BROADALBIN – In 2012, Doug Hill’s 4-year-old giant schnauzer Dora was the top dog of its breed in the country, earning more points in color, coat and height than any other.
On Feb. 12, Dora will try for more honors at the 137 Annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in New York City.
Even with all the honors and attention Dora has received, Hill, of Broadalbin, is excited to have a small-town dog in the Westminster dog show.
“This is a huge, world-class dog show. It’s one of the biggest dog shows in the world,” he said. “I’m just thrilled a dog from Broadalbin is competing in this show.”
Hill and his partner, Luke Norton, have owned and shown giant schnauzers for the last 10 years. But it wasn’t until 3 1/2 years ago that Dora started appearing in shows at just 6 months old.
“Our first one was a pet. As time went on, we liked the idea of showing,” Hill said. “Dog shows are used to evaluate breeding stock. You’re looking for the best dogs to mate. When you’re at a dog show, they’re looking at that.”
Hill and Norton have been raising Dora for the past four years. In that time, Hill said, a lot of people have helped Dora get to where she is now.
After she won several dog shows, Hill and Norton went back to their breeder, Robin Greenslade, to have a litter of puppies.
Greenslade was enamoured with Dora – telling them that it was the most beautiful dog she had ever seen – and partnered Hill and Norton with a professional handler.
Hill said he and Norton had Dora trained on several aspects of the dog show – including how to properly stand in the ring – but the trainer has gotten her to the next level, which has helped her be more successful.
With all that Dora has learned, Hill is looking forward to the breed judging part of the competition.
“Breed judging is the part I’m most interested in because you’re judged against dogs in your own breed,” he said. “I think we have the best giant schnauzer in the ring, and it’s nice to have someone else in the ring think that too.”
If she advances past the breed judging, Dora would move on to the working group, including breeds such as great danes and Siberian huskies.
The giant schnauzers will be judged at 1:30 p.m. Feb. 12.