Dog Articles

Dog Articles

Our extensive Pro Club article library features topics important to dog breeders
and enthusiasts alike. This includes rich information in subjects ranging from dog
nutrition to breed-specific health and hereditary concerns, as well as best practices
in breeding, kennel management, conditioning, and more.

Dog Articles


A Treeing Walker Coonhound named “Dennis” stood out for his independence and accuracy at nite hunts across the country as the winner of the esteemed 35th annual Purina Outstanding Nite Hunt Coonhound Award. It was a tight race for GR CH GR NITE CH ‘PR’ Ashby’s Salt River Dennis, who inched ahead of the second-place finisher by one cast win for a total of nine, earning 500 points. The 8-year-old tricolor male gifted owner-handler Doug Keaton of Culloden, West Virginia, with his first Purina Award, who says, “Dennis has a lot of heart.

Bold and powerful, “Clooney” charged through 30 field trials to capture the Purina Outstanding Derby Retriever Award with 62 points in the yearlong competition. Seaside’s Gorgeous George, owned by breeders Frank and Rita Jones of Vernon, Florida, and trained in part by Jason Baker of Baker Retrievers in Lincolnton, Georgia, finished his Derby career with 75 points and 10 wins. “Clooney is a fast learner and team player that’s always willing to please,” says Rita Jones, who handles the 2 ½-year-old male.

Turning heads with his gorgeous mahogany head, black-blanket back, and white “cat” feet at bench shows across the country, a Treeing Walker Coonhound called “Rock” became the first three-time winner of the Purina Outstanding Bench Show Coonhound Award in the 12-year history of the program. CCH GR WCH GR NITE CH GR CH ‘PR’ Preacher John the Rock earned 210 points from 21 bench shows during the yearlong race, finishing 50 points ahead of the runner-up. “Rock gave 110 percent at every show,” says handler Michael Seets, who co-owns the dog with his wife, Myra, of Stonefort, Illinois.

A quick learner and enthusiastic competitor, “Tubb” powered through 17 Amateur stakes to capture the Purina Outstanding Amateur Retriever Award with 36 points in the yearlong competition. Bred by Ken and Brenda Neil of Jupiter, Florida, NAFC-FC Texas Troubador is owned by John and Martha Russell of Gainesville, Texas. “Tubb has been impressive from the get-go,” says Martha Russell, who handled the 7-year-old male to four wins last year, as well as the final series of the 2015 National Amateur Retriever Championship in Ronan, Montana.

Securing his 10th Purina Handler Award in the program’s 28-year history, third-generation professional handler Mike Tracy of Glenville, Pennsylvania, is the 2015-2016 Purina Top Shooting Dog Handler. Tracy is narrowing the gap for the record number of Purina Top Shooting Dog Handler Awards won between him and his father, George Tracy, who has tallied 12. During the 2015-2016 season, Mike Tracy and his eight-dog string dominated the shooting dog circuit with 12 wins from 20 placements out of 26 Purina Point-earning field trials entered, garnering 2,676 points.

Stylishly and reliably on her A-game throughout the 2015-2016 season, a 2-year-old Pointer called “Dot” captured the fourth annual Purina Top Shooting Dog Derby Award. Rentz’s Fire and Ice, a white-and-liver female, presented pro handler Jeanette Tracy of Glenville, Pennsylvania, with her first Purina Award. Tracy, notably the first female winner in the Purina Shooting Dog Award program’s 34-year history, says, “Dot is a dependable dog.

Capping a yearlong race that was neck-and-neck until the end, a confident and competitive Pointer called “Cliff” came out on top to win the 34th annual Purina Top Shooting Dog Award. The 7-year-old white-and-liver male, officially known as World Class Cliff, clinched the award with 1,535 points, just 20 points ahead of the second-place finisher. Handled by pro Stacy Perkins of Crestline, Kansas, Cliff is co-owned by Mick Marietta and Brian Hamilton of Pittsburg, Kansas, and Bill Cignetti of Frontenac, Kansas. “Cliff has a lot of brains and bird-finding ability,” Hamilton says.

A 3-year-old white-and-liver male Pointer called “Patch” commanded the all-age circuit this past season, notably including an impressive win at the 2016 National Championship for Field Trialing Bird Dogs, to capture the 53rd annual Purina Top Field Trial Bird Dog Award. Outperforming 105 dogs, CH Whippoorwill Justified had six point-earning placements, tallying 2,082 points, during the yearlong race. Patch gifted owner Ronnie Spears of Jacksonville, Arkansas, and pro handler Larry Huffman of Michigan City, Mississippi, with their first Purina Award.

Pro Luke Eisenhart of Albany, Georgia, reigns as the 2015-2016 Purina Top All-Age Handler, his fourth Purina Handler Award in the past five seasons. Eisenhart and his eight-dog string ruled the all-age circuit during the yearlong program, placing in 14 all-age horseback stakes and garnering 2,536 points. “One man doesn’t win the Purina Award on his own.

A small dog with a big heart, “Pat” more than sized up to the competition by placing in every derby all-age horseback stake he was entered, earning 944 points and outperforming 43 dogs, to capture the fourth annual Purina Derby Top Field Trial Bird Dog Award.

Not your average “Joe,” a 3-year-old Pointer was hospitalized a few nights halfway through the 2015-2016 season due to swelling in the throat caused by a virus, but overcame all odds and bounced back to win the ninth annual Purina Amateur Top Field Trial Bird Dog Award. Owner-trainer Larry Smith of Pleasant Hill, Iowa, handled CH S F Bandwagon to placements in nine all-age horseback stakes across six states, tallying 1,106 points and outperforming 83 dogs earning points this past season.

A consistently accurate rabbit-tracking hound named “Brave,” owned and handled by Alfie Williams of Finleyville, Pennsylvania, outshined the competition to win the 43rd annual Purina Award for the Outstanding Field Trial Brace Beagle. The 2-year-old 13-inch tricolor male Beagle clinched the coveted award by winning his class at the last of six Federation field trials. Williams attributes his success with FCB Sun-Dell Lil Brave to the hound’s easygoing style and intent focus when tracking. “It truly has been an outstanding year,” Williams says.