LONGVIEW — A pug bred and raised in Longview won a title last week at the 2022 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, the first female pug in years to be recognized as the “Best of Breed” in the New York-based dog competition.
Her breeders and trainers watched from their homes as the 14-pound fawn pug won against dozens of dogs for the title.
Though slightly small for her size, the philosophy for judging a pug like the 1-year-old Rose comes down to the Latin phrase “multum in parvo,” or, “a lot in a little.”
“They should be a lot of dog in a small package,” said Joseph Cole, a Fairview, Oregon pet supply store owner and co-breeder of Rose.
Rose’s award differs from the overall winner for Best in Show, which went to a bloodhound named Trumpet on June 22.
Rose’s primary breeder Mari Anne Parks said she could not take the trip to Tarrytown, New York with Rose to the show this year, but watched from her home in Longview as her spunky pug won a title that usually goes to the male dog.
“This win was the greatest thing we’ve ever done … To watch your dog on national TV was absolutely amazing,” Parks said.
Cole described Westminster as the “Super Bowl of the dog world.”
Parks got into dog breeding about 20 years ago and now operates Chelsea Pugs out of her home. With mischievous energy and friendly dispositions, pugs offer lots of personality in a dog show, Parks said.
Both of Rose’s parents previously won their own awards.
Rose’s mother in 2018 won “Best of Opposite Sex” at Westminster, basically the second-place title after “Best of Breed.” Her father was a silver grand champion after winning several local dog shows.
The pair had a litter of four pups, which Parks and her co-breeders dubbed the “Golden Girls:” Rose, Dorothy, Blanche and Sophia.
When Rose got old enough to compete, Parks first put her into shows to see if the pup would be a good fit for the hectic showing schedule, which requires lots of travel and training.
“If they like it, great. If they don’t, I don’t make them do it,” Parks said. “It’s virtually all about the dogs.”
Alison Greene, of Vancouver, also worked with Parks to train Rose and said she worked behind-the-scenes at several of the pug’s competitions. Greene trains the show dogs in agility, rally and becoming a grand champion.
Rose herself qualified for Westminster after she became a bronze grand champion at one of her previous showings.
Points are earned based on how many dogs Rose could outrank, and to be a bronze champion means she had to get at least 100 points. Then, last week, she became a contender, and then a title holder, at Westminster.
“We were elated,” Cole said. “You’re always hopeful, but you never really expect it.”
Greene said this win does not come with any reward money, but the local breeders Greene has worked with are in it to spend time in the supportive dog-showing community and show passion for their pugs.
“It’s like popcorn — if you have one, you have to have more,” Greene said.