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2019 Top Show Dogs

Top Show Dog – Official Results

Meet Canada’s Top Show Dogs

The #1 spot in 2019 was claimed by the stunning jet-black Newfoundland, Tupak. This is only the second time in Top Dog history that a Newfoundland, one of Canada’s indigenous breeds, has won the prestigious top spot. Ch. Hornblower’s Long John Silver was awarded #1 in 1978.

Throughout 2019 Tupak was presented gorgeously by one of his owners Christina Koffman-Heard, wowing judges across the country with his beautiful conformation and winning fans with his charm and personality. 
We caught up with all of the Top 10 Show Dog owners, who shed some light on their memorable victories and tips. Here are their interviews.


#1 – GCh. Midnight Lady's Fire Up Your Engine Moso

Call Name: Tupak       
Breeder: Zsuzsa Somos-Soos
Owners: Christina Koffman-Heard & Leo Rabinovitz
Handler: Christina Koffman-Heard  
When did you get into showing dogs? We started a little over 25 years ago and have always shown Newfoundlands.
What drew you to this breed?  Temperament and size.
Does your dog have a show ritual?  All our show dogs are road worked daily to promote conditioning and teamwork.
Most memorable win of 2019?  Every win is memorable.
Showing Newfoundlands – What’s easy about it? What’s challenging?  Our dogs love being with us and are happy and eager to show. The challenging part is keeping them in full coat all year round.
What is next for Tupak?  Tupak has accomplished more than we could have imagined. Now he is retired and a great companion to our grandchildren.

#2 – GCh. Vanderbilt 'N Printemp's Lucky Strike

Call Name: Striker
Breeders: M Wu and Judi Elford
Owners: Correen Pacht, Marc Ralsky, Judi & Blair Elford
Handler: Breeder/owner-handled by Judi Elford
When did you get into showing dogs? We started in 1977. Judi had always wanted a Samoyed, and to show it.   
What drew you to this breed? Their eye-arresting natural beauty, their working heritage, a sweet personality  and of course the Sammy Smile!
Does your dog have a show ritual?  The grooming routine ahead of time always stokes Striker, as he knows he's going to a show and gets quite wound up. It's very common for Striker to start screaming in the vehicle when he knows we've arrived at a show site. Once there, he'd always be quite calm and patient waiting his turn to show but would always pull you into the building and into the ring. Always eager to go and have fun.
Most memorable win of 2019?  Winning BIS at Canada's largest show of the year the Calgary Kennel Club show at Spruce Meadows.
Showing Samoyeds – What’s easy about it? What’s challenging?  Showing Samoyeds can be tricky.  They're quite intelligent and can overthink the situation but overall are quite lighthearted. They are also pack dogs, so if you are showing more than one on a day, they can protest being separated. Although most are quite happy. Early socialization is quite important.

#3 – GCh. Skyehigh's One Pound Sterling

3TSD_001.jpegCall Name: OP
West Highland White Terrier
Breeders: Lindy Barrow & Antonio Celso Mollo
Owner: Lindy Barrow
Handlers: David & Pat Gignac
When did you get into showing dogs? I purchased my first West Highland White Terrier show dog in 1998.
When, where and with who did you win your first Best in Show? GCh. Skyehigh’s MKC Bonaparte (Party Boy), 2008 Brantford Kennel Club under Mr. Burke, handled Allison Foley.
What drew you to this breed? I grew up with a Westie. There was no question of which breed I wanted to start showing.
Does your dog have a show ritual? Other than grooming for the ring, no.
Most memorable win of 2019?  Two BIS wins at Scarborough Kennel club, as I was able to be there to see the wins.
Showing West Highland White Terriers – What’s easy about it? What’s challenging?  When you have a dog/bitch that loves to show, it is an easy breed as they are happy and willing to work with you. The most challenging is the grooming hand-stripping and rolling the coat, and keeping it in top show condition weekly.
What is next for OP? Retired to stud and living in a lovely home where he just gets to be a pampered dog.

#4 – GCh. Snowmist's Desert Chill

Call Name: Chilly
Siberian Husky
Breeder/Owner: Kim Ramey-Leblanc
Handlers: Breeder/owner-handled by Kim Ramey-Leblanc and professionally handled by Colin Brownlee
When did you get into showing dogs? I bought my first Siberian “Aquila” in 1973. I started showing him at puppy matches shortly after he arrived. 
When, where and with who did you win your first Best in Show? June 1988 at the Ontario County KC with MBIS MBISS Am. Can. Ch. Snowmist’s Mai Tai.
What drew you to this breed? The independent spirit and wolf-like appearance with a touch of humour is what made me fall in love with this majestic breed.
Does your dog have a show ritual? No, not really. Chilly is a wash-and- wear kind of girl. She was always ready for whatever her human companions brought her way. Her biggest challenge for her handlers was she was crazy about babies and small children. Their presence at ringside was an interesting distraction on occasion.
Most memorable win of 2019? Sault Ste. Marie KC shows has to one of the most memorable.
Showing Siberian Huskies – What’s easy about it? What’s challenging? Siberians are one of the breeds that look like they should be easy to show but so many handlers and owner-handlers struggle with them. The Siberian scoot or their wild, weird and wonderful silliness has brought many an experienced handler to their knees. Grooming a Siberian for the ring is relatively easy compared to, say a terrier or Poodle. The challenge is dealing with the shedding season when you are campaigning one.
What is next for Chilly? Motherhood! Chilly is a great mom and campaigning her was just a break from her real job.

#5 – GCh. Roaneden's Dream Catcher

Call name: Falco
Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever
Breeders: Christine & Robert Jones
Owners: Stephanie Chaloux, Simon Robin, Gilles Chaloux & Christine Jones
Handlers: Emily & Graeme Burdon
When did you get into showing dogs?  Our family has been involved in showing dogs since the mid-‘50s. Our first breed was a German Shepherd Dog. We finished multiple champions of different breeds, including German Shepherds, Beagles, Brittanys, Kerry Blue Terriers, Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers and Pekingese.
What drew you to this breed? Tollers are great dogs and fantastic for outdoor activities. My daughter Stéphanie always wanted to have a Toller. This is a breed that deserves better public recognition.
Does your dog have a show ritual? Not really. Falco is a friendly, easy-going and active dog. He loves to stay at home with his family, especially his human sisters during the week and have fun on the weekend at shows with Emily and Graeme.
Most memorable win of 2019? We have a lot of memorable wins. In particular, we remember his Best in Show at the Trillium Dog Fanciers Show under respected judge Virginia Lyne.
Showing Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers – What's easy about it? What's challenging? Tollers love to perform in the ring. They are very attentive to their handler and display great showmanship. Falco loved to be in the ring with Emily and Graeme.
What is next for Falco? The pleasure of being a family dog. He loves to swim at the lake, chasing the ducks and jumping from the dock. He is also a great fan of hiking in the forest. But what he loves most is being surrounded by his family and playing with children.

#6 – GCh. Woodside's Bella Jun 

Call Name: Bella
German Shepherd Dog
Breeder: Sandy Anderson
Owners: Cortnie Partner, Jody & Parker Duin & Sandy Anderson
Handler: Courtney Penner
When did you get into showing dogs? I started showing dogs in 1976.  I began with Dobermans and after attending a show and seeing this magnificent sable German Shepherd Dog in the ring, I just knew I was destined to have German Shepherds in the future. And here I am now 45 years later.  
What drew you to this breed?  I believe it was fate that ultimately drew me to this breed. I have never looked back.       
Does your dog have a show ritual?  Bella is an easy-going and fun dog to be around; she is charismatic and demands attention. I think if we were to ask Courtney, she would say that Bella's ritual starts with a few free baits ringside, a good scratch, pat on her chest and a reminder that it is go time. Bella loves to show and is always happy to be in the ring.  
Most memorable win of 2019?  That is a tough one, but I would have to say that winning 6 Best in Shows in a row, in one weekend has to be the most memorable of all. Every Best in Show was memorable. Bella really showed her heart out and worked hard to achieve the record for most Best in Show wins of any female German Shepherd.  
Showing German Shepherd Dogs – What’s easy about it? What’s challenging? A German Shepherd who is happy to show makes it easy to show. If they naturally have that drive and presence, like Bella has, showing them becomes easy. One of the challenges would be working with various ring sizes, especially when they are on the smaller size. When you have a breed like the German Shepherd Dog who requires a decent amount of space to move out, open up and truly showcase who and what they are, a small ring can be a challenge for any handler.   

#7 – GCh. Vetset Count Me In

Call Name: Lina
Standard Poodle
Breeder/Owner: Dr. Elly Holowaychuk
Handler: Sarah Drake

When did you get into showing dogs? We have been breeding and exhibiting Standard Poodles for 35 years. This has always been our breed.

When, where and with who did you win your first Best in Show? Our first BIS was awarded to Am. Can. C.h Vetset Nothing But The Best “Ronnie” in June 1996 at the Lakeland Kennel Club in Alberta. She was shown by JoAnn Noffsinger. She was also our first homebred BIS.

What drew you to this breed? We chose Standard Poodles due to their intelligence, non-shedding hair coat, willingness to please, and easiness to train. Our dogs are known for their outstanding temperament.
Most memorable win of 2019? Every win is a memorable win and incredibly appreciated. By the end of 2019, Lina had won 190 Group Firsts, 41 Best in Shows, 38 Reserve Best in Shows, and multiple Specialty and Limited Breed Shows. We are humbled and very grateful for each one.
Showing Standard Poodles – What’s easy about it? What’s challenging? 
Lina has been shown to absolute perfection by Sarah Drake. Words could not adequately express how incredibly appreciative we are of her great dedication to coat care and conditioning, outstanding presentation and professional ethics.
What is next for Lina? Lina is enjoying life with our family. We are hoping to breed her soon.

#8 – GCh. Ashbrook's Maverick From Shainakees

Call Name: Rowdy
Breeders: Rev. Ruthann Seibert & Suzette Lefebvre
Owners: Lynne Hewitt & Rev. Ruthann Seibert
Handler: Connie Krohn

When did you get into showing dogs? I started showing dogs in 1995 after purchasing my first Keeshond bitch. I started with Keeshonden and still have them to this day.

When, where and with who did you win your first Best in Show?  The first BIS on one of my Keeshonden was MBIS Am. Can. GCh. Darkenwald Cavalier O' Southcar, won at the Portage Kennel Club show in Manitoba, with Trina Neil on the end of the lead.

What drew you to this breed? I was drawn to the fluffy fur they have! As puppies they look like a little baby ewok and are so cute!

Does your dog have a show ritual? No show ritual other than a bath and a complete brush out every second week.

Do you have any good luck charms? Connie and Rowdy don't really have any good luck charms but he does have one specific leash and collar, a specific brush and a comb... so maybe, yes!

Most memorable win of 2019? Speaking from Connie's perspective, and I guess mine, would be the 2019 NACA shows in Edmonton in the company of many top contenders. Rowdy won 2 RBIS and 2 BIS that weekend, skyrocketing him in the standings to one of Canada's Top 10 all breeds and it was only the beginning for him. It is challenging competing against the flashier breeds in the group like the Poodle or Shih Tzu. Kees are just honest dogs no flash or grandstanding to them so you have to be good to catch the judge's attention.

Showing Keeshonden – What’s easy about it? What’s challenging? The easy part of showing a Kees would be the grooming preparation, as there is only coat upkeep, no fancy scissor work. If you've got a good coat, you don’t need any product! Rowdy's favourite grooming product is water.

What is next for Rowdy? Showing in Canada once again.

#9 – GCh. Lanvern Firefall Dble O Seven

Call Name: Bond
Bouvier des Flandres
Breeder: Frances Verner
Owners: Fran & Yves Verner
Handler: Shannon Scheer
When did you get into showing dogs? I met and married Yves Verner in 1979. At that time I owned Afghan Hounds. In 1984, I decided I wanted to get into showing and Yves bought me a Bouvier. Her name was Femme Fatale of Wilderwood, who I called “Lady,” and she most definitely lived up to her name! Bill (Bouvier) Francis showed her for me and helped me learn the ropes! She truly was the love of my life.
When, where and with who did you win your first Best in Show? In 1994, we bred Lanvern's Kosmic Storm (Ace) who between 1995 and 1997 earned champion titles in Canada, America, Luxembourg, Brussels, Mexico and a World Champion title. Will Alexander piloted him to his first Best in Show at the Norfolk show in Ontario in 1997.
What drew you to this breed? In the late '60s I lived in Germany for a while and whilst travelling back and forth between there and England came across the Bouvier. I loved their big, bold and beautiful look and knew that one day I would own one or two.
Does your dog have a show ritual? Bond does not really have a show ritual, but gets really excited when he knows he is going. If we are at a show, Yves usually walks him beforehand to burn some energy. He just loves to move!
Do you have any good luck charms? We don't have any good luck charms, just keep those fingers and toes crossed!
Most memorable win of 2019? Most memorable win for us with Bond  was his four back-to-back Best in Show wins in Cranbrook. We wish we could have been there watching, but I can tell you the excitement and "bubbly" was flowing in our house! It was something that dreams are made of.
Showing Bouviers – What’s easy about it? What’s challenging? The challenges of showing are many. One really has to take those rose-coloured glasses off and look hard at the dog before deciding to campaign. I think that above all the dog has to love being in the show ring. It is not enough that he has great conformation; they have to like to be there. When choosing a handler, the chemistry between them is important, as it is a big team effort between owner, handler and dog. A lot of stress and worry go along with showing, especially if one has long-coated breeds, trying to keep those coats conditioned inside and outside the ring, day in and day out. Making sure that they get the  right amount of exercise to keep them well-toned. Missing out on social gatherings because "I have to groom my dog and have a show on the weekend" and driving them back and forth. Once it is in your blood, you are hooked!

#10 – GChX Esmonds God Of All RN CD

Call Name: Pan
Breeders: Tammy Ausloos & Ann Felske-Jackman
Owners: Dawn Phillips & Ann Felske-Jackman
Handler: Lori-Ann Fischer
When did you get into showing dogs? I grew up with Saint Bernards and Cocker Spaniels.The first dog I ever purchased on my own was an Australian Shepherd, but I always loved Rottweilers. When I graduated college, I finally purchased my first Rottweiler. Australian Shepherds and Rottweilers need to work, so that's when I started working and showing dogs. Those first two dogs taught me a lot.

When, where and with who did you win your first Best in Show? Pan is my first dog to win a Best in Show. He and Lori-Ann were awarded that first Best in Show at Lakeland Kennel and Obedience Club in June 2019.

What drew you to this breed? 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 extremely intelligent, love to work and are versatile.  

Does your dog have a show ritual? Pan's show ritual is basically his love of his bath time, waiting in the shower the night before, when you tell him he is going to a show. The REAL ritual, though, may be that his favourite toy, his fish, MUST be in every Best in Show picture! It was something that was suggested by his first Best in Show judge, Yvonne Savard. Lori-Ann has panicked a few times on the way to the picture booth if the fish is not in her ringside bag, and has even been asked by a few judges where the fish is!

Most memorable win of 2019?  Can't really say any one specific win is the most memorable. We are thankful and appreciative of every win. If we had to name one, it would probably be the weekend in Prince George, coming home with 2 Best in Shows and 3 Reserve Bests.

Showing Rottweilers – What’s easy about it? What’s challenging? Lori-Ann would say this is not always an easy breed to show, but having a dog with an exceptional temperament and one who loves to show as much as Pan, makes it a breeze and every moment enjoyable. 

What is next for Pan? If we can get out to more conformation shows this year, we have one more goal we hope to accomplish. We are training for our next obedience titles, as well as hoping to enter a scent detection trial. Pan is also anxiously awaiting the opening of Dock Diving season, which is one of his very favourite sports!


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