Tag: dog show
Banana Joe — a fluffy-haired, feisty, football-sized black affenpinscher — won Best in Show at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.
Banana Joe, whose bouncy step brought him close to winning best in his group the past two years at Madison Square Garden, took home the top honor in what was to be his final appearance, the Associated Press reported.
It was the first ever Best in Show win by an affenpinscher.
He entered the last two Westminsters with a lot of fanfare, but finished second in the toy group both times.
There were 2,721 entries in 187 breeds and varieties at the 137th annual show.
Banana Joe beat out Swagger, an old English sheepdog who was a crowd favorite, and five other dogs to win the title.
The other contenders were an American foxhound, a Bichon Frise, a smooth fox terrier, a German wirehaired pointer and a Portuguese water dog.
Judge Michael Dougherty said Banana Joe “was presented in immaculate manner … He was on the minute he walked in … He’s in perfect condition, perfect body.”
(Photo: (Frank Franklin II/AP)
Posted by jwoestendiek February 13th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: affenpinscher, animals, Banana Joe, best in show, dog show, dogs, madison square garden, pets, sheepdog, swagger, westminster, westminster kennel club dog show, winner
The RSPCA and The Dogs’ Trust withdrew their support of Crufts. The BBC refused to broadcast the competition. And Pedigree, the pet food company, canceled its sponsorship of the event after more than 40 years.
(Pedigree — coincidentally? — was excused this year as a sponsor of the Westminster Dog Show, also after 40 years.)
After the documentary aired in the UK, the Kennel Club began taking some steps to revise the physical standards, used in judging, that many argued were leading to issues like cancer, epilepsy and breathing problems in certain breeds.
But how much did things actually change? Three years later — during which time, public indignation never seemed to fully drift onto U.S. shores — the answer seems to be not substantially and not quickly enough
That’s one conclusion of ”Pedigree Dogs Exposed: Three Years On,” which airs on BBC tonight, and is likely to trigger a new firestorm — and just in times for Crufts, the prestigious purebred dog show that runs from March 8 through March 11.
The new documentary was making news even before it aired.
In one interview in the program, Gerhard Oechtering, a veterinary professor at Germany’s Leipzig University, called for pugs and bulldogs to be banned, saying it’s unethical to keep producing members of a breed that can’t breathe properly. Dr. Oechtering called for flat-nosed breeds to be mated with long-nosed ones so that new generations do not suffer from blocked airways, reported the Daily Mail.
Another expert, in a call bound to distress many purebred breeders, goes so far as to urge the public to turn to mutts. “The best solution overall would be to popularize mixed breed dogs as pets because they are much less likely to be afflicted with the genetic diseases that are associated with pedigree dog breeding,” Cambridge University’s Nick Jeffery is quoted as saying in the Telegraph.
Jemima Harrison, producer of both the original and the sequel, said in an interview with the Sunday Express that there have been many positive changes in the three years that have passed.
In the aftermath of the documentary, bans were imposed on mating mothers with sons; fathers with daughters and brothers with sisters. The Kennel Club reviewed breed standards for over 200 breeds and made changes to 78.
The Kennel Club now permits Dalmatian cross breeding in order to normalize the breed’s uric acid genes. Currently, high levels caused by inbreeding can cause stones that make some dogs unable to urinate, leading to bursting bladders.
Still, in the eyes of Harrison, some of the changes in standards have been only minor, like changing the preference for a pug’s muzzle from “short” to “relatively short.”
“The Kennel Club is just tweaking; it is fiddling while Rome burns. We have still the problem of dogs being bred within very small gene pools. You can still mate a grandfather and a granddaughter… They are still being bred to win in the show-ring and the show-ring still has no health criteria. It’s the prettiest dogs that win and it’s at considerable cost to the dogs.”
Harrison is particularly pessimistic about the fate of the bulldog, whose breeders, she says, are “adamant that there’s no need for change”– even though the breed’s shape has become such that mating often requires “mating cradles” or human manipulation, and 80 percent give birth by caesarean section.
“Pedigree dogs are heritage breeds and something to be proud of, but too often their health and welfare are compromised. Fundamental reform is needed before we can be proud of the pedigree dogs we produce in this country,” she said.
Posted by jwoestendiek February 27th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, bbc, breeds, bulldogs, crufts, dalmatians, documentary, dog show, dog shows, dogs, dogs trust, genetic, health, jemima harrison, pedigree, pedigree dogs exposed, pets, problems, pugs, purebred, rspca, standards, three years on, westminster
First the New York Post reported that the city health department had called an end to the annual tradition of Westminster’s winner enjoying a lunch at Sardi’s.
Then the New York Times reported, the same day, that the celebratory meal for Westminster’s Best in Show would be allowed to continue.
Who’s a dog to believe?
After this year’s best in show winner, a Pekingese named Malachy, enjoyed a lunch of chicken and rice, served on a silver platter, word came down from the city health department Wednesday — which apparently had somehow not noticed the annual tradition, despite all the pomp and publicity accompanying it, during the previous 30 years.
Starting next year, the health department said, Sardi’s could no longer invite Westminster’s winner to a meal, except maybe to go. “We can’t be expected to just roll over for the champ. Our primary concern is making sure people and pets follow the doggone rules — ideally without whining or begging,” said city Health Department spokesman John Kelly.
His bad quips did little to appease those upset with the ruling.
Restaurant owner Max Klimavicius pointed out that his special guest was served in a private room on the second floor and said he was sorry to see the ritual end, according to the Post.
Then came word from the Times that the Health Department had discovered a loophole: It’s okay if the department’s commissioner signs a waiver.
(I suggest every New York dog owner request one, today.)
The department said a waiver would be granted to Westminster’s winners in coming years.
Posted by jwoestendiek February 16th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: allows, best in show, calls off, dog show, ends, health department, loophole, lunch, malachy, meal, pekingese, ritual, sardis, silver platter, terminates, tradition, westminster, winner
An 11-pound fluffball named Malachy took the Best in Show title at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show last night.
It was the fourth time a Pekingese has won at Westminster, according to the Associated Press:
“This little stump of a dog beat out the likes of a Dalmatian, German shepherd, Doberman pinscher, Irish setter, a Kerry blue terrier and wire-haired dachshund. A 4-year-old pompom, Malachy wobbled to his 115th overall best in show title.”
Malachy, one of more than 2,000 purebred competitors at Madison Square Garden — representing 185 breeds — won the toy group Monday night.
“Super dog, and he had a stupendous night,” Judge Cindy Vogels said after picking him as best in show. “There’s a lot of dog in a small package.”
Malachy chilled out after his win, resting on a cooling cushion.
David Fitzpatrick, Malachy’s handler and part owner, said the dog will likely retire now in East Berlin, Pa.
“He’ll probably chase squirrels and he’ll be pampered,” Fitzpatrick said.
(Photo: Seth Wenig / Associated Press)
Posted by jwoestendiek February 15th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, best in show, david fitzpatrick, dog, dog show, dog shows, dogs, kennel club, malachy, peke, pekingese, pets, westminster
Wonder why you’re not seeing any ads for Pedigree dog food during the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show?
Apparently, mutts like Roscoe (above) — especially homeless ones — aren’t viewed by the club as sending the right message, so they’ve cut their ties to long-time sponsor (as in 24 years) Pedigree dog foods.
Apparently, some of Pedigree’s ads — the ones promoting dog adoption, the ones featuring sad-eyed mixed breeds as opposed to well-coiffed, prancing purebreds – were just too hard-hitting and depressing for the kennel club’s tastes.
“We want people to think of the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show as a celebration of the dogs in our lives,” David Frei, the club’s director of communications and the host of the show for over two decades, told the Associated Press.
“Our show is a celebration of dogs. We’re not promoting purebreds at the expense of non-purebreds. We celebrate all dogs. When we’re seeing puppies behind bars, it takes away from that. Not just because it’s sad, but it’s not our message … Show me an ad with a dog with a smile; don’t try to shame me.”
Pedigree’s ads, club honchos agreed, were getting too heavy-handed.
Frei said the kennel club had expressed those concerns to Pedigree: “We told them that, and they ignored us.”
Taking a look at the newest series of ads that are part of Pedigree’s continuing efforts to encourage dog adoptions — you can see them here — I don’t see much sadness. They seem more an expression of pride. They come right out and say don’t feel sorry for me. They seem to say the shelter mutt is just as valuable, and will make just as good a pet (and we’d argue maybe even better) than a purebred.
Maybe that’s the kennel club’s problem. Maybe they want television coverage of Westminster — the big show began yesterday at Madison Square Garden — to keep the focus strictly on purebreds, which are, for it, the money makers.
Granted, some of Pedigree’s earlier adoption-oriented ads were pretty bleak in tone; and everybody (attention ASPCA and Humane Society) is getting tired of those ads that, while cool for the first two viewings, continue to tug so blatantly and repeatedly at our heartstrings we now switch the channels instantly when they come on.
Granted, too, the Westminster Dog Show is free to choose any advertisers it wants, and the American Kennel Club does fund research and offer programs that benefit all dogs, purebred or not. And, to keep things in context, it’s not necessarily dissing mutts with this particular action; it’s dissing downer, guilt-inducing adoption ads.
But it all comes across a little like snobbery; a little like denial, when it comes to the millions of dogs euthanized each year; a little like let’s stay here in our private fantasy world — not open to the unwashed masses, or those who might be of mixed breeds, even though every purebred, except the wolf, is in fact a result of mixing.
Pedigree has been replaced with Nestlé Purina PetCare, whose ads of peppy, happy dogs are more to the kennel club’s liking. The new partnership was announced last spring.
“They’ve shared with us, when we parted ways, that they felt that our advertising was focused too much on the cause of adoption and that wasn’t really a shared vision,” said Melissa Martellotti, a brand communications manager for Mars Petcare US, which makes the Pedigree brands. The kennel club, she said, is “focused on the purebred mission.”
Martellotti said the partnership had been a boon to Pedigree’s adoption initiatives. In 2007, $500,000 in pledges were received after its ads were broadcast over the show’s two days.
Nearly 3.5 million people watched last year’s show, broadcast on the USA Network and CNBC.
Posted by jwoestendiek February 14th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adoption, ads, advertising, animals, campaign, celebrate, company, david frei, dog food, dog show, dogs, dogs in advertising, dropped, euthanized, kennel club, message, mutts, pedigree, pets, purebred, sad, shelters, sponsor, westminster, woof in advertising
Six new AKC-recognized breeds will be competing at Westminster this year, including a hairless Mexican dog known as the — I can spell it, I can spell it — Xoloitzcuintle.
The AKC announced the acceptance of three new breeds in January of last year — the Entlebucher Mountain Dog, the Norwegian Lundehund and the Xoloitzcuintli.
In June, three more new breeds were recognized — the American English Coonhound, Finnish Lapphund, and Cesky Terrier
The six new breeds bring the number of AKC recognized breeds to to 185.
By comparison, in 1990, there were 142 eligible breeds.
Here’s some background on each of the newly recognized breeds, provided by the AKC.
The American English coonhound is a descendent of the English foxhound and evolved from Virginia hounds. Originally used to hunt fox by day and raccoon by night, they were once called the English fox and coonhound.
The breed is pleasant, alert, confident and sociable with both humans and dogs. The modern version of the dog is a speedy, durable and wide-ranging hunter.
The Entlebucher mountain dog is a native of Switzerland and the smallest of the four AKC Swiss breeds. Prized for its work ethic and ease of training, this dog can easily switch from high-spirited playmate to serious, self-assured dog with a commanding presence.
This is not a good dog for the casual owner because it needs so much socialization and will remain active and energetic all its life.
The Finnish Lapphund is a reindeer herding dog from the northern parts of Scandinavia. It is thought that this breed existed for hundreds, if not thousands, of years as a helper dog to native tribes. Today, they are popular as family pets in their native Finland. Devoted to their family, they are friendly with all people, highly intelligent and eager to learn. They are strong but very agile.
The Norwegian Lundehund is also called the puffin dog. It spent centuries on the rocky cliffs and high fields of arctic Norway hunting and retrieving puffin birds, which was an important meat and feather crop to local farmers.
This dog has at least six toes on each foot so it can handle the almost vertical areas where puffins nest. It also has a flexible skeletal structure that enables it to squirm out of tight spots or go spread eagle to prevent slips and falls.
The Cesky terrier is a well-muscled, short legged hunting terrier that can be worked in packs. With natural drop ears and a natural tail, it is longer than it is tall and has a long, soft, silky coat that can be any shade of gray from charcoal to platinum.
Lean and graceful, the dogs are reserved toward strangers but loyal to their owners and always keen and alert during a hunt.
The Xoloitzcuintli , or Xolo, for short, is the national dog of Mexico and was previously known as the Mexican Hairless. It comes in three sizes and there is a coated version seen only in the United States and Canada. These dogs are descendants of the hairless dogs prized by the Aztecs and revered as guardians of the dead.
Living in the Mexican jungles, they were shaped by their environment. Their intelligence, trainability and natural cleanliness have turned them into unique and valued pets.
(Top photo from Vetstreet.com; other photos courtesy of American Kennel Club)
Posted by jwoestendiek January 28th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: akc, american english coonhound, american kennel club, animals, breeds, cesky terrier, dog show, dogs, entlebucher mountain dog, finish lapphund, new, norwegian lundehund, pets, recognized, westminster, xolo, xoloitzcuintle
One of the owners of 100 dogs removed from what authorities described as deplorable conditions in two homes is an American Kennel Club dog show judge, KOMO News in Seattle has reported.
Based on video footage anonymously sent to an animal rescue group, King County deputies seized 100 dogs from homes in Burien and Issaquaha last month.
KOMO aired the video Wednesday, and revealed that the owner and caretaker of at least dozens of the dogs — Chihuahuas, Pomeranians and Japanese Chin — is a dog show judge.
She has not been charged, but the sheriff’s office says an investigation is underway, and the case may be forwarded to prosecutors in the next few weeks.
The video footage showed dogs being hoarded in rusted and feces-infested cages, matted with pet hair, with empty food and water bowls.
Fourteen of the dogs were in such bad condition they had to be euthanized; the rest are being cared for by local rescue groups and veterinarians.
KOMO said the dog show judge, who they did not identify by name, also shows dogs, and that one of her dogs won an award in February at the Westminster Kennel Club Show.
The woman declined to talk to reporters, saying her attorney advised her against commenting.
Lisa Peterson, with the American Kennel Club says the organization is aware that one of its judges is currently under investigation in King County for animal cruelty and has suspended the judge’s privileges “until it is determined whether or not she has violated the AKC judicial or administrative determination of inappropriate treatment policy.”
Pasado’s Safe Haven is asking prosecutors to file 14 counts of animal cruelty against the woman for the 14 dogs that had to be euthanized due to illness.
“We’re certainly going to be asking that they are never able to own dogs again,” Amber Chenoweth said.
In a report on Pasaodo’s Safe Haven’s website, the owners of the dogs are identified as Margi and James Hamilton, who have been breeding and showing dogs for decades.
“When we discovered who owned these dogs, we were shocked and disgusted that one of the people responsible for this was none other than a judge for the American Kennel Club… Read more »
Posted by jwoestendiek December 1st, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 14, akc, american kennel club, basement, breeder, burien, burien cares, chihuahuas, conditions, dog, dog show, dogs, euthanized, hoarded, hoarding, investigation, issaquaha, james hamilton, japanese chin, judge, king county, komo, margi hamilton, pasado's safe haven, pomeranians, rescue, seattle, seized, sheriff, show
Prosecutors had said 68-year-old Ralph Ullum gave Protonix and a second human drug, possibly Benadryl, to Pixie, a prize-winning husky, during an American Kennel Club-sanctioned dog show in Wheaton, a suburb of Chicago, in December.
Ullum faced misdemeanor charges in DuPage County that included animal cruelty and attempted criminal damage to property.
DuPage County Judge Ronald Sutter found Ullum innocent of the charges Wednesday, saying prosecutors hadn’t proved their case against him, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
Pixie wasn’t harmed by the drugs.
Jessica Plourde, Pixie’s owner, testified Monday she found pill fragments in and around Pixie’s cage during the show, and that an undigested pill was discovered after a veterinarian induced the white-and-brown female show dog to vomit.
Two witnesses testified they saw Ullum walk up to Pixie’s cage while Plourde was absent and slip something inside.
Defense attorney Ed Maloney contended the allegations against his client were unfounded, and a result of a long-running rivalry between dog trainers.
Neither Pixie nor the dog trained by Ullum’s girlfriend won the best in show award.
Posted by jwoestendiek November 10th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, benadryl, charges, cruelty, dog, dog show, dogs, drugged, drugs, dupage county, innocent, judge, not guilty, pets, pixie, robert ullum, show dogs, siberian husky, trial, wheaton
Ralph Ullum, 68 of Claysville, was attending a kennel club show in December at the DuPage County Fairgrounds with his girlfriend, whose Siberian husky, Diana, was entered in the competition.
He’s accused of feeding Protonix and possibly Benadryl to a competing husky, named Pixie, NBC in Chicago reported.
Pixie’s handler, Jessica Plourde of Newark Valley, N.Y., noticed a crushed pink pill near Pixie’s cage on the second day of competition, according to police. Later, witnesses came forward saying they had seen Ullum feeding and petting Pixie while Plourde was away from the cage
A veterinarian induced vomiting in Pixie and found a rubber band, dog food, chicken pieces and an undigested Protonix pill. Protonix is used to treat acid reflux and heartburn. Wheaton police say the pink crushed pill found near Pixie’s cage is believed to be Benadryl, an over the counter allergy medicine that can cause drowsiness.
Ullum denied feeding anything to Pixie, but said he did pet her.
His hearing on misdemeanor cruelty to animals charges is scheduled for June.
Posted by jwoestendiek April 30th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal cruelty, animals, arrest, benadryl, cheating, competition, competitors, diana, dog, dog show, dog shows, dogs, drugged, drugging, drugs, dupage county, kennel club, pennsylvania, pets, pixie, protonix, purebreds, ralph ullum, sabotage, siberian husky, wheaton
Among the traditional perks of winning Westminster’s Best in Show are a trip to the top of the Empire State Building, ringing the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange and going to Sardi’s in Manhattan for a steak.
You’d think that last one, at least, would appeal to the average dog — and especially to the pampered pooches that strut before the judges every year at the Westminster Dog Show.
But Hickory, the Scottish Deerhound chosen as Best in Show this week, had virtually no interest in the juicy filet, prepared medium rare, sliced into bite-sized chunks and placed in front of her at Sardi’s. She took only a taste or two before ignoring it entirely.
As her trainer pointed out, there were lots of lights, and hordes of media, and Hickory’s never been real big on steak in the first place.
You could view it as a photo op turned photo flop, but I kind of like the fact that she turned up her scruffy nose at the offering.
In light of all the human control inflicted on dogs during dogs shows, not to mention throughout history, I like seeing, for some reason, a little canine independence and rebelliousness exhibited in that setting. Of course, I don’t know what Hickory was thinking when that juicy red meat was set before her, but I like to think it was this:
Two hundred people have gathered, pulled up in their news vans, and started their cameras rolling, and are lined up outside – all to watch me eat a steak? OK, then, I’m not going to do it.
Posted by jwoestendiek February 17th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: american kennel club, animals, best in show, dog show, empire state building, hickory, new york stock exchange, nyse, perks, pets, purebreds, sardis, scottish deerhound, westminster, westminster dog show, winner