Well today is the day that Westminster begins the beauty pageant.  It’s the big dog show that began in1877 in New York City. A total of 2, 882 dogs will compete in conformation for the coveted prize of Best in Show.  While Westminster is not the biggest show in the US, it is probably the most well known.  So do you think there are more PONs or more Picards entered this year?  The FG is gloating again – there are 19 Picards and 13 PONs in the running this year. And what breed do you think has more entries….the Labrador Retriever, the Golden Retriever, the Viszla, the French Bulldog or the Rhodesian Ridgeback?   Here they are in order of entires:

Golden Retriever: 52
French Bulldog: 48
Labrador Retriever: 46
Vizsla: 45
Rhodesian Ridgeback: 43
Who knew there would be more Frenchies than Labs?!
There are two new breeds that have been added to the AKC roster this year.  The Nederlandse Kooikerhondje is a sporting breed from the Netherlands and is a great duck hunter.  The breed also goes by the the nickname Kooiker. They KIND of remind me of Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers.  If you squint and ignore the colors.    Maybe it’s because they lure ducks like Nova Scotia tollers.  They are supposed to be smart, lively and attentive to their owners.  As any breed, they do need socialization when young.  The Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen is the other new breed – a hairy hound from France.  The GBGV was bred as a scent hound who can track both large and small game from wolves to rabbits.  They are said to be comical, but sometimes stubborn – and not always the best breed for a first time dog owner.  Sounds like a PON.  Or a Picard!
I tried to find the Vegas odds for which dogs are the top contenders this year.  I couldn’t find specific stats but I do know that the top winning dog in the US for 2017 was a Giant Schnauzer by the name of Ty.  Watch for him!  I also listened to a podcast by two women who are ACTIVELY involved in showing (they are professional handlers), and they mentioned the following breeds to watch for the in group judging (in no particular order…Giant Schnauzer, Boxer,  black Lab, Pointer, American Cocker Spaniel, Bichon, French Bulldog, Dalmation, Pug, Whippet, American Staffordshire Terrier, Norfolk Terrier, Borzoi, Pug, Havanese, Affenpinscher,  Brussels Griffon, PBGV, GBGV, Wire Fox Terrier, German Shepherd, Old English Sheepdog, Border Collie and get this – PICARD!  Now that might seems like a LOT of dogs, but keep in mind there are over 200 breeds competing. Let’s watch to see if their predictions are close! 
Today the following groups will be judged: Toy, Hounds, Non-sporting and OUR favourite group – Herding.  We’ll be watching for our PON and Picard buddies.  Tomorrow, the groups include Sporting, Working and Terriers.  And tomorrow night is the big Best in Show gala. 
We know a number of local dogs competing including a Standard Poodle, and a Beagle. We’ll be watching for them as well.
Let the games begin.  Wait – the “dog games.” The other games have already started…
Have a good one!  Peace and paws up!
Seizure-free days: 31

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