Sports

Pooch wins big in U.S. competition

Margie Leopold, holding her champion Siberian Husky, Nash, accepts the award at the 2012 SHCA National Specialty Show. - Photo submitted
Margie Leopold, holding her champion Siberian Husky, Nash, accepts the award at the 2012 SHCA National Specialty Show.
— image credit: Photo submitted

People in Cranbrook know Margie Leopold as the owner of Pretty Pooch and the person who trains and grooms their pets. To the dog breeders and spectators at the 2012 SHCA National Specialty show held in Utah recently, Leopold is known as a breeder of championship Siberian Huskies.

This past competition, Leopold took her Siberian Husky, Nash, (named after Steve Nash) to the show where she competed against more than 400 other huskies in 700 entries, taking home a fourth place finish in Bred by Exhibitor class.

“It was a huge win for a Canadian,” said Leopold. “Dogs from around the world were there and from just about every state in the U.S.”

Nash is from the first litter of Siberians bred by Leopold and is a known champion, having the Canadian Regional Award of Merit as one of his past accomplishments.

And in case you think that these shows are purely for looks, here is an excerpt from the American Kennel Club specifications for showing a Siberian Husky:

“The most important breed characteristics of the Siberian Husky are medium size, moderate bone, well balanced proportions, ease and freedom of movement, proper coat, pleasing head and ears, correct tail, and good disposition. Any appearance of excessive bone or weight, constricted or clumsy gait, or long, rough coat should be penalized. The Siberian Husky never appears so heavy or coarse as to suggest a freighting animal; nor is he so light and fragile as to suggest a sprint-racing animal. In both sexes the Siberian Husky gives the appearance of being capable of great endurance. In addition to the faults already noted, the obvious structural faults common to all breeds are as undesirable in the Siberian Husky as in any other breed, even though they are not specifically mentioned herein.”

And those specifications are only physical. To show a dog a lot more has to be accounted for.

“A dog has to be special to be in these kinds of shows. It has to be healthy, fit, have a great temperament,” said Leopold. “These shows can be very stressful—lots of dogs and noise. This means they have to be well socialized and have to have a good temperament for judging. I start training them as puppies for socialization.”

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