A small dog is running in big circles after receiving Best of Breed twice this past weekend in Atlanta, Georgia.
GCH Annevan the Doctor, better known as “Who,” a Portuguese Podengo Pequeno — a fairly new American Kennel Club breed — is co-owned by Charla Gordon, of Sedalia. Gordon co-owns the dog with Jean Evanoff, of Fargo, North Dakota. Who, 17-months-old, competed with 45 other dogs of his breed to take the title in The Georgia Classic, a cluster show that had five shows total.
Gordon said the breed is an ancient Portuguese hunting hound that was used to catch rabbits and other small prey. He’s the family pet that made it big, and she is expecting the small dog to be in the Westminster Dog Show in February in New York City.
“He will probably go to Westminster because of his position within his breed,” she said. “He will probably receive an invitation to go. You can either receive an invitation or I believe you can enter on a first-come, first-serve basis.”
She and her husband Al plan to attend the Westminster show if Who is invited to participate.
“If he’s there, we’ll be there,” she added. “Because that’s just a fun thing, and at that point I will quit showing him. He’s just our family pet, really. I think most show dogs are.
“We had no idea he would do this well,” she added. “He loves showing, he just adores it. I think that’s one of the things that makes a good show dog.”
Gordon has been showing dogs for 20 years beginning with Standard Poodles
“Some of my dogs have done it and they weren’t crazy about it, and others didn’t like it at all, but he loves being out there,” she said. “He likes the people, he likes the attention, he likes the whole atmosphere.”
The shows this past weekend ran from Thursday to Sunday.
“One of those was the national Pequeno show,” she added. “There were four all-breed shows and one that was just for that breed. There were about 45 entered and in that show he didn’t do much in it, but he won Best of Breed twice in the all-breed shows … He competed against a significant number of dogs.”
He took Best of Breed in the Douglasville Kennel Club Show and in the Newnan Kennel Club Show.
Gordon believes on looking out for the welfare of the dog.
“One of the things I’m focused on is making sure that when people buy dogs they go to reputable breeders,” she noted. “That means people who do testing. As much dog experience that I have, I was turned down (by breeders) for several silkys because of my age.”
Gordon, 71, said Silky Terriers can live for up to 20 years, so the breeders were concerned the dogs would outlive her.
“I respected that,” she added. “Because they care about what happens to these dogs. When I showed Standard Poodles, I wouldn’t sell to people with young children. Because they are big dogs and they knock little kids down. People just really need to think about what they are doing.”
She offered tips on choosing the right breed of dog, such as going to the American Kennel Club website, akc.org, and reading over the breed profiles; there are 170 breeds. There are also breeder referrals on the site.
“What you want to do is think about your lifestyle,” she added. “If you have three little kids you probably don’t want a very fragile dog like an Italian Greyhound that could get injured. If you are an older person, you don’t necessarily want a really high energy terrier. You have to match your lifestyle with what you are looking for.”
Tips on finding a good breeder are also important in choosing a dog, she added.
“One of the things you need to do is look at where those dogs are being raised,” Gordon said. “It should be clean, it should be orderly. It doesn’t have to be fancy. Look realistically at the mother of those dogs.”
Usually one will not see the father, but she suggested to watch the mother’s temperament and see how she interacts with people.
“That breeder should be asking you a lot of questions,” she added. “Their concern is about their dogs, they want to get them to the right place where they’ll be happy for life.”
Faith Bemiss can be reached at 530-0289 or @flbemiss.