Yukon dog best in show

Sometimes sinners can be winners. Local canine, Sinner, was top dog a week ago, winning best in show at a Canadian Kennel Club event held by the Lakes District Kennel Club in Burns Lake, BC.

Sometimes sinners can be winners.

Local canine, Sinner, was top dog a week ago, winning best in show at a Canadian Kennel Club event held by the Lakes District Kennel Club in Burns Lake, BC.

“He’s a bad boy,” said Sinner’s owner, Bonnitta Ritchie, explaining the name. “I’ve been breeding Schipperkes a long time and I know their temperaments.”

As a breed, they don’t like to be told what to do.

“He seemed to fit the picture. Two of the more famous Schipperkes were named Lucifer and Diablo, so I thought I would give him a fitting name.

“They’re often affectionately called Tazmanian Devil, so Sinner was fitting.”

As a Schipperke, the four-year-old Sinner competed in the nonsporting group at four shows while in BC. At the show, Sinner (official name: Ch. Camplaren Klondike Connection, CGN) earned Group 1 and Group 2 standings as well as two Group 1s, which allowed for him to compete for best in show.

Schipperkes originate from 16th-century Belgium and are said to have independent personalities. It is believed they were bred to work on barges. Their small size gave them a low centre of gravity, a benefit aboard the vessels, but they were still large enough to hunt vermin, their specialty.

“Barges were like houseboats in Belgium along the canals,” said Ritchie. “They transported products, but (people) also often lived on the barges. And rats are always a problem, especially in the 1500s. Schipperkes were kind of the working man’s dog.”

Wowing judges is nothing new to Sinner.

In 2007, he was ranked third in Canada for his breed and moved up to second the following year. He also brought home another best in show in Burns Lake two years ago.

“He’s only been showing for a couple years because he’s not one of my breeding (dogs)—I’ve been breeding Schipperkes for 20 years,” said Ritchie. “Because there’s a very small gene pool—there’s not a lot of them—and I knew lots of the dogs in the West, I bought this dog from a big-name kennel in the East, from people who’ve been breeding for 50 years.”

However, Sinner doesn’t carry the same workload as his ancestors.

“He’s a house pet mostly: spoiled rotten,” said Ritchie.

Also present at the show was Jennifer Trudeau of Watson Lake and her whippet, Wynn (Ch. Mooncraft the Wynn of Claymar, CGN).

Wynn was included in Group 2, twice in Group 3 and in Group 4.

Sinner will attend next month’s annual Canadian Kennel Club show hosted by the Yukon Kennel Club in Whitehorse. The three-day event is taking place at the Mt. McIntyre Recreation Centre starting June 12.

“We’re trying to encourage people to step out of their comfort zone and try it,” said Ritchie. “People think they don’t know how to do that, how to get into that world. So we’re looking for people who may just want to volunteer or put their dog in the show.”

Contact Tom Patrick at

tomp@yukon-news.com