Interview with an Owner Handler, Patty Hosmer
Where do I live? How many years have I been an Owner Handler?
Patty Hosmer: I have been living in Tucson, Arizona, since I was 10 years old. Growing up, my family always had horses, dogs, kitties, and numerous other animals and pets—and I loved them all. I spent a number of years showing and training my own quarter horses, and that spawned my career as an equine photographer. I opened my business, HoofPrints Photography, officially in 1984. This gradually evolved into a variety of photographic interests including pets, sports, family, high school senior portraits, and western lifestyle photography.
How did I get my start in my breed? In the sport?
Patty Hosmer: While I have always had dogs in my life, my first Corgi, “Robin,” joined our family as a puppy in 2001. She was a super great buddy for my kids as well as the ultimate family pet. My husband, John, and I have five sons, and we had hoped to get another pet Corgi to join the family a few years later. But it was not until 2009 that we got our next Corgi, and he was in the form of a pick-of-the-litter male show puppy.
“Teddy” (GCH CH Desprado Ted Williams RM MX MXJ OF T2B OAP NJP TKN) was my first Conformation show Corgi who taught me a lot about showing and grooming dogs. He was also my first Rally dog, earning a Master title in the event. In addition, Teddy also ran Master level Agility, and you guessed it, he was my first Agility dog. We learned and competed in all of this stuff together and he was the perfect apprentice teacher.
Next, I showed Teddy’s daughter, “Mickey” (GCH CH Desprado Mickey Maguire RI FDC AX AXJ OF), to her Grand Championship as well as to her Rally and Agility titles. Mickey’s daughter, “Bella” (GCHB Triple Play Diamond Dream), was my first homebred champion, earning a Bronze GCH before retiring to learn Agility.
Meanwhile, I bought a lovely 12-week-old puppy in 2017 from my close friend, Carol Swinney of Larklain Kennels. I show and train all of my dogs myself, and this pup is no exception, although we do take weekly Agility lessons.
“Tori” (GCHB Larklain Mickeys True Love RA FDC MX MXJ XF T2B) not only earned her Bronze Grand Championship but also Rally titles and numerous Agility titles. She has been running Master level Agility since she was 2-1/2 years old.
Tori’s sire was GCHB Triad Panoramic, owned by Patty Gailey of Triad Corgis, and Patty was kind enough to let me breed Tori in 2020 to her lovely young boy, “Henry” (CH Triad Sentimental Reasons), resulting in Tori’s first litter. Of the three puppies in the litter, one of the girls, lightly shown, needs just one major to finish her Championship, while the other girl is a Bronze Grand Champion and is already competing at the Open level in Agility.
My current show dog is “Cody,” the solo boy from this litter. GCHS Triple Play Big League Dream FDC CGC TKI is my dream come true show dog.
Have I always loved to show dogs? Have I always been a dog person?
Patty Hosmer: Growing up, I was surrounded by horses and always enjoyed showing quarter horses. I took great pride competing in the Open and Amateur divisions of the AQHA, winning state titles as well as placings at the AQHA World Championship while riding and training my own horses.
I have always believed that it is important to present myself and my animals as professionally as possible in order to be able to compete successfully against the pros. I was very competitive with that attitude showing horses, and when I moved to showing dogs I still retained the same philosophy. Striving to groom my dog as well or better than the pros is one of my goals, and I study and watch others I admire, trying to pick up small details to help me present my dogs to the best of my ability.
I also try to dress well, in outfits that complement my dogs, and to present myself as professionally as possible in the ring as well as outside the ring. I am truly not interested in listening to complaints about politics or favoritism. I believe, and usually find, that the judges generally do their best to find the right dogs. I’m fairly intolerant of complaints about judges “looking up the lead.” If the pros beat me, then I need to “up my game.” It’s the only way to get better and to achieve success.
Is there a story behind my decision to show my own dog?
Patty Hosmer: For me, showing my own dogs is the thrill of dog showing. I know that it doesn’t work for everyone, but I wouldn’t enjoy it any other way. I love to take my own dogs in the ring and, win or lose, I am proud to present them. I also love figuring out ways to train them or to iron out little quirks that need to be solved in the ring. It is always such a continuing process.
Cody, for example, loves to turn his head and look at the judges when he is on the table and the judge is trying to see his profile. His look has graduated over time from “who are you and what do you want?” to “hi, I’m watching you, and I really want to check out your chin, your name tag, and your collar while you are checking me out.” It is a continuing educational opportunity to minimize my boy’s nosy attitude. But it’s also a fun challenge for me to try to change his behavior without being too obvious to the judge or aggravate my dog. It has actually become somewhat of a game for me.
What makes showing my own dog so special to me?
Patty Hosmer: I truly love showing my dogs, and right now, Cody is my top priority. He has been hugely successful recently and seems to be getting better and better in the ring. At the same time, he is such a character… he knows a number of tricks, and his favorite is to “sit pretty.” Unfortunately, he has figured out that if I am distracted and talking to another exhibitor in a large Group ring, or generally just not paying attention to him, he can recall my attention by sitting up, probably because I usually give him a cookie to get him back to all four feet again.
I really have to pay close attention or else my dog will be sitting up when the judge’s eyes rove in our direction! At the same time, Cody is one of the most loving, affectionate dogs I have ever owned. He snuggles when I’m on the couch, and when I’m in bed, he loves to “spoon” and fall asleep in my arms.
In my opinion, is there a secret to having a great dog/handler partnership?
Patty Hosmer: I have been traveling to shows in an RV since COVID started, and Cody loves traveling in it. I find that it makes the shows more fun by having a safe haven that is quiet, cozy, and fun. And I usually bring one of my other four Corgis along for the trip, providing company for Cody and special one-on-one time with me.
I put 37,000 miles on my RV last year because I got more and more motivated to travel and show him. We have been to Midland, Texas, in a blinding blizzard, New Mexico where we seem to get our BIS awards, California, Utah, Colorado (more snow), Idaho, and even Montana.
This past September, we actually made the four-day trip to my first Pembroke Welsh Corgi National Specialty in Wilmington, Ohio, which was an amazing event. In fact, I ran Cody’s mom, “Tori,” in Agility at the National where she scored a Triple Q, qualifying in all three of her Master level classes—including a fourth place finish in one event and a fifth highest score in another. What a thrill that was for me.
Do I compete in the National Owner-Handled Series? If so, for how many years?
Patty Hosmer: At less than 2-1/2 years old, Cody has already been named the 2022 No. 1 NOHS Pembroke Welsh Corgi, earning 500 points more than the second-place finisher. He is exclusively breeder/owner-handled by me, and his championship was earned from the Bred-By Exhibitor classes. In addition, he has numerous Herding Group placings as well as NOHS Group placings, including three Owner-Handled Best in Show and three Owner-Handled Reserve Best in Show wins. Currently, Cody also holds Pembroke Rankings through Oct. 31, 2022 that include:
- No. 1 Owner-Handled Pembroke
- No. 1 Grand Champion Points
- No. 4 Breed Standings
- No. 8 All-Breed Standings
As of the end of November, 2022, Cody is 11 points short of his AKC Gold Grand Championship and 80 points short of his NOHS Platinum Level of Achievement, a very impressive record for a dog just reaching his prime at only 2-1/2 years old. Needless to say, I am extremely proud of this super-sweet boy. He seems to enjoy showing more and more each time we enter the ring.
What goals did I set for myself and for my dog in 2022? What about 2023?
Patty Hosmer: Having a dog that wins a lot can make the whole game a little addictive. I’ve set some pretty high goals for Cody in 2022, including being the No.1 Owner-Handled Pembroke. In addition, he reached another of my goals by achieving his Silver Grand Championship on his two-year birthday.
I am hoping he will reach his Gold Grand Championship before the end of this year, and with 11 points to go, this is a good possibility. I am also working to reach his NOHS Platinum Level of Achievement (2,000 lifetime points). Once these goals are reached, we will focus more on Herding and Agility, which he has started, as he does show some real talent for both!
As I look forward to 2023… we will be trying for another NOHS Top Ten ranking, although not pursuing the No. 1 spot. We are also hoping for an invitation to Westminster, in addition to finding fewer but fun shows. We will definitely be upping our practice and focus toward Agility, possibly Rally, and hopefully Herding. I have even thought it might be fun to try our hand/paw at Scent Work. As young as this boy is, there are a lot of potentially fun things we can do together, and each one is a building block for our close connection.
Am I going to Orlando? If so, what’s it like to have a top NOHS dog this year?
Patty Hosmer: Cody is entered in Orlando, and we hope to be there… though it’s possible, due to family conflicts, that we will not be able to make the trip. (We will be driving 3-4 days each way.)
If not, we will still be thrilled to have been the No. 1 Owner-Handled Pembroke Welsh Corgi in the nation for 2022.
Just for laughs, do I have a funny story that I can share about my experiences as an Owner Handler?
Patty Hosmer: I am truly lucky to have a husband who is willing to stay home and take care of the dogs that don’t get to go down the road with me when I leave for shows. In addition, the Pembroke community in Arizona is a tight-knit group of friendly, welcoming people. We support each other and enjoy our company, and we look forward to welcoming “newbies” when we find them at shows. It makes for a great, positive environment while showing our dogs. I have met numerous, wonderful people in my travels over the last few years and I find that there are a lot of special people in the dog show industry who care a great deal about the dogs and each other. It definitely puts the frosting on a hobby that I truly embrace and love.