Manitoba

Westminster win bodes well for Manitoba beagle breeders

Manitoba beagle breeders are expecting more calls after a Canadian-owned beagle won Best in Show at the Westminster Kennel Club dog show last night.

Breeder glad to see a winner that doesn't need a blow-dried hair-do: 'You, know, just a nice dog'

Miss P is shown in the winner's circle after taking Best in Show at the Westminster Kennel Club dog show Tuesday. (Frank Franklin II/Associated Press)

The beagle may have been considered an underdog in this year's Westminster Kennel Club dog show, but the breed has long been considered a winner for a pair of Manitoba breeders.

Canadian-owned Miss P won Best in Show honours last night at the dog show in New York. 

Now, Frieda and Branko Krpan of Branko's Beagles near St. Laurent are expecting more calls about the breed.

"I was glad to see the beagle get recognition," said Frieda Krpan, "It's an easy dog to care for. It doesn't have a very fancy coiffure, so to speak. It's a pretty plain dog, and yet it's a wonderful dog."

Miss P visits the Empire State Building in New York City. (Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show Facebook page)
Miss P eats a steak at New York Restaurant Sardi's. (Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show Facebook page)
Fashion designer Michael Kors meets Miss P at New York restaurant Sardi's. (Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show Facebook page)

Miss P was set to have a full day of TV appearances, meetings with Donald Trump and dining at a Manhattan restaurant today. 

The Krpans have been breeding and selling beagles for 45 years. Frieda Krpan said they watch the Westminster show every year and know Miss P's handler and one of the Westminster judges.

"I'm really glad to see a dog [win] that doesn't need all this hairdo-ing, blow-drying and you know, just a nice dog, a 'what you see is what you get' kind of dog. That makes me happy," said Krpan.

But she said having the spotlight on her favourite breed may not be a good thing. 

"I don't like it when dogs of any breed become quote, unquote 'fashionable,'" Krpan said, referring to Dalmations and their popularity linked to the movie 101 Dalmatians.

This is the second time a beagle has won the Westminster dog show. In 2008, a dog named Uno took top honours. Miss P is related.

Krpan said the dogs she breeds are quite a different hound compared with Miss P.  

Branko Krpan with two beagles, Casey and Charlie, after hunting. (Submitted by Frieda Krpan)

Krpan's beagles are bred primarily for hunting. Colour is more important with show dogs.

"Our dogs are athletes," said Krpan, "Our dogs are expected to run in the woods after rabbits for 12-plus hours, whereas show dogs are not."

She said she doubts Miss P would do well pursuing a rabbit.

"I doubt very much she has any hunting instinct left."

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      With files from The Associated Press

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