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2021 Top Show Dogs

Full Results PDF

2021 was another year like “no other” with lockdowns, lifts and fewer shows than a usual year across Canada. However, many dedicated dog show folks continued to campaign their gorgeous dogs much to the delight of judges and fellow exhibitors across the country.

The Top Show Dogs system awards one point for every dog defeated from Best of Breed competition to Best in Show. Top Dogs are ranked according to the Top 5 in each breed, the Top 10 in each group, and the Top 10 all breeds.

Canada’s number one show dog for 2021 is Pierce, a handsome and crisp-looking Wire Fox Terrier who had the “it” factor from day one. Pierce is every inch a showman and has dazzled the fancy with his good looks, great movement, and confident attitude.
We caught up with the owners of Canada’s Top Show Dogs to find more about these conformation celebrities.

#1 – GChG Fleet St Forged at Hampton Court 

Call Name: Pierce 
Wire Fox Terrier 
Breeders: Robert Carusi & Hailey Griffith 
Nancy Ball, Peter Ziliotto, Barry Brabant, Robert Carusi & Hailey Griffith 
Hailey Griffith 
Favourite Treat:
Stinky liver 
Favourite Toy: 
Tennis ball 
Best Friend: 
Paige (half-sister)
Interview with Hailey Griffith
When and how did you get involved in purebred dogs? I was fortunate enough to grow up at dog shows. 

What drew you to the Wire Fox Terriers? They’re perfect!  

How did Pierce come into your life? I’m his breeder, owner and handler, but his 2021 campaign would have not been possible without his amazing co-owners.  It takes a village! 

Did Pierce show star potential right away? Yes, he did. 

When and where was their first show? His first show was at Montgomery where he was awarded Best of Winners at nine months old under Michael Collings. His second time in the ring, he was awarded Puppy of the Year at the AKC Royal Canin Dog Show in Orlando Florida! 

Did you face any challenges while campaigning Pierce in 2021? I would say 2021 had a few “bumps in the road” as any campaign does, it’s putting your head down and staying focused on the end goal. 

What makes Pierce stand out in the ring? Pierce is an excellent example of a Wire Fox Terrier. His coat, bone, length of neck and movement are some of his exceptional conformation attributes. We are so proud of him! 

If Pierce had a theme song – which song would it be? “Strike it Up” by Black Box.

Which tools or products could you not attend a show without? If you don’t have/ forgot the product you need-you borrow from a friend, the show must go on! 

Any advice for newcomers to the sport? Love your dog first and have fun. 

What’s next for Pierce? Pierce will be shown in the US by co-owner Robert Carusi. 

(Photo credit: Wendy Reyn)

#2 – GChG LionKing Blaze of Glory

Call Name: Blaze
Breeders: Nathalie Lachance, Robert & Barbara Denis
Owners: Nathalie Lachance, Thomas Curley, Gilles Chaloux, Michel Chaloux & Robert Denis
Handler: Thomas Curley
Favourite Treat: Chicken
Favourite Toy: Any stuffed toy with a tail
Best Friend: Thomas Curley 

Interview with Nathalie Lachance

When and how did you get involved in purebred dogs? My parents bought a Chow Chow named “Titus” that we first showed in 1976 at the United Kennel Club in Montreal (I was 6 years old). However, my first personal beginnings in the sport were in 1990 when I showed my first Bernese Mountain Dog.

What drew you to the Pekingese? I fell in love with the breed in 2000 when I witnessed the breathtaking combination of Tom and the Great Taeplace Monet.  I was both fascinated and in awe of this gorgeous dog. To this day, I still feel that Pekingese are one of the most incredible breeds in our sport. Nothing is comparable to a Pekingese and all aspects of breeding, owning and showing the breed are a challenge that I rise to every day.

How did Blaze come into your life? I am his breeder, so he has been with me since birth. 

Did Blaze show star potential right away? Yes, absolutely! He is a natural!

When and where was their first show?  It was at the Elgin County kennel dog show (August 2020) Blaze finished his championship that weekend as a puppy.  He walked away with 2 Best Puppy in Shows as well as a Group First under breed specialist Mrs. Elaine Whitney. 

Did you face any challenges while campaigning Blaze in 2021? Because of Covid and the new normal associated with it, most of the dog shows were outdoors.  Showing a Pekingese outdoors and factoring in the “heat” and weather conditions is not an ideal situation. We are extremely proud of how well Tom and Blaze did given the circumstances. Blaze never let us down and enjoyed every minute of his time with Tom.

What makes Blaze a stand out in the ring? His personality and, of course, his breed type. This boy never gives up and enjoys every minute when he is in the ring.

If Blaze had a theme song – which song would it be?  “Don't Stop Believing” by Journey and of course “Blaze of Glory” by Bon Jovi. 

Which tools or products could you not attend a show without? PekeSecret products, my personal brand of products!

Any advice for newcomers to the sport? Always believe in your dream, work hard, keep your real friends close and respect your dogs and their needs every minute. Without them nothing is possible.

What’s next for Blaze? Blaze is still a young dog, having just turned two in December 2021. It is finally possible to cross the border, so we will plan to show him at some US Specialties. The future is very exciting! 

#3 – GChS Hollyrood Cosmopollyton

Call Name: Polly 
Scottish Deerhound 
Breeders/Owners: Lynne Bruce & Heidi Gervais 
Handler: Heidi Gervais 
Favourite Treat: Anything from other handlers in the ring plus a walk to the beach when she is not at a show 
Favourite Toy: A tiger she got for her 5th birthday, on the Year of the Tiger 
Best Friend: Glitter (Berger Picard) 

 Interview with Lynne Bruce
When and how did you get involved in purebred dogs? I am from three generations of serious dog people, my grandfather had Lurchers and Greyhounds, which he coursed. He also trained Border Collies. I had all kinds of dogs growing up, but I wanted a purebred sighthound. In 1974, I purchased a purebred Scottish Deerhound in Manitoba, who became Ch Crannoch's Ailsa, my foundation bitch. 
What drew you to the Scottish Deerhound? They are unique in temperament, and they just fit my personality. I also admire how athletic, powerful, yet graceful they are. 
How did Polly come into your life? Heidi and I bred Polly, so she was born here, but really it started when I went to look at a lovely litter in New York State from Dhu Mohr Kennels as we really wanted to choose a bitch from that litter. However, I fell in love with a boy and came home with him instead. He was BIS Ch Dhu Mohr Warlock at Hollywood and was Polly's sire and bred to Jenny Wren, from our bird litter who produced a litter of 9 pups. 
Did Polly show star potential right away? Yes, you could see she thought she was something special at 8 weeks she was always such a character but growing up she could be naughty. It took her a while to settle into being a show dog. Eventually, she became the greatest show dog I have ever owned or bred.
Any advice for newcomers to the sport? Do your research, visit with many different breedthen get a pup from the best pedigree you can find. Find a mentor who can give you background on your breed and take his or her advice. 
Interview with Heidi Gervais
When and where was their first show? How did they do? Polly's first show was at Mt. Cheam on September 21, 2017. She won a Group 4 and Best Puppy in Group. 
Did you face any challenges while campaigning Polly in 2021? Well, Polly's campaign year was supposed to be 2020, but along came the pandemic. Her year ended in March 2020 and then she wasn't shown again until July 2021. 
What makes Polly stand out in the ring? If you read the standard and look at Polly, she really epitomizes it, she has a very light floating gait that Ann Rogers Clark called "the Deerhound Lilt".  She is incredibly sound and always so happy to be in the ring. 
If Polly had a theme song – which song would it be? “Good Day” by Nappy Roots. 
What’s next for Polly? Motherhood we hope! 

#4 – GChEx Esmonds God of All SDN CDX RN

Call Name: Pan
Breeders: Tammy Ausloos & Ann Felske-Jackman
Owners: Dawn Phillips & Ann Felske-Jackman
Handler: Lori-Ann Fischer
Favourite Treat: He is kind of fussy about his treats, but he does love to share a donair
Favourite Toy: Jerome the fish
Best Friend: Little
Interview with Dawn Phillips
When and how did you get involved in purebred dogs? We have always had purebred dogs when I was growing up.  My family did not show their dogs, but we had St. Bernard’s and Cocker Spaniels, so I have always looked at purebred dogs when finding a breed that fits my lifestyle.
What drew you to the Rottweiler? Rottweilers checked off all the boxes for me when I was looking for a dog.  They have a coat that is easy to look after, not too big, not too little and are extremely devoted. They are intelligent, love to work and are versatile.  You really can't ask for more.

How did Pan come into your life? When your breeder says they have a puppy for you, you take it!

Did Pan show star potential right away?  I think so. He has always been very confident and likes to show off, so people were drawn to him.  There has always been something extra special about him.

When and where was their first show?  I don't remember where his first show was exactly, but I showed him 5 weekends as a puppy.  He finished his Championship and was awarded 9 Best Puppy in Group, and 1 Best Puppy in Show win in those weekends. 

Did you face any challenges while campaigning Pan in 2021? Not in 2021 really.  There were very few shows at the beginning of the year, but once they opened back up again, it was great.

What makes Pan stand out in the ring? Pan loves to show, and you can see that he enjoys being in the ring. He has always done everything 110% and I think that shows when he is in the ring as well.  His relationship with Lori-Ann is also very evident.  He only has eyes for her, and he gives her everything!

If Pan had a theme song – which song would it be? He likes to use “The Greatest Show” from The Greatest Showman soundtrack for dock diving, so I think that could be his theme song.
Which tools or products could you not attend a show without? I have a Rottweiler, so I don't use many products.  We do love our Chris Christensen shampoo though!

What’s next for Pan? Pan is going to continue with Dock Diving, Obedience, Rally and Scent Detection.  I am hoping to get him into a Carting Trial as well if one opens.  He has lots to keep himself busy!

(Photo credit JumpStart Photography)

#5 – GChS Skyehigh's Video Game

Call Name: Atari    
West Highland White Terrier
Breeder: Lindy Barrow
Owners/Handler: David & Pat Gignac
Favourite Treat: It changes, but chicken usually hits the list
Favourite Toy: Not into toys
Best Friend: Adele
Interview with Lindy Barrow
When and how did you get involved in purebred dogs? 1998 I purchased my first show dog.  My mother had purchased her littermate as a pet, and I wanted a Westie too.
What drew you to the West Highland White Terrier? Had my first Westie when I was 4 years old, fell in love with the breed forever.

Did Atari show star potential right away? Atari was from a litter of 6 and he stood out.  All 4 of his sisters ended up either with me or in show homes.
When and where was their first show?  Kentucky in March of 2020.  He won a point major, but the rest of the shows were cancelled due to Covid.
Did you face any challenges while campaigning Atari in 2021? Certainly, Covid made it challenging with few shows and limitations to travel.
What makes Atari stand out in the ring? His type and showmanship.
If Atari had a theme song – which song would it be? “Simply The Best” by Tina Turner.
What tool or product could you not attend a show without? I believe my handler would say his brush.
Any advice for newcomers to the sport? Watch the top dogs and handlers.  Try very hard to find someone in the breed you want to get into to mentor you.  I know it is hard finding mentors these days but they do exist.  If you can’t find someone in your breed, at least try for one in your group.
What’s next for Atari? Atari will remain on the Canadian show circuit for 2022 with a few appearances in the USA.

#6 – GChEx Tumbleweed Valubal Gamechanger RI NS

Call Name: Marshall
Old English Sheepdog
Owner/Handler: Valerie J Bandas
Breeder: Catherine Schellenberg
Favourite Treat: He likes almost everything
Favourite Toy: Stuffed toys - the bigger the better
Best Friend: No question his human best friend is my husband Max. His favourite dog friend is his half-sister Stevie.  
Interview with Valerie J Bandas

When and how did you get involved in purebred dogs? Our family always had purebred dogs. I grew up with a Boxer and then a Boston Terrier.   For Christmas in 1980, my husband of the day bought me a Sheepdog puppy - well “ordered” one as it hadn’t been conceived yet.  The puppy I wanted in the litter was deemed show quality - so I thought “I can do that”!   Chumley arrived at the end of May 1981 and my first show was in November of that year.  Chumley quickly got his championship with me handling, and then we moved on to obedience and earned a CDX. He was also an excellent Scent Hurdle Racing dog.  He taught me so much more than I taught him.  

What drew you to the Old English Sheepdog? When I was a teenager my cousin had a sheepdog. He was the best dog ever and I would regularly borrow him on weekends. His name was Max and he sealed the deal regarding what breed I would get once I could have a dog of my own.

How did Marshall come into your life?  I co-bred Marshall’s dam, GCh Tumbleweed’s Valubal Maui Nani.  I co-owned and co-handled Nani for her 2016 campaign where she ended the year #3 all-breed.  She was bred to a lovely dog of Dale and Dora Meyers and had one male and one female puppy. I bought the male.  
Did Marshall show star potential right away? Yes, he did!  

When and where was their first show? We spend winters in Arizona, so Marshall’s first show wasn’t until we returned in April. He was 9 1/2 months old then. We hadn’t had a chance to go to any handling classes, so our first show was done “cold turkey”.  Despite his naughty behaviour, he won 2 Group 2, a Group 3, 3 Best Puppy in Group and 2 Best Puppy in Shows.  In his 2 1/2-month puppy career he won 15 Best Puppy in Shows, 21 Best Puppy in Group. He was the # 5 all-breed puppy and top Herding puppy.

Did you face any challenges while campaigning Marshall in 2021? There are always challenges when campaigning a dog from Saskatchewan. The greatest challenge is the distances that we had to drive!  Our closest show was 4 hours from home.  A couple were within 6 hours and the balance was 8+ hours away.  Another challenge was the inability to travel by air.   Marshall was too heavy (by 5 pounds) to travel as excess baggage and too big (according to the airline) to ship by cargo in a 500 kennel.  It was very disappointing to be declined air travel to attend the December shows on the island when all the other top dogs were there. So instead of feeling sorry for myself, we (at the insistence of Katherine) entered 3 “day of” rally trials in Regina and completed Marshall’s Rally Intermediate title with two HIC wins. 

What makes Marshall stand out in the ring? Marshall is a beautiful typey dog and has the attributes specific to the Old English Sheepdog - lovely coat, short back, top line, head.  He’s stunning in a stack and very nice to go over. He is always in top physical condition and muscle tone. On top of all that, his movement is powerful and effortless.  Judged have commented that they could watch him move all day.  

If Marshall had a theme song – which song would it be?  “Fire on the Mountain” by Marshall Tucker Band. The song is a reminder of the challenges of showing in BC last summer.  

Which tools or products could you not attend a show without? I need my entire grooming bag along with coffee in the morning and wine in the evening.  

Any advice for newcomers to the sport? Do your breed research.  Buy the best dog you can afford.  Find a mentor – ideally, it should be your experienced breeder.  Watch, listen and learn. Do not ask for advice from many others or you will be confused - not smarter.  Be patient, work hard and the rest will come.  And no matter what, at the end of the day, you are taking the best dog home.  

What’s next for Marshall?  Marshall is not just a pretty dog. He is exceptionally smart.  In addition to his Rally Intermediate title, he has Advanced Trick Dog and Novice Sprinter titles and is a fan of Agility.  We may even try Herding!  So, between shows, we will be working toward further performance titles.  

#7 – GChG Crystaltontees Chikoda NCIS

Call Name: Gibbs
Standard Poodle
Breeders: Carol Graham & Terill Udenberg
Owners: Carol Graham & Jerry Harvey
Handler: Chris Downing
Favourite Treat: Liver
Favourite Toy: Giant Snake Squeaker Toy
Best Friend: Chris Downing 
Interview with Carol Graham
When and how did you get involved in purebred dogs?  I bought a Miniature Poodle as a teenager in 1954 and started showing with their breeder.
What drew you to the Standard Poodle? After retiring from being a Professional Handler for over 30 years and having shown a lot of Standard Poodles, I knew I would always be with a Standard Poodle.
How did Gibbs come into your life? I bred him.
Did Gibbs show star potential right away? In the whelping pen at 6 weeks of age, I knew he was a standout. Reminding me much of his father who I also bred and who went Number 1 all breeds in 2014.  
When and where was their first show? August 2016 in Calgary he was Best Baby Puppy in Group under Aramis (J) Lim, followed by 2 more Best Baby Puppy in Groups in September under Michael Hill and Thora Brown.
Did you face any challenges while campaigning Gibbs in 2021? Showing in the rain more than once. 
What makes Gibbs stand out in the ring? His beautiful presence in the ring and comical actions always brought a smile from judges and spectators.  
If Gibbs had a theme song – which song would it be? The theme song from NCIS.
Any advice for newcomers to the sport? My advice for newcomers is to find a good mentor and always be a good sport and great things will happen.
What’s next for Gibbs? Now for Gibbs, he will just enjoy retirement and being able to have fun without always being on a grooming table.

#8 – GChS Midnight Lady’s Puff the Magic Dragon

Call Name: Jack
Breeder: Zsuzsa Somos-Soos
Owners: Christina Koffman-Heard & John Affel
Handler: Christina Koffman-Heard
Favourite Treat: Salmon Rollover
Favourite Toy: Anything that isn’t his
Best Friend: Tupak (Newfoundland)

Interview with Christina Koffman-Heard 
When and how did you get involved in purebred dogs? When our son was small, we were looking for a pet for the family. 
What drew you to the Newfoundland?  Temperament.
How did Jack come into your life? Imported him from Midnight Lady’s Newfoundlands in Hungary when he was a puppy.
Did Jack show star potential right away? Absolutely.
When and where was their first show? How did they do?  First shown in Mexico and handled by our great friend Jorge Flores Martinez (Coco). 
Did you face any challenges while campaigning Jack in 2021?  Grooming out of our van because of Covid restrictions.
What makes Jack stand out in the ring? He thinks he is a superstar, and he is!
If Jack had a theme song – which song would it be? “Mack the Knife” by Bobby Darin.
Which tools or products could you not attend a show without? Panagenics.
Any advice for newcomers to the sport?  Be patient. Stick with it. Learn from everyone.
What’s next for Jack?  Being Tupak’s best friend.  

#9 – GChG Eirene's Chase N Chicks

Call name: Hefner
Golden Retriever
Breeder/Owner/Handler: Shannon Scheer
Favourite Treat: Kirkland Dog Biscuits and Paper Towels
Favourite Toy: Anything that another dog is playing with
Best Friend: He has too many to list them all
Interview with Shannon Scheer
When and how did you get involved in purebred dogs? When I was ten years old, my uncle bought us an Irish Setter for Christmas. Our parents took us to the Northwinds Dog Show at the Winnipeg Convention Center in hopes we could talk to someone about our destructive dog.     We went to the show secretary desk and met Sonny Tougas and Larry Kereluke.  I remember Sonny and Larry gently explaining that perhaps my Irish was not something that the conformation world was ready for and they steered me towards Obedience and Junior Handling. I started competing at the age of 13.
What drew you to the Golden Retriever? Well, I am not sure if our Irish Setter was even purebred, but she very much resembled a Golden Retriever. That Irish Setter lived for 15 years, and our family had no desire to get another one. I grew up with Dobermans and German Shepherds but longed for a Golden.  Their beauty, loyalty, and energy is captivating. It wasn’t until I got married that we owned Goldens, although I had co-bred a few litters prior to my marriage.
How did Hefner come into your life? Hefner has been with me his whole life!  I am his breeder and owner. It was a breeding I had wanted to do for quite some time but had to wait until I retired his mother “Chick” from her campaign.   There were only four in the litter and I kept Hefner and his sister. Their sire, Am Ch Osprey’s On Angels Wings (Chase) has a lot to offer our breed, so I was excited for the chance to breed to him.
Did Hefner show star potential right away? Star potential to me is knowing the males have two testicles at 8 weeks!  Ha, ha!  Yes, Hefner showed early promise. He won every Baby Puppy in Show he was entered in except for one.
When and where was their first show? Hefner was old enough at the end of September 2019. He finished in one weekend with breed wins and placements over specials. He was only shown five weekends as a puppy before Covid hit and yet still finished 2020 as Number Two All-Breed puppy. He was third in the Jr Puppy class at the USA National his second weekend in the ring.
Did you face any challenges while campaigning Hefner in 2021? The only challenge we had out West was finding shows!  The East had many “pop-up” shows, whereas the Prairies had completely shut down. It was very hard to compete with the number of shows available to us. Our shows opened up in August outdoors and we attended eleven weekends across the Prairies. Our last show was on the Island in December which was the only time I travelled to BC in 2021.  I had never intended to campaign Hefner at such a young age, it just so happened that he was greatly received at the shows that we entered.
What makes Hefner stand out in the ring? He is just a very happy dog and it shows.  He still does silly puppy things in the ring like losing total concentration on a go-round if a hairball or a leaf happens to blow through the ring. 
If Hefner had a theme song – which song would it be? Pharell Williams’ “Happy”. 
Which tools or products could you not attend a show without? A water spray bottle, slicker brush, my lucky green comb, and my hairdryer.
Any advice for newcomers to the sport? Come to a show and sit and watch the WHOLE day, not just your breed. Watch the people that interest you the most on presentation, and teamwork with their dogs. They could be a handler, a breeder, a judge or an owner. If they catch your eye go up to them and ask any questions you may have.  They do not have to be involved in the same breed that you have.  We are all approachable and are very willing to mentor anyone that wishes to learn! Listen to your breeders and hopefully, they are willing to teach. Don’t get discouraged if you do not go home with a ribbon. This hobby is a constant learning curve for us all. Respect and listen to those that have been in this sport for a very long time. We are there to mentor and we want to see newcomers succeed in a sport that has so much to offer back if we let it! 
What’s next for Hefner? I would really like to concentrate on the USA shows this year as well as the occasional Canadian show. We are very honoured to those who have chosen Hefner as their stud dog. I am excited to see what these beautiful bitches will produce and look forward to seeing them in the ring.  Hefner is definitely living up to his name!

#10 – GChS Priderock's Audan of Mobukhosi

Call name: Aedan
Rhodesian Ridgeback
Breeder: Heather Allison
Owners: Christina Ayre & Heather Allison
Handler: Emily Burdon
Favourite Treat: He loves any raw veggies
Favourite Toy: When he gets excited, he likes to pick up my slipper or shoe in his mouth, and do zoomies around the house with it
Best Friend: Maeve and Zia (Rhodesian Ridgebacks)
Interview with Christina Ayre
When and how did you get involved in purebred dogs? I grew up with dogs, but when I got my first Ridgeback and Weimaraner in 2000, their breeders provided a segue way into the world of purebred dogs and I was hooked!
What drew you to the Rhodesian Ridgeback? Initially, the uniqueness of the ridge of course. The fact they were a short-coated breed, their beautiful eyes and expression. The sheer powerfulness of the breed while still appearing elegant and so regal.
How did Aedan come into your life? I remember that when Aedan’s litter was on the ground, I had said to his breeder Heather how, after having a number of females, I wished I could have a male Ridgeback one day to try and campaign, and she said she just might have one for me in this litter and it was meant to be!
Did Aedan show star potential right away? Most definitely! His breeder, Heather, would tell you that he was a standout in the whelping box.
When and where was their first show? How did they do? I took Aedan to the Elora Gorge Kennel Club shows over Christmas in 2014, when he was just 3 months old, and he won the Best Baby Puppy in Group.
Did you face any challenges while campaigning Aedan in 2021? Most definitely! But all I want to say about that is despite any challenges, never lose sight of your end goals, what Aedan achieved in breaking records for the breed, no one can ever take that away.
What makes Aedan stand out in the ring?  His sheer presence – he’s very regal looking, he’s focused, commands attention and is so young at heart.  That, coupled with such powerful yet effortless movement makes him stand out.
If Aedan had a theme song – which song would it be? “I’m so excited…and I just can’t hide it…I’m about to lose control and I think I like it!”  (I’m so excited by the Pointer Sisters). That is him to a T!
Which tools or products could you not attend a show without? Chris Christensen Miracle Moisture shampoo and Conditioner and a curry brush.
Any advice for newcomers to the sport? Be patient, don’t get discouraged, just keep showing up over and over; be a sponge and take the opportunity to learn from the experienced breeders and professionals around you; never take anything for granted and remain humble, appreciate when you have that special dog because they don’t necessarily come around that often; enjoy the moments and have fun.
What’s next for Aedan? Westminster; a few shows and Specialties in Canada and the US, hoping to obtain his US GCH Silver and his Canadian GCH Excellent; his US National and Top 25 competition in October.