Local pooch places at Westminster
By Ann Cantrell
Donald Coller’s pet dog Ross might be the best gift he’s every received.
Ross, an English setter, is no ordinary pet dog though. Ross is the number one English setter in the country.
Coller has been involved with dog shows since he was in his teens, and received Ross, or Chebaco Blames It On Trabeiz, as a gift from the breeder.
“It was quite a gift,” Coller said.
Since then Ross has competed in about 50 dog shows just in the past year and has received 15 wins for best in show in the English setter breed. Ross is also categorized as a sporting dog and has won five times in this specialty.
In February 2008, Ross won best in show for his breed at the Westminster Kennel Club. Coller said that besides the Westminster Kennel Club, there are two other major dog shows: the International Kennel Club competition and the American Kennel Club/Eukanuba Championship. Ross won Best of Breed for all three competitions making him the number one English setter in the country.
Coller said that Best of Breed is what all owners try to get because it is the highest recognition in the show. Ross is also 23 in the country with all breeds.
What Coller received as a gift has brought a lot of success for him in terms of dog shows.
“We’ve been told that he is the best one people have seen in 50 years,” Coller said.
There is a written standard that show dogs have to conform to and while there is no dog that conforms completely to the standards, Coller comes close enough to make him an exceptional dog.
Before receiving Ross, Coller had other show dogs, even one that won second for another breed, but none as successful as Ross.
This success has taken a good bit of effort and preparation for both Ross and his owner. In fact Coller said that Ross will only be a show dog for two years before retiring because of the strain on the dog from traveling every weekend.
In order to compete, Ross spent time in training learning how to gait at the right speed and how to stand properly. Coller and his wife have put a lot of time into taking care of the dog as well. Coller said that maintaining his coat of hair is similar to taking care of a woman’s hair.
Coller said that once Ross retires he will become a normal house pet.