AKC Virtual Top Dog Challenge winners announced

The AKC Virtual Top Dog Challenge winners have been announced.

The second American Kennel Club Virtual Top Dog Challenge was organized because of the downturn on the show circuit (and with most dog sports generally) due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

But now the winners of the second annual Virtual Top Dog Challenge have been announced.

There were two classes, Puppy (between six and 12 months old) and Open (adults). The judges were Linda Robey (Herding), Celeste Gonzalez (Hound), Johnny Shoemaker (Non-Sporting), Elliott Weiss (Sporting), Wood Wornall (Terrier), Evalyn Gregory (Toy), Paula Nykiel (Working) and Jeffrey Bazell (Miscellaneous).

Like the International Heart Classic, entrants made a video of their dog going through the normal ring procedure of going around in a circle, going in a straight line down and back, standing still in stack and free stack, and a breed-appropriate examination of bite/mouth.

For more on how dog shows work, see our guide to the basics and what the pros wish the average TV viewer knew about the process.

Herding Group

Taking the Herding Group in the Puppy class of the Virtual Top Dog Challenge was an Australian Shepherd called Zin (registered name Remedy’s Perfected Paired).

Winning the Herding group in the Open class was a Puli called Archie (officially GCHS CH Cordmaker Boys Will Be Boys PT NAP NJP).

Hound Group

The Puppy class Hound Group winner was a Rhodesian Ridgeback named Excaliber’s Into the Wild.

Taking the Open class win in this group was a Whippet named GCH CH Sporting Fields Because the Night O Weisann.

Non-Sporting Group

Jogoso’s Virtuoso the Shiba Inu triumphed over the competition in the Non-Sporting Group, Puppy division.

Among the adults, a Boston Terrier named GCHS CH Put Your Lips Together and Blow CA BCAT CGC was the winner.

Sporting Group

The Sporting Group’s top Puppy was an English Setter called Wolfie (whose registered name is Winchester’s Wolfgang Stealth.)

A Parti-Colored Cocker Spaniel called Calvin (officially named GCHS CH Loma Point and B-Cubed’s Limited Edition) was the top dog in the Sporting Group. Calvin also won the group at the International Heart Classic.

Terrier Group

The Puppy winner of the Terrier Group was a West Highland White Terrier named Birch Bark Against All Odds.

The Open winner was a Welsh Terrier named Darwyn’s Tawny Tangerine.

Toy Group

The top Puppy in the Toy Group was a Papillon named Quik.

The Open class Toy Group winner was a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel named CH Ivyfine Shirley Temple at Gylden.

Working Group

In the Puppy class, the Working Group winner was a Boxer named Tybrushe’s Down by the River.

An Akita named GCH CH Sundevil’s Fresh Squeezed CGCA CGCU TKA in the Open class. He was also a group winner at the International Heart Classic.

Miscellaneous Group

The Miscellaneous Group is where breeds that haven’t been AKC recognized yet are slotted to compete in. In the Puppy class, a Biewer Terrier named Benchmark on Y Va My Sunshine was the group winner. The Biewer Terrier is an offshoot of the Yorkshire Terrier, and it’s pronounced “Beaver” for some reason.

In the Open class, a Mudi named Hilarow Never Not Naughty Neska CM2 CD BN RN CGC was the group winner. The Mudi is a medium-sized fuzzy farm dog from Hungary, and this particular’s one’s owner is listed as Mandy Moore, however, it is unclear whether this is the singer/actress known for her roles in This is Us, Tangled and A Walk to Remember.

Best in Show

The Virtual Top Dog Challenge Reserve Best in Show prizes (overall runner-up) went to Wolfie the English Setter in the Puppy class and Calvin the Cocker Spaniel in the Open class.

Best in Show prizes for the Virtual Top Dog Challenge were awarded to Zin the Aussie in the Puppy class and Archie the Puli in the Open class.

Next: Guide dog training explained by Nikki Wentz of Guiding Eyes for the Blind

Overall, 400 dogs were entered in the event, and $8,000 (with a matching grant from AKC Reunite) was raised for the AKC Reunite Adopt a K-9 program, which provides police dogs to police departments around the country.

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