Montgomery County – A Homecoming for Breeders & Owner Handlers

Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, has a uniquely American history. Originally part of a charter granted to William Penn by King Charles II in 1681, the region initially welcomed Europeans in search of religious freedom, particularly Welsh Quakers. Over time, family farms and small industries became established throughout the county, and these were connected by various turnpikes and canals.


World Dog Show 2020 Madrid

Most shows during Corona were cancelled, but the World Dog Show of Madrid, planned in April 2020, only weeks after the aggressive spread of Corona, was postponed to finally take place at the end of June 2022. There might be several reasons to make it take place anyway and I have no idea if it was a good idea. This is understandable, since all the preparations made in the months prior to the planned World Dog Show of Madrid in 2020...


Detection Dog Conference: Addressing the Shortage of Bomb-Sniffing Dogs

Explosives detection dogs play a crucial role in U.S. safety and security at home and abroad, but unlike other vital national security tools, the United States is importing approximately 85-90% of its bomb dogs. This deficit leaves the U.S. captive to other countries for a key national security input, and begs the question, “Why aren’t we relying on U.S. breeders?”

Form Follows Function:
Make & Shape and DNA

I have heard the term “make and shape” throughout my time in the fancy, usually when discussing a breed with a fellow judge. But what exactly does it mean? Most of us agree that we must start evaluating a dog by first considering the make and shape of the dog before us, which is why a judge walks the line to view a class of dogs in profile once all exhibitors have entered the ring and stacked their dogs.


Barbara Dempsey Alderman: The Loss of a Legend

by Walter J. Sommerfelt
Our wonderful sport of purebred dogs has lost another legend. The recent passing of Barbara Dempsey Alderman has left a void in our sport, especially in our judges’ ranks. Barbara was not only a highly sought-after judge, she was a true legend who has left behind a legacy that will be difficult to replace.

Conformation Dog Shows Have Changed

by Dr. Gerry Meisels
We hear from many exhibitors and professional handlers at conformation shows that dog shows have changed. Social media are full of comments on this subject, and many of our long-term fellow exhibitors have confided that they are frustrated by the change. My family has shown for more than 60 years, and we concur: Dog shows have changed, indeed, but so has almost everything. What are the changes, what caused them, and how have they shaped the sport?


Dog Show Owner Handlers | It’s About the Decision—Aim High!

I have coached some of the most competitive and successful dog show owner handlers for over six years now. Among them, there have been “owner handlers,” “breeder owner handlers,” “NOHS exhibitors,” and “exhibitors.” Notable is some crossover in nomenclature, particularly when you add the “professional handlers” who are also “breeder owner handlers.”

For this article, I will call exhibitors who compete in any/all conformation events, whether they are officially classified by the AKC as professional handlers or NOHS exhibitors, as DSOH (Dog Show Owner Handlers). The terms owner handler and professional handler are not mutually exclusive, regardless of what some community members think.


Doing It ‘All’ – Latent Learning in Dog Training

In a previous column, I presented a crazy idea that one’s show dog could participate in multiple events successfully. I gave examples of sports with overlapping skills that an owner could do during different times of the year, allowing one to work towards whatever goals were established.

Many people I have talked with about this approach are baffled by starting one sport and switching to another before earning that sport’s title(s), but this is practical for me because of the changing seasons. Dogs don’t learn like people do, so this method is working well for me because of something called Latent Learning.


Preservation Breeder? Prove It!


Show Dogs Can Show-Off at the National Earthdog Test
If you identify as a “Preservation Breeder” of terriers or Dachshunds, you are well aware of the tough working roots of these breeds and maybe have even heard that these vocations continue today, right here in the good ole U.S. of A. I commend you. Of equal note are those breeders and judges who pay lip service to the hunting or working temperament, but are not only indifferent but are adverse to the use of their fine progeny in any despicable venial pursuit. If you secretly (or openly) fall into that latter category, there is a solution.
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