NEWS

Westminster win bodes well for Manitoba beagle breeders

02/18/2015 04:31 EST | Updated 04/20/2015 05:59 EDT
The beagle may have been considered an underdog in this year's Westminster Kennel Club dog show, but the breed has long been considered a winner for a pair of Manitoba breeders.

Canadian-owned Miss P won Best in Show honours last night at the dog show in New York. 

Now, Frieda and Branko Krpan of Branko's Beagles near St. Laurent are expecting more calls about the breed.

"I was glad to see the beagle get recognition," said Frieda Krpan, "It's an easy dog to care for. It doesn't have a very fancy coiffure, so to speak. It's a pretty plain dog, and yet it's a wonderful dog."

Miss P was set to have a full day of TV appearances, meetings with Donald Trump and dining at a Manhattan restaurant today. 

The Krpans have been breeding and selling beagles for 45 years. Frieda Krpan said they watch the Westminster show every year and know Miss P's handler and one of the Westminster judges.

"I'm really glad to see a dog [win] that doesn't need all this hairdo-ing, blow-drying and you know, just a nice dog, a 'what you see is what you get' kind of dog. That makes me happy," said Krpan.

But she said having the spotlight on her favourite breed may not be a good thing. 

"I don't like it when dogs of any breed become quote, unquote 'fashionable,'" Krpan said, referring to Dalmations and their popularity linked to the movie 101 Dalmatians.

This is the second time a beagle has won the Westminster dog show. In 2008, a dog named Uno took top honours. Miss P is related.

Krpan said the dogs she breeds are quite a different hound compared with Miss P.  

Krpan's beagles are bred primarily for hunting. Colour is more important with show dogs.

"Our dogs are athletes," said Krpan, "Our dogs are expected to run in the woods after rabbits for 12-plus hours, whereas show dogs are not."

She said she doubts Miss P would do well pursuing a rabbit.

"I doubt very much she has any hunting instinct left."

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