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Articles by Dr. Sue

Dr. Sue is a world renowned massage guru and published author with numerous scientific and trade articles and books to her credit including articles in The Alpenhorn, The Whole Dog Journal, Clean Run, Equine Athlete, Horse Illustrated, and The Illinois Horse Network. Currently, her column, Your Happy Pet, is published weekly in The Victoria Advocate. Dr. Sue has published several books on the subject of canine health and massage and has authored and edited other books concerning women’s health and scientific techniques.

Don't miss these articles by Dr. Sue:

 • You're Never Too Old, Victoria in Motion, Fall 2015
 • Remembering Man's Best Friend on the Feast of Saint Francis, Trinity Episcopal Church Newsletter, October 2015
 • St. Francis of Assisi and The Blessing of the Animals, Trinity Episcopal Church Newsletter, November 2014

View all of Dr. Sue's Victoria Advocate "Your Happy Pet" articles


Conformation dog show looks for ideal canine features

By C. Sue Furman, Ph.D.
May 9, 2016

The American Kennel Club promotes purebred dogs at their conformation dog shows where a dog's conformation or overall appearance and structure are evaluated.

The Kennel Club of Greater Victoria, Inc. will host two AKC All Breed Conformation Dog shows on May 14 and 15 at the climate controlled Victoria Community Center from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day.

Judges are experts in the breeds they are judging. They are looking for the "perfect" dog as described by the official breed standard, which includes qualifications for structure, temperament and movement. Each standard describes the characteristics that allow the breed to perform the function for which it was bred.

There are seven groups of dogs in an all-breed show.

Sporting dogs are those like the pointers, retrievers, setters, and spaniels that were bred to hunt game birds on land and in the water.

Hounds were bred for hunting other game by sight or scent. The hound group includes beagles, basses, dachshunds, greyhounds, Irish wolfhounds, and others.

Dogs in the working group pull carts, guard property, and perform search and rescue missions. The akita, boxer, doberman pinscher and St. Bernard are included in this group.

The terrier group is the largest with breeds that were bred to rid property of vermin such as rats. The airedale, bull terrier, and Scottish terrier are members of this group.

Dogs in the toy group like the Chihuahua, Maltese, Pomeranian, and pug were bred to be prized companions of royalty.

Non-sporting dogs are a diverse group like the chow chow, bulldog, dalmatian, and poodle that share attributes but don't fit into the mold of other dog groups.

Dogs in the herding groups include the briard, collie, German shepherd dog, Old English sheepdog, and others that were bred to help shepherds and ranchers herd livestock.

Darby Wins Best of Breed! Darby Wins Best of Breed!
(click image to enlarge)

After all of the groups are judged, the show culminates in a best in show competition where the winners of the groups compete to select the one dog that is considered the ultimate winner for the day.

The judging schedule that details specific breed judging times and activities for the weekend can be found at

Parking is free. The gate fee is $4 per adult and $2 per child each day. St Joseph High School's Booster Club will provide a menu of food items for sale.

Don't miss the Victoria Dog Obedience Club's demonstration in the Dome at lunch both days.

Get ready for some cuteness when you watch the 4 to 6 month old beginner pup competition on Saturday beginning promptly at 9 a.m.

Late Saturday morning, dog lovers will be given the unique opportunity to meet and play with different breeds. Come learn the breed's country of origin, historical purpose or function, attributes as a family pet, and which breed may be right for you.

Hope to see you at the dog shows this weekend.

Sue Furman, Ph.D, has published two books and a DVD on canine massage and teaches classes in pet massage, acupressure, first aid and CPR. See her schedule and submit questions at

2016 Victoria Advocate "Your Happy Pet" Articles

Jan   4 : "Can dogs smell cancer?"
Jan 11 : "Is there a tiger in your tabby?"
Jan 18 : "Dog's body language speaks loud and clear"
Jan 25 : "Chemistry shows dogs feel human-like emotions"

Feb   7 : "How smart is your dog?"
Feb 22 : "Can your dog count?"
Feb 29 : "How to handle aggression between dogs in a household"

Mar   7 : "Can dogs predict weather?"
Mar 14 : "Sago palms are poisonous to dogs, cats"
Mar 21 : "Puppies mimic older dogs, learn correct behavior"
Mar 28 : "Jump into spring with your dog"

Apr   4 : "Have pet first aid kit ready"
Apr 18 : "The importance of purebred dogs"

May   9 : "Conformation dog show looks for ideal canine features"

2015 Victoria Advocate "Your Happy Pet" Articles

Jan   5 : "Pets eat the darndest things"
Jan 12 : "Why dogs jump to greet you"
Jan 19 : "Special Blend Dogs"
Jan 26 : "Housebreaking your new puppy takes time, patience"

Feb   2 : "What to do if you find a stray pet"
Feb   9 : "A Valentine's smooch from your pooch"
Feb 16 : "Dogs are born to sniff"
Feb 23 : "Brushing helps reduce the nuisance of shedding dogs"

Mar   3 : "Is your pet right-pawed or left-pawed?"
Mar   9 : "Why cats love catnip"
Mar 17 : "Service dogs lend helping paws"
Mar 23 : "Experts say an adult dog should play everyday"
Mar 30 : "Easter baskets, treats can be hazardous to pets"

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Apr   7 : "Why do cats purr?"
Apr 13 : "Does your pet snore?"
Apr 20 : "Cats purr to express their love"
Apr 27 : "How to encourage fleas to flee"

May   4 : "Canine mom licks her pups to stimulate development"
May 11 : "Dogs talk with their eyes"
May 19 : "Remember military working dogs on Memorial Day"
May 25 : "Many factors can cause dog allergies"

Jun   1 : "Why dogs wag their tails"
Jun   8 : "Shy Dogs"
Jun 15 : "Why dogs hoard"
Jun 22 : "Why do dogs lift a leg?"
Jun 29 : "Pet-friendly Fourth of July Tips"

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Jul   6 : "Don't give your dog a hot foot"
Jul 13 : "Keep pets free of tick-borne illness"
Jul 20 : "Dogs sniff out others' identities"
Jul 27 : "Pets dream while sleeping"

Aug   3 : "Skin disorders cause itching, scratching in dogs"
Aug 10 : "How dogs see the world"
Aug 17 : "Environmental enrichment for the bored, frustrated dog"
Aug 24 : "Why do dogs circle?"
Aug 31 : "How well do dogs hear?"

Sep   7 : "Touch your dog with love"
Sep 15 : "How good is a dog's sense of taste?"
Sep 21 : "Can your pet be moonstruck?"
Sep 28 : "People sweat, dogs pant"

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Oct   5 : "Use treats when leash training, teaching dog"
Oct 12 : "Fun walks with your dog"
Oct 21 : "Whacky animal laws fill books"
Oct 26 : "Keep your pets safe on Halloween"

Nov   2 : "Chickens can make backyard pets"
Nov   7 : "Cuddle your pet and improve your health"
Nov 16 : "Dangers lurk in dirty pet bowls"
Nov 23 : "Have a pet-safe Thanksgiving dinner"

Dec   7 : "Keep pets safe around holiday plants"
Dec 14 : "Holiday safety tips for pets"
Dec 21 : "Holiday dinners for people and pets"
Dec 28 : "Make New Year's resolutions for your pet"


2014 Victoria Advocate "Your Happy Pet" Articles

Jan   6 : "7 cold weather tips for cats and dogs"
Jan 13 : "Tie a yellow ribbon on your dog"
Jan 27 : "Do you talk to your dog?"

Feb  3 : "Belated New Year's resolutions for your dog"
Feb 10 : "Why are there dogs at the Texas Zoo?"
Feb 17 : "If your pet is lost"
Feb 24 : "The healing power of pets"

Mar   3 : "Allergy sufferers can own pets"
Mar 10 : "How your dog knows what you're feeling"
Mar 17 : "Stretch your dog for flexibility"
Mar 24 : "Canine Massage and Acupressure a Perfect Pair"
Mar 31 : "Raindrops: A gentle percussion massage stroke"

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Apr   7 : "Texas plants poisonous to your pet"
Apr 14 : "Five foods your pets should never eat"
Apr 21 : "Keep your pet cool in hot weather"
Apr 28 : "Overweight, obese pets can lead to health problems"

May   5 : "2 common canine skin allergies can make pets miserable"
May 12 : "Your scent may be perfume to your dog"
May 19 : "Feeding table scraps to pets OK if limited"

Jun   2 : "Health benefits of owning a pet"
Jun 16 : "Develop a pet disaster plan"
Jun 23 : "Dogs That Fear Noises"
Jun 30 : "Pets are part of the family"

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Jul   7 : "Help your dog overcome separation anxiety"
Jul 14 : "Doorbells and Barking Dogs"
Jul 21 : "Pets teach children responsibility"
Jul 28 : "Trimming your pet's extra pounds"

Aug   4 : "Pets get back-to-school blues, too"
Aug 11 : "It takes more than water to bathe a dog"
Aug 18 : "Best dog breeds for people with allergies"
Aug 26 : "Find the dog that is right for you"

Sep   1 : "Train your pets early"
Sep   9 : "Comfort for arthritic dogs"
Sep 15 : "How to clean your dog's ears"
Sep 22 : "Puppy proof your home"
Sep 29 : "Can your dog read your mind?"

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Oct   6 : "Does Your Dog Understand What You Say?"
Oct 14 : "Does Your Dog Get Jealous?"
Oct 20 : "Is your pet your bed buddy?"
Oct 27 : "Halloween safety tips for pets"

Nov   3 : "Dogs and cats are safe from Ebola"
Nov 10 : "Is a senior dog for you?"
Nov 17 : "Is Your Pet Confused?"
Nov 24 : "Pumpkins can benefit pets"

Dec   2 : "Should pets be Christmas presents?"
Dec   8 : "Keeping pets warm in cold weather"
Dec 15 : "Holiday hazards for pets"
Dec 22 : "Give gifts to shelter pets"
Dec 29 : "2015 New Year's Resolutions for Pets"

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2013 Victoria Advocate "Your Happy Pet" Articles

Dec 16 : "Pet Safety: Pet Safety Tips for the Holidays"
Dec 23 : "Tips for traveling with pets by car"
Dec 30 : "Does your dog need some exercise?"