Most athletes will tell you, winning the first championship is tough but defending it is tougher — let alone fending off the competition in back-to-back years.
But that’s just what Grand Champion Pleasant Hill Magnum of Samara HC, aka Magnum, did as he won his third consecutive best of breed title at The Westminster Kennel Club in the Canaan dog division on Feb. 13.
“He is absolutely a phenomenal presence in ring,” said Magnum’s co-owner Pamela Rosman. “Magnum is the closest representative to the (Canaan dog) standard.”
Rosman, along with co-owner Richard Vulliet, a professor of veterinary molecular biosciences at UC Davis, rewarded the 7-year-old canine phenom with his traditional dinner: steak on a silver platter engraved with his name.
Magnum earned the right to have Grand Champion in front of his name and is the only multiple all-breed best in show and multiple national best in specialty. He also earned his herding certificate, adding the HC to his moniker.
Handlers Bruce and Tara Schultz present Magnum in the ring where his “flashy coat” and upbeat movement attract the judges’ attention.
“He’s a very showy dog,” Rosman said. “Right now, he’s California’s most eligible bachelor. He will be used selectively for breeding.”
There is no rush for Magnum to sire the next generation of champions. He still has plenty of show left in him. In addition, Rosman and Vulliet are looking not only to foster blue-ribbon puppies but also solidify the breed.
According to the Canaan Dog Club of America website, Canaan dogs came from the biblical land of Canaan and were used for herding. Approximately 2,000 years ago, when Romans entered the land, the people were dispersed and a majority of the dogs headed to the desert. In the ’30s, the Canaan dog started to regain its place in homes.
Magnum’s owners are considering a mate for him from Israel — one close enough genetically to maintain the unique styling of the breed but variable enough to give the breed vigor.
Until a suitable pup is in place to replace him, Magnum will continue as the reigning triple threat.
— Reach Kim Orendor at firstname.lastname@example.org