The Brussels Dog Show has changed its date a few times, from May to December, back to May, then back to December. Once again, this was the last show in December for now, as next year it moves to autumn.

Last year’s two shows were the Champion of Champions and the regular edition in December. Unfortunately the last two years the winter struck hard during the time of the show, but it did not affect the number of entries at all.

Best in Show under Mr. Zidar Miroslav of Slovenia was awarded to the Pekingese Billi Boy Iz Sanraiz Dragon, owned by Natalia Romanyuk of Russia. Photos by Karl Donvil.

Best in Show under Mr. Zidar Miroslav of Slovenia was awarded to the Pekingese Billi Boy Iz Sanraiz Dragon, owned by Natalia Romanyuk of Russia. Photos by Karl Donvil.

New this year was that no forms were distributed. A simple leaflet, roll-up panels and weblinks took over, and it worked. People have accepted the new media and use it. It is convenient, of course. Once registered, it is very simple to fill out an online subscription form and do the payment at the same time. Fewer mistakes, less administration to do, fewer people involved in composing the catalog, and it’s very easy to fill out the results afterwards.

Due to renovation work on the Brussels Expo right hall, the left hall was rented and the layout of the showground was completely new. The main ring was set up as usual in the furthermost corner, forcing the public to pass the rings and the commercial stands. That is most appreciated, of course. Notwithstanding the other happenings at the same time on the Heizel and around the Atomium, there was pretty good public interest. A large part of the parking area next to the hall was unavailable due to the work on the hall, so it was far-going to find a parking place.

The loss of entries from last year was compensated this year with a growth in entries from 3,574 to 3,875. Brussels is the biggest show in Belgium when it comes to entries, but Kortrijk is bigger when it comes to the total number of all dogs, including those participating in the many competitions. Brussels has a nice main ring with many demonstrations during the day, but it is not the kind of festival that Kortrijk is.

The spectacular trophies were on display at the Brussels Dog Show.

The spectacular trophies were on display at the Brussels Dog Show.

Brussels is not a show of one club. It is the national show and the result of the collaboration of all the Belgian clubs. That is not easy, as one must count on the help of many clubs. An individual club has a hierarchy, and tasks can be delegated. There is usually a task list and teams used to working together. For Brussels, the volunteers come from different clubs and every year the composition of the teams changes. To coordinate all of this is certainly not easy, but in recent years there has been a serious improvement, resulting in a splendid reputation far across the borders of the country.

No fewer than 22 nationalities were present to give Brussels its international radiation. Half of the participants were from Belgium, 838 from France, 601 from the Netherlands and 211 from Germany. But more and more the United Kingdom counts as a full neighboring country. One hundred and seven British dogs crossed the channel to compete here, and many returned with a title, several with BOBs and some even with Group placements.

The Brussels Dog Show is also a Crufts qualifying show. More and more Russians are also coming farther westward to compete – this year 68. It was a splendid opportunity for them as Russia has a lot of quality dogs. The proof is there; the BIS winner came from Russia.

Santa Claus arrives at the Brussels Dog Show led by a team of Siberian Huskies.

Santa Claus arrives at the Brussels Dog Show led by a team of Siberian Huskies.

The composition of the panel of judges was absolutely splendid. Thirty-four invitations were sent out to 15 different countries. Ten judges were Belgians, and that is a perfect balance for a show of this caliber. Many judges had big entries, and that can only be achieved if they have a strong reputation in certain breeds or in general. The value of a good judge depends on the fair chance one expects in the ring. If a judge is predictable, his fame will not last long, and he will flourish only in certain circles. Building up a good reputation takes many years, while ruining a reputation can be a matter of one show, one weakness.

More than one star judge accepted the invitation to this show. Mr. Roosenboom from Belgium was one of them. One hundred and four Border Collies on Saturday and 99 Bulldogs gave him a very busy weekend. Mr. Van Beveren, also a Belgian judge, officiated on Saturday only, with Chihuahuas only, but competition was pretty strong amongst the 99 specimens. Mr. Varlet from France, a specialist in Belgian Shepherds, had a good result too with 77 dogs in his ring. Top judge of the show was Mr. Bas Bosch from Holland. On Saturday, no fewer than 126 French Bulldogs turned up for him, and on Sunday he had 131 dogs, including 54 Dogues de Bordeaux. Mr. Augustin Ionesco from Romania had the best day’s score. That was on Sunday when he finished with 136 entries, probably thanks to the 66 Newfoundlands; his weekend result was 208 dogs.

Irish judges are always appreciated here. Mr. Thomas Hehir judged on Sunday only, but that was good for 111 entries. His compatriot Mr. Cox was booked for both days, 67 on Saturday and 104 on Sunday, all Staffordshire Bull Terriers, which is a splendid result. Italian judge Valeno Nataletti was filling in on Sunday when he had only 18 dogs, but Saturday was his day when he judged breeds from Group V (Spitz Group), good for a total of 132 dogs. Judge Szanka from Hungary managed to gather 72 Great Danes, a good number nowadays, and I have the impression that this breed is gaining popularity again. Large dogs are gaining popularity in general; look at the Newfoundlands, the Bernese Mountain Dogs and the Leonbergers. The economic crisis doesn’t seem to affect their popularity. Mrs. Schwab took all the Dachshunds for her account. She had 77, a good number by Belgian standards. Mr. Maté Duran did the Poodles only – 73, all varieties included. Mr. Scholes and Mrs. Scholes from the United Kingdom, officiating on Sunday only, proved to be excellent choices, with 74 Labradors, 36 Flat-Coated Retrievers and 79 Golden Retrievers.

The Pekingese Billi Boy Iz Sanraiz Dragon, Clumber Spaniel Bears Bay Full Speed To Cape Lewisporte and Black Russian Terrier Moskvorechie Yason, on the podium at the Brussels Expo.

The Pekingese Billi Boy Iz Sanraiz Dragon, Clumber Spaniel Bears Bay Full Speed To Cape Lewisporte and Black Russian Terrier Moskvorechie Yason, on the podium at the Brussels Expo.

Mr. Zidar Miroslav did the Pincher and Schnauzer varieties on Sunday, 99 specimens. On Saturday he had a total number of dogs of 95. This number included no fewer than 73 Chinese Cresteds, a remarkable number. He was also granted the honor to judge Best in Show. He had to place all Group winners. His third place went to a Russian Dog, a Tchiorny, or Black Russian, Terrier. Irina Klimova was the proud owner. She entered Moskovorechie Yason, her 8-year-old male, in Champion Class under judge Rainer Jacobs from Germany. The dog had 19 concurrents in his ring, but won the breed and later also the Group under Mr. P. Harsanyi from Finland. He is still a very impressive dog and one rarely sees an 8-year-old in a show. Second place went to a Clumber Spaniel from Jan and Danielle Counotte-De Vree from Belgium. Bears Bay Full Speed To Cape Lewisporte had a spectacular day. He won BOB while entered in the Junior Class under judge De Cuyper Jos from Belgium. He won also the Group under the very same judge and won Best Junior of Sunday under Mr. Cristian Stefanescu. And as if this was not enough, he finished runner-up to BIS. What a result at only 13 months old!

For the Best in Show we return to Russia. The winner of the Companion Group, Pekingese Billi Boy Iz Sanraiz Dragon, won the big ribbon. The breed-winning champion male was entered to be judged by Mrs. M. VanBrempt from Belgium, and defeated 15 competitors. Here too, the same judge was judging the Group in the main ring. Billi Boy is little more than 2 years and owned by Natalia Romanyuk. I assure you that next year the number of Russian competitors will double.

But remember, the next edition will not be in December, but on September 21 and 22, 2103, and will again be a Crufts qualifier, as well as a double CAC (Certificat d’Attitude au Championnat National de Beauté).

A complete listing of Group winners appears below and at

Karl Donvil lives in Belgium, where he is a freelance photographer and reporter specializing in dogs. He founded the World Dog Press Association in 2001 and is the current CEO. He is a member of the editorial board of the FCI newsletter and covers shows throughout Europe, including Crufts and the World Dog Show.

Main Ring Results – Brussels Dog Show


Group 1 – Sheepdogs and Cattle Dogs, except Swiss Cattle Dogs

Judge E. Mosimann, Switzerland

1st: Bouvier des Flandres Diego Abissha Off The Eurisever, owned by A. J. A. Voets

2nd: Bearded Collie Memorylane Dame Of The Game, owned by LindaClaes

3rd: Briard King Louie Du Manoir Noble, owned by Jean Snoeks-Gijsemans





Group 2 – Pinschers and Schnauzers, Molossoids and Swiss Mountain Dogs

Judge P. Harsanyi, Hungary

1st: Black Russian Terrier Moskvorechie Yason, owned by Irina Klimova

2nd: Bullmastiff Social Giant Thunder, owned by Niek Bolle

3rd: Bulldog From The Nasty Bull’s Wind Of Change, owned by Annette Binneveld



Group 3 – Terrier

Judge T. Hehir, Ireland

1st: Airedale Terrier Devil V. ‘T Seebosch, owned by F.T.M. VanKilsdonk

2nd: Wire Fox Terrier Slicey Heart Of Mine, owned by Vincent Loubet – Sarl Elegance Canine

3rd: Scottish Terrier Verascott Fairy Queen, owned by Christine Sylvie Hovagimyan



Group 4 – Dachshunds

Judge G. Schwab, Luxembourg

1st: Standard Wirehaired Dachshund Ex Sentia Emmanuell Mimieux Basta, owned by Ekaterina Belova

2nd: Miniature Smooth Dachshund Javel Von Lotenthal, owned by Halina Chudzik

3rd: Standard Smooth Dachshund Hattrik Of Lady Joan, owned by J. A. Holtappels



Group 5 – Spitz and Primitive Types

Judge V. Nataletti, Italy

1st: Siberian Husky Chinanook’s Jack, owned by Gwennaëlle Guillaume

2nd: Akita Regalia’s Stonewashed, owned by Marcel-Lene Huls

3rd: Mittel Spitz Yarburg Chingiz Han, owned by Margaretha Brzek



Group 6 – Scenthounds

Judge G. Cox, Ireland

1st: Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen Soletrader Bjorn Borg, owned by Gwen Huikeshoven

2nd: Rhodesian Ridgeback Tusani Cool Bakari, owned by Poul H. Jensen

3rd: Dalmatian Kilndandy Old Copper, owned by John McCarthy



Group 7 – Pointers and Setters

Judge A. Ionescu, Romania

1st: Irish Setter Trawricka High Jinks, owned by Frances McKimm

2nd: Pointer Weimpoint Keep Smilin’, owned by Edwin and Kristina Lenaerts

3rd: Vizsla Quodian’s Rembrandt, owned by Michael Pallesen



Group 8 – Retrievers, Flushing Dogs and Water Dogs

Judge J. De Cuyper, Belgium

1st: Clumber Spaniel Bears Bay Full Speed To Cape Lewisporte, owned by Jan and Danielle Counotte-De Vree

2nd: Welsh Springer Spaniel Glenbrows Portrait, owned by T. L. Harmsen

3rd: Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever Alliance De La Vie Thunderclap, owned by Isabel Hoornaert



Group 9 – Companion and Toy Dogs

Judge M. Van Brempt, Belgium

1st: Pekingese Billi Boy Iz Sanraiz Dragon, owned by Natalia Romanyuk

2nd: Pug Gladiator Black Passion, owned by Jessica Savry

3rd: Boston Terrier Bocaguay Canmoys Dream Team, owned by Christine Sonberg



Group 10 – Sighthounds

Judge D. Piesik, Germany

1st: Borzoi Cymabresjeva Jarkov, owned by Sybiel Schroeder

2nd: Whippet Gloss And Lipstick Of Swala Pala, owned by Dominique Delabelle

3rd: Irish Wolfhound Aurelius Di Castello Berge, owned by Hanny Hofman