Owner-Handlers, Canada and AKC Breeders of the Year

August 2012 Editor's Page

By Allan Reznik | August 1, 2012

August is always a fun issue to put together because of its multiple themes.

Surveying owner-handlers allows us to quickly and effectively take the pulse of the fancy. We like to mix it up and talk to newer exhibitors as well as old hands in the sport. Perhaps not surprisingly, there is solid agreement on the core issues. Successful owner-handlers don’t whine. They recognize the need to step up their game if they are going to compete with the professional handlers who show dogs for a living. That challenge doesn’t discourage them but motivates them.

Respondents were positive about the new owner-handler competitions the AKC has introduced. No one viewed them as a crutch or as demeaning, and they believed many owner-handlers would embrace the AKC’s innovative addition.

Try your hand at Nikki Riggsbee’s quiz to test your own knowledge of the AKC’s new owner-handler competition.

As this is also our Canada issue, we’re happy to profile a kennel that has achieved great success in a rather uncommon breed: the Fwaggle Toy Manchester Terriers of Wendy and Amanda Kelly. The Kellys are a close family whose dogs are as well known in the U.S. — and around the world — as they are at home. What started as a weekend hobby has become an absolute labor of love for the Kellys, breeding sound, typey Toy Manchesters and supporting health testing that will benefit the breed for many generations to come.

With customary Canadian humility, Wendy Kelly was surprised by our request for an interview, reports writer Lee Steeves. That places her in a distinct minority. Savvy dog people acknowledge all that the Fwaggle Toy Manchester Terriers have accomplished and appreciate the opportunity to get to know the Kellys better.

If it weren’t for talented breeders, owner-handlers and professional handlers alike would not have wonderful dogs to show. While this issue was in production, the American Kennel Club announced the seven group recipients of the 2012 AKC Breeder of the Year Award. The award honors breeders who have dedicated their lives to improving the health, temperament and quality of purebred dogs.

"The AKC Breeder of the Year Award celebrates AKC’s distinguished breeders and we’re proud to honor seven outstanding finalists this year,” said Michael Canalizo, AKC/Eukanuba National Championship Event Manager. "The group winners represent the diversity of our sport, spanning generations and getting their start in dogs in many different ways, yet all are the best of the best when it comes to responsibly breeding healthy, beautiful and functional dogs.”

The group winners are:
Sporting Group: Dr. Dana Massey, Win’Weim Weimaraners
Hound Group: Alicia Hanna, Kimani Rhodesian Ridgebacks
Working Group: Lynn Brady and Connie Townsend, Szumeria Kuvaszok
Terrier Group: James W. Smith, Absolutely Smooth Fox Terriers
Toy Group: Tammy and John Simon, Ta-Jon Maltese
Non-Sporting Group: Krista Nuovo, Delamer Schipperkes
Herding Group: J. Frank Baylis and Chris Oldt, Bayshore Border Collies

From the August 2012 issue of Dogs In Review magazine. Purchase the August 2012 digital back issue or subscribe to receive 12 months of Dogs In Review magazine.


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