Meet the pups!
To get you geared up for the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, we're introducing you to three new breeds for 2010.
Mon Feb 8 2010
Hailing from the South of France, “Pyr sheps” are a small, high-energy herding breed traditionally used to herd sheep. “They are extremely intelligent and love to please their owners,” says Kris Goodman, who will be showing her Pyr shep, Connor. “They also are naturally wary of strangers and have to be extensively socialized; there is a lot of dog in a small package.” Sums up Maggie Emmell, who is showing her own Pyr shep, Lola: “They’re tough little dogs who can do it all.”
Age: Three years
How he got his name: “Connor was named after Sean Connery,” says Goodman. (We’re assuming that has something to do with his charming good looks.)
Tricks up his sleeve: “When he gets really excited, Connor jumps up and down like a pogo stick, about four feet straight in the air,” says Goodman. “Connor loves cold weather and will burrow into the snow and make snow angels. He also lives with whippets and feels it is his job to herd them.”
Favorite snack: “Connor will never turn down a treat, but he loves Old Mother Hubbard and Bil-Jac treats the best.”
How he deals with stage fright: “Connor is becoming a pro in the show ring, but if he is nervous, he tends to pant more than usual.”
Age: Four years
What she’s like: “She is super sweet and loves people, but is cautious about some surroundings,” says Emmell. “And she loves to show.”
How she deals with stage fright: She doesn’t have any! “She loves the attention,” says Emmell. “When she doesn’t win breed, she pouts.”
Favorite snack: Steak
Age: Four and a half years
Fun fact: “She sleeps on a pillow next to mine that has a pink Cinderella pillowcase, so we call it her 'princess pillow,’?” says owner Kimberlee Rice. “She tries very hard to be in charge of all the dogs in the house—she’s very bossy and very much a princess.”
Tricks up her sleeve: “She likes to run on the treadmill. She gets up on the treadmill and will stand, waiting for it to be turned on,” says Rice. “She takes her workout very seriously.”
Favorite snack: “She really likes Lay’s potato chips, popcorn and crispy Cheetos.”
How she deals with stage fright: “Mink does not like a huge crowd. Pyr sheps are very sound-sensitive, so Westminster will be hard for her,” says Rice, but adds that “she is all business in the show ring.”
Age: One year, eight months
Tricks up her sleeve: “She does about 20 tricks right now, including sit, roll over, play dead, speak and riding a skateboard,” says owner Sue Peterson. “She also jumps into my arms.”
How she deals with stage fright: She doesn’t need to: “She loves to travel and show,” says Peterson. “She really thinks the shows are being held just for her!”
Fun fact: “Pree herds and captures chickens. We live on 14 acres in the mountains of Pennsylvania, and my husband uses Pree to keep the chickens from getting too far into the woods,” says Peterson. “He can also tell her which chicken he wants. She will run the chicken down and stand on it until Dave gets there to pick it up.”
Where to catch Pree: In addition to showing at the WKC, Pree will appear on Taxi TV beginning this week, and will ring the closing bell at the NASDAQ on Tuesday 16.
Irish red and white setter
Not to be confused with its solid ruby-hued Irish-setter cousins, Irish red and whites are powerful, athletic and intelligent—skills they use to excel on the hunting field. “They are a good all-around sporting dog,” says Chris Orcutt, who will be showing his Irish red and white setter, Kyla. “They are just as happy in the show ring as they are in the field and on the couch at home.”
Age: Four years
What she’s like: “She’s very friendly, loves people—and rules the house,” says Orcutt. “She thinks that she’s a princess.”
Tricks up her sleeve: “She enjoys hunting pheasant.”
How she deals with stage fright: “She’s usually relaxed, and enjoys showing off because she knows that she is beautiful,” says Orcutt.
Fun fact: “During an outdoor show, when she was just a puppy, Kyla decided to chase a butterfly around the ring.”
Bred in Norway as all-purpose farm dogs, buhunds are active, motivated workers that are eager to please. “They love attention and need to be kept busy and involved in the family,” says Lisa Donnelly, who is showing her buhund, Lola. “They were used not only for herding, but as a watch dog, so they will bark and let you know when the neighbors come home, if the squirrel is running through the trees, when the jogger is going by the house...” In other words, they can be quite vocal. “The buhunds were so prized by their Viking masters, it was custom that the dogs accompanied them to their grave and quest to Valhalla,” says Brenda Solomon, who will be showing her buhund, Casper. “They are drawn towards children and the elderly, whom they are both very affectionate and gentle with, making them great family pets.”
Age: 18 months
What she’s like: “Lola has a typical buhund temperament: She’s happy, outgoing and very interested in everything that’s going on in her surroundings,” says Donnelly.
Favorite pastimes: “Escaping from her pen to greet me at the door when I get home from work and standing and looking pretty for the judge.”
Fun fact: “Lola is what I call a gatherer,” says Donnelly. “She will collect all the toys, bones, and dishes, stuff them in a corner or a crate and then watch the other dogs as they look for their stuff, while she sits there with an innocent look and a wagging tail. If the other dogs come near her stash, she will block the entrance to the crate or corner so they can’t get any toys.”
Favorite snack: “Usually my newest and most expensive pair of shoes, and raw marrow bones,” says Donnelly.
Age: Three years
Fun fact: “Casper very rarely wags his whole tail—he only moves the very tip back and fourth,” says Solomon. “A judge once said that was Casper’s way of expressing what he thought of the dog show world.”
How he deals with stage fright: “You put him in front of the cameras or a crowd and he just turns it on,” says Solomon. “Casper truly enjoys the show ring and strutting his stuff. Many a friend has taken his photo while in the show ring, and Casper will strike a pose when told 'pretty boy!’ and cast a look over his shoulder.”
Favorite pastimes: “He enjoys herding, tracking, obedience, rally and showing in conformation.”
The 134th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show: Madison Square Garden, Seventh Ave at 32nd St (212-307-7171, westminsterkennelclub.com). Mon 15, Tue 16 8am--11pm, $20--$145.