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Dog Blog

Bernard Weil, Chief Photographer

One of the reasons I love this job is the variety of assignments we get. Three weeks ago I was high up in the mountains in Whistler shooting the Olympics. Yesterday, back home, I'm tiptoeing around pee puddles shooting the Purina International Dog Show.

I know little about dogs, other than my experience as a child with our family dog Sheriff, who routinely disappeared for days in the forest next to our house, returning only to be fed and to chase cars on the street.

So it was a real learning experience to observe and photograph the 100 or so breeds getting groomed for the various conforming, agility and obedience competitions. 

Geddy, a 14-month-old Shih Tzu, licks his nose while getting groomed for a competition. The owner, from Flamborough, named the dog after the lead singer of the rock band Rush, Geddy Lee.

Dani, an 11-month-old Standard Poodle, gets his hair firmed up with hair spray.

Brodie, a Parson Russell Terrier, enjoys a scratch under the chin by handler Barb Orr.

Mo, a 3-year-old Standard Poodle, gets scrutinized by its handler Terry Bernier. Tied up temporarily, Mo's hair will eventually get poofed up with liberal amounts of hair spray.

A Shih Tzu looks for some attention while waiting in it's cage for grooming. The diaper wraps keep the hair from getting in it's mouth.

Halo, an 11-month-old Standard Poodle, gets final touch ups by handler Jennifer Carr.

Size does not matter. Dogs line up during the Hound Group competition.

A nervous pooch complies with a judge during a conformation competition.

A handler applies last minute touch ups of hair spray to a Standard Poodle prior to entering the ring.

With legs barely visible, this Shih Tzu seemingly floats across the floor during judging in the toy category.      

A miniature Schnauzer puts up with judges in the Terrier Group competition.

Ryan Young, of Regina, keeps his 2-year-old Chihuahua Sweet Pea cozy.

Aiden Taylor, 3 gets up and close to Solan, a 3-year-old Great Pyrenee, as it waits patiently on a grooming table.

An Afghans tail curls in front of a hound during the Hound Group competition.

Larralyn McKay, of Kinmount Ont. gets noticed by Austin, a 2-year-old Boxer, while chatting with handler Jim McGriskin, of Winnipeg.

Handler Ernesto Lara of Pensylvania walks away with the first prize in the Terrier Group competition with Fin, a Kerry Blue Terrier. The night before, Fin won the Best in Show, a $6000 prize.

While interviewing it's handler, Brodie jumped into my arms for some attention. Too bad I couldn't take him home for my kids.


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Bernard, as a pet photographer myself and the author of three books I say "great shots!" My favorite is of Sweet Pea, the Chihuahua.

Great shots. Some of those dogs don't look like they are that pleased with all the attention. Certainly look good though.

The extent dog owners are willing to go....amazes me. My guess is the a reality show about these competitions is right around the corner.

As a dog lover I'll be emailing these pics to all my friends!

Oh, I absolutely love the first pic of Geddy the 14-month-old Shih Tzu licking his nose and the one of Ryan Young, keeping his Chihuahua Sweet Pea cozy. Awesome pics! Just make me laugh. Can't wait to let my friends know about these lovely shots.

A must see for dog lovers, I'd say! Great job and thanks.


Dogs compete in a hierarchical fashion at each show, where winners at lower levels are gradually combined to narrow the winners until the final round, where Best in Show is chosen, usually from among specials, dogs that have already completed their championships and are competing for group and best in show wins.

I just love these pictures, especially the Shih Tzu and the way it appears to be floating along the ground with its flowing hair. I'm also surprised how well behaved they all are and just goes to show that they have been very well socialized and trained. I tend to see a lot of dogs in my practice that haven't been socialized and as such, are just nasty to other dogs, and the owners have difficulty controlling them.

The 2yr old boxer also looking up at its handler is also very cute, particularly those big brown eyes. I've always been fascinated about how intelligent they look with their eyes looking at you. I think they understand more than they let on.

I love how Geddy's coat is groomed. Shih Tzus need elaborate grooming because of their luxurious, flowing coats.

As a Shih tzu owner, I advise owners wanting their Shih tzus to be in a competition to
1. Bath their dog at least once every week with a mild pet shampoo.
2. Shih tzus should also be brushed daily.
3. Their coat and nails should be clipped at regular intervals.
4. Ears should be cleaned with an ear cleaning solution.
5. Cleaning teeth at least twice a week will prevent infections from setting in.
6. During bathing, their anal glands should also be thouroughly cleaned to avoid foul odor and bacteria.

You need to do all the above so your Shih Tzu can join competitions. Anyway, even though your dog would not join a competition. It is still a must to clean your dog.

Wow amazing pictures! I love the miniature Schnauzer even if he doesnt look too impressed having his goatee yanked on. I got to say I have never really understood the fascination with Poodles ... they are extremely ugly dogs IMO.

Amazing photos! Fantastic Job!

dogs are so funny!

If you want something really funny to blog about, check out this doggy rap!


Great photos. I love the pic of the hot dog next to the great dane.lol

real cool pics, they look all so well-behaved. I wish my Rotweiler was like that more often.

How gorgeous, I love these pics! It does take a lot of work to groom some dogs. I'm glad that mine don't require such heavy maintenance as some of these dogs pictured!

Geddy looks so cute!! Amazing dogs!

These are awesome pictures of several different dog breeds. My favorite dog is the Miniature Schnauzer even though he doesn't look real happy. I also like the picture of the Boxer.

Showing dogs is a great sport where the thrill of competition is combined with the joy of seeing beautiful dogs.

Dogs are wonderful creatures and are parts of our families. Everytime I see a dog it brings a warm feeling to my heart. You have some wonderful pictures, including different dog breeds my wife and I have had as pets in our lifetimes like the Shih Tzu, Schnauzer, and Chihuahua.

Gorgeous pics! I think the Boxer's pretty damn cute!

And the winner is... I like the Shih Tzu, a very elegant dog breed. For elegance, I suppose there is some degree of difficulty in bringing it out but its all worth it. Look at how gorgeous they all look.

You have taken some lovely pics - most of them made me smile!

Oh cool! Those pictures are stunning indeed! I just love seeing dogs being groomed and all. Sometimes I also want to be a dog groomer. Actually I do a lot of styling with my dog Hotty. Next year we will join a competition. Great photos!

I like the real competitions, without the tricks (hairspray, manipulating the dog etc). My main view is to let dogs be dogs, but at the same time make sure they are well kept. But you can go overboard. Good article though! Thanks

I really love looking at the dogs. I love their hair and I love to comb it. I do have dogs like that, that is why I enjoyed seeing the pictures of those cute dogs.

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