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Reserve Best In Show

CrystaltonChikoda Wht Diamonds

Jerry Harvey of Chikoda Kennels and Carol Graham of Crystalton Kennels, would like to wish everyone a happy and healthy new year, and introduce Sparkle as this week’s front cover girl.
Sparkle was the first one born of three in this litter of nine, which were white. It was indeed a shock for Carol. In twenty something years of breeding Standard Poodles these were the first ever, white puppies delivered.
As the litter developed, this first-born white bitch was always the standout in the litter. Carol’s eyes were always drawn to this white girl, she was always the first one coming to you and she ruled the litter. 
All along Carol kept saying to herself. “I am not keeping a white one”.
In the end having stolen their hearts, this puppy pretty much let us know she was not going anywhere, and stayed as our puppy to show. Our first white, she was named Crystalton Chikoda Wht Diamonds, with Sparkle as her call name.
Sparkle made her ring debut as a puppy she finished in quick order and had a short puppy career with many puppy wins, she was also awarded Group Firsts under Judges Michael Hill, Shirley Limoges, Larry Kereluke and Ray Smith all while still in puppy trim.
Sparkle came home to grow up, Jerry and Carol sent Sparkle home with Allison Foley in August of 2016 to prepare her to be shown in Canada, and have her shown in the USA when Allison went.
Allison showed her a few weekends towards the end of 2016 in Canada to give her some ring time again, before going to a weekend in the US.
Sparkle was awarded 8 Group Firsts and her first Reserve Best in Show to the Kerry Blue Terrier “Jack”, which Allison showed. 
Sparkle did very well on her first trip to the US, she was awarded a 5 point major, and a 4 point major that weekend. We look forward to her going back with Allison to obtain the remaining points to finish.
We would like to thank the judges who have awarded Sparkle and Allison to date.
We send our deepest gratitude to Allison for the wonderful care that Sparkle receives. With Sparkle clear across the country we have very much enjoyed the little things, the video’s of Sparkle and Jack running in the field’s, candid photo’s from the shows.
We look forward to watching this team of Sparkle and Allison, as they begin the 2017 show season together.
Breeder: Carol Graham
Owner: Carol Graham & Jerry Harvey
Handler: Allison Foley CPHA
December 27, 28, 29, 2016
Tuesday Best in Show Judge: Lee Steeves
BIS Pug – GCh. Diamond Sand's Simply Perfect
Wednesday Best in Show Judge: Sylvia Barkey
BIS Pug - 
GCh Diamond Sand's Simply Perfect
Thursday Best in Show Judge: Alan Ewles
BIS Bull Terrier - GCh Thunderally's Dapper Dan


Final Top 10 All Breeds in Canada for 2016

Rank    Name Breed Points

1   Ch Torum's Calico Jack At Irisblu Kerry Blue Terrier 14668
2   Ch Auriga Peter Parker  Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen  11463
3   GCh Tumbleweed's Valubal Maui Nani Old English Sheepdog 9627
4   Ch Shadland Risky Business  Shetland Sheepdog  6229
5   GCh Summerford's What Ever Newfoundland 5895
6   GCh Flashlight Thunder v. Paradise of Wind  West Highland White Terrier  5386
7   GCh Salatino La Dame Sans Camelia  Papillon  5205
8   GCh Unicornhill Story Telling  Siberian Husky  5058
9   GChEx Lorricbrook Albelarm Believer  Whippet 4789
10   GCh Miletree Carnival Cavalier King Charles Spaniel 4577
unofficial results courtesy of


Final Top 10 All Breeds in The USA for 2016

Rank    Name Breed  

1   GChB Cordmaker Mister Blue Sky Pulik  
2   GChP Mephisto's Speak Of The Devil  Boxer  
3   GChG Vjk-Myst Garbonita's California Journey German Shorthaired Pointer   
4   GChP Cerise Blindside  English Springer Spaniel   
5   GChG Hampton Court's Monte Cristo  Wire Fox Terrier  
6   GChG Silverhall Strike Force Cocker Spaniel (ASCOB)   
7   GChS Grandcru Giaconda  Greyhound   
8   GChP Sabe's Simply Invincible  Boston Terrier   
9   GChP Round Town Queen Of Hearts Of Maryscot Scottish Terrier  
10   GChG Rivergroves Enough Said  Great Pyrenees  
for events up-to December 31, 2016


Kerry Blue Terrier
Torum's Calico Jack At
Irish Setter
Multi BIS Aust/NZ/Can & Am Ch 
Northwinds Clash of the Titans
American Cocker Spaniel
Ch. Very Vigie Huluberlulu
Ch. Kenibea Murphys Law
Ch. Jet’s Man in The Moon
Ch. Major League Pop-A-Top Roll of the Dice
Ch Qirmizi Ovation
Ch. Perfect Companion's Bruce Almighty
Ch Nothing Compares To You at Crosscop
Multi BIS GCHB CH Cordmaker Mister Blue Sky

Behind the Scene

With Peggy Gutierrez-Otero
Mexico City, Mexico
All Breed Judge
1) What is your breed of dog, and if you could have another breed, what would it be?
I have had several breeds in my life; currently I have Miniature Wire Haired Dachshunds. If I were to have another breed, definitively it would be Whippet’s, I had them in the past a wonderful breed!
2) What, and where was the best meal you have ever had while on an assignment?
There have been many, but while judging in Japan some years ago, we were taken to try all different kinds of Japanese foods, not just sushi and it was a very pleasant surprise!!!
3) Name a show that would be on your "bucket" list of dream assignments?
Judging my breed at a European World Dog show. I judged my then-breed (Basset Hounds) in my country at the 1999 World show held in Mexico City, and I judged Wire Dachshunds at the Dachshund Club of America National in 2015.
4) What is the strangest question an exhibitor has ever asked you?
I am trying to think, but I don't recall an exhibitor has asked anything further than: "what do you think about my dog" or "what didn't you like about my dog".
5) What is your favorite dog of the "past" in any breed?
There is a dog that I still remember and he has been dead for more than 10 years. It was an Argentinian black and tan Doberman male named Lex Luthor, that up to this day still produces beautiful offspring through stored frozen semen.
6) Do you believe the "sport" of dogs is getting stronger or weaker?
Unfortunately, our sport is getting weaker; having too many shows doesn't mean it is stronger. People place too much interest in winning and have forgotten the main reason of dog shows, which is selecting breeding stock to continue the purity of breeds. To me, breeding a good dog is more rewarding than just winning at a show.
7) Do you limit the number of assignments you do in a year to a number?
No, unless a month is crowded. Usually a couple of shows a month, sometimes more, sometimes less.
How many major long distance travel assignments do you do in a year?
1 to 3.
8) Did you come from dog-show households? If not, what was your introduction to the sport?
My sister and I were born exactly 10 months after our parents were married. They already had three dogs.
Five years later they started going to shows and from then on...
9) Do you currently have dogs? Do you have any other animals?
Yes, I have currently 9 Mini Wire Dachshunds. The oldest will be 16 in a month. The youngest is three months old. With my 9 dachshunds I have enough animals at the house.
10) Do you have time for any activities or hobbies outside of dogs? What are they?
As I am retired from work, I have time for some other activities. I take etching lessons once a week, I love to read and make handcrafts.

The Fancy Speaks...

At a recent CKC Board meeting there was a vote taken (which was defeated 10 to 1) on allowing Professional Handlers the right to apply for judging, for one or more breeds in the same group up to one full group, instead of the normal half group. 
The criteria to determine a professional handler, was pretty stiff including;
  1. Having been a CKC member for 5 years immediately proceeding the application
  2. Having won 150 Best In Shows, documenting every club, judge, show date, the breed and name of dog
  3. Must show 25 years of documented proof of being a professional handler.
  4. 20 hours of ring stewarding
  5. Must have judged 3 groups at 1 all breed sanction match, and having judged, 1 CKC approved All Breed Sweepstakes
  6. Having completed the CKC Introduction to Conformation judging
  7. The applicant must successfully complete the Conformation Judges Initial Exam
What are your thoughts on this defeat at the CKC board table?

Jan Buchanan, British Columbia

This is an interesting issue to say the least. In formulating a reply I requested the opinions of Pat Miller, whose achievements with her “Woodsmoke” Perm Reg dogs (Shih Tzu, Whippets and Italian Greyhounds) are known in many countries, as were her abilities as an International All Breed judge. Though serious health difficulties have affected her mobility and computer use, her judgment and memory are sharp! So this is a combined answer from us.

Some of the criteria as stated are probably meaningless, in that a person coming” from the ranks” must have at least 5 years of stainless CKC membership and involvement, and must have BRED CKC Champions. The ring stewarding, and match and sweepstakes judging would be basic preparation by anyone and the Introduction to Conformation Judging and the Judges initial exam likewise.

The problem comes from lack of any requirement to be a SUCCESSFUL breeder and exhibitor, and from the “150 Best in Shows”.

Achieving a Best in Show these days is the result, all too often, of an obscene expenditure of money and advertising time. The good or great breeder who has produced very promising young dogs often looks at what would be required to campaign the newly finished Champion and refuses to play the game, at the expense of maintaining a home and decent life. Surely some promising dogs are promoted with a consortium of “owners”, and the best handlers who are extremely skilled in their presentation of what they have to show, knowing every miniscule flaw to be concealed and every strong point to be lauded. BUT more often than not, they have not planned spectacular mating’s, whelped the puppies, made the crucial early assessments and decided which is best. They have not absorbed the heart breaking failures with their astronomical costs, yet still planning to carry on. More often they just profit with what is delivered to them. The successful handler today is a performance artist, undeniably entertaining and extremely skillful. The aspiring judge needs a more substantial background, and as I was told MANY years ago, Ya gotta pay yer dues!

Beth Chopey, Manitoba

As a breeder/owner/handler and handler of various breeds, I truly respect the work that goes into showing and campaigning dogs at the Professional Handler level; it is a commitment above and beyond a 9-5 pm job.

The criteria for applying to become a CKC Licensed Judge is 10 years in dogs with 4 litters of 6 Champions along with 40 hours of ring stewarding and with a certain number of dogs judged at CKC Sanction Matches and Sweepstakes in the breeds and groups they are applying for. My mother is now a licensed CKC Judge, and former handler. 

Seeing how long the process can take, I understand why people who are committed to this sport would want an alternative route to becoming a Judge. For the defeat of this vote; If Professional Handlers are serious about switching careers into judging, in lieu of the requirements for the Champions and litters their experience as Professional Handlers should be their qualification. Add ringside mentoring at Specialties for the breeds which they will be applying for and complete all the other requirements as per CKC Judges Applications. 

Aaron Andriash, British Columbia

Despite the criteria being near impossible, 150 best in shows...I would say maybe 10 professional handlers are able to say they have accomplished that, and 25 years is a long time if a person wants to become a judge why make it so difficult??

We barely have judges now anyways. With the shows literally dropping like flies, we see the same judges over and over... It might be a smart decision for CKC to loosen up on the judging criteria for everybody. With that being said, if you want to judge then that’s what you do... Judge...You can’t be a handler and a judge.  I am not a fan of judges being able to campaign their own dogs and judge at the same time. Just my 2 cents worth.

Tina Gaudet, Alberta

I would think that if a professional handler wishes to be a judge that they would have to follow the same criteria set out to apply for judging that all other potential judges follow. If a Professional Handler wishes to apply for their judging permit why wouldn’t they follow the current application guidelines in place?

There are two options available that individuals can choose from. Taken from the Canadian Dog Judges Association  

This outlines things quite well, the second option includes “ii) Handling of a variety of breeds of dogs in shows” doesn’t specify Professional or otherwise, just that they have handled.

I have to agree with the defeat as the criteria in question appears to be worded for a select group of individuals, and does not follow the current qualification requirements set out by the CKC. Personally I feel that any candidate should have either bred or been involved in a breeding program, additionally individuals should belong to a national breed club or an all breed club as an active working volunteer.

Marcel Bourgon, Ontario

I disagree with this decision, voting on this are sitting judge directors that have a vested interest in the outcome, so they think they are protecting their assignments, but instead they are hurting our sport. Shame on you CKC, having professional handlers become judges is a great benefit to our sport, there are many of them in the US both as judges, and as hired AKC field reps, and hold countless other positions at AKC. We see FCI All Breed Judges that have come here, who are so young, how can they possibly be “All Breed” when you look at the average age of most CKC/AKC All Breed Judges. Take for example Harold Butler because of the CKC rules we are losing one of the most knowledgeable dog men probably in this country right now, why because the CKC wants him to jump through hoops. If we let them be, they will ruin our sport.

Nancy Popovich, Alberta

I agree with the board's decision. I do not believe application for a full group is correct. All applicants for judging should have the same parameters, i.e. Application for one half a group.

William (Sandy) Gunn, Ontario

Personally, I would have no problem whatsoever had their decision been a unanimous one to pass the motion. The stringency of the definition, and the additional requirements, would have guaranteed applicants, for the most part, far more experienced than a one-breed breeder, no matter how successful his or her breeding program over the minimum 10 years now in place. Also, any professional handler who had managed to win 150 BIS awards has very likely far more knowledge of successful ring procedure than even the most active one breed, or even one-group, breeder judge applicant.

Kate McMillan, Saskatchewan

No. Our dog show history is riddled with untypical, mediocre dogs that rise to the top of the multi-BIS rankings, only to become historical artifacts as breeders, soundly (and rightfully) reject them. It is a phenomenon that exists because of the professional handler’s ability to promote these dogs as “correct", and have them in the ring nearly every weekend. Too often, that same handler emerges from the experience confusing the wins of his client with knowledge gained. We shouldn’t be elevating the professional’s skill set, which focuses on “presentation and promotion" above that of the breeder's skill set: a lifetime devoted to structure and breed type.

This is not to say that a pro-handler can’t also be a dedicated, knowledgeable breeder, it is to say that professional handling is not a substitute for the latter. If there is to be a right to apply for judging on the basis of a handling career alone, it should certainly not be an accelerated program.

Sue-Ellyn Rempel, Manitoba

I believe many handlers have had the opportunity to learn far more than the average applicant, and deserve some sort of acceleration in the judging process. They have given their lives to the sport for as many years as a breeder. They have had their hands on far more breeds than a breeder. They have trained, lived with and groomed their clients dogs. 

Many judges have gone and spoken to some handlers in the process of education before applying for new breeds, and because of making the commitment to their career it is very hard for them to step away from their job. Breeders are able to start the process while maintaining their careers. Their pay cheques continue to come in and they have holiday’s they can use while working on their license.  Remember, the minute they get the process started, their jobs are done!

Let's not waste this vast knowledge go to waste. 
Beth Ferrier, Ontario

The following I can agree with; having judged 3 groups at 1 all breed sanction match, and having judged 1 CKC approved All Breed Sweepstakes.

Completing 20 hours of ring stewarding, having completed the CKC Introduction to Conformation judging. The applicant must also successfully complete the Conformation Judges Initial Exam.

The following are the reasons we have a situation like we do in getting new judges. It's called some will say "to hell with it". By not even being given the opportunity to apply for up to1 group initially, after spending whole careers travelling down the road supporting all these CKC clubs across Canada. Having won 150 Best In Shows and 25 years of documented proof of being a professional handler. C'mon CKC, smarten up.

Our dog show world is fading fast. We need new judging blood in this. The depth of knowledge that our group of professional handlers have, that could even meet this criteria, is excellent. How is it necessary to have won 150 Best in Shows, and 25 years experience, when we currently show to some judges who are off representing Canada around the world, with far fewer accomplishments on their resumes, whether in the breeding or having handled, being the current way you can apply. The majority of these people have never had up close and personal relationships with so many of our different breeds. I believe you can learn much more about a breed having had them, like the professionals, rather than reading a standard, or attending seminars which are only as good as the person chosen to present a breed. Please do something to inject new life into our sport, before it is too late.

Carol Graham, Alberta

As a retired professional handler of over 30 years, I can’t see a problem with this criteria put forward, to qualify as a professional handler.

As we all know, there have been some who claim to have been a professional handler, who had 9 to 5 jobs during the week, and showed a few dogs on the weekend and they called themselves professional handlers.

A true professional handler makes their living in the world of showing, grooming, training and caring for the dogs. And believe me you have no time to do anything else.

I do agree that handlers as a whole make very good judges, with their years of experience with so many breeds. This does give them a little jump over the breeder of 10 years who has bred the number of champions to  qualify for judging. If anything I think these qualifications should be made harder to insure they have a longer and more solid background before applying to judge.

Margaret Zacher, British Columbia

I understand the need to enhance the opportunity for others, in the sport, to have the opportunity of becoming judges. Also, as the professional handler ages their need, time and bodies are not keeping up with the dogs they show; and their desire to contribute and continue with the sport magnifies.

It’s also very beneficial for them to help and enhance the sport. As we are having more judges either retire or graduate, and not the same number of new judges coming into the sport, we need to look for other alternatives.  

In review of the criteria I have several concerns and questions:  Having been a CKC member for 5 years immediately proceeding the application, this should be for a longer period to time.  Since CKC has several different and always changing policies, I think it would be important to the applicant to be a member for at least 10 years, and therefore become more aware of the organization that they will be governed by.

Having won 150 Best In Shows – I do not see the merit in this. Winning BIS does not tell me that the person has any knowledge of the breeds, only that they were able to have a great exhibit or be political enough to get these wins. If they were the breeder-owner that would be different.

25 years of documented proof of being a professional handler – this would be good, 20 hours of ring stewarding – the regular requirement is 60 hours, not sure why this would be reduced, as I know several handlers that are amazed at what is required to be a GOOD ring steward. I think this should be at least 30 hours, and that they have the same 4hrs and 3yr requirements, as a regular applicant.

Having judged 3 groups at 1 all breed sanction match, and having judged 1 CKC approved All Breed Sweepstakes – Why was this reduced and no min 150 dogs? Again, because they have handled dogs (and most do not handle every breed). I would be in favor of at least having a requirement of 75 dogs added.

Having completed the CKC Introduction to Conformation judging – This should be a given, the applicant must successfully complete the Conformation Judges Initial Exam– This should be a given.

Cynthia Crysdale, Ontario

With all due respect to the CKC Board...really? I can’t help but wonder what the rationale behind the motion, as well as the criteria, was. Putting up friends?  Putting up other handlers? Favoritism? Payback? Lack of knowledge about the breeds they are judging? Isn’t this what people are already complaining about? With Judges who were never professional handlers…. 

Perhaps all of us breeders who aspire to be Judges should be placed under similar scrutiny. Or, maybe we should re-certify all the judges out there now who are judging, using this new criteria. How many would qualify? In my humble opinion, the quality and integrity of one’s judging has nothing to do with one’s profession or former career, it has everything to do with one’s character, and their willingness to become absolutely knowledgeable about the breeds (and standards) they are judging - and then apply it to the dog in front of them in the ring. 

Barbara Heal, Ontario

The first paragraph in Chapter VII of the Policy & Procedure Manual states, “The approval to judge at Canadian Kennel Club events is a privilege granted by The Canadian Kennel Club and not a right or a reward”. And I couldn’t agree more with this statement. To be a successful Judge, one “must earn and maintain respect”. Regardless of the handler’s number of years in the fancy, there should never be any sense of entitlement. Judging involves so much more than what it may appear. Once you enter that ring, without the armband, you will soon learn that your responsibilities and knowledge, will be tested on an entirely different level. In other words, you don’t know what you don’t know until you have learned it!

Kim McIntyre, New Brunswick

It is completely asinine in my opinion for a professional handler to not be given this opportunity of up to one group initially, into the judging profession after their years of service to the fancy, and continue on as currently one can. Who better to assess the entry at shows than someone who has spent years rearing, conditioning and caring for the different breeds we see at shows. Someone who has been a go to for guiding breeders, with their breeding stock. Someone who knows more about the rules and regulations pertaining to the running of an event. The CKC needs more people like this judging dogs just my humble opinion…

Merla Thomson, Alberta

Any other sport in the world asks their top people who’ve been in the sport a long time to judge their peers. They have achieved amazing goals to be at the top of their game and their knowledge is invaluable. Our system leaves itself open to objection when people who’ve never bred a good dog or accomplished anything more than a Champion title, are judging what should be our breeding stock. Because of this the sport is in trouble. Unfortunately many good breeders are gone now and they never entered the ring other than as an exhibitor and their knowledge has been lost. I do recognize everyone needs to understand procedure- but some cannot be taught how to look at dog. Professionals spend their lives having to know what is competitive, and what is not. Why wouldn't their expertise be considered? 

Marc Ralsky, Ontario

I strongly believe the CKC is stuck in a time bubble - a time that no longer exists. All breed clubs and privately owned shows are closing, entries at CKC sanctioned events are dwindling and its membership is losing faith in the organization it helped create and maintain. This decision at the board is another indication that they are not ‘in sync' with its membership and stakeholders. Yes, registrations are up, and that is their main source of revenue, but dog events are the cornerstone of the connection to the public, the people who will buy love and support purebred dogs and the sports they participate in with their dogs.

Handlers, many of which are also breeders of merit are the cornerstone of CKC events, they present breeders ( and in many cases their own breeding stock) to the fancy. They are well versed in all elements of purebred dogs.They have been victimized as the scapegoat of the failing dog show scene. When in fact it is the overarching club that has failed at lifting up these people that have dedicated decades of their life to the purebred dog.  

What is the board scared of? They will lose assignments to these new judges if this motion had passed? How many times can you see the same rotating group of judges on panels and expect different outcomes?

The board needs to be disbanded, a real governance board needs to be established and a 3 year strategy plan with sweeping changes in the number of shows in one province on a given weekend, celebrate our breeders and handlers and owners. This needs to be put in place to rebuild the purebred dog brand and presence in Canada. There are no shows now till later in the winter for most across the country, so Canadians head south of the border to show their breeding stock either by themselves, or with trusted professional handlers. Does that make any sense?  

The CKC needs to look south of the border to see how much effort the AKC puts into recognizing quality professional handlers, they become AKC show Reps, Judges etc - in Canada the CKC looks to handlers as a nuisance.  It is shameful, if it weren’t for these folks many a dog and a breeders life long work would not see the inside of a ring nor shine internationally as one of the best dogs of its breed.

Our Canadian dogs are excelling and being recognized all over the world except in Canada.  The Top dog of all breeds in the USA a few years back – the most BIS winning dog in AKC history - Matisse the Portuguese Water Dog was bred in Canada, the #1 & #5 Working Dogs in the USA in 2016 are Canadian bred and co-owned. I’m sure there are countless dogs I am missing. 

If the CKC doesn’t want to fix the show scene and respect its handlers in Canada - then maybe a new club needs to be established to run and administer shows presenting breeding stock or everyone will continue to just go south - where there is competition, a warm reception and celebration of breeders, owners and handlers!!!! Wake UP CKC BOARD! Nothing has changed with this board - it’s time for a HUGE change - time to drain the swamp!

Only once did I see a CKC board member ringside at the recent AKC National Championship in Orlando where dozens of Canadian dogs were being shown, let alone the Executive Director of the CKC. No one cheering on Canadian breeders, their dogs, handlers or owners. Yet foreign clubs had representatives there ringside, cheering on their fellow country folk. It’s very disheartening.

Doug McIntyre, New Brunswick

I really do not have a problem with that proposal re-handlers per-say. What I do have a problem with and have for many, many, years is that we have NO representatives at the shows to watch the goings on in the rings, outside the ring , people’s setups, etc etc etc . Absolutely no accountability for anything. With the way the system is now I guess as they say, anything goes!!!

Lori Ann Fischer, Alberta

I would really like to know the discussion between Board members on this considering so many were opposed to it ... Of which one can’t find since the minutes from that meeting (beginning of December) are not as of yet posted???? Why would so many Board members be so opposed, considering the criteria, is so stiff. Are the Board members opposed to "Handlers" or the "criteria"?? 

Show me a Professional Handler who has won over 150 Best In Shows and been involved in the sport for over 25 years (the top 2 criteria), that does not know breed standards, form and function of purebred dogs better than someone who is applying for their permit who has 10 years in the sport and has bred 4 litters, finished 6 dogs to their championship from said 4 litters. That to me seems pretty plain and simple.

So again I question the huge opposition? Is it "old school" thinking that only a "breeder" (of one, two or possibly three breeds) knows best? And that someone in their career of handling possibly over 50+ breeds, and mostly likely a large number of those exhibits being the top in their breed at year end cannot possibly know as much and "judge a dog as per the CKC Standard".

Brian Taylor, Ontario

The criteria is beyond unreasonable especially the 150 BIS probably no more than 5 or 6 of todays handlers have won that many.

What is the rationale behind having to be a CKC member for five years, when one must be a member to judge anyway unless you are from another country.25 documented years of handling is also too heavy and hard to document.

Ring stewarding is ok at 20 hours but probably not necessary in most cases. The other items are relatively superfluous except finding a sanction match is not easy these days.

Basically the edict is very much the same as it has always been very much anti pro handlers. I too found this out many years ago.

It would be a lot easier to apply for just a half a group.

The AKC normally gives up to a full group and BIS to former handlers and I am sure their criteria is not as onerous as that proposed by our Board. A lot of the top judges in the USA came from the ranks of handlers.

Raymond Lariviere, Ontario

Once again the CKC in its infinite wisdom has missed the mark on improving our sport. Handler's like or not provide are a crucial part of our sport. I have always admired the dedication and knowledge that they bring. I have known such handlers like Scott McNair who were turned away from being able to judge just because his efforts were to present dogs he thought represented good breeding stock instead of trying to breed such animals. His knowledge base was next to none especially on those working breeds. We lost out on tapping into such a resource. Hopefully someday the handlers will be recognized, but there does needs to be a change in ideology towards them.

Allison Foley, Nova Scotia

Of course speaking from an entirely biased view I am very disappointed in the board and their decision. I do understand from talking to various board members that there was some language that needed to be corrected in the application, but I think these are minor things that could have been overcome. Like it or not professional handlers are here to stay. We are the ones that encourage our juniors who make up the future, we are the ones who go to all the shows and have been the part of the entry that hasn’t declined as much. I realize that “ the haters are gonna hate” and all that, but I LOVE Canadian dog shows. I strongly support the CKC, the board and everything Canadian, when I show at Crufts or the World dog show, which I do on an annual basis. I am a proud promoter of the Canadian dog fancy and I always will be. BUT, I am tired of a judging system that gives no credit where credit is due.

We have many, many, great dog judges that do us proud all over the world… But I do not understand why the CKC does not want us to have the BEST BREED EXPERTS IN THE WORLD judging dogs all around the world and why do they not encourage our breeders to represent us as breed expert judges. IF I leave your name out in the following sentence it is because of my ignorance and not yours. Why have we not given Pat Blenkey and Brian Casey Dobermans? Their dogs have won winners dog or winners bitch or both at the American National the last two years running, and that’s after for their long history and over 25 years of breeding and exhibiting with Best in Show winners here and all over the world. Clearly they know how the classes work and who comes back in for Reserve Etc.. GIVE THEM THE RIGHT TO JUDGE DOBERMANS!!!! JUST GIVE IT TO THEM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! If they don’t screw up give them Boxers or Great Danes or something else they are interested in, trust me they will do a good job. Why doesn’t Christine Heartz have Pomeranians? She has illustrated the standard for the breed for the AKC.  Chriscendo Pomeranians are considered the benchmark for excellence WORLDWIDE, let her judge her breed and she will represent Canada well. Then there is Monica Pinsker, Wendy Kelly, and countless others who are known worldwide.

Sadly look at the people we have already lost, like Scott McNair and Eleanor Foley and many, many, more. Now I know that that is not what this application to the board was about, but it was going to be the next step.

There are many, many, breeders, exhibitors and yes professional handlers, that have dedicated their LIVES to purebred dogs in Canada. Yet when it comes to judging they are given the same amount of experience as someone who has been in dogs for 10 years, a lifetime vs 10 years. We are the only sport to do this!

When the AKC lost many of it’s premier judges due to old age and a changing of the guard, they implemented the “ Recommendation for Advancement” program, to a select group of highly qualified individuals. They went to people like Maxine Beam, Michelle Billings, Bob and Jane Forsyth, Anne Rogers Clark and GAVE them a group to judge, a whole group and what happened, this group of people became the premier judges of their time and our time. They mentored many of the great judges we have today, more importantly throughout their judging careers they never failed to encourage and teach everyone who asked, juniors, breeders, owners, and guess what else? They were all professional dog handlers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Shannon Scheer, Alberta

This probably will be one of the most contested “The Fancy Speaks” questions. I applaud ShowScene for asking this question. I often wonder if anyone from CKC takes the time to read the membership response to these questions, asked of all of us out in the “field”. Perhaps they could take notes and gain some knowledge from more informative dog people who have longevity in this sport, and know the current state of our sport from outside an office.  

We hear about the decline of entries at the shows, terrific clubs folding due to economics, the same judges showing up 3 times a month in different provinces. Locals are definitely being hired more in their respective cities due to the clubs needing to save money on expenses. Lots of talk, but truly, not much action.

I think the CKC NEEDS to listen to the membership. We are the people that can make the changes, if we were given the chance to voice an opinion that actually counted.

The recent proposal mentioned above defeated 10 – 1. What a sad state of affairs. I can imagine this was a short and brief discussion, the word Professional Handler was mentioned, and the big rubber DECLINED stamp was used and that was the end of that.

I mean no disrespect whatsoever to all of those whom have gone through the protocol and have obtained judging licenses. I also can see that side of the story as to questioning the fact  “Why should we as judges have to jump through hoops, to be qualified when the Professional Handler wants a group handed to them on a silver platter”. 

For those that have become a CKC licensed judges, your criteria to do so seems pretty easy compared to what was laid out in order for a Professional Handler to apply.

If it is so easy you ask, then why don’t we just apply the same as everyone else? Speaking as a professional, it is not possible for us to just drop everything and apply. Our sole income is based on handling dogs. In order to judge we have to give up our income totally. The time frame that the CKC has in obtaining half a group or even one group would have us all on welfare, before we even found the illusive almost extinct sanction match required to judge at, let alone judge 150 dogs at them. Anyone else applying can collect their pay cheques, work full time and go through the system not missing a dollar.

For those concerned that anyone is able to deem them self as a Professional Handler and would be able to write, you are so very wrong. The criteria listed above is very stiff, Twenty Five years of being a Handler puts those few in question in the 45-60 age category. We are The Last of the Mohicans. We mentored with some of Canada and the USA’s best professional handlers. We apprenticed for years (not months) and honed our skills with true masters of this sport. All of us who would even fit into this category, have won 150 Best in Shows, and we have done so in every group. We have all judged sweepstakes, matches and amazingly enough most of us have been sought after for Specialty Sweeps in the USA because of our reputations.

We give up evenings to teach people how to handle their own dogs. We give seminars on grooming, breeding, and handling, what more can we do to prove that we are worthy of being given the chance to start off with a group? 

If we are as terrible as apparently the Board thinks we might be, then you would not be seeing us getting hired! Not only are we Professional Handlers but most are also breeders of merit as well.

We also are instrumental in guiding our clients in their breeding programs, and we have the knowledge to grade any litter of any breed given to us. This is our life. We may not be able to recite a standard word for word, but we will tell you what is wrong with a particular dog the minute it walks into a ring. It is our job to know this.

In hindsight I do not think this should be contained to just the Professional Handler. What about our amazing Canadian breeders that just keep producing quality after quality dog? They know their standard and group’s inside out, because in order to compete you have to study and you have to be better than anyone else.

What about our breeder owner handlers? They would all qualify for the same criteria set forth for the professional handler, with the exception of handling for 25 yrs. You could replace that with breeding for 25 yrs.   

Seriously, what is set in stone now is almost a joke. Breed four litters and finish six Champions and TA-DA welcome aboard, you too can be a CKC judge!

Why is it so easy to accept people with limited knowledge in other groups that they are not familiar with, and yet penalize a handler who has been involved with 80% of all breeds in all groups? 

In no way is this aimed at our current judges. I am trying to make a point that people that have been involved in the sport for a brief amount of time, bred a couple of dogs, have a photographic memory, are allowed to write and pass with no real resume behind them, and then many come and speak to handlers to gain more knowledge of many breeds.

Sadly, I will not ever become a CKC judge and it is something I would enjoy immensely. It is an honor for those that hold this title.  Showing dogs is what I love and I cannot see myself retiring from it any time soon. BUT when the time does come, I am not going to apply for my chosen breeds and half a group and then find out that I am 75 years old by the time I am approved for that.

It is so sad that the CKC is not ready to accept, or make any changes to their “Dinosaur Mentality” of running the Canadian Dog Show scene.

In time, we all stop breeding, why would we then need to be CKC members? The only benefit is the fact that we can say we have purebred registered dogs. That is what the CKC does for us.

Already many of us have seen the designer dog take over our purebreds. They cost more and therefore must be better and the average Joe does not care if they have a piece of paper signed by the CKC.

I always felt that Board meetings were discussing decisions for US the Membership, and should be open to let us the membership vote on all matters of importance. THEN we would get an honest opinion good or bad, but it would be voted on by those who are affected the most the members.

Robert Whitney, Ontario

It’s hard to understand why a Board of Directors of any organization such as the CKC decides to make the rulings they do some days. In this particular case one can only speculate as to their decision. One can certainly guess that they were not prepared to acknowledge the experience that a true professional handler has achieved through their many years of working with dogs. They may obviously have felt some of the criteria didn’t measure up to what they wanted. The Board certainly had the potential to send the item back to the Event Officiating Committee, with some definite direction rather than just voting it down. One might also speculate that the members of the CKC Board that are presently judges felt that the pro handlers need to do more with respect to the requirements then what is required with this policy. I believe the CKC Board missed an opportunity to welcome the few true pro handlers. Instead the CKC Board like many before them has once again shown its lack of thinking outside the box, but instead want the status quo of making the policy the same for everyone.

Donna Roadhouse, British Columbia

Well I must say that the first thing that came into my head was ‘you have to be kidding’. I know what is required to apply, but on saying that concessions need to be made for professional handler’s who have spent 20 years or more in this sport and wish to start judging.

How many judges have the CKC approved without the required number of championships, and allowed an applicant to work for a handler with different breeds to make up the difference with only 10 years in the sport. CKC has given these applicants permits for 1⁄2 a group. How in the world do you justify not allowing a professional handler to judge one full group?  These are the individuals who really know good dogs, and we need them in this sport as JUDGES.

Purebred Dog Breeder Pledge


Written by Pam McClintock

Being proud purebred dog breeders, we always strive to improve our chosen breed in all ways possible and yet retain the amazing, necessary, historical qualities, as they were first, developed by the original founders. Many of our breeds boast centuries of lineage, remarkable in both their indispensible performance for mankind and those intensely guarded traits that remain to this day.

As responsible breeders, it is our sole objective to continue to generate extraordinary soundness in mind and body, while producing dogs that conform to the written Canadian Kennel Club standard, otherwise known as the blueprint for the breed. 
A purebred dog breeder must wear many hats, not the least of which is being a primary defender of their selected breed. Litters are carefully produced using all means available, which includes but is not limited to continual ongoing genetic testing and necessary medical intervention, ensuring that each puppy starts its' life as a thriving canine good citizen. Further, the careful choice of prospective owners who will continue to nurture and support their puppy and the breed throughout the life of the dog is paramount. This selection process can be demanding but is necessary in order to guarantee that our puppies are treasured and respected. As responsible breeders, we pledge that each and every puppy/dog that we sell can be returned to us, at any stage of their life, if the owner is unable or in any way reluctant to retain their dog. In this way, we can unequivocally declare that dogs produced by us cannot, nor should they, become wards of the rescue system. By maintaining a strict return policy, we can sustain our breed(s). This protector approach is employed by all responsible purebred breeders of distinction and is our assurance that our puppies and dogs are carefully and thoughtfully homed and cannot slip through the cracks into obscurity. We maintain careful and up to date paperwork, which includes correctly registering each puppy in our purebred litters and filing all necessary documents vigilantly so that records are correct and easily accessible in a filing system. 
Educated promotion and protection are mandatory in preventing the innumerable homeless dogs that must be 'rescued' because no one cared. We take great pride in knowing that our puppies and dogs are safe and secure with their owners. If there is a breech in the contractual structure, then we are still confident that we make the correct choice for their continued life by insisting on return without judgment. 
This is the true declaration of all responsible breeders. It is not considered lightly but rather is a profound and determined guarantee that our purebred dogs will have lifelong sanctuary in the care of a true and faithful human guardian. To do any less is not enough!!

McThought of the week...

with Doug McIntyre
photo by Todd Foley

Best In Show, Multiple Best In Specialty Show Canadian Grand Champion

Xoe-Eleki's Emerald City

OZ is the product of a long time plan…. Leanna Mottus had wanted to line breed on 2 of her top winning dogs. She and Elyse Fernets found the right girl and bred  CH. Rose's Million Dollar Baby (Hillary) the daughter of Canada's all time top winning Pug MBIS, MBISS, MNBISS AM/CAN GCH. Xoe's Oscar De La Hoya  to her uncle - another of Canada's top winning Pugs - MBISS,NBISS, BIS AM/CAN GCHex Xoe's Cassius Clay, CGN

Cassius & Oscar as young dogs
This proved to be another fantastic litter of 2 brothers. Just as before one brother was placed in show home out west and the other placed with me here in Ontario. Oz started his show career at the Eukanuba National Championship dog show in Florida by winning Winners Dog for a 5 point major. Both boys had great show careers as puppies. Both won specialty shows and both finished #2 & #3 Toy Puppy  for the year and both placed in the top 5 Pugs for 2015 with limited showing. Sadly, due to conflicts between the breeder and the show home in the west over care and contract agreements, Oz returned home to Alberta.  He had to go through several months of rehabilitation and medical care and we were unsure if he would ever be shown again. At the beginning of March 2016 I flew out west to bring OZ here to Ontario.  I re-trained OZ to learn how to enjoy showing again.

After only 3 weekends of showing, Oz having just turned 2,  won his first Best In Show at the Thousand Island Kennel & Obedience Club under Judge Mr. David Swartwood.
Oz was only shown on a very limited basis (6 weekends) to ensure we were on the right track with his training and we finished 2016 at the large Trillium Dog Fanciers show in October. Oz had an incredible  weekend winning Best of Breed at all 3 All breed shows and placing in the tough toy group as well as winning Best In Specialty Show at both the Pug Club Of Ontario Regional Specialty under judge Mr. Joe Walton and the Pug Club Of Canada Regional Specialty under judge Michael Canalizo.
Oz's record to date with very limited showing is:
1 - All Breed Best In Show
2 - Best In Specialty Shows
4 - Group Firsts
8 - Group Seconds
10 - Group Thirds
13 - Group Fourths
19 - Best Puppy In Group
6 - Best Puppy In Show
Major Pointed in the US

I would like to thank all of the Judges who have awarded Oz so highly to date. I appreciate and thank all of the exhibitors, judges and fellow Pug breeders on their wonderful comments about this very special dog.

We plan on showing OZ in Canada and the US now that he has matured.  He has a wonderful attitude and truly is a great show dog with outstanding type and movement.  The Pug standard calls for "Multum in Parvo" meaning a lot in a little. We feel that Oz's compact body, correct size and Puggy movement are exactly that, "A lot in a little."

We are extremely proud to have Oz represent Xoe Pugs this show year.

Breeders: Leanna Mottus (Xoe Pugs) & Elyse Fernets (Eleki Pugs)
Owners: Michelle Chisholm (Siosalach Shar-Pei & Pugs) & Leanna Mottus
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