There is lots of canine love to be found in NYC at Piers 92-94 this week.
The events Meet the Breeds (dogs and cats too!), Master’s Agility competitions have concluded and the Conformation ring shows plus Masters Obedience competition are going strong currently. This is the place to see your favorite breeds up close. You can learn more about the standard body type and behavior, and enjoy the bright spirit the dogs bring.
The Dachshunds are the largest conformation entry this year, including all 3 types: smooth coat, long-haired and wire-haired varieties.
Doxies, a clever German dog also known as teckel in the native language, have been popular for decades. They are fierce, fearless to the point of rashness, badger hunters that like to burrow underground. Their long snouts and tails, loose skin and short limbs allow them to maneuver in tight spaces and use their gift of scent to find prey.
The smooth coat variety is the truest hound of the three. The long-haired is developed with cocker spaniel breeding and the wire-haired variety has terrier traits mostly from Airedales. The standard size is 19-28 pounds, the miniature 12-14 and ‘tweenie’ 15-18 pounds. Lifespan is 15-18 years and the body standard is chondrodystrophic having a deep barrel chest. Chondrodystrophic refers to any of the dwarf breeds, or those having a relatively normal head and spine proportions, yet shortened and bowed limbs.
At today’s show, I met Annabelle. She is a standard smooth coat black and tan beauty also known as GCHS CH Turningpoint Ain’t No Other Woman Like You. Annabelle won a First Award of Merit today. When not showing, Annabelle does therapy work in a hospice facility. She also helps children gain confidence in their reading skills through an organization called Tail Waggin Tutors. She was a little tired after her showing today, but a sweet and beautiful lady.
The winner of the long-haired group, Burns, GCHP DC Walmart-Solo’s OMG, is pictured here, after winning Best of Breed! And Burns went on to win Best in Hound Group!
In the benching area, I met 2 wire-haired dachshunds, their handlers and owners. Morris (below) is 8 years old, has a terrier-attitude and is confident of his ring performance today! His owner told me Morris has a great sense of humor. He is also very tolerant when his coat must be hand stripped every 2 weeks or so.
This lovely boy below, Riggs is named after the Mel Gibson character in the Lethal Weapon movie series. Riggs is also known as Grand Champion Silver Icon Hotwired YerNot and won an Award of Merit today. His owner Dale Suzanne Tarbox told me Riggs is kept lean at 25 pounds but would love to be 28! He is large-framed for a standard dachshund, but has excellent body condition and is within the ideal weight range.
He loves his raw diet of human-grade chicken with skin, fat, and bones included. His owner obtains that from a reliable source in Pennsylvania. His food comes frozen and is kept in a large freezer, with orders placed every 2 months.
I thank Dale Suzanne and all of the owners and handlers who took the time to talk to me and introduce their special dogs.
Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen
A new hound breed for Westminster this year is the Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen, a terrier-like hunter heralding from France.
The French term a basset is any dog less than 18 inches at the withers. This is a rare dog breed, 40-44 pounds, with a life expectancy of 11-14 years. It is medium-sized, having a rough coat to help it navigate briar and bramble brush terrain. It is happy and outgoing, with a stubborn, courageous nature.
The Grand BG Vendeen can corner a boar and deer for the hunter, with ease. I met Mercy, a first-time entry to Westminster, who has a beautiful white and sable coat and sweet disposition. Compare this breed with the Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen (PBGV), a compact dog 13-15 inches at the withers, with oval eyes and a level topline, and the familiar Basset Hound. Basset Hounds hunt rabbits out in the open and have smooth loose coats. They are also a chondrodystrophic breed with a deep chest and bowed limbs. Bassets are heavy-boned scent hounds with a level to slightly sagging topline.
The final new breed this year at Westminster is the Nederlandse Kooikerhondje, a small Dutch sporting dog with a spaniel-terrier-like appearance. Its coat is white with red and gold patches and has the job of luring ducks into cages to assist the hunters (not sure what kind of ‘hunting’ this is!). The breed standard is 15-16 inches at the withers, weighing 20-26 pounds.
Info obtained at Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, AKC website, and Dachshunds for Dummies
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