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2017 Top Show Dogs

Top Show Dog - 2017 Official Results

Meet Canada’s Top Show Dogs

This is the first time a Portuguese Water Dog has been crowned Canada’s Top Show Dog. Donna Gottdenker has set records on both sides of the border with her Porties, not only claiming Canada’s #1, all breeds, but also grabbing the top spot in the U.S. with the incomparable Matisse! A professional handler for 28 years, Edgar Rojas has been handling Portuguese Water Dogs for Donna for the past 18 years and finally joins the elite group of people who have handled a Top Dog, all breeds.
 
We had a chat with each of the ten TOP DOGS who shed some light on their most memorable victories and quirky anecdotes – here are their interviews:  
 

#1 - GCh. Claircreek Faro Do Atlantico


1-Faro-PWD-for-interview.jpgPortuguese Water Dog
Breeders: Donna Gottdenker & Joan Gatfield
Owner: Donna Gottdenker
Handler: Edgar Rojas
 
How long have you been showing dogs? I started in 1998 and was very fortunate that my first dog won the Canadian National Specialty in Montreal.
 
When did you win your first BIS? In 2009, Claircreek Olivia De Vendee won two BIS that year. Faro earned 49 BIS 2015-2017 and, of course, the very special Claircreek Impression De Matisse with 238 BIS wins from 2013 to 2015.
 
What was your favourite moment of 2017? Every BIS is a great moment… but the Caledon Kennel Association show at the end of the year, winning BIS under Judge Bill Shelton was the deciding show and clinched the #1 all-breed spot for Faro. 
 
Do you have a show ritual? My dogs have such beautiful coats. Our ritual is to be sure they are groomed the best they can be. This takes time before each show.
 
What does your dog love to do when he’s not in the show ring? Faro is a very playful boy who loves long walks and running in the yard with his friends, and also loves to snuggle.
 
Do you have a mentor? I met Carla Molinari at the World Show in Mexico where she gave my Apolina Group 1st. Since then I call on her with any questions I might have.
 

#2 - GCh. Summerford’s What Ever


2-Tr-Ever-Newfoundland.jpgNewfoundland
Owners: Francisco Javier Chavez Pouchard and Christina Koffman-Heard
Breeder: Christina Koffman-Heard    
Handler: Christina Koffman-Heard
 
How long have you been showing dogs? The Summerford kennel name was registered in 1997 and we had started showing about five years (1992) prior to that.
 
When did you win your first BIS? Our first BIS was in April 2001.
 
What was your favourite moment of 2017? Every moment with Tr’Ever was a gift.
 
Do you have a show ritual? Too many to mention.
 
What does your dog love to do when she’s not in the show ring? Going for long walks.
 
Do you have a mentor? Kathy Griffin (Seabrook) and Peggy Helming (Pouch Cove).
 

#3 - GChX Heartsease Empress of India CGN, CD, RE, DD


3-Miss-Andie-Newfoundland.jpg Newfoundland
Breeder: M. Joan Casler
Owners: Doug & Cindy Savory and M. Joan & Sam Casler
Handlers: Guillermo Fano & Jen Knudsen
 
How long have you been showing dogs? Doug grew up in a dog-show family; his family bred and showed Old English Sheepdogs. We got our first show dog, a Newfoundland, in 2004.
 
When did you win your first BIS? Our first Best in Show was at the 2012 Newfoundland National in Saskatoon. Under Judge Jon Cole, Gizmo was awarded “Best in Specialty.”
 
What was your favourite moment of 2017? It was an amazing year for us! We had so many favourite memories but the one that stands out the most was Miss Andie being honoured by the Newfoundland Club of America at its national specialty in Oregon. Not only for the Top 20 Conformation but also Top 10 Obedience dogs. At the celebration Miss Andie was selected as the Judges’ Choice and also the Peoples’ Choice. This had never happened before… we were thrilled beyond belief.
 
Do you have a show ritual? She gets a kiss on the nose, bows, to get a good stretch, and then she performs a couple dance moves.
 
What does your dog love to do when she’s not in the show ring? Miss Andie is truly a working dog that loves to show, and to keep busy. We train in draft work (carting), water work, obedience and rally. We also belong to a group called Island Canine Entertainers, taking our dance routines to local care homes. Most of all, she loves to play with her brother.
 
Do you have a mentor? We have a whole family of mentors. Members of our “dog” community have been so helpful and supportive.
 

#4 - GCh. Sevenoaks Lady Penelope


4-English-Setter.jpg English Setter
Breeders/Owners: Hilary & Sabrina Oakes
Handler: Sabrina Oakes
 
How long have you been showing dogs? Sabrina has been showing dogs since 1996 and Hilary since 1988.
 
When did you win your first BIS? Sabrina won her first BIS in 2012 with Penny’s mom and Hilary won her first BIS with Sevenoaks Four Past Midnight around 1994.
 
What was your favourite moment of 2017? Sabrina’s and Hilary’s favourite moment was winning Best in Show at the Alberta KC Summer Classic. Penny was the third Sevenoaks English Setter bitch to be breeder/owner-handled to a BIS win at AKC – Canada’s largest dog show held at Spruce Meadows Equestrian Centre.
 
Do you have a show ritual? Sabrina must have her lucky comb and slobber cloth. Hilary is always making sure we have the lucky cloth to keep her handler calm. We have lost it a few times, trying to quickly clean up after a long day, but Hilary always finds it. Hilary’s show ritual is to always have lots of bait.
 
What does your dog love to do when she’s not in the show ring? Penny loves to play with toys (show photographer Cathy French can vouch for Penny’s love of toys) and loves when Les takes her out looking for birds. Her favourite thing is to wait till all the dogs are sleeping, especially if they are on the sofa, then she wakes them all up, gets them all excited so they tear around the house, then she jumps on her favourite spot on the sofa. She loves to show outside in the rain and the puddles; she thinks that’s great.
 
Do you have a mentor? Sabrina’s mentor is Hilary. She has taught her everything she knows about English Setters.
 

#5 - GCh. Skyehigh’s Here We Go Again


5-Lindy-and-Westies-1.jpg West Highland White Terrier
Breeder/Co-owner: Lindy Barrow
Handler/Co-owner: David Gignac
 
How long have you been showing dogs? First year was 1999.
 
When did you win your first BIS? Fall of 2009.
 
What was your favourite moment of 2017? Mr. Bates was shown by his owner/handler, so I only got to a few shows. The best was Victoria City. It is a beautiful site and I was able to watch Mr. Bates show while sitting with great dog friends.
 
Do you have a show ritual? No.
 
What does your dog love to do when she’s not in the show ring? Beat up his stuffed toy.
 
Do you have a mentor? David Gignac, who is now my handler and also owner of Mr. Bates. I met him through my first dog breeder in 1998. He is so very knowledgeable in the breed and also has a passion for Westies. I am still learning from him. There have been other terrier breeders in Canada and the U.S., who have been extremely helpfully over the years. One must always try to keep learning.
 

#6 - Ch. Rexroth’s Angelina


6-Miniature-Pinscher.jpg Miniature Pinscher
Breeders/Owners/Handlers: Steve & Leslie Walter
 
How long have you been showing dogs? We have been showing and breeding dogs with the Rexroth kennel name since 1986.
 
When did you win your first BIS? Our first Best in Show win was in 2008.
 
What was your favourite moment of 2017? It would be impossible to have one favourite moment in the year. We are so proud that Angelina was awarded Best in Shows from judges around the world, and most important was the support and friendship Steve and Angelina received from fellow exhibitors. It is a year we will never forget as her breeders/owners/handlers.
 
Do you have a show ritual? Her ritual is pretty easy. Angelina only has eyes for Steve, so from the travel, to her grooming, to being in his arms at ringside... he is her one love and she will do anything for him.
 
What does your dog love to do when she’s not in the show ring? At home she is part of our family, and is never far from Steve when he is home. When he is at work, the rest of the family entertains and caters to the princess.
 
Do you have a mentor? Our mentors in Miniature Pinschers were Ken and Carole Rerko of Wannabee Miniature Pinschers and Kim Pastella-Calvacca of Kimro Miniature Pinschers.
 

#7 - Ch. Takala Trails Darcy


7-Irish-Terrier-2.jpgIrish Terrier
Breeder/Owner: Taryn Carr
Handler: Aaron Andriash
 
How long have you been showing dogs? I have been showing [and breeding] terriers since the late ’80s.
 
When did you win your first BIS? First BIS was in 2017 with Sienna, shown by Aaron Andriash.
 
What was your favourite moment of 2017? The most memorable moment for me was RBIS that was awarded by judge Leanne Bateman to Sienna April 2, 2017, in Red Deer Alberta, with me as the handler! That was an incredible experience for me!
 
Do you have a show ritual? No, I don’t have any show rituals.
 
What does your dog love to do when she’s not in the show ring? First and foremost, she is our pet and lives in the house with us and our other terriers, including her dam and sire. She enjoys playing with her buddies, running free in the woods on our daily hikes and chasing squirrels and other wild critters.
 
Do you have a mentor? I don’t have any one mentor, but I have done a lot of observing and listening to what other breeders, judges and handlers have had to say over the years, as well as taking courses and seminars on reproduction, training and handling.
 

#8 - GCh. Gallardo Tybrushe GirlAlmighty


8-Boxer.jpgBoxer
Breeders/Owners: Trevor, Shelby & Jeanette Short
Handler: Lori-Ann Fischer
 
How long have you been showing dogs? Shelby: I was 11 years old, so eight years ago (2010).
 
When did you win your first BIS? I haven’t won one yet personally, but I am happy to say I am Opi’s (Ophelia) breeder/owner and she won her first BIS two years ago, in 2016.
 
What was your favourite moment of 2017? It was September, in Lloydminster, when I was getting a Puppy Group picture with one of my new puppies and friend yelled at me that Opi just won Best in Show.
 
Do you have a show ritual? No real ritual, comb my hair and stuff my bra with bait, LOL.
 
What does your dog love to do when she’s not in the show ring? Opi likes to stir the pot. She loves to run, of course, in the backyard and then cuddle up in bed.
 
Do you have a mentor? Lori-Ann Fischer, our handler. We knew Lori-Ann loved the breed and has shown many Boxers. I have had many Boxer handlers and breeders who have been very supportive and helpful to me along the way… too many to mention.
 

#9 - GCh. Brio’s Hotsicle


9-TSD-Whippet.jpg Golden Retriever
Breeder/Co-owner: Debra Keen
Co-owner/Handler: Shannon Scheer
 
How long have you been showing dogs? In 1976, I brought home my first purebred dog, an Irish Setter. I entered my first conformation show in 1978.
 
When did you win your first BIS? In 1989, with American Staffordshire Terrier Am. & Can. Ch. Sierra’s Maxx Bandit.
 
What was your favourite moment of 2017? Being able to stay in the Top 10 all breeds with a limited amount of showing compared to everyone else. Plus being able to achieve a new record for the Golden Retriever breed, breaking my own previous record from 1997.
 
Do you have a show ritual? I guess the same ritual as everyone else. Present our dogs to the best of our ability and have them in the best condition they can be.
 
What does your dog love to do when she’s not in the show ring? Her most favourite past times are playing Chuck-it and Frisbee with my husband Fred. Suppertime is another one of her highlights, as well as hanging out with her other two Golden friends at home. Being the chosen one to sleep on the bed is her high priority.
 
Do you have a mentor? I have had many wonderful people in my profession as mentors. Far too many to list. However, in Golden Retrievers, my first mentor was Paula Edwards of Glynspur Goldens. This led to the wonderful friendship and guidance from Marjean Verseveldt of Eirene’ Kennels.
 

#10 - GCh. Woodside’s Southern Belle


10-TSD-Cavalier-Gaiting.jpgGerman Shepherd Dog
Breeder: Sandy Anderson
Owners: Nora MacLeod & Fred McMullen
Handler: Emily Burdon

How long have you been showing dogs? I started out showing Dobermans in 1978.
 
When did you win your first BIS? I won my first Best in Show in 2017 under esteemed judge, Virginia Lyne. 
 
What was your favourite moment of 2017? Winning back-to-back Best in Shows in front of my hometown crowd in Moncton, New Brunswick.
 
Do you have a show ritual? No rituals, just a lot of practice stacking, free-baiting and a lot of fun. Bella loves anything to do with the ball.
 
What does your dog love to do when she’s not in the show ring? Bella loves walks in the woods, the Chuck-it ball, Frisbee and chasing squirrels.
 
Do you have a mentor? Interesting story. We had lost our family German Shepherd to cancer, which was hard. When we decided we were ready for another, I remembered an old Dogs in Canada magazine that my mom, who is no longer with us, had sent me a few years earlier. There were a few breeders featured inside but one page corner had been folded down – Woodside German Shepherds in Vancouver, BC. I fell in love with the pictures – totally my type of German Shepherd. I know my mom has been watching over us through this journey and I feel it was fate telling me where I needed to go. I spoke with Sandy Anderson and she encouraged me to get back into the show world and to have fun. We have two Woodside German Shepherds, Storm and Bella, who both finished their American and Canadian championships quickly. Bella has truly exceeded all our dreams. Sandy has been my mentor, guiding me through all the ups and downs of this sport and has been a constant support and, above all else, a great friend. 


 
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