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

Vehicles and welding machines recovered from theft at Geo-Tech Industries

Suspects still not identified from early Tuesday morning break-in at Crofton business

For the love of dogs and cats

Here’s the top 15 from photos you sent in for Valentine’s Day

Forest industry supporters and convoy arrive at B.C. legislature

Rally delivers petition in favour of ‘working forests’

North Cowichan to create three new positions in 2020

Move would raise the proposed tax increase for the year from 4.03% to 4.49%

Cowichan woman deals with break-in after flooding forces her from home

Thief, who is known to her, now taunting her by text

VIDEO: 7 things you need to know about the 2020 B.C. budget

Surplus of $227 million with big spending on infrastructure and capital projects

Teen snowmobiler from Kelowna found after air force’s overnight search

The teen had been missing since just after 6 p.m. on Monday

Two law enforcement trucks ‘deliberately’ set on fire in northern B.C., RCMP say

Police say they have video evidence of a person in the area of the truck fires

Nanaimo man wins lotto, plans to buy $16,000 fridge

Curtis Wright a winner in Lotto 6/49 draw

Three protesters arrested after blocking driveway at premier’s home

Protestors claimed they would make a citizen’s arrest of the Premier, according to West Shore RCMP

Budget 2020: B.C. adds tax to sweet drinks and sodas

All soda, vending machine drinks will be subject to higher PST

Budget 2020: B.C. unveils new grant for students, phases out debt-relief program

For the first time, diploma, certificate students qualify for yearly post-secondary grant

Budget 2020: B.C. NDP taps top tax bracket for more revenue

Minimum wage set to pass $15 an hour by 2021

Budget 2020: Not much new for B.C.’s struggling forest industry

Focus on wood waste utilization, efficiency, Carole James says

Most Read