Montgomery 2022 – A Gathering of (Terrier) Breeders

Crowd under the white tent at the Montgomery County Kennel Club Dog Show 2022

 

Montgomery County Kennel Club Dog Show 2022

 

Breed matters. Breeders matter even more, particularly so today now that the term has been maligned by extremists and coopted by individuals who produce puppies simply to make a bit (or a lot) of money. This is why any gathering of dedicated preservation breeders symbolizes a show of strength and unity as much as it celebrates the unique qualities of individual breeds. And nowhere is this gathering more evidently on display than at Montgomery County Kennel Club, “The Greatest Terrier Show on Earth.”

Although it has been said many times, Montgomery is what all great dog shows aspire to be—a competition where the best of the best come to compete. At this Pennsylvania show, the contests that take place in the rings are as tough and tenacious as the breeds which spin, spurt, and spar their way to Best of Breed. Equally serious, however, are the breeders who produce the dogs that people travel from around the world to see in the flesh. At this show, everyone is unapologetically focused on Breed, Breeding, and The Breeder!

What makes Montgomery such a unique experience for breeders is the fact that so many National Specialties are held at this show—at one site and on a single day. What an extraordinary opportunity this show provides for serious fanciers (of any breed) to gather together with the best and brightest breeders of the day. No other event in all of dogdom gives testament to the value of the breeder in the way that this show does, and no other show can honestly lay claim to the fact that every judge in every ring is a breed authority, approved by the parent club to evaluate breeding stock. And although there are certainly “performances” on display, the focus in and around every breed ring is firmly footed on honoring breed type.

Thirty-one Breeds and Varieties were represented at the 2022 Montgomery Dog Show, with 25 parent clubs holding Regional or National Specialties. (The American Fox Terrier Club held its 304th Specialty for both Smooths and Wires this year.) Sweepstakes were held for 20 breeds, and Veteran Sweepstakes took place in 13 breeds. Four clubs officially supported their breed’s entry, and only the entries in Dandie Dinmont and Rat Terriers (5 and 16 respectively) were without official support from the parent clubs. Sadly, there was no entry in American Hairless Terriers in 2022.

Montgomery—the weekend—is really a four-day celebration of purebred dogs. The contests begin with two days of all-breed shows hosted by the Hatboro Dog Club, Inc. in Macungie, Pennsylvania, and single day of competition at Ludwigs Corner, Pennsylvania, hosted by the Devon Dog Show Association, Inc. These shows are often viewed as preparation for the big event that takes place on Sunday back in Macungie, where the battles begin early and don’t conclude until Best Brace, Best Bred-By-Exhibitor, and Best in Show are selected. Then it’s time for the exhausted breeders, handlers, and owners to party—or catch up on some much-needed rest.

We hope you enjoy the coverage of this year’s “Montgomery.”

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  • Dan Sayers covers the sport of dogs with a particular interest in purebred dog history and breed preservation. His articles feature notable icons of the past as well as individuals who work tirelessly to promote purebred dogs today. A self-taught artist, Dan’s work is represented in collections worldwide and his illustrations appear in the award-winning Encyclopedia of K-9 Terminology by Ed and Pat Gilbert. Since 1981, Dan has been an exhibitor of several Sporting and Hound breeds. He’s bred Irish Water Spaniels under the Quiet Storm prefix and judged Sweepstakes at the parent club’s National Specialty twice. Dan is a member of the Irish Water Spaniel Club of America and the Morris and Essex Kennel Club.

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