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Sunday, September 25, 2022
NOTL dog is a champion in Canada and U.S.


Connor is a two-year-old soft-coated wheaten terrier who, despite his age, has already earned his Canadian and American championship titles.

But for his owners and Niagara-on-the-Lake residents, Carol and Doug Williams, seeing their dog happy and living a full life is more important than winning at dog shows.

“We’re getting a kick out of showing him, but a more important thing is he’s just a lovely member of our family.”

“He’s a very nice wheaten but more important at the end of the day, he’s a very nice dog. He’s a very nice family member and a very good community member,” Carol Williams said.

Connor received his Canadian championship when he was seven months old but he didn’t participate in the American show until he turned one.

Last year, Connor took part in three shows at the Florida Gulf Coast Cluster held at a huge farm in Brooksville, Fla., and won his American championship.

For a Canadian championship title, a dog should have 10 points and two major wins, while the American dog shows require 15 points and two majors, which makes it “a little more difficult” to get a U.S. title, Williams said. When a dog beats enough animals to earn two, three, four or five points, it’s called a major.

The titles are gained by an accumulation of points and a maximum of five points can be earned at a show.

Two weeks ago, Connor once again participated in three conformation shows in Brooksville.

In a conformation show, dogs do not compete against each other but are judged on how closely their body shape and function conforms to the standard of their particular breed. This Best of Breed winner then goes into a Best in Group competition and the closest representative of its breed standard goes into a final round called Best in Show.

Connor won twice in the owner-handled best of breed class and came in second, having won select dog in the open Best of Breed competition, beating eight other male wheatens.

Many dogs participating in the shows are handled by professionals and they don’t “have a life outside of dog showing” until they retire and become somebody’s pets, Williams said.

“Connor has a full life and he’s getting shown on the side. That to me is a perspective that I think is important for him,” she said in an interview.

Williams said they are now working on acquiring a grand championship title for Connor, which would require a total of 25 points and three major wins.

“He’s very social, he’s a very friendly dog. He has lots of dog friends,” said Williams.

“When we take him away for dog shows, he really misses being in Niagara-on-the-Lake and playing in the Commons with his friends. He’s like a kid.”