German shepherd Bella, seen here with her handler Courtney Penner, was the runner up in her breed at the 144th annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in New York on Sunday. (Lindsey Hudspeth)

B.C. German Shepherd wins female breed prize at Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show

Bella was the only German shepherd from B.C. competing at the 144th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show

A Chilliwack dog is bringing home a runner-up ribbon from one of the most prestigious dog shows in North America.

Bella, a German shepherd, won “Best of Opposite Sex” in her breed during the 144th annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show on the weekend. She and her handler, Courtney Penner, are in New York City for the competition which runs Feb. 8 to Feb. 11.

“We couldn’t be happier or more proud,” said Jody Duin, one of Bella’s owners. “Winning Best of Opposite Sex at Westminster among such an amazing group of German shepherds is an honour and something we are so very thrilled about.”

There were 13 German shepherds in total competing in that breed category on Sunday. A male dog named Hermes V Kenlyn placed first, and Bella was right behind him. Hermes was the number one German shepherd in all of the U.S. last year, while Bella was the number one in Canada the same year.

“They essentially met head-to-head – Canada versus the U.S.,” Duin said.

READ MORE: Chilliwack dog in New York vying for top spot in 144th annual Westminster dog show

It has been a lot of work for Bella to make it to Westminster.

“Westminster is the Super Bowl of dog shows,” Duin said. “In order to be able to go to Westminster, you have to be a champion.”

The year 2019 was a “banner” year for Bella.

“She far exceeded our highest expectations.”

The young three-year-old dog had been shown countless times throughout 2018 and 2019 and during that time she won 18 best in show titles in B.C. and Alberta.

Each time she won best in show, Bella would receive points – the larger the entry of dogs in a competition, the greater the number of points a dog can earn. Bella garnered enough points and show wins to be given the title “Canadian grand champion” and “American champion,” pointing her in the direction of the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.

Approximately 2,800 dogs from around the world are competing at Westminster this year. Bella was the only German shepherd from B.C.

It’s not an agility competition, but rather conformation where dogs are judged by how closely they are to the breed standard with evaluations on movement, structure and more.

Bella is owned by Duin, her daughter Parker, and Cortnie Partner of the U.S. She was bred by Woodside German Shepherds in Langley.

In New York, Bella is joined by Cortnie Partner, Courtney Penner, and the breeder. The Duins were unable to join Bella but they were cheering them on from their home in Chilliwack.

Despite all her success, Duin said Bella is as much a typical family pet as she is a show dog.

“For a dog that has done so much winning and is such a cool dog in terms of the show world, she’s also a regular dog,” Duin said. “She’s just like any other pet dog except she’s an athlete.”

Bella has a “village” of people who train her including her owners, breeder, handlers and fill-in or assistant handlers.

Duin’s seven-year-old daughter, Parker, showed an interest and ability to help train and condition Bella at an early age. The family has an active lifestyle and they enjoy biking and swimming with Bella to ensure she stays in prime condition.

“She’s wild and fun but also knows when to turn it on,” Duin said. “It’s very evident that she really does love [competing].”

RELATED: Chilliwack teen off to Canadian dog handling championships in Newfoundland


 

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on?
Email: jenna.hauck@theprogress.com
Twitter: @PhotoJennalism

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Dogs

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Saanich Police respond to petition for new police agency on Lindsay Buziak murder case

Petition asks Public Safety Minister to to help find justice for slain realtor

Greater Victoria has Canada’s sixth-highest ‘moving penalty’

Disparity between vacant/occupied units incentivizes renovictions and reduces mobility, researcher says

Oak Bay council looks to whittle down tax increase from 8.05 per cent

Draft financial plan continues hyper-focus on replacing aging infrastructure

Teams finalized in last push before Pan Am Cross Country Championships

The competition is taking place at Bear Mountain Resort in Langford on Feb. 29

Fashion Fridays: The 8 best quality online stores! Shop the ultimate sales

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

POLL: Do you support the proposed changes for ICBC?

Tuesday’s provincial budget predicted a shift from shortfall to surplus in wake… Continue reading

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Feb. 18

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

B.C., Ottawa sign sweeping 30-year deal for northern caribou habitat

West Moberly, Saulteau co-manage new protection on two million acres

Suspect at large after stealing seaplane before crashing into another in Vancouver

Police responded to the incident at 3:30 a.m. on Friday at Vancouver Harbour

PHOTOS: 2020 BC Winter Games kick off in Fort St. John

More than 1,000 of B.C.’s best athletes will be competing over the next three days

Meet the Wet’suwet’en who want the Coastal GasLink pipeline

Supporters of the pipeline are upset only one side is being heard nationwide

Shopping cart collector at B.C. Costco awarded $583,000 after getting pinned by car

Kurtis Ryan Burdeniuk, 22, was retrieving carts when a driver backed into him in the parking lot

‘Usain Bolt he was not’: B.C. gang police seize drugs, cash after foot chase

‘The man took off running when he saw our officers approaching,’ CFSEU BC says

Most Read