A Guide to Canadian Dog Shows for Americans

We love having American guests at our specialty shows and boosters, but I know that sometimes the whole show points/dog show entry thing can be a bit confusing. Since we have more events coming up soon, including our annual November Booster at Caledon, I thought it might help if I put together a quick guide to Canadian dog shows.

By the way, here’s all the details you need for the upcoming November show:
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Finn Hits the Show Ring!

Finn with handler Kay Reil and Judge Richard Paquette

Finn amazed us all by finishing his Canadian championship in a single weekend, his first time in the ring,  from the 6 – 9 month puppy class. While he was there, he also took a Group 2, two Group 3 wins, three Best Puppy in Group wins and a Best Puppy in Show.

Our thanks to judges Olga Gagne, Mel Saranchuk and Richard Paquette for recognizing Finn’s excellent type, and to Finn’s handler, Kay Reil, for making him shine. Thanks as well to Pam McClintock and John Griffith for assisting with Finn this weekend – we appreciate it!

It’s always fun when puppies finish this quickly – Finn’s great uncles did the same, with Stoney finishing in one weekend, owner handled by Charlotte Creeley, with back to back five point majors. Just to keep things interesting, he finished his CD the same weekend. His great uncle Rebel finished with three five point majors and two group wins, and his half sister, Butters, finished in four days with a Best Puppy in Show.

Those are some pretty big shoes for Finn to fill, but I’m confident he can do it.

I think I’m particularly proud of Finn’s wins because he’s not just correct, he’s healthy – his breathing is perfect, his eyes are JC clear, his hips, patellas and spine are all prelim clear, and he jumps like a mountain goat. Topping it all off, he moves with that gorgeous French Bulldog double tracking movement that is so incredibly unique to our breed, and yet is so increasingly rare to see. It’s nice when your dog wins, but it’s even nicer when he’s a dog you can be this proud of.

Finn’s sister, Madge, showed this weekend as well. Madge looked great in the ring, and Kay handled her beautifully, but Madge is never going to enjoy the ring the way Finn does (partially because she doesn’t have his same unbridled enthusiasm for snacks). You know you’re up against it when the judge asks your dog “Why so sad, little pup?”, and your handler has to explain, “That’s not sad, that’s just Madge’s face”. We sometimes wonder if she isn’t really Delilah’s daughter, stolen away by Penelope when we weren’t looking.

It’s OK, Madgela, mommy loves you – and so did the crowd. I’ve never had so many questions and comments about a Frenchie puppy, ranging from “What color do we call this?” (asked by a judge, and answered with “We call it fawn pied, and it’s in the standard”, which seemed to make everyone happy) to “Wow, her markings are perfect”, which – of course they are, they’re on Madge.

I took home two tired puppies last night, and they celebrated with ice cream, followed by a vigorous romp through the muddy backyard.

Show dogs, yes, but swamp puppies first.

KW Kennel Club Weekend Wrap Up

A quick thanks to everyone who came out to the Kitchener Waterloo Kennel Club dog show this weekend to meet some Frenchies! At least six or eight people came out, some of whom I had only the briefest of moments to talk to, for which I apologize. Next time, we’ll try to organize things a bit better, so that I have a chance to talk to everyone. It was pretty funny, actually – at one point, we’d taken over the entire corner of the floor, and it looked like a tiny Frenchie Meet Up in progress.

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Billie goes to a dog show

I was feeling stir crazy on Sunday after having spent four straight days staring at a computer monitor, so Billie and I decided to go and visit her daddy, Stoli, at the Fergus Dog Show. The Fergus Show has baby puppy classes, which makes it acceptable to bring younger pups onto the show grounds. Since Billie is up to date on her shots, off we went for an adventure.

Billie has never been to a show before – in fact, until yesterday, Billie had never been anyplace before, other than the backyard and a quick walk to the mailbox and back.

Talk about your first times!

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Breeders Behaving Badly

Mindy Holmes, of Maplecreek Corgis

Mindy Holmes, of Maplecreek Corgis


I sometimes feel like I’m spending a lot of my time defending my fellow breeders, in large part because almost all of the breeders I know personally really are ethical people who love their dogs and their breeds. I also defend conformation showing, which I know seems trivial and superficial to anyone outside of the fancy. It’s a sport I have mixed feelings about, but at its best I enjoy it as a fun way to meet with friends, have a look at their dogs, and maybe take home some ribbons.

At its worst, however, showing becomes a world filled with shady, amoral behavior, none of which seems to have anything to do with the well being of the dogs, and most of which has to do with greed, ego and money. When at its worst, it becomes hard to defend either showing, or the breeders involved in it.

This would be one of those ‘worst’ situations.

From the Herald Tribune:

A recent criminal case based in Venice reveals a darker side of the $330 million American dog show industry where greed and ultra competitiveness can lead to allegations of cheating, corruption and vindictive acts.

Venice dog breeder Melinda “Mindy” Holmes, 48, was arrested this month on a felony extortion charge in the falsification of a champion show dog’s veterinary records and demanding money to keep those records hidden.

The allegations have rocked the Greater Venice Florida Dog Club, of which Holmes was a member in good standing for several years.

“I’m just in shock,” said Rita Figg, a founding member of the Venice dog club when she learned of Holmes’ arrest on Feb. 12. “I’ve never heard of anything like this happening before.”

According to sheriff’s reports, Holmes in 2009 first threatened to release damaging documents about a Pembroke Welsh corgi, named Ty, bred by AKC judges Rutledge and Nash Parker of North Carolina unless they paid Holmes $18,000.

The Parkers claim Holmes fraudulently changed Ty’s veterinary records to show the dog had been cosmetically altered through surgery, which would prevent him from competing and could permanently damage the Parkers’ judging and breeding careers.


The Corgi involved in this case, Champion Happiharbor Saddle Lane Ty, is not just any show dog, either – he’s the number four ranked Pembroke Welsh Corgi in the country. Ty was exhibited at Westminster this year, but while Ty didn’t place in the ribbons this year, he has numerous prestigious wins in his past, including Best in Specialty Show.

The article doesn’t specify what surgery it was alleged that Ty had had performed on him, but it’s possible that none of his wins would have been awarded if it was proven that Ty had received cosmetic surgery.

The Pembroke Welsh Corgi breed standard states –

A dog must be very seriously penalized for the following faults, regardless of whatever desirable qualities the dog may present: oversized or undersized; button, rose or drop ears; overshot or undershot bite; fluffies, whitelies, mismarks or bluies.

I assume that Holmes was threatening that Ty had one of these ‘serious’ faults corrected. Holmes, who breeds Corgis under the “MapleCreek” prefix, was the breeder of Ty’s dam. She and the Parkers had apparently done breedings together in the past.

More from the Herald Tribune:

The Parkers, according to arrest documents, paid Holmes $3,000 to keep the falsified records private, but refused to give her $15,000 more she demanded.

Then, a month before this year’s Westminster show, Holmes reportedly e-mailed Ty’s vet records to the dog’s handler to discourage her from showing the dog. Breeders often own the dogs, but handlers are the ones who present the dog in competitions.


Reached for comment in North Carolina, the Parkers would not discuss specifics of the incident beyond what was in the police report. But Rutledge Parker said he and his wife fear further retaliation by Holmes.

“I’ve never dreamed of something like this happening. I don’t know how to react to it,” he said. “This was all about money, and that’s clear from the police report.”

Read the rest of the article here.