This year’s rankings race continues to be extremely close as we begin the show week. While our Top Ten remains intact, there has been some tightening of the positions. The Number Eight Dog, the Affenpinscher, GCH CH Banana Joe v Tani Kazari, scored the first BIS of the week at the Terre Haute Kennel Club’s opener in that Indiana town. The win puts him a little closer to Number Seven, the Standard Poodle, GCH CH Jaset’s London, who picked up a Group Two at the same show. Also in Terre Haute is the Number One Dog, the Doberman Pinscher, GCH CH Protocol’s Veni Vidi Vici, who grabbed a Group One today.

Number One & Number Two, the German Wirehaired Pointer, GCH CH Mt View’s Ripsnorter Silver Charm, are about 1.200 points apart and have about a 3,500-point cushion between them and Number Three, the Kuvasz, GCH CH Szumeria’s Wildwood Silver Six Pence, who, in turn, is only about 900 points ahead of Number Four, the English Springer Spaniel, GCH CH Wynmoor Champagne Supernova.

From there, things get murky as Numbers Five through Eight are tightly bunched together. The Kerry Blue Terrier, GCH CH Perrisblu Kennislain’s Chelsey, has departed the show scene and is likely to give up her Number Nine by next week, if not sooner. Number Ten, the English Setter, GCH CH Oakley’s B’Dazzled, will move up, unless Number 11, the Boxer, GCH CH R and G’s Mystical Dancer, or 12, the Wire Fox Terrier, GCH CH AfterAll Painting the Sky, have an extremely good weekend. Considering the Wire, Sky, only joined the race 10 weeks ago and is already threatening the Top Ten, I wouldn’t dismiss the possibility.

With five sites offering big clusters, I expect to see some venue-hopping by our top dogs and am hoping to see more breakout performances this week like the ones we had last weekend. You can get results from a lot of places these days, but only here at Best In Show Daily can you get  analyses of the wins. That’s why we call it The Back Story.