Erika David’s Adonis Wins Best of Breed at Westminster Dog Show, NYC!

Erika David’s Adonis win at The Superbowl of Dog Shows – Westminster!

History of Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show

The Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show was started in 1877 In New York City.  This is the 144th year of Westminster show. It has been held yearly at Pier 94 for the breed judging and Madison Square Garden for the group judging.  It now spans about a week with agility, obedience, and conformation shows and it is often called the Super Bowl of Dog Shows. For more information about this year’s show, check out the Westminster Kennel Club page.

Awards built with Legos

Judging, Ranking, Points- How the breeds Qualify

The nearly 3000 dogs are split into two days, by breed. There were 200+ breeds that fall into the hound, toy, non-sporting and herding groups that were judged on Monday the 10th of February.

Sporting, Working, and Terrier breeds were judged on Tuesday the 11th of February.

Each breed has a list of its top 20 dogs by how many points they have received from winning Best of Breed at other dog shows, before the Westminster competition. Those that were ranked in the top 5 were invited to show at Westminster as a guaranteed spot. Adonis, Erika’s Finnish Spitz was ranked at #3 by points from other dog shows.

Any other dog of Champion status could also enter, however, there was a chance that they would not get a spot to compete.  Champion means you have earned your 15 points to be eligible to compete in the Best of Breed class. 

Journey to Westminster Best of Breed

Dog shows leading up to Westminster are basically a process of elimination. Each dog is being judged against a written standard that describes the ideal dog. The written standard describes how a dog should look in order to carry out its job. The standard describes features of the dog, temperament, physical traits, etc.

The judge will pick the dog out of several, of that particular breed, that would most represent the standard and the ideal dog. Each Best of Breed winner went on to compete in its selected group.  Each group winner went on to compete in Best in Show to be the most ideal dog.

AKC originally registered dogs as Sporting or Non-Sporting. Hounds and Terriers split off the Sporting Group. Toys, Herding, and Working split off from the Non-Sporting groups. The remaining dogs with a diversity of traits and not fitting the other groups became known as Non-Sporting.

What is a Finnish Spitz?

Erika’s Finnish Spitz is in the Non-Sporting group.   Finnish Spitz is known as the barking tree dog in Finland, by the way, they hunt. They will “tree” their prey, most of the time it’s a huge, ugly and mean turkey called a Capercaillie. The Finnish Spitz will move their tail back and forth to mesmerize the bird while they bark to cover their hunter’s tracks. 

So there were a total of 8 dogs qualified in the Finnish Spitz breed and only 6 showed up to compete. Out of those 6 dogs, Erika’s dog, Adonis was chosen as the Best of the Breed, and would then go to Madison Square Garden to compete against the other Breed Winners of the Non-Sporting Group.

What makes this more special, is Adonis is Erika’s first “bred by” dog to go to Westminster, meaning Erika had the mom to this dog and bred the puppies. She would be referred to as the breeder/owner/handler of Adonis.

As puppies, the litters are registered with AKC. And as they earn certain levels in showing or titles they will have acronyms added to their name. Adonis’s AKC registered name is “GCHS Bo-Co-Pa’s I’m Sexy and I Know it CGC”

The GCHS stands for Grand Champion Silver… Bo-Co-Pa is Erika’s kennel name, It’s her family’s name in Klamath. “I’m Sexy and I know it” is his registered puppy name and the CGC is for Canine Good Citizen it’s an AKC title that says your dog has manners.

Adonis will be 5 in June.  Erika has been showing in dogs for almost 13 years. Competitively and as a handler, about 10 years. And has been in Finnish Spitz for 10 years. As a result of her hard work, Erika has won Best in Show with Finnish Spitz in three competitions during that time.

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