Top dog -- Chant, Bougie claim Best of Breed

·3 min read

Jul. 12—CAIRO — Dr. Sara Chant, Cairo local and dog breeder, recently found success at the 146th Annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in Tarrytown, New York, alongside her show dog, Bougie, who won Best of Breed for Great Danes.

The Westminster Kennel Club Show, alongside the Masters Agility Championship and Masters Obedience Championship, annually welcomes nearly 3,000 dogs over the course of a week to be judged in front of professional judges in a live televised competition.

"Westminster is the biggest and the most prestigious competition in the U.S. for dogs," Chant said.

Bougie, otherwise known as her show name GCHS CH Nobledane The Ritz Carlton Way, was born in 2019 and was chosen from her litter at six weeks old based on her temperament and build by Dr. Chant, who has been involved in dog showings since she was a child.

Since the beginning of her participation in shows, Bougie has achieved many awards and spent 2021 specialing, a practice of achieving a rank amongst the top breeds at various competitions. Doing so, Bougie ranked No. 4 in her Breed and No. 5 in All Breed 2021 among other working dogs, such as dobermans and mastiffs.

And along the way, she qualified to take part in the 146th Annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.

"Most people in the dog show world think, if you're lucky, there's sort of one great dog that you have ever in a lifetime and that's if you're very, very lucky and Bougie has definitely been it," she said.

A professor of philosophy, Dr. Chant said that, for the show, she personally handled Bougie during the competition, instead of allowing a professional handler to do so, as she has done in the past. The reason being, according to Dr. Chant, is that Bougie comes to life when alongside her.

"My skill set is not nearly as good as a professional handler," Dr. Chant said, "but Bougie lights up when she works for me and she doesn't even look like the same dog if I hand her off to somebody. So, what she's willing to do for me is pretty much jump the moon and for everybody else she's uninterested in even giving them eye contact."

A conformation competition of purebred dogs, the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show judged Great Danes for their figure, from length to height, and their build, such as their head profile, proportions, and size and shape of ears, and much more.

While it isn't a talent show, according to Dr. Chant, she admitted that some dogs have more talent for what shows require than others.

After Bougie's success, Dr. Chant said that her dog would be retiring from the show scene and settling down to have her own litter of puppies. She said that Bougie's sister, known as the Perpetrator, will be heading down to continue her own show career and is currently specialing this year to match up to Bougie's achievement.

Dr. Chant, owner of eight Great Danes in all, says that they are all amazing and could probably do just as well in the competition circuit.

"This Westminster win was unexpected and I am incredibly grateful for it," she said.

Payton Fletcher can be reached at 229-226-2400, ext. 1826