Scottish deerhound scores a first at Westminster
Judge Paolo Dondina and handler Angela Lloyd stand with Hickory, the Scottish deerhound who won Best in Show at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in New York on Tuesday.
February 16th, 2011
12:50 AM ET

Scottish deerhound scores a first at Westminster

The day of the Scottish deerhound has finally come at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.

Hickory, a 5-year-old female from Virginia, became the first of her breed to win Best in Show at Westminster, taking the top prize on the second and final day of the event at New York's Madison Square Garden on Tuesday.

The victory also is only the fifth at Westminster for a dog from the hound group. The Best in Show prize has been given for 104 years.

"It's just the thrill of a lifetime," Hickory's handler, Angela Lloyd, told USA Network, which showed the contest. "People who own, breed (and) show dogs dream of this day their whole entire lives, and here we are."

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Filed under: Animals • Dogs • New York
soundoff (54 Responses)
  1. kayaker247

    above average on the stupid comments today gang. well done.

    February 16, 2011 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Jo Ann Shepherd

    As a former owner-handler and breeder of pure bred AKC, CKC, and UKC show dogs, I must take exception to those comments about dogs that don't live up to the dream, and dog breeders. I stopped showing and breeding dogs after divorcing because it was too expensive. But, in the ten plus years that I spent showing and breeding my dogs to improve my line and the breed in general, I can tell you that breeders of champion dogs are not creating the problems you speak of, in reference to backyard breeders and puppy mills.
    The dogs you see in dog shows are medically and genetically tested by their breeders to ensure healthy and ethical breeding practices, as well as to eradicate problems inherent in their breed. I can tell you from experience that this testing can cost thousands of dollars per dog.
    These dogs are loving companions, family dogs, often are also therapy dogs, and they enjoy showing, which creates a wonderful bond between the dog and the handler.
    Ethical breeders take applications, want references, and do interviews before choosing families for their puppies that are not chosen for conformation ("show"). These puppies are temperament tested to match puppies to families. These puppies are sold on spay/neuter contracts to prevent greedy and irresponsible breeding. I was very picky about my puppy families. I often had families come back for another puppy at a later date. There is not greater compliment.
    Dogs that can no longer be kept by their owners due to long distance moves, etc., return to the breeder. The breeder either keeps the dog as a companion or places him or her in a loving home; these dogs should not end up in shelters. The dogs you see in shelters are the offspring of the unspayed and un-neutered animals of irresponsible dog owners, not the result of dogs in the sport of showing dogs. Breeding these dogs does not result in profits. Sometimes, owners of show dogs already enjoy a healthy income and then choose to begin showing or owning show dogs. Bill Cosby is an example. But, considering all the expenses involved, breeding pure bred dogs is not a profitable hobby.

    February 16, 2011 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • CZ

      My question to the responsible breeding that you speak of is what happens if you have a puppy that does not receive good "marks" in the medical or genetic testing? Having worked with a shelter, I can tell you that yes, the returned dogs that you speak of very well may end up in shelters. Another question, you mention spay/neuter contracts, what happens if this stipulation of the contract is not met?

      February 16, 2011 at 12:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jon

      The Westminster dogs have no such requirement. Many of the winners have severe mental and physical issues but they're still bred because someone thinks they look cute.

      Pugs on the other hand should not be shown (or bred) at all because they've been bred to have many physical issues. A curly tail requires back deformations. The smashed face makes it impossible for them to breath properly. Their faces also put them at high risk for eye injury.

      You should only breed pugs if you enjoy causing an animal to physically suffer.

      Stick with mutts. You're likely to get less regressive traits due to higher genetic diversity.

      February 16, 2011 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kris

      Jo Ann,
      The problem is that 99% of breeders are not responsible. And as someone who has been in rescue for over a decade, I can tell you that there are many show breeders who are irresponsible. I know that from personal experience as I and other rescues ended up with their dogs. If you were a responsible breder, good for you. However, that doesn't change the fact that the vast majority of breeders are solely into breeding to make money. Not a single breeder has ever told me that they aren't a "good breeder". They all think they are wonderful and the breed needs them. The only way to stop the huge dog overpopulation problem in this country is to put a litter fee on each litter, no matter who the breeder is. The responsible breeders will then be able to sell their puppies for more money, so that they will get the litter fee back. No breeder will volunteer to stop breeding. Having a litter fee is the only way to separate the wheat from the chaff and prevent millions of excess dogs dying every year at shelters, while millions more are bred to be killed the next year.

      February 16, 2011 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Jo Ann Shepherd

    trying to answer and my answer won't post!

    February 16, 2011 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Jo Ann Shepherd

    I had two girls who had shown and championed and then received OFA (hip) ratings that were not good. This was disappointing because they were sweet, beautiful dogs. All their other test results were great. But I did not want to knowingly produce dogs with hip problems. Both girls were placed in homes with loving familes that had to go through my application process.
    Unfortunately, even if both sire and dam have excellent hips, it is possible for them to produce a dysplastic dog. The entire pedigree must have been tested and researched. It is very difficult to do that when dogs several generations back were imports. I was able to go back only five generations.
    As for contracts, the dog would revert to me if the owner could not produce of spay or neuter by the time the puppy was one year old. My contract had been written by a lawyer and was enforceable and proven in court.

    February 16, 2011 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Jo Ann Shepherd

    Sorry. That should have been the dog would revert to me if the owner could not produce PROOF of spay or neuter.

    February 16, 2011 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Steve

    What the heck is Joe Biden doing handing out ribbons to dogs?

    February 16, 2011 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Jo Ann Shepherd

    Jon, there is no such thing as a "Westminster dog". These dogs are registered with the American Kennel Club. and are competing in this show sponsored by the Westminster Kennel Club.
    Each breed has a national parent club. Breeders who practice unethical breeding get into trouble with that parent club and they usually try to keep their noses clean. There are breeders who refuse to acknowledge any problems their breeding programs may have (knowingly or unknowingly) caused. Other breeders know who they are and do not breed to their dogs.
    Your remark that "Many of the winners have severe mental and physical issues but they're still bred because someone thinks they look cute" is both inaccurate and offensive to the breeders who work so hard to produce animals of exceptional quality.

    February 16, 2011 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Roger

    This is the same type thing as how people go wild over art, like Picasso paintings for example. As we can all see this breed of dog is not aesthetically appealing at any level. It's an ugly animal, but looks isn't everything. I have a dog that's homely but it's also my best friend.

    February 16, 2011 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Kris

    Jo Ann,
    Sadly, there are many physical problems with the purebreds. For example, a German Shepherd who won Westminster was siring many puppies born with their hocks on the ground. The extreme look is what the show dog breeders were trying to attain. The modern German Shepherd looks deformed. Shih Tzus, Pugs, and Pekingese often have eye problems from their flattened faces and bulging eyes. There are good breeders, but some bad things are being done to a number of a breeds in the name of fashion. I once saw a young Shepherd at a dog show. The puppy's back was completely roached, and his hocks were an inch above the ground. I almost expressed condolences to his owner regarding his deformities. Imagine my shock when I saw the show ring filled with deformed German Sheperds and realized that they were being bred to look that way! Some breeds have been improved by the show ring, but many have been ruined. It is time for AKC to become honest about the breeds and try to fix the problems that have been created.

    February 16, 2011 at 3:03 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Patty


    I agree please adpot from a shelter.Many of the dogs from these pupy mills will up at ashelter later on. I am hoping to have Pet Sancuary for as many homeless pets as I can board
    . They will not be put up for adpotion. They can live out there lives in peace knowing that they have voice. If U want to know more please send an email to or visit my still under contruction website.
    Thank you.

    February 16, 2011 at 3:22 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Jo Ann Shepherd

    I agree with you. Some breeds have been altered through "popular" breedings and, sadly, the German Shepherd is a prime example. The national (parent) club for each breed is responsible for writing its Breed Standard. That is where change should begin for those breeds that have been bred so they cannot perform their job or have a physical/skeletal deformity.

    February 16, 2011 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Jo Ann Shepherd

    Patty, with all repect to you, I think a no-kill shelter that adopts animals to good homes after being spayed or neutered is a better idea. You will find yourself overwhelmed at trying to provide for so many while many more are in need.
    First and foremost, if you want a companion animal (dog or cat) DO NOT buy from pet shops; these are prime outlets for puppy mills. If you buy from a breeder, make sure they are reputable and not a back-yard breeder. Ask for references and ask questions. You can find lots of great information to look for and ask at A good breeder puts the breed first; they health test and breed to their correct Breed Standard, not for profit.

    February 16, 2011 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
  13. burch

    Dogs should not be treated as a commodity. There are way too many dogs in shelters and sweet dogs being destroyed every day. I consider it a personality flaw to overlook this fact and buy a dog from a breeder when one can be adopted from a shelter or rescue org.

    February 16, 2011 at 4:30 pm | Report abuse |
  14. TheEightBall

    We presently have eight dogs three of whom were rescue dogs. Our family brought a sweet pit bull into our home right after Christmas, she died 30 hours after arriving. She was a dumpster dog, found by our area ambulance company. This poor dog was so emaciated and infested with parasites that there was truly nothing that could be done for her other than to make her comfortable.

    Just a few nights ago another pit bull was found wandering in the cold (we live in NY), she obviously had whelped not too long ago.... her eleven puppies remain missing and the area shelter put mommy down today. The puppies have most certainly died from exposure at this point.

    We had hoped that somehow people would just stop mistreating these pups. It is heartwrenching to see this happen so frequently. Something has to be done and should be done.

    Can anyone make any realistic suggestions to help eradicate the treatment of the animals? Is there anything that can be done to these people who breed these dogs and the families that buy them, only to dump them when they realize they don't have the means to care for them? Good God!

    February 16, 2011 at 5:45 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Funbags3

    Some of those handlers look like they belong to the Westminster Cankle Club.

    February 16, 2011 at 5:56 pm | Report abuse |
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