Top dogs strut their stuff

When it comes to dog shows and obedience trials, people will tend to think of the results as being solely up to the trainer or the dog. But it's really a team effort, says Lisa Barnard.

When it comes to dog shows and obedience trials, people will tend to think of the results as being solely up to the trainer or the dog. But it’s really a team effort, says Lisa Barnard.

“It’s all about teamwork out there, it’s not just about the handler,” said, Barnard, who attended the trials with her two golden retrievers.

“You’re dealing with another individual that has a personality, that may not be feeling well that day or might be feeling too exuberant. So it’s really a team effort and a team sport.”

About 10 handlers and their quadruped companions attended Yukon’s first kennel club event of the year, the Whitehorse Woofers Dog Show, held Saturday at Yukon College.

“It’s a good way to get the dog community together and work towards getting some of these titles for our dogs,” said Nancy Brady, president of the Whitehorse Woofers Dog Club.

“It’s what we call fun.”

Other clubs represented were the Yukon Kennel Club and Canines and Company.

The event began in the morning with two United Kennel Club licensed obedience trials, in the utility, open and novice levels.

United Kennel Club is a unique dog club, the only one in North America to allow mixed-breed dogs as well as purebreds.

“Everyone can compete in this registry,” said Barnard. “So you’ll see husky-crosses competing, and the Australian cattle-cross did well this morning. Just your average pet dog, the one sitting at your feet watching TV with you.”

The day ended with rally obedience sessions, in which the handlers led their dogs through a course with stations in which the dog must perform a task.

“You can talk to your dog in this one,” said Brady. “You can do a little more encouraging; it’s a less formal type of obedience for dogs. You can repeat demands, slap your leg if you need to.”

Top dog at the event, in terms of highest score and past accomplishments, was Barnard’s eight-year-old retriever, Kenai, who regularly travels to events along the West Coast.

“He has almost every title under the sun,” said Barnard. “He’s the most titled, obedient and agile dog in the Yukon territory, ever.”

The Canadian Kennel Club will be hosting a large event June 12-14 at the Mt. McIntyre Recreation Centre.

“There’s a lot of conformation, which is the beauty part of it, with dogs going around in a circle” said Brady. “This obedience (event) is to show how you can work your dog.”


Trial 1 highest scoring dog was Tasha, cocker spaniel handled by Donna Dymackova

Trial 2 highest scoring dog was Kenai, golden retriever handled by Lisa Barnard

Trial 3 highest scoring dog was Rosco, German shepherd handled by Jen Willems

Trial highest scoring dog was Kenai, golden retriever handled by Lisa Barnard

Trial 1 obedience highest scoring dog, Tundra and Cheri Vandelst

Trial 2 rally obedience highest scoring dog, Gunther and Nancy Brady

Dogs and handlers completing the title of Companion Dog:

Tasha and Donna Dymackova; Laddie and Jocelyn Laveck; Rosco and Jen Willems

Contact Tom Patrick at

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