Meet Frank, the Boston terrier from Calgary competing at prestigious Westminster dog show

Frank the Boston terrier, 6, is looking to take home a ribbon for “best of breed” at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show on June 21.

Frank is a seasoned competitor who loves to show, says his handler

Frank the Boston terrier is heading to the Westminister Kennel Club Dog Show later in June. (Lisa Wysminity/Jumpstart Imagery)

A Calgary pup will strut his stuff on one of the world's biggest dog show stages later this month.

Frank the Boston terrier, 6, is looking to take home a ribbon for "best of breed" at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show on June 21.

It's just the latest challenge for this well-decorated dog, says his handler, Courtney Penner. She bred Frank and has competed with him several times before.

"He's very excited. He goes crazy when he gets to the dog shows," she said.

"He loves to show. He thinks that the world is there to see him. He's just a very big character."

The event runs from June 20 to 22 at the Lyndhurst estate in Tarrytown, N.Y. Frank will compete against 29 other Boston terriers.

Frank is pictured on the podium with his handler, Courtney Penner, right, at a previous competition. (Cathy French/Cathy French Photography)

Frank's owner, Dr. Tricia Knowler, is a veterinarian in Calgary. She describes him as a "fun, cuddly" dog who loves to play fetch.

As for whether he is nervous for competition day, probably not, she said.

"We don't have any expectations. We're just going to have fun.… He hasn't been in a show for a couple of years with COVID. So we'll see how he does," Knowler said in an interview on The Homestretch

"It's kind of a once in a lifetime experience."

Frank the show pup

Penner — who lives in Chilliwack, B.C., but spent a couple years in Calgary — has been showing dogs since she was just four years old and fell in love with the Boston terrier breed.

She met Knowler after breeding her previous dog. Penner remembered Knowler loved red brindle Boston terriers, which have a certain type of colouring.

When Frank was born, she knew she had another match.

"He was super handsome, a very well put together puppy," Penner said. 

"We got Frank out to her and ever since then they have been doing the shows with him all the time, bringing him for me to show, and he won the Canadian national and has placed quite highly very consistently over his life."

According to his owner, Dr. Tricia Knowler, Frank is a fun, cuddly dog who loves to play fetch. (Tricia Knowler)

Westminster will be Frank's biggest competition yet, Knowler said. She's been ensuring he gets lots of exercise and has taken care to keep his coat groomed.

Although Frank is quite good at tricks, this competition will look at his conformation, movements and attitude.

"It's fun to get out and do things with your dogs," Knowler said.

"It kind of gives us a reason to travel and go to different dog shows all over Canada and the United States, and keep your dog busy and into activities. It's fun."

Frank and his handler, Courtney Penner, are pictured at a competition in 2020. (Lisa Wysminity/Jumpstart Imagery)

The atmosphere of the show is also exciting to Penner, who's looking forward to seeing thousands of top dogs from across the world competing.

She's been to the Westminster show before but never with a dog she bred.

"Hopefully, he just stays and looks handsome for us, but he always has. So I'm not too worried about him." 


Taylor Simmons

Digital associate producer

Taylor Simmons is a digital associate producer for CBC Calgary. She has a masters in journalism from Western University and has worked as a multiplatform reporter in newsrooms across Canada, including in St. John's and Toronto. You can reach her at

With files from Ellis Choe


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