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B.C. breeder earns two top honours at Westminster dog show

Woodside’s German Shepherds, Arabella and Bella Jun, earned best in breed and select female
Arabella won the award for best of breed and earned fourth in sheep herding. (Special to The Star)

An Aldergrove breeder earned several top honours at this year’s Westminster Kennel Club dog show in New York earlier this month.

Arabella and Bella Jun, two canine’s bred through Woodside German Shepherds, took best of breed and select female dog, respectively – plus a fourth place finish in the sheep herding group.

Owner Sandy Anderson has been breeding German Shepherds for about 40 years – but said she initially began with Dobermans.

“I was at a show one weekend when a German Shepherd in the ring caught my eye,” Anderson explained. “It was that first glimpse that sold me for life, and from that moment on I was on a mission to get involved with Shepherds. What started out as a hobby has turned into a lifelong passion.”

The breeder noted she was blessed to have had dogs at Westminster before, having had five dogs attend and compete at Westminster in the last 10 years.

“All of them have been fortunate enough to be awarded, some of the awards have included best of breed, best opposite, award of merit, and select placings,” she noted.

Westminster Kennel Club typically holds their show each year in the month of February and has historically taken place at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

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This year, rather than see the event cancelled, the 145th Westminster Kennel Club dog show was postponed until June and held outdoors at Lyndhurst in Tarrytown, New York.

“I am told the venue was majestic to say the least, and allowed for the show to go on while maintaining social distancing and public health guidelines,” Anderson noted. “Unfortunately, travel has been very difficult so I had to remain at home this year and settled for watching the event thanks to great friends and live streaming.”

Anderson called her involvement with the show an honor and a privilege – comparing Westminster to the Stanley Cup or Super Bowl of dog shows that certainly helps put her breeding program on the map.

“To see your dogs, bred and born right here in Aldergrove, then standing beside some of the best dogs in the country, some of the best dogs in the World, it’s humbling and truly a feeling that is difficult to describe,” she said.

Originally from Vancouver, Anderson has been breeding dogs in Aldergrove for the past two decades.

“I think there have been many benefits over the years to breeding in this area. There is a great sense of community where I live and this area is beautiful. My dogs have a wonderful home here. The west coast has wonderful weather and we are spared many of the elements.”

People can visit for more info on Anderson and the breeding program.

“Showing dogs isn’t as simple as most would think,” Anderson assured, thanking her team and trainers for their efforts and hard word. “This is a sport like any other and it takes practice, conditioning, determination and a financial and time investment.”

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