‘SUPER DOG’: Union County Doberman lovers own best of breed

Union County Doberman lovers own best of breed

PHOTO PROVIDED Stormy, a red Doberman, has had his ears taped to train them to stand up. The certified champion is owned by Roxann and Wayne Miller, of West Milton.

WEST MILTON — It may only have been October, but Christmas came early this year for Roxann and Wayne Miller when their Doberman pinscher puppy, Muellers Red Tornado “Stormy,” was chosen as the top dog at the Doberman Pinscher Club of America’s National Specialty Show in Ohio.

Doberman pinschers are a medium-sized, muscular dog that possesses great endurance and speed. They are short-haired and their coats can be black, red, blue or fawn. Stormy has a red coat.

According to the American Doberman Pinscher Educational Foundation Inc., this show, called the Futurity, evaluates breeders from the United States, Canada and Mexico by inspecting a breeder’s most recent pups and choosing the best one. The breeder of that pup is recognized for outstanding efforts in breeding.

“It’s a big deal,” said Roxann Miller.

Stormy was 10 months old when he beat out 108 other puppies for the title.

The Futurity only happens at the national level, explained Miller.

“Every purebred breed has a national show once a year and people come in from all over the country and out of the country,” she said.

The Millers have been breeding and showing dogs for about 16 years, but they haven’t always shown Dobermans.

“When we started out, we had boxers,” Miller said. “But we have always loved Dobermans and our owning and breeding them was born out of our association with breeders John and Shirley Eck.”

The Ecks, of Muncy, breed Dobermans and gave the Millers their first show bitch.

“We ‘finished’ her, bred her and kept a bitch from that litter and it just sort of took off from there,” she explained.

“Finishing” a dog is a term that refers to a dog that has completed its title requirements.

There is some irony in Stormy having taken the No. 1 spot in the Futurity, because Miller had no plans to show him at the national competition in the first place.

“He was growing up and another breeder we knew and respected told us he was beautiful and he had a future,” she said. “A friend of mine offered to work with him and show him. In one weekend, he came home with four-point major.”

Dogs earn American Kennel Club, or AKC, championships by winning points at show. It takes 15 points, including two majors, which are wins of three, four or five points, awarded by at least three judges, to become an AKC Champion of Record.

Miller said she had planned on just going to Nationals and enjoying herself, not having any of her dogs actually compete. She certainly didn’t expect to win.

“At Nationals, you just want to place in your class,” she said “But Stormy — he went on to win class after class and then, as the best overall, grand prize maturity. As a breeder, that’s about as big of a win as you can get.”

It was the Millers’ biggest career win ever.

Because Miller doesn’t show her dogs herself, she was grateful to have had a friend offer to show Stormy because it saved her the expense of hiring a professional handler. He may only be a year old now, but he quickly is rising through the ranks in the show world.

“He is in North Carolina now being finished and when he comes back (he) will be a champion,” Miller said in December.

By the first of the year, though, Stormy was named a champion, Miller said.

One Friday morning in December, he competed in the Orlando (Florida) Working Dog Club show and won that, then moved on to the Doberman Pinscher Club of America’s regional show in the afternoon and won that too, she said.

“I’m so proud of him,” Miller said. “He’s like super dog.”

The Millers’ love for Dobermans doesn’t revolve around breeding championship dogs — they also keep several as house pets.

“We currently have five Dobermans in our house,” Miller said. “They are pets after they are champions.”

The couple owns Stormy’s mother, sister and grandmother as well as an Australian shepherd.

The Millers are members of the Bald Eagle Kennel Club and small business owners. As members of the local kennel club, the Ecks and Millers work with other club members to provide information and services that benefit local dog owners.

For more information on the Bald Eagle Kennel Club, visit www.bekc.org.