AKC Names Top Breeder of 2011

Renowned dog trainer Pluis Davern of Royal Oaks, California is honored with the 2011 AKC Breeder of the Year Award.

Davern and her Sundowners Sussex Spaniels were honored at the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship on Sunday, Dec. 18, 2011.

The annual award honors those breeders who have dedicated their lives to improving the health, temperament and quality of purebred dogs. Each year, one honoree is chosen from each of the seven groups: Sporting, Hound, Working, Terrier, Toy, Non-Sporting, and Herding. From those seven, one Group winner is selected as “AKC Breeder of the Year.”

In addition to breeding and showing dogs, Davern is one of the top dog trainers in the United States and has trained more disaster search dogs than anyone in the country. All of the dogs with the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation are trained at her Sundowners Kennels.

“Congratulations to Pluis,” said AKC Chairman of the Board Ron Menaker. “We’re also proud that she, along with the other Breeder of the Year group honorees, is an AKC Breeder of Merit program participant – part of a select group of AKC breeders that truly are the backbone of the sport and the foundation of our organization.”

Davern will be honored with a commission from a canine portraitist to memorialize a prominent dog from her kennel and her name will be inscribed on a perpetual trophy. They will remain on permanent display at the AKC headquarters in New York City.  

The Breeder of the Year ceremony will be included in the show’s telecast on ABC Network Television on Saturday, February 4, 2012. Check local listings for air times.

Group winners included:

•    Sporting: Pluis Davern – Sundowners Sussex Spaniels, Royal Oaks, California

•    Hound: Gretchen Bernardi – Berwyck Irish Wolfhounds, Edwardsville, Illinois

•    Working: Thomas Oelschlager & Marlene DePalma – Kontoki Siberian Huskies, Finleyville, Pennsylvania

•    Terrier: Elena Landa – Doubloon Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers, Bothell, Washington

•    Toy: Sharon and Raymond Stevens – Sharbelle Toy Poodles, Vista, California

•    Non-Sporting: Barbara Wood – Anbara Lhasa Apsos, Cranford, New Jersey

•    Herding: Steve and Alice Lawrence – Fuzzy Farm Pulik, Stafford Springs, Connecticut

For more information on all of the AKC Breeder of the Year Group honorees click here.

For more about the AKC Breeder of Merit program and to learn how dedicated breeders can join the ranks of these honorees, click here.


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