AKC Canine Good Citizen Advanced Test with Dr. Mary Burch

AKC Community Canine is the advanced level of Canine Good Citizen. For people interested in taking the test with their dog, we created this video to demonstrate the 10 steps of the test. We hope to see you and your dog earning your AKC Community Canine title soon! Learn how to get started here.

The dogs featured in this video are Emi, a Leonberger owned by the AKC’s Mara Bovsun, and Chowsie, a Yorkshire Terrier owned by the AKC’s Liz Donovan. Both dogs passed the test and earned their CGCA. The test was administered in New York City’s Grand Central Station, one of the busiest places on earth!

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5 Ways of Looking at a Poodle

“This is not a deranged hair-stylist’s fantasy …”

“This is not a deranged hair-stylist’s fantasy …”

AKC Gazette, “Times Past”

  1. “Charley’s combed columns of legs were noble things, his cap of silver-blue fur was rakish, and he carried the pompom of his tail like the baton of a bandmaster. … If manners maketh man, then manner and grooming maketh poodle.” —John Steinbeck
  1. “The modern Poodle, displaying the most elaborate and meticulous coat trim known to the canine show world, would appear to be a far cry from its working ancestor. In reality however, the fancy grooming of the champion pedigree dog of today is only a refinement of a style that has been known for centuries. … This is not a deranged hair-stylist’s fantasy, it was a practical, down-to-earth adaptation to life as a rough, tough water retriever.” —Desmond Morris
  1. “Once you and a poodle have shared the same leash, you’re hooked! A certain chemistry seems to flow through that leash uniting both poodle and master. Eventually you aren’t even sure whether you are walking the poodle, or the poodle is walking you.” —Jacqueline Susann
  1. “Poodles are Labrador Retrievers with a college education. My Poodle will do anything your Lab will do. After a day of retrieving in the field, your Lab wants to curl up and snore in front of the fire. My Poodle wants to be a fourth at bridge and tell naughty stories!” —Anne Rogers Clark
  1. Love is the emotion that a woman feels always for a poodle dog and sometimes for a man.” —George Jean Nathan

Photo: Ch. Alekai Marlaine and Wendell Sammet, Westminster 1967, by Paula Wright; AKC Gazette archive

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Breed Spotlight: The Charming Dandie Dinmont Terrier

Courtesy Anita Kay Simpson

Courtesy Anita Kay Simpson

AKC Gazette breed column: Survival of this rare terrier breed depends on getting the word out to potential owners about the Dandie’s charm and personality.

Everyone smiles when they see a Dandie Dinmont Terrier. They can’t help it. Whether on show grounds, sidewalks, or parks, the smiles are always there. The general public will ask, “What is it?” The knowledgeable will say, “How nice to finally see one!” Regardless, they all greet the Dandie with a big smile.

Bringing new folks into a rare breed is challenging, and necessary for the breed’s survival. If the Dandie were a wild species, it would be on the endangered list. The gene pool has become a gene puddle, and it is up to the lovers of the breed to spread word of its virtues to prospective owners.

The Dandie Dinmont Terrier Club of America has welcomed exhibitors of Border Terriers, Corgis, Saint Bernards, Irish Wolfhounds, Dachshunds, Basset Hounds, and Sealyhams, to name just a few. Our members’ past dog experiences have brought new and fresh ideas to the Dandie club.

An example is Gary and Kathy, successful breeders-exhibitors of Border Terriers. They visited my Dandies at several shows and were supportive and helpful. I sold them a bitch who was pick of the litter. Within three years they made her the DDTCA’s Dandie of the Year and a bronze grand champion, and they had their first Dandie litter!

Dandies 2-15 WKCThe Dandie is a great introductory breed for a person who is new to the sport. The novice will need help with the basics of showing a dog, as well as the specific grooming needs of the Dandie. Living near a breeder or exhibitor is helpful so the new exhibitor can get assistance in both of these areas, but it is not necessary. Most Dandie fanciers are willing to share their knowledge with new owners.

The owner-handler has a better chance of success in showing a Dandie than with many more popular breeds. I co-owned a nice Dandie male with Tyan, a dog groomer who wanted an attention-getting model for a grooming competition. He helped hold dogs one day, and the following day he helped with grooming and showing. The next weekend he arrived dressed for the ring and brought his partner, Tom, a computer consultant, who thought the whole thing was silly. They both quickly got “hooked,” however, and are now ardent Dandie owners and exhibitors. Tyan has also been successful with his Dandie at grooming competitions, showing the breed to a whole new audience of dog lovers. Tom became an excellent handler, showing to Best of Opposite Sex at the Dandie Dinmont Terrier Club of America national specialty.



Everyone smiles when they see a Dandie. They can’t help it. Get a Dandie, and keep on smilin’! —Karen Dorn, guest columnist

Barbara A. Baese, DDTCA (fine_n_dandie@hotmail.com):
We need to take action and get more Dandie owners involved in the fancy. Perhaps one step may be posting flyers that read something like this:

WANTED: Big-eyed, short in stature but large in personality, fully coiffed, rare canine with lots of love to give seeking interested humans looking for an unusual experience in and out of the show ring. Must be willing to take a risk, work hard, learn as you go, and dedicate most of your free time to training and grooming. Benefits include wagging “rotor” tails, big paws, and sloppy kisses. Novices encouraged to apply. No age limit, and hairdressing experience a plus. Apply with the next Dandie exhibitor you meet, or contact the Dandie Dinmont Terrier Club of America secretary for more information via the club’s website.

Further information about Dandie Dinmont Terriers can be found here and here, and on the website of the breed’s national parent club, the Dandie Dinmont Terrier Club of America.

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A New National Champion!

Congratulations to new National Champion dog “Charlie” and all the winners at the 2014 AKC/Eukanuba National Championship! The Skye Terrier topped a record entry of more than 4,100 dogs competing at the show December 13–14 in Orlando, Florida. The weekend also included top obedience and agility competitions, dock-diving dogs, demonstrations, and “Meet the Breeds” — all part of a great celebration of everything canine. For full results and more information, click here.



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Posted in AKC, AKC/Eukanuba National Championship, American Kennel Club, dog show, dog showing, dog shows, Dog Sports, Rare breeds

Pantroversy! Should Women Wear Pants in the Ring?

AKC Gazette “Times Past”— In the January 14, 1973, New York Times, dog columnist Walter Fletcher asked fanciers a contentious question: Should women wear pants in the ring?

“The ring is not a burlesque stage.”

“The ring is not a burlesque stage.”

Here are some responses.

Jeanette Cross I’ve made a practice of wearing well-cut conservative pants suits when I’m judging. I find them extremely comfortable and I have no worries when I lean down for a close look at a short-legged dog.

Julia Gasow Although I wear slacks at home all the time, I disapprove of them in the ring—except for obedience.

A.J. Haggerty I think slacks are very practical. However, when a girl appears in a mini-skirt, the crowds always appear around the ring.

James Trullinger No mention is made [in AKC guidelines for judges] of the use of slacks, pants suits or hot pants for lady judges, but I believe they do not have a place in the show ring. This applies also to women handlers and exhibitors. The ring is not a burlesque stage.

Howard Atlee Fashions in presentation of dogs have changed through the years, for example the trim on Poodles, so why shouldn’t the judge be allowed to wear what’s fashionable.

Anne Rogers Clark As long as fashion decrees women may wear slacks to the theater or any good restaurant, there is no reason why they shouldn’t be worn in the ring.

Janet Hobbs Pants suits and slacks are acceptable street wear but I’m afraid if you permit them in the ring next you will find exhibitors wearing Levis and sweatshirts.

Clark Thompson A woman judge in slacks is able to present a much more modest figure when bending low. It might be left entirely to the women to decide for themselves if and how much they want their slips showing.

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Objectivity — The Key to Success as a Breeder

Pointer pups -top

AKC Gazette breed column, Pointers—Good mentors not only share their expertise about the breed but also help breeders learn to be more objective in evaluating their dogs.

I consider myself very fortunate to have been mentored by wonderful breeders. They each were members of their breed club’s education committees and worked tirelessly in the development of their breed’s standard. They impressed on me the importance of a breed standard and why it is the foundation for any successful breeding program. Did these breeders love their dogs? Absolutely! Yet they had the ability to look at them with great objectivity.

Breed standards are objective descriptions of breed type, including function. We often struggle with objectivity when evaluating our own breeding stock. Looking critically at our dogs is understandably difficult, because most are beloved family members. But objective evaluation is not just about finding fault with a dog. We must learn to recognize virtues as well as weaknesses. This aids in selection and increases the possibility of success.

How do we learn to become more objective? Following are some guidelines.

  • Read the standard. If your breed has an illustrated standard, it will be an invaluable tool. Study the history of your breed, as its origins play an important role in understanding type.Barnaby crop
  • Educate your eye. Develop an image of the ideal for your breed. Find the ideal outline then break down the parts. Understanding how the parts fit together helps in understanding the whole dog.
  • Educate your hands. Ask permission to go over dogs you have interest in. See as many litters as possible. Most breeders are happy to show off their puppies. Try to see litters with pedigrees similar to your own, as well as litters of different bloodlines. Put your hands on the pups. Observe them on the ground and at play to see how they use their bodies. View their physical attributes with appreciation, not just criticism!
  • Attend field events. Take a copy of the standard along. Learn what is required of the dog, and apply it to the standard. There must always be a strong relationship between form and function. Now, evaluate your own dogs: Are they constructed to do the job? And also importantly, would they want to do the job? Retaining natural ability and desire in our breeding programs helps protect breed purpose.
  • Attend your breed’s national specialty. Here you will find a large cross-section of breeders, and dogs of different bloodlines.
  • Ask questions. Knowledge is power! Good breeders will point out what is right about a dog, even if it isn’t of their breeding. A good breeder practices what I call “ego suppression”; they enjoy their success but understand that they must continue to learn and strive for improvement. They understand that all dogs are the product of two imperfect dogs, and they realize that as breeders they will suffer setbacks along the way. When evaluating breeding stock, they keep their minds open and their emotional attachments in check. Selection must be based on objectivity, or it is counterproductive.

With continued study, this accumulation of information will begin to make sense. You’ll learn to see a dog’s virtues instead of simply finding his faults.

It is exhilarating to see a dog who has so much quality, you recognize it immediately. In your mind’s eye you can picture that dog doing his job like a well-oiled machine! Now you are evaluating dogs objectively, and you are on your way to success. —Berna Welch

Pointer breeder Helyne Medeiros, breed columnist for the American Pointer Club

Pointer breeder and breed columnist Helyne Medeiros

Guest columnist Berna Welch is a successful Golden Retriever breeder of great insight, and a wonderful teacher. I have been fortunate to have a friend like her who is willing to share her knowledge with me. Everyone starting out in dogs would do well to seek out a successful breeder as a mentor. —Helyne Medeiros, Pointer breed columnist for the AKC Gazette, seasydehm@aol.com

Please visit the American Pointer Club website for information on our wonderful breed.

Photos by Helyne Medeiros

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AKC/Eukanuba Flashback: The Incomparable Miss Dorothy Nickles


AKC Gazette, “Times Past”—In December 2001 at the first AKC/Eukanuba National Championship, a self-described “little gal from Texas,” Miss Dorothy Nickles, put up the happy-go-lucky Bichon Frise named JR in her Best in Show ring.

Miss Nickles was among the most quotable judges the Gazette ever encountered. Here’s a sampler of her wit and wisdom, gleaned from our pages.

  • “If you’re a judge and don’t feel love for every dog who walks into your ring, your heart’s not in this. I come home from a show happy I can feel this way about all dogs—and I don’t have to feed them!”
  • “I judged so many shows last year, I almost met myself coming back!”
  • “At my 90th birthday party a lady said to me, ‘When I first started showing under you, I hated you.’ I laughed and said, ‘Join the crowd, honey, there are probably a hundred people here who feel the same way!’ ”
  • “If you want to be a good judge, you must never judge with your hands in your pockets. Always be doing something with them. Be nice to everyone. Make sure you look past those rich and famous dogs to be sure there isn’t one better—you might be surprised! “And always go to the judges’ dinners. The clubs like to see those they pay to come and, honey, pretty soon you’ll know show chairmen’s names like you know dogs in your pedigrees!”
  • “I’ve seen great dogs, and not-so-great dogs, but I never forget that inside every one of them is a beautiful soul.”
  • “All my kinfolk are gone. I have no one left except dog people and dogs. If my health holds out, I’d like to go on judging until I’m 100. If the Lord takes me, he’ll put me in a dog show up there.”

Miss Nickles went to that big dog show in the sky on June 16, 2009. She was 99.

Read the latest AKC Gazette here, and visit us on Facebook.

Follow the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship action via streaming video at www.akc.org.

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