Lynn Vogel and her Hungarian Kuvasz dog have brought home yet another medal for Statesboro.
Only this one was in the biggest show of them all — the 138th Annual Westminster Kennel Club dog show in New York City.
Vogel took her beautiful Kuvasz, Cole, to Westminster earlier this month, and Cole won Best of Breed.
Cole’s official name is “Champion Aegys Unforgettable RN.” He is the fifth generation of Kuvaszok raised by Vogel in Statesboro.
She said it took approximately three years to create a champion dog.
“You have to work at it all day, every day,” she said. “They have to be conditioned, exercised, groomed, bathed and kept on strict dietary supplements to be prepared for showing.”
Vogel, the owner of South Paws Dog Resort on U.S. Highway 80 East, has been breeding Kuvaszok since 1993 with much success. She has earned the American Kennel Club Breeder of Merit award; cared for 75 litters; earned titles in conformation, obedience, agility and tracking; won 62 obedience titles; trained two therapy dogs; and raised 55 AKC champions.
Cole’s resume includes siring two litters. Forte, out of his first litter, was the No. 1 Kuvasz bitch in 2012 at Westminster.
“In 2013,” Vogel said, “Cole was the No. 1 breeder/owner-handled Kuvasz,” as ranked by the American Kennel Club.
Cole was born in May 2006. His sire’s show name is “Aegis Come Hell or High Water RN,” and his dam’s official name is “Champion Aegis Femme Fatale RN.”
When asked why she started the dog resort, Vogel said: “I guess I’m just crazy. It takes a lot out of you in time, effort, energy and money. But I love breeding and showing my dogs.”
Vogel has made quite a splash in Statesboro and on a national level with her quality training, care and showing of her special breed of dogs. She and Cole will attend their next show in three weeks, in Louisville, Ky. They are usually accompanied by her 76-year-old mother from Jacksonville, Fla., and Elise Wolpert, the owner of Rose Court Farm in Statesboro, an equestrian facility.
“I think that Louisville will be my last show for awhile,” Vogel said. “I’m tired, and these things tend to take a lot out of a person.”
According to Vogel, Kuvaszok date back to 3000 B.C. They have been used for livestock guarding, but they do not herd. The breed is very independent and somewhat docile. They can also be very stubborn. Vogel said the dogs need an owner as smart as they are, and Kuvaszok are not well suited for obedience training.
“The Kuvasz is double-coated in wavy fur but does not shed, nor does it smell like a dog,” Vogel said.
Vogel taught high school English for 18 years but retired from teaching last summer to devote more quality time to her dogs and new kennel.
South Paws Dog Resort is in the old Ken-Brick Plant facility at the railroad crossing on Highway 80 East. It is a state-of-the-art kennel and is open for boarding, training and grooming Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Vogel also holds sessions on therapy dog preparation and STAR puppy training and offers lessons on agility and competition obedience.
Cole lives at the resort and, Vogel said, communicates well with all breeds of dogs.