Friday, December 5, 2008

"Bear" gives bear hugs and wins prizes


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Prancing pooch prepares for prestigious prize
12/4/2008 6:00 PM
By: Bonnie Gonzalez

Bear, in his shagged glory.
"Bear" is a spunky wirehaired-pointing-griffon who sashays with stride in the show rink as the fourth ranked dog in the nation for its particular breed.

And at only 19-months-old, he has plenty of time to make it to best in show. His Owner, David Boehner, said "Bear" is going places.

"In less than a year of showing, he's now been invited to the Eukanuba National Championships in Long Beach, California, which is next week, and he got an invitation two weeks ago to Westminster," Boehner said.

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Watch video of Best in Breed from the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.

Click here for more show inforamtion.

Check out the various breeds of dogs at the American Kennel Club.

Only the top five dogs in each breed are invited. It's something his owners never would have dreamed of, considering he was supposed to be just a hunting and family dog.

"But it was suggested that we show these dogs and we were fortunate to get teamed with Pat Stouter, who handled dogs for many many years," Boehner said.

From the moment Stouter met Bear, she knew "Bear" had great show potential.

Bear getting a bear hug from owner David Boehner.

"I have a gut instinct for what is good, and this dog is so outstanding. I don't want to go into the ring with a dog that is iffy," she said.

Bear certainly proved himself to be a champion but he has honors in other areas too.

When Bear is not in the show ring he's a laid back kind of guy. He's full of personality which is also why he's a therapy dog.

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Top dog

A local Wirehaired Pointing Griffon prepares for top dog competition.

"He's going to make a lot of people smile, and a lot of patients happy," Boehner said.

Whether he's practicing for his shows or up to his puppy antics, he's still just man's best friend who happens to have some fans behind him. By the way, Bear's girlfriend, Mandy, is also considered a champion in the breed.

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Wirehaired Pointing Griffon
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- The Griffon is truly a versatile hunting breed. He is bred to use his mind as well as his nose in his work.

- Griffons have a double coat consisting of a soft undercoat and a hard wiry outer coat.

- As in most breeds, males are usually bigger than females . Typically, females stand 20-22 inches at the withers (top of the shoulder blades) and weigh between 35 and 50 pounds fully grown.

- The extremely laid-back and loving nature of Griffon mean they do very well with children.

- Wirehaired Pointing Griffons are relatively rare. Only a small number of purebred litters are born every year.

(Source: Official Web site of American Wirehaired Pointing Griffon Association)

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