Welcome to our June issue, which features the Toy and Non-Sporting Groups. There is so much diversity in the origins, make and shape of these breeds, and the content of this issue is equally eclectic.
In our “Icons of the Past” series, Dan Sayers does an extraordinary job of profiling master breeders who have left great legacies to the sport. This month, the contributions made by Dan’s subjects transcend their respective breeds. Helene Whitehouse Walker of the Carillon Standard Poodles enjoyed a life of privilege as a Westchester socialite but became the grande dame of obedience in America, taking on a shy, demure Blanche Saunders as her protégée. Al and Esme Treen were devoted to their Dalmatians but were also well-respected authors, judges and hardworking club members who grew their Waukesha Kennel Club’s show into an event of national prominence. Miniature Pinscher devotee E.W. “Tip” Tipton, Jr., besides doing so much for his breed, was a well-loved judge. Olga and Darrell Baker were mainstays of the Pomeranian breed, with Olga’s well-read Pom column in the AKC Gazette dispensing great advice relevant to exhibitors of all breeds for many decades.
Breeder-judge Cindy Huggins compares the English Toy Spaniel and Cavalier King Charles Spaniel this month in “Back to Basics.” While “spaniel” appears in both names and the two breeds come in the same four colors and patterns, they are significantly different in structure, temperament and even in the manner of their presentation in the ring. Cavaliers have been a force to be reckoned with since their arrival in the AKC Toy Group, while the English Toy has become hugely competitive at the breed and Group level, with BIS winners in both the whole-colored and broken-colored varieties. Learn much more in Cindy’s informative feature.
“Dandie 200” is a fascinating feature by all-breed judge Mike Macbeth about the 200th anniversary of the publication of Guy Mannering, the book that named the Dandie Dinmont Terrier. Fifteen months of planning and 5,000 emails culminated in a two-day celebration that took place in Scotland and allowed present-day owners to retrace the steps of history. Given the rarity of the Dandie Dinmont worldwide, this outpouring of love and show of pride are awe-inspiring.
Finally, multi-Group judge and Papillon breeder Charlotte McGowan wrote a delightful piece on her own dog-show life. Charlotte’s “Reflections of an Aged-Out Junior Handler: How I gave dog shows a try and got hooked for life” resonated with me because I too was that kid who brought home creatures of all kinds to parents who didn’t quite get me. I was dropped off at dog shows before I was old enough to drive, happy to show a number of breeds in Junior Handling from free-baiting Shelties to massive, hands-on Newfs, gaining an education from each one. As Charlotte points out, we have so many more rules these days, and always the “helicopter parents.” In today’s Xbox/iPhone/Instagram world, I hope we still have a few precocious, curious kids who want to hang out at dog shows, and wise breeders who encourage their interest, recognize their potential and take them under their wing.