Yukon North Of Ordinary

News archive for June 10, 2013

Pooches on best behaviour before proud owners

Lisa Allison travelled 18 hours to Whitehorse late last week for the Yukon Kennel Club’s 42nd annual All Breed Championship Dog Show.

Lisa Allison travelled 18 hours to Whitehorse late last week for the Yukon Kennel Club’s 42nd annual All Breed Championship Dog Show.

In tow, she had Justin, a two-year-old standard poodle, and Frank, a two-year-old miniature poodle.

Justin is already an American Champion, and over the weekend, they were working toward his Canadian Championship.

It seemed like a reasonable feat to accomplish.

When the Star spoke with Allison on Friday afternoon at the Mt. McIntyre Recreation Centre, Justin had already earned five points toward the 10 he needed to qualify as a Canadian Champion, in only the first day of showing.

Allison first started showing at the tender age of seven. Her mom showed, and it became a hobby they could enjoy together.

Many years later in Whitehorse, she’s still showing with her mom. But it’s become more than just an enjoyable past time.

“It’s an addiction,” Allison joked, explaining more seriously, that “if you really love animals, it’s an outlet you can do with them.”

Making her dogs “beautiful” is one of her favourite parts, she said, as she got Justin ready for his next event, musing that he more closely resembles a swamp rat at home in Homer, AK.

Allison explained that the stereotypical shave is linked to the poodle’s traditional role as a hunting dog.

“Back in the day, this was the trim to keep their joints warm and their organs, when they were swimming in for the birds. Now I’m sure it wasn’t this extreme, there’s no way I’d let him go hunting right now,” she said.

Joanne Langseth, from Fairbanks, had an eight-month-old oloitzcuintli, or a Mexican hairless, with her on Friday.

“I used to show poodles and then I got smart; finally I got a brain. A lot less work,” she joked.

“I love dogs, I’ve always just enjoyed the conformation. I loved poodles; that was my breed for many, many years, and I love how beautiful they are. It was a challenge to keep them groomed and scissored.

“Now I want to do something that’s even harder – it’s called dog training. So now I want to do the obedience and the agility and she already does a lot of agility stuff.”

Bella is a gem, Langseth said.

“This is her second show, and she’s remarkable. She knows ‘sit, down, stay,’ she does agility.”

Not everyone at the weekend’s event was an experienced dog show aficionado.

Local musher Janet Keller has shown her sled dogs a few times before, but it had been four years since her last event.

On Friday, she had Yegor, a six-year-old Siberian husky, with her.

“I showed him four years ago, we didn’t do so well, but we had fun,” she joked.

“It’s actually not the dog’s fault, he’s OK. I show against all the other Siberian huskies from Alaska and they’re U.S. Champions already and those people show a lot, so they know all the tricks and they’re trained right.

“We’re kind of like from the bush, coming here, showing, not really a clue what we’re doing,” she said, laughing.

Seven years ago, she showed Yegor’s dad in Calgary, where he earned his Canadian Championship.

She was only aiming to get one or two more points toward Yegor’s championship on Friday. He’s a little bigger than breed standard, so that doesn’t always work in his favour, she noted.

Another problem she runs into because her dogs are primarily working sled dogs, is a collar mark. But Yegor’s was almost gone on Friday.

It had been a great many years since Susan Jackson had shown at the Whitehorse show – 17 years, to be exact.

This year, she travelled up from the Lower 48 with Petie, a three-year-old female Harlequin Great Dane.

She used to breed and show consistently, but has since stopped breeding, and subsequently slowed down the showing too. When she acquired Petie, she just had to come back.

The Star asked what it is that draws her back, and all Jackson could say was, “I wish I knew.

“It’s that thing that gets you and you gotta do it.”

She was after Petie’s Canadian Championship, she said.

Up from Edmonton for the event, Cathy Schellenberg and Nani, an 18-month-year-old female Old English sheepdog, were also after a Canadian Championship.

Nani already has her American Championship status.

Considering her youth, Nani has done “really well,” Schellenberg said.

Schellenberg has been showing sheepdogs since 1985.

“Like any sport or competition, it’s good, it’s fun. It’s nice to spend time with your dog and have a good time,” she said.

“In any breed, the judges look at structure. Each breed has certain characteristics. The coat texture is one in a sheepdog.

“Another thing that sheepdogs have is they have a rise over their back-end; she has that.

“They should be nice and thick set, and they should be able to move as if they were going to go out and work with a herd of sheep.”

The show continued until Sunday with conformation and obedience events.

CommentsAdd a comment

Denise G

Jun 12, 2013 at 2:17 pm

I find it odd that the only story about the Dog show is about someone who comes from out of town.  One of the winners of the obedience trials was a young woman from Whitehorse.  No mention of her accomplishment?

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