AKC's Pick of the Litter

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The American Kennel Club's Pick of the Litter is a monthly podcast that covers canine pop culture, its people, and news you can use.

Join us to hear from dog owners, handlers, trainers, lovers--and their dogs--at home and in the field, at shows, and anywhere that four legs are as good as two.  From canine heroes to celebrated artists, listen in on the wide world of dogs.

On this program, we visit with a mother/daughter agility team.  Diane Goodspeed and her daughter Kathleen Oswald will represent the AKC at the FCI European Open in Belgium with two Shetland Sheepdogs, Demon and Jenna (pictured in action here).  We recorded a lively training session and interview.  Oswald says the biggest thing to remember is "The dog's never wrong, and it's fun."

Breeder Jean Evanoff fell for the scruffy charm of the Portuguese Podengo Pequeno, but then came to respect this small hound's energy and independence, she tells host Lisa Peterson.  Pequenos join the AKC registry this year.

We all "heart" dogs, but the American Heart Association has given us new cause: dog ownership may decrease our risk of heart disease.  Dr. Glenn Levine of Baylor College of Medicine explains why.

Direct download: PICK_Prog15_final_071813.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:08 PM

The American Kennel Club's Pick of the Litter is a monthly podcast that covers canine pop culture, its people, and news you can use.

This year's Pointing Gun Dog Championship was held near Lincoln, Nebraska, and competitor Cindy Findley tells us why she finds the sport so satisfying.  Hint: handlers get to sing to their dogs!

Since we're in a sporting mood, we called Claire Wisch, breeder of Oakley (GCH CH Mountain View's Ripsnortersilvercharm) the personable German Wirehaired Pointer who won the Sporting Group at Westminster this year.  She tells host Lisa Peterson that the Wirehair was bred to be the family car of hunting dogs.

E.B. White is known as the author of Charlotte's Web and Stuart Little, but was also a prolific commentator for The New Yorker magazine, where his dogs often did the talking for him.  His granddaughter has collected many of these pieces in E.B. White on Dogs, and talks to Sarah Montague about the book.  White is pictured here with one of his dachshunds, Minnie (photo courtesy of the Estate of E.B. White.)  Excerpts read by Martha White, Jennifer Munson, and Andrew Joffe.

In honor of Mother's Day, we visit a canine Mom: champion Scottish Deerhound Gayleward's Perth, and her six new puppies.  AKC Judge and breeder Gayle Bontecue says she's "a fabulous mother," and has high hopes for this litter by her late champion Gayleward's Tiger Woods.  "On paper it's a wonderful mix, but they're five weeks old, so only time will tell!"

Direct download: PICK_prog14_final_051613.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00 PM

The American Kennel Club's Pick of the Litter is a monthly podcast that covers canine pop culture, its people, and news you can use.

Join us to hear from dog owners, handlers, trainers, lovers--and their dogs--at home and in the field, at shows, and anywhere that four legs are as good as two.  From canine heroes to celebrated artists, listen in on the wide world of dogs.

First, we go behind the scenes at the New York Metro Specialties, a group of shows that is held the weekend before the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in February.  Joan Ambrose, who is president of the breed club for the Havanese, takes Pick of the Litter's Sarah Montague ringside, explaining what judges look for--"the judge has hands that are like X-rays"--and how handlers present their dogs.  She says that dog shows are a great way to learn about why we have so many different breeds, and why we strive for perfection.

The first annual AKC Companion Events Extravaganza was held in March in Tulsa, Oklahoma, with sixteen winners emerging from a field of over 1,600 entrants.  Host Lisa Peterson talks with two of them--Stacey Campbell of San Francisco, who won the 24" Agility Championship class with her All-American Husky mix Roo (pictured here) and Ronda Murphy, from Galena, Kansas, a winner in the Rally Excellent event with Standard Poodle Bailey Black Bear.

Both these Extravaganza winners say their dogs are happiest when working, a sentiment echoed by Patti Richards, who talks with Lisa about the Chinook.  This American sledding dog was rescued from the brink of extinction by dedicated breeders, and now, as  new member of the Working Group, is ready to mind your children or take you skijoring.

Direct download: PICK_prog13_v1_041713.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:26 PM

The American Kennel Club's Pick of the Litter is a monthly podcast that covers canine pop culture, its people, and news you can use.

Join us to hear from dog owners, handlers, trainers, lovers--and their dogs--at home and in the field, at shows, and anywhere that four legs are as good as two.  From canine heroes to celebrated artists, listen in on the wide world of dogs.

The 137th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show took place February 11th and 12th in New York, and this year's Best in Show winner was Affenpinscher GCH CH Banana Joe v. Tani Kazari--a first for this relatively rare breed. He's pictured here is a candid shot by photographer Lisa Croft-Elliott.

We hear from BIS judge Michael Doherty, handler Ernesto Lara, and Joey's co-owner Tina Truesdale, who tells host Lisa Peterson why she's always loved this terrier-like toy breed.

Westminster's 2,700 entries are a challenge to local hotels, but the Hotel Pennsylvania takes them in stride, says the hotel's "Doggie Concierge" Jerry Grymek in an interview with Pick of the Litter's Sarah Montague.  We also tour the hotel's dog spa.

Alan Fausel, Vice President of the Fine Arts Department at Bonham's auction house in New York City, oversees an annual sale of dog-related paintings, drawings, and collectibles that coincides with Westminster.  He takes us on a tour of the preview, pointing out some special works, and offering up anecdotes about how dog artists pose their volatiles subjects.

Direct download: PICK_prog12_final_031313.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00 PM

The American Kennel Club's Pick of the Litter is a monthly podcast that covers canine pop culture, its people, and news you can use.

Join us to hear from dog owners, handlers, trainers, lovers--and their dogs--at home and in the field, at shows, and anywhere that four legs are as good as two.  From canine heroes to celebrated artists, listen in on the wide world of dogs.

December brought the 2012 AKC/Eukanuba National Championship in Orlando, Florida, where Wire Fox Terrier GCH CH AfterAll Painting the Sky was the Best in Show winner.  We talk with co-owner Torie Steele about Sky's unusual coloring, why she loves Wires, and about her handler, Gabriel Rangel.

Host Lisa Peterson shares her love of Norwegian Elkhounds (she has three) with top owner/breeder/handler Patricia Craig Trotter, who talks about her breeding philosophy, and an unexpected role model--the Italian racehorse breeder Federico Tesio.

We tell you about some local New York shows coming up before the start of Westminster in February.  And we go to London, with Pick of the Litter's Sarah Montague, who interviewed the acclaimed photographer Tim Flach at his studio there.  Flach's dramatic portraits of dogs combine traditional portraiture with innovative concepts, and result in striking images like the Hungarian Puli, shown here.

AKC's Mary Burch, director of the Canine Good Citizen and S.T.A.R. Puppy programs, tells Lisa Peterson about her new book, "AKC Star Puppy."  The book can be found at akc.org or dogwise.com

Direct download: PICK_prog11_revfinal_011713.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00 PM

The American Kennel Club's Pick of the Litter is a monthly podcast that covers canine pop culture, its people, and news you can use.

Join us to hear from dog owners, handlers, trainers, lovers--and their dogs--at home and in the field, at shows, and anywhere that four legs are as good as two.  From canine heroes to celebrated artists, listen in on the wide world of dogs.

On this program, we hear a little about the history of Presidential dogs, from George Washington's Foxhounds to the Obama family's Portuguese Water Dog "Bo," pictured here with the President (photo: courtesy of The White House.)

We are also joined by Terri Pecora and Ylisa Kunz of the Nutmeg Portuguese Water Dog Club, who tell us why this breed is a good choice if you live at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, and whether it's a good choice for you.

At this year's Meet the Breeds event at the Jacob Javits Center in New York, we presented six dogs from the Connecticut Army National Guard with our DOGNY Heroic Military Working Dog Award.  The award was accepted by Sergeant Michael Dunn, and he talks with host Lisa Peterson about the unit and his work with his partner Balou, a Belgian Malinois.

Also on this show, AKC staffer Stephanie Smith interviews champion agility competitor Tori Self.  She and her Border Collie Revolution were part of a gold medal-winning team at this year's World Agility Championship. 

And we hear (sort of) an excerpt from the tell-all biography of Uggie, the canine star of the Oscar-winning movie The Artist.

Direct download: PICK_prog10_final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:13 PM

The American Kennel Club's Pick of the Litter is a monthly podcast that covers canine pop culture, its people, and news you can use.

Join us to hear from dog owners, handlers, trainers, lovers--and their dogs--at home and in the field, and anywhere that four legs are as good as two.  From canine heroes to celebrated artists, listen in on the wide world of dogs.

Each year since 2000, the American Kennel Club has recognized great companion and service dogs with the Humane Fund Awards for Canine Excellence.  The national ACE Awards honor dogs in five categories: exemplary companion, law enforcement, search-and-rescue, service, and therapy.  On this program, we hear about the 2012 therapy dog winner, Benny, a nine-year-old Rottweiler owned by Kelly Skiptunas.  Kelly talks to host Lisa Peterson about Benny's work with children who have difficulty reading.

We'll also meet a special ACE award winner:  "Empire State" dog Marconi, a Spinone Italiano who is a certified therapy dog, and his owner and partner Cooper Lawrence.  They are part of the Angel on a Leash program, visiting St. Luke's Hospital in NYC.

The New Yorker Magazine has published great stories, essays, and cartoons since 1925, and dogs have featured prominently in many of them.  Now, the magazine's canine history has been assembled in The Big New Yorker Book of DogsPick of the Litter's Sarah Montague spoke with the book's editor, Henry Finder, who says the Peter Steiner cartoon pictured here is the most reproduced ever.

Finally, Tim Burton has a spine-tingling, heartwarming new film for Halloween--Frankenweenie.  Hear a brief clip on this show.

Direct download: PICK_prog9remixfinal.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00 AM

The American Kennel Club’s Pick of the Litter is a monthly podcast that covers canine pop culture, its people, and news you can use. Join us to hear from dog owners, handlers, trainers, lovers—and their dogs—at home and in the field, at shows, and anywhere that four legs are as good as two. From canine heroes to celebrated artists, listen in on the wide world of dogs. When the tragedy of September 11, 2001 is commemorated each year, we pay tribute to both victims and heroes. Among these are the gallant search-and-rescue teams of handlers and dogs that worked so tirelessly at Ground Zero. As a result of their efforts, the public has become much more aware of this vital service, performed by scores of professional and volunteer teams all over the country. This edition of PICK OF THE LITTER focuses on search-and-rescue (SAR), beginning with an interview with the human half of the first team to receive the AKC’s new title in the field of urban search-and-rescue, Beckie Stanevich. She and her English Springer Spaniel Juno (pictured here) assist FEMA teams at disaster sites. Juno’s outstanding work made Springers the obvious choice for our breed profile for this program, and we hear more about these beautiful and versatile dogs from breeder Terry Patton. Dr. Cindy Otto was one of the handlers working at the World Trade Center site after 9/11, and the experience made her realize that the SAR dog is a breed apart, no matter what breed it is. She went on to found The Penn Vet Working Dog Center, at the University of Pennsylvania, and she tells host Lisa Peterson about her research and the Center’s new training facility. Finally, you’ll get to hear a search-and-rescue dog in action. The Pick of the Litter team spent an afternoon with members of Ramapo Search and Rescue Association, in Mahwah, New Jersey, where we participated in a training exercise and staffer Stephanie Smith got to play “victim” in a simulated rescue. Ramapo Vice President James Pearson describes his partner, German Shepherd Dog Gamma, as “a noble beast,” and that is how we feel about all the remarkable dogs—and their handlers—who make up these special teams.

Direct download: PICK_Ep8final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:30 PM

The American Kennel Club’s Pick of the Litter is a monthly podcast that covers canine pop culture, its people, and news you can use. Join us to hear from dog owners, handlers, trainers, lovers—and their dogs—at home and in the field, at shows, and anywhere that four legs are as good as two. From canine heroes to celebrated artists, listen in on the wide world of dogs. On this edition, breeder Nodie Williams talks with host Lisa Peterson about the Russell Terrier, which joined the AKC registry this past June. The compact Russell is one of the terriers derived from dogs bred by Parson John Russell in the 19th century, but is smaller, and, Williams says, more “companionable” than its long-legged former relatives. She praises the communication skills of this portable all-rounder. Terriers are one of the breeds being used in the growing field of scent detection, and Jose Peruyero of the J and K Canine Academy in Florida, who trains dogs to alert to everything from bombs to bedbugs, explains why, when it comes to odors, dogs are “the man.” It’s easier than ever to take pictures of our canine companions, but pet photographer Jim Dratfield brings a unique fine-art sensibility to his commissioned portraits. He tells Pick of the Litter’s Sarah Montague how an owner’s house can provide clues to the image he creates, and why the photo of a woman with her Lab, shown here, sums up the canine/human bond. To learn more about Jim’s work, go to petography.com

Direct download: PICK_Ep7_final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00 PM

The American Kennel Club’s Pick of the Litter is a monthly podcast that covers canine pop culture, its people, and news you can use. Join us to hear from dog owners, handlers, trainers, lovers—and their dogs—at home and in the field, at shows, and anywhere that four legs are as good as two. From canine heroes to celebrated artists, listen in on the wide world of dogs.

On this special edition of Pick of the Litter, we celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II, by recognizing her favorite breed, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi. Host Lisa Peterson talks with Bill Shelton, a breeder of champion Pembroke Welsh Corgis (pictured here, with a friend) about this strong-willed herding breed. The Queen received her first Corgi, a bitch called Susan, as a gift from her father King George VI for her eighteenth birthday. Since then she has bred and owned more than thirty Corgis, and Shelton says the development of the breed can be charted through her lines.

Why do Corgis appeal to the world’s most powerful woman? “I think she found in them what we all do,” Shelton says, “and that’s that they’re a bold and kindly intelligent little dog.”

Direct download: PICK_Ep6_newfinal.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00 PM