2013 Montgomery Statistics

The Montgomery County Kennel Club's 2013 dog show was designated by the NTCA as its national specialty. So it can be expected that the best breeders and best dogs were entered at Montgomery. I have analyzed the 2013 Montgomery catalog entries to see how Norwich breeders are doing on health testing. Specifically I was interested in the following three questions:

1. How many Norwich had the NTCA-recommended health tests for breeding stock - a CHIC number?

2. How many Norwich had one component of CHIC - an eye exam?

3. How many Norwich had been tested for PLL - the one DNA test that currently exists for a health problem in Norwich?

For question 1, I only considered the 40 Norwich entered in the Best Of Breed class - dogs in the other classes are likely too young for a CHIC number. The Norwich in the Best of Breed class are all champions and grand champions. Almost all Norwich in the Best Of Breed class end up being bred and contribute to the Norwich gene pool.

There were 9 Norwich in the Best Of Breed class with a CHIC number:

CHIC Over3
YesCamio's Educated Exemplar
YesYesKaleidoscope Claybrook Carter
YesYesHickory House Valentine
YesYesHighwood's Whirling Dun
YesItsy Bitsy Still In The Family
YesYesM&M's Macho Man
YesYesPinelake's Fairy Tail
YesPouch Cove's Almost An Heir

There were 10 Norwich over three years old in the Best In Breed class - an age by which there is no excuse for not having done all the tests required for a CHIC number. Six of these had a CHIC number. So the answer to my question of how many Norwich at Montgomery have a CHIC number is 60 percent. Of course, an overall population of ten is a very small sample size, so this statistic is not very reliable.

For question 2, again I only considered the 40 Norwich entered in the Best Of Breed class - but this time I considered all the dogs. Certainly by the time that a dog gets a conformation championship there is no excuse for an owner not having had their dog's eyes examined. Of these Norwich, 16 have had OFA or CERF eye exam - 40 percent.

For question 3, I considered all Norwich entered in the all the classes leading to the Best of Breed designation. The following 14 Norwich had been DNA PLL-tested (or were clear by descent):

Abbedale Brass Tacks (NT-PLL34)
Abbedale Life Of Riley At Glengariff (by descent)
Ascot I Just Can't Wait To Be King (NT-PLL100)
Camio's Educated Exemplar (by descent)
Camio's Educated Guess (NT-PLL111)
Dancy's Rough Rider (NT-PLL57)
Kaleidoscope Claybrook Carter (NT-PLL82)
Littlefield Dungeness Ariel (NT-PLL99)
Moonrock Itsy Bitsy Spyder (by descent)
Nevil's Digger Barnes Of Norieland (by descent)
Outfoxed Pumpkin (NT-PLL62)
Pinelake's Fairy Tail (NT-PLL51)
Sho-Me Mischief (NT-PLL94)
Taliesin Twice As Nice (by descent)

There were 98 Norwich entered at Montgomery trying for the designation of Best of Breed. The PLL DNA-test is an inexpensive cheek-swab test that can be done on very young puppies - so every dog should have been tested. Thus the answer to this question is that 14.3 percent of the Norwich at Montgomery had been PLL-tested.


Certainly statements like "only 40 percent have had an eye exam" and "only 14.3 percent have been tested using the only-known DNA Norwich health test" are not statements that I would be proud of if they appeared on the front page of the New York Times. Health testing is the easiest way to demonstrate that responsible breeders have a superior "product" to what the puppy mills produce.

I would have lost a significant amount of money if someone prior to Montgomery had bet me what the above statistics would be. I had not expected some of them to be as high as they are.

My local public radio station is currently doing one of its periodic fund drives - which has me thinking about challenges. I will offer the following challenges for 2014 Montgomery:

1. I will pay $100 to the AKC/CHF Norwich Donor Advised Fund if the percent of Norwich in the Best Of Breed class who have had an OFA or CERF eye exam listed on the OFA web site is 50 percent or greater.

2. I will pay $100 to the AKC/CHF Norwich Donor Advised Fund if the percent of Norwich from all the classes leading to the Best of Breed designation who are PLL-tested (or clear by descent) is 25 percent or greater.

Anyone want to join me to add funding to these challenges?

Blair Kelly
Shaksper Norwich
AKC Breeder of Merit

14 October 2013

Addendum - 20131015 It was suggested to me that perhaps the "best" breeders do not come to Montgomery. My response is the following:

I do not think lack of testing is limited to just breeders who come to the big shows. Between 500 and 600 Norwich terriers are registered each year with the AKC. Yet the number of Norwich granted a CHIC number has remained below 100 for each year since the breed joined the CHIC program in 2007.

Regarding the PLL DNA test, the US population of Norwich terriers is about 6,000. Yet only about 120 have been PLL-tested (or are PLL-clear by descent) - approximately 2 percent of the population.