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Interview with Owner Handler David Wolf

Owner Handler David Wolf at a dog show

Growing up, we always had Beagles in the house. Of course, these were not purebred Beagles. They were the kind you got at the shelter or from a neighbor who happened to have puppies available. I loved the breed and their great attitudes. So, when my wife, Ann, said that she wanted a dog, I told her she could get one but it had to be a Beagle—never knowing what that would lead to! With that first beagle, “Peanut,” we started in Agility in 2000 and got our first Conformation dog in 2007. Since then, our kennel, WolfRun Beagles, has bred and finished 26 champions.

I began participating in NOHS in 2014 with BISS GCHG Blueprint’s Bricks & Ivy, a 13-inch Beagle. “Ivy” was No. 1 NOHS 13-inch Beagle in 2015, 2016 & 2017, No. 9 NOHS All-Breed in 2017, and is currently No. 69 Lifetime All-Breed and Double Platinum with 4,525 points. She was also SB at Westminster, and recently, Best Veteran in Sweeps at the 2021 Beagle National. Ivy loved being in the ring and was the ultimate show dog. My current special, GCH Wolfrun Serendipity At Last, was 2021 No. 3 13-inch Beagle and finished in the Breed Top 10 in 2022, only showing 10 months in the year. I’m looking forward to more fun with “Etta” this year.

Ann and I live in the Dallas-Fort Worth area of Texas, and we both work at 7-Eleven in the corporate office.


When were you first introduced to the sport of purebred dogs? To your breed?

David Wolf: We got our first purebred Beagle in 1997, but didn’t get our first Conformation prospect Beagle until 2007. I was initially reluctant to get involved in the show dog game, but Ann convinced me to try it and now I am hooked.


How many years in dogs? How many as an Owner Handler?

David Wolf: I started competing in Agility in 2000 and got involved in Conformation in 2009. So, 22 years overall, 13 years in Conformation. We have also occasionally used handlers throughout our show years, but for the most part we show our own dogs.

David Wolf


Do you attend show handling classes? Have you attended any handling seminars?

David Wolf: I have been attending handling classes since I made the decision to start showing dogs. I learned everything from the basics to the little details about successfully showing dogs. Now I mainly use classes with young dogs that I am trying to get ready for their first shows.


Have you found virtual learning tools to be helpful? Classes? Videos? Websites? Social Media?

David Wolf: I have watched virtual classes/videos by Will Alexander and George Alston. They were very helpful and I learned a lot, but I prefer hands-on training.


Do you compete in the National Owner-Handled Series? Are rankings important to you?

David Wolf: I compete in the NOHS every year with any dog that I show. I set yearly NOHS goals for each dog and plan my show schedule to hit those goals. I am very competitive by nature, so the rankings are very important as I strive to be at the top of my Breed and All-Breed lists. I am very proud to have the No. 1 Lifetime 13-inch Beagle in the NOHS rankings.


In which class(es) are you most likely to enter your dog(s)? Why?

David Wolf: I use the Puppy Classes for very young dogs and Bred-By Exhibitor (BBE) for the bit more mature dogs that will be competitive in that class. Also, I enter BBE Puppy when offered by the club. The BBE Class is very important for breeders to show off what they are producing in the whelping box, so I use that as often as possible.


Is it a challenge to compete with your breed(s) as an Owner Handler?

David Wolf: It is a challenge as we have more and more Beagle owners checking the OH box when they enter. But even though Beagle owners are competitive, we work together and it is a friendly competition. In the end, we all support each other and wish each other great success.


Are you intimidated by the Professional Handlers? By the Judges?

David Wolf: I have never been intimidated by handlers. Typically, I just focus on my dog and don’t worry about what the handlers are doing. I also believe I have earned respect from handlers as they have seen my abilities and accomplishments in the ring. With judges, I show them the deserved respect in the ring and accept their decisions.


Who have been your mentor(s) as an Owner Handler?

David Wolf: Early on, Barb Scherer showed me the basics of handling and helped guide me to become better. Then, Stan Matsumoto taught me so much in his handling classes and breed judging. Finally, professional handler Brooke Ayala gave me so many great tips and pushed me to be my best. I can’t thank these people enough for all they did for me.


How important is the Owner Handler to the future of the dog sport?

David Wolf: Owner handlers are vital to the future of dog sports. They are the heart and soul of the sport and are the producers of our future dogs. The sport will die without owner handler/breeders producing good dogs.


What are your goals as an Owner Handler? Is there a victory that has eluded you?

David Wolf: My goals depend on the dog(s) I am currently showing. My 2023 goal for my current Beagle is to be No. 1 13-inch Beagle in the NOHS rankings and in the Top 5 in Breed standings. I always want to get our dogs to qualify for the NOHS Finals every year. Bucket list items would be to win the breed at Westminster and the Beagle National.


Is there a funny story that you can share about your experiences as an Owner Handler?

David Wolf: At a recent show in Kansas, I was in the regular Hound Group with my 13-inch Beagle. The judge was walking the lineup of dogs and I was extremely focused on getting my dog set, as she was fighting me. I was so focused that I didn’t hear the judge tell us to get up and go around the ring one at a time. Everyone, especially the judge, was watching me and waiting for me to get up so that they could go around. When I finally looked up and realized they were looking at me, I got up and started heading to the judge thinking he had picked me for a Group placement because he was staring at me. Boy, was I wrong! Everyone got a good laugh and we finished the Group judging.



Are you looking for a Beagle puppy?

The best way to ensure a long and happy relationship with a purebred dog is to purchase one from a responsible breeder. Not sure where to begin finding a breeder?

Contact the National Parent Club’s Breeder Referral person, which you can find on the AKC Breeder Referral Contacts page.


Want to help rescue and re-home a Beagle dog?

Did you know nearly every recognized AKC purebred has a dedicated rescue group? Find your new best friend on the AKC Rescue Network Listing.


Beagle Breed Magazine

Showsight Magazine is the only publication to offer dedicated Digital Breed Magazines for ALL recognized AKC Breeds.

Read and learn more about the Beagle dog breed with articles and information in our Beagle Breed Magazine.


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