts features just one Group and there are far fewer breeds to watch, I decided to spend part of the day looking at the trade stands. Yesterday I guessed that there must be over 500 of them,...
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Crufts 2013: Toy and Utility Breeds on Day Two
One thing I did not mention in my report from the first day of Crufts yesterday was the controversial health testing which the Kennel Club imposed on a few of the Best of Breed winners before they were allowed to compete in the...
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The Health Tests at Crufts: Part II
Bo Bengtson continues his conversation with Ronnie Irving, former chairman of the Kennel Club in England and the man behind the controversial “Health Test” concept. Bo Bengtson: I understand that health tests were performed at other shows during 2012. How many were...
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Crufts 2013: Terriers and Hounds on Day One
If there’s one thing I’m sure of, it’s that everyone who’s seriously interested in dogs and dog shows should go to Crufts at least once in their lifetime. There’s no other place that dogs play such an important part in the general life...
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The Health Tests at Crufts: Part I
Bo Bengtson is in Birmingham, England where he asks some questions of Ronnie Irving, former Chairman of the Kennel Club and the man behind the controversial “Health Test” concept. Nothing has caused such an explosive reaction among active dog people as the...
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As the World Turns… AKC to Elect New Board of Governors
If you are like most dog people you probably don’t spend a lot of time thinking about how the dog world — our world — is governed. Almost all of us are just too busy with our own dogs, planning the next...
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Faking It: Artificial Enhancement in Show Dogs
Once when I was very young, but certainly not so young that I shouldn’t have known better, I was visiting a very famous Terrier handler in England. He was a very likable man, generous in sharing his knowledge and remarkably upfront about...
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The World’s Top Dogs: Best of Britain 2012
By now it’s old news that the battle for Top Dog at AKC all-breed shows 2012 came down to a close call between the German Wirehaired Pointer GCh. Mt. View’s Ripsnorter Silver Charm and the English Springer Spaniel GCh. Wynmoor Champagne Supernova....
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Westminster Roundup – Winners… and Losers
By now you will know what happened at this year’s Westminster. The new location has been roundly praised, especially the amazing way the club succeeded in transforming two rather industrial-looking piers jutting out into the Hudson River into a wonderland for Westminster...
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Memories of Westminsters Past
The weekend before Westminster the whole dog world is naturally wondering what will happen on Tuesday night during Best in Show at Madison Square Garden. I’ll be there, I’ll be watching, and I hope to help report from the show for BIS...
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