Hound Group Part 1 | Group Judging (2018)

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Hound Group Part 1 | Group Judging (2018)

JASON HOKE: Here we have the first hound-- it's a sighthound.

CHRIS MYERS: Now let's head back over to our announcer. For 17 years here-- a familiar voice-- the Wizard of Westminster, Michael LaFave.

MICHAEL LAFAVE: The Afghan Hound has been a recognizable breed since approximately 4000 BC. As a hunting dog of the Royal Family, a swift sighthound, he pursues gazelle, snow leopards, and hare while followed by huntsman on horseback. In this country, the Afghan has enjoyed success in the show ring-- [INAUDIBLE], obedience, and agility. This is Afghan Hound, number 16.

CHRIS MYERS: Finn starts the show-- and I just wanted to throw this out, because it's not often the Barbie Doll and Zeppo Marx of the Marx Brothers tie into the Afghan Hound. But when you think of the Afghan Hound, Zeppo Marx was credited with first bringing the Afghan to America. And in the 70's, when the Barbie Doll had a pet-- the Afghan Hound-- it skyrocketed in popularity.

JASON HOKE: It's amazing how the dogs tie into our history through the years. This is a great example of the Afghan Hound-- one of our sighthounds today. And as you noticed when it went around, you see the prominent hipbones-- that's actually not a skinny dog, that's a trait of the breed-- that's very important


MICHAEL LAFAVE: A descendant of the colonial Virginia hounds, the American English Coonhound was developed to run fox by day, and raccoon by night. The American English Coonhound has the strength, grace, and attitude of the well-conditioned athlete. The breed is pleasant, alert, confident, and sociable with both humans and dogs-- possessing a kind houndy expression. This is American English Coonhound, number six.

GAIL BISHER: Here you'll see Duncan. You'll notice Duncan has very straight long legs-- this is a common characteristic with the Coonhound lines. They are bred to work for hours in all types of terrain-- very swift hunting dogs.

JASON HOKE: Yeah. The American English Coonhound is actually attributed to being the basis for all the Coonhound breeds.

GAIL BISHER: And Duncan here won Best of Breed last year.


Correction-- he won Best of Breed at the National Championship this year.

CHRIS MYERS: There's a lot of competition.

MICHAEL LAFAVE: The American Foxhound was developed to hunt fox and coyote over the rough terrain of North America. These hounds can hunt individually or in packs, differentiating them from the English Foxhounds. They enjoy the company of both dogs and other humans, and are jovial, if not clowning, in nature. This is American Foxhound, number seven.

CHRIS MYERS: Any time you hear jovial or clowning, that's not bad, right? In fact, George Washington, the father of our country, owned 36 Foxhounds.

GAIL BISHER: He did. And this is Kiarry's Naughty Natalie. She's actually done very well this year-- she's been the number two American Foxhound, she's a Best in Show winner-- and here she's being shown by Diego Garcia.


JASON HOKE: You can see that typical flagging tail going around the ring-- a breed characteristic.

MICHAEL LAFAVE: The Basenji is an ancient African hunting dog. He's only been found outside his native Africa since 1930. While known as the barkless dog, he is not mute. Fanciers find his chortles and yodels charming. The Basenji is intelligent, strong willed, with a mischievous sense of humor, and requires an owner who shares those traits. This is Basenji, number 19.

JASON HOKE: One of the great things about this breed is it came from South Africa-- and you can see that it was used for farm dog and also a guard dog. So you can see how athletic it looks. It has a distinctive curled tail over its back. And also, when it comes back to the judge, you might notice the wrinkles on his forehead, and that is very imperative to the breed.

CHRIS MYERS: Judge giving Bazinga some more-- I love the note on this that Bazinga loves to jump high on top of the washer and dryer, according to the owner. I wonder if he folds socks?

GAIL BISHER: Bazinga also won his National Specialty this year.


MICHAEL LAFAVE: The easily recognizable Basset Hound is the long low scenthound of ancient French ancestry.

CHRIS MYERS: Oh, what a crowd.

MICHAEL LAFAVE: He's persistent on the trail and been used mostly on rabbits. His majestic head, long velvety ears, wrinkled brow, and dark eyes lend him that soulful expression. His general nature makes him a great companion and family dog. This is Basset Hound, number 8.

CHRIS MYERS: Household name, Basset Hound has not yet won-- ever-- Best in Show. But a favorite of legends like Clint Eastwood, Marilyn Monroe, and even Elvis Presley, the ultimate Hound Dog.

JASON HOKE: Absolutely.

GAIL BISHER: Well, they're a very popular breed. But you know, they're heavy boned but never clumsy. This is actually a very hardworking scenthound.

JASON HOKE: And as you see it come back, you see those long pendulous ears-- they actually help gather the scent on the trail.

GAIL BISHER: This is Monkey-- By-U-Cal's Monkey-on-the-Bayou.

CHRIS MYERS: [CHUCKLING]. It's a good look.


MICHAEL LAFAVE: The Beagle is a compact scenthound, coming in two sizes-- under 13 inches, and between 13 and 15 inches. Whether baying at a fresh found scent, or on the lap of an adoring child, the Beagle's comical nature and hardiness makes an excellent family pet. This is 13 inch beagle, number 32.

GAIL BISHER: This is Chester. Chester is being shown by Christian Rangel-- he was number one 13 inch beagle last year.

CHRIS MYERS: Famous Beagles-- of course, Snoopy-- Barry Manilow, a New Yorker, owned a Beagle named Bagel-- easy to remember.

JASON HOKE: And from Westminster, we had Uno divine Miss P-- so two famous Beagles that won Best in Show here.

CHRIS MYERS: And Lyndon Johnson owned three Beagles named Him, Her, and Edgar.

GAIL BISHER: They make fabulous family pets, but they do like to bark-- they are hounds.

MICHAEL LAFAVE: Beagles originated as trackers of rabbits and hare. Bred to hunt in large packs, they still possess a keen sense of smell and serious tracking ability. Two Beagles have been Best in Show at Westminster-- in 2008, Uno, and in 2015, Miss P. This is 15 inch Beagle, number 34.

GAIL BISHER: As I was saying, this is a great family dog. And part of the reason they are so good with kids and families is because they were bred to hunt in packs. Oftentimes, temperaments go back to the original purpose of the breed, and since this was a pack dog, they needed to get along with other dogs, and work well with people.

JASON HOKE: It's one of our more amiable breeds.

CHRIS MYERS: Two different heights of the Beagle.

GAIL BISHER: This is Magnum, being handled by Bruce Schultz.

MICHAEL LAFAVE: The Black and Tan Coonhound is an old scenthound, descended from a careful combination of the Foxhound and the Bloodhound. A true American breed, these agile powerful dogs are known for their beautiful mournful bawl, and their long ears. He is known as the specialist on raccoon, but does well hunting other game. This is Black and Tan Coonhound, number six.

JASON HOKE: You know, we talk about famous people that encountered certain breeds-- Davy Crockett actually encountered this breed, and he spoke about it in his writings as well.

GAIL BISHER: They're a very versatile breed-- people don't always know that about the Black and Tan. They're great in search and rescue, of course, but they're also wonderful therapy dogs.

JASON HOKE: In case you missed it, by a Coonhound, they do hunt raccoons-- they actually tree them up a tree. And they do a lot of work at night-- so they're good at night hunting.

MICHAEL LAFAVE: The Bloodhound is an ancient breed, traced back over 1,000 years. This gentle giant of a scenthound excelled as hunting companion, and is renowned for his keen sense of smell. Today, the Bloodhound's tracking instinct is prized by law enforcement in seeking missing children, hikers, and escaped criminals, and other lost people. This is Bloodhound, number 12.

GAIL BISHER: Here we have Quiet Creeks Limited Edition, Bob-- better known as Bob-- handled by Terry Schultz. Bob loves to swim several times a week-- that's probably what keeps him in great condition.

JASON HOKE: And I've actually had the pleasure of judging this dog-- I awarded him a Best in Show-- so it's nice to see some winners out there that I recognize from before. And you can see that large thick tail-- the pendulous skin, which also helps gather the scent. And these dogs were used in a lot of police work, whether tracking cold trail or fresh trail.


MICHAEL LAFAVE: The Bluetick Coonhound is an athletic, compact, speedy, and well-muscled hound, all of which helps it in trailing and treeing raccoons and other small game. His name comes from the dark blue coat pattern, covered in ticking and featuring black spots. In America, Bluetick's were referred to as English Coonhound's for many years. This is the Bluetick Coonhound, number eight.

CHRIS MYERS: As we're seeing these dogs sort through, is there much other than showing their physical stamina and behaving here that they can do to impress the judge?

JASON HOKE: Well you want to watch how they walk-- that's a very important item to look at. You know, certain dogs have to track a certain way, so their feet-fall has to land in a certain direction.

GAIL BISHER: In this breed-- for example, the Bluetick Coonhound is known for being sleek and racier of the Coonhounds-- not chunky or clumsy.


MICHAEL LAFAVE: The Borzoi was once known as the Russian Wolfhound. This sighthound is a courser of immense strength and stamina, bred by the Russian aristocracy in the 17th century to hunt wolf in large packs of over 100 or more hounds. Today, they still chase anything that moves. But their intelligence and gentle nature also make them a wonderful companion. This is Borzoi, number 22.


CHRIS MYERS: That's Lucy who is five years old, coming back to Westminster after falling just short couple of years ago-- the 2016 reserve Best in Show. Hoping to become the first Borzoi to ever win Westminster Best in Show-- so a bounce back performance, hopefully. The first Borzoi, as we see, Lucy.

GAIL BISHER: Lucy has also broken the all time top winning record of Borzoi winning history. And of course, is handled by Valerie Atkinson.

CHRIS MYERS: First born-- so it came to America, brought over from England back in 1889. We'll be keeping a close watch on Lucy.

MICHAEL LAFAVE: The Cirneco dell'Etna is an ancient breed that has thrived in Sicily for thousands of years. A hunter of small mammals and fowl, the Cirneco is a hearty compact dog. The Cirneco has a strong independent temperament, necessary for hunting-- but is friendly and affectionate, and can be a good family pet. This breed enjoys mental stimulation, and excels at a variety of events such as hunting, agility, and coursing. This is Cirneco dell'Etna, number seven.

JASON HOKE: This is a really interesting breed. This is from the volcanic area in Sicily of Mount Etna. And this is one of the few breeds that acquired its modern characteristics through natural selection, and not human intervention.

GAIL BISHER: I love the chiseled head, the ears-- they have such a unique look to them. They have a springy trot-- very light. Lean dog, nice--

CHRIS MYERS: That's Amy-Bella there.

MICHAEL LAFAVE: Developed in Germany 2 and 1/2 centuries ago to hunt badger, the long low body of the Dachshund works efficiently underground. This unique breed comes in three varieties-- long hair, smooth, and wire hair. And two sizes, standard and miniature. The long haired Dachshund glistening longer coat gives them defense against the elements, as well as elegant appearance. This is long haired Dachshund, number 37.

CHRIS MYERS: As popular as Dachshunds are-- and we'll go through the different-- they've never won Best in Show-- surprising.

JASON HOKE: No. And we have three varieties, and none of them have managed to pull it off just yet. We've had a couple of group winners.

GAIL BISHER: And I've owned a long hair Dachshund, so I'm always rooting for the Dachshunds. But here, we have Carlos Puig showing dual champion, Walmar-Solo's OMG-- Burns-- better known as Burns.

JASON HOKE: And Carlos actually won a group here with a Longhaired Dachshund under Betty-Anne Stenmark, our Best in Show judge.

GAIL BISHER: Berns is the number one Dachshund-- all coats, all systems for 2017.


MICHAEL LAFAVE: Considered the original Dachshund, the smooth epitomizes the breed's type. No matter if it is a standard smooth or a miniature, it is easy to see the prominent forechest, long low body, and fluid movement that are breed hallmarks. This smooth Dachshund, number 34.

CHRIS MYERS: Pablo Picasso owned a Dachshund by the name of Lump. So there's competition among the Dachshunds among the dogs.

JASON HOKE: Exactly. While this dog is being shown by Angela Lloyd-- Angela Lloyd actually worked for one of the most famous Dachshund handlers of all time, Bobby Fowler. And you know, what's important to remember is we have young people that start in this sport, and they apprentice for professional handlers or breeders, and that's how they learn the trade. And this is something that's very important-- Angela has paid her dues, and she's done very well. She even won Best in Show at Westminster with a Scottish Deerhound.

GAIL BISHER: And she started as a Best Junior Handler at Westminster.

MICHAEL LAFAVE: The newest of the three Dachshund varieties, the Wirehair, incorporates the rough coat of a terrier. The distinctive facial furnishings of a beard and bushy eyebrows add even more expression to the classic Dachshund head. This is Wirehaired Dachshund, number 19.

CHRIS MYERS: And that's [INAUDIBLE]. You were talking about those in the sport-- of course, Jason, you and Gail-- for decades, in and around the sport since you've been puppies-- both as breeders and judges. So your eye on this competition-- we always like to know what your thoughts are as we see the Dachshunds work their way through in the Hound Group.

GAIL BISHER: It's wonderful to see all of the wonderful dogs that make it to the group, of course. But this is really the one opportunity where you get to see-- for example, we saw the number one Borzoi, and now we're seeing the number one Wirehaired Dachshund in the country.

JASON HOKE: Well, I'm going to route-- out of the Dachshunds-- I'm going to root for the Wirehair, because I bred Wirehaired Dachshund Sorry, Gail.


CHRIS MYERS: And as you always talk about the competition-- about the standard-- the dog with the standard-- there's so many different varieties and breeds.


MICHAEL LAFAVE: The English Foxhound is an athletic, strong, and stocky hound with a keen sense of smell. They were bred for fox hunting in packs with huntsman following on horseback. Most English Foxhounds today are still used in this traditional role. Stamina, good nose, and determination continue to make him a prized companion in the field. This is English Foxhound, number six.

GAIL BISHER: As you were saying, Chris, the written standard is something that all of these dogs are being judged against. And so that's what Mr. Pepper is looking at-- he's looking to see if this English Foxhound is really depicting the written description of the standard.


JASON HOKE: If you look at this dog, one of the key features of this dog-- his legs straight as a post-- that's very important in this breed. And the flag tail-- they have to be a heavy strong built dog.

GAIL BISHER: This is champion Monocacy Bend's Time of Opportunity, handled by Adam Bernardin.