Pippin the Biewer Terrier sits in the lap of her owner Kathy West on Monday, May 20, 2024, at West’s home in Marysville, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Pippin the Biewer Terrier sits in the lap of her owner Kathy West on Monday, May 20, 2024, at West’s home in Marysville, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Marysville’s ‘top dog,’ on 48-kibble-a-day diet, shines at Westminster

Fame hasn’t turned this Biewer Terrier’s head or nose: in her spare time she’s a lap dog, hiking buff and bunny chaser.

MARYSVILLE — Palm Springs, New York City, Spokane — spring has been hectic for this champion show dog.

Shampoos, blow dries, comb outs — it’s a grueling, sometimes, drooling schedule.

But Lynn’s Pippin Hot Cuppa Tea at Rivendell, a 6-pound Biewer Terrier (pronounced beaver) is taking it all in stride, jet-setting around the country in a carrier that fits neatly under an airplane seat.

(Her name is bigger than her, so just call her Pippin.)

The Marysville dog has returned home from showing at this year’s Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, held earlier this month in New York City. At Westminster, she received an Award of Merit, recognizing her as one of the top dogs in her breed. Pippin, who also showed last year, was among 2,500 dogs competing at the annual event.

Kathy West places Pippin on a grooming table to put a bow in her hair on Monday, May 20, 2024, at West’s home in Marysville, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Kathy West places Pippin on a grooming table to put a bow in her hair on Monday, May 20, 2024, at West’s home in Marysville, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Kathy West, her owner and handler, couldn’t be more proud of the 3-year-old. In 2023, Pippin ranked No. 4 among Biewer Terriers nationally.

“She’s my baby,” said West, a Marysville real estate agent.

Well, one of two. Pippin shares the home with Bella, a 14-year-old Norwich terrier.

“I don’t want a ton of dogs,” West said. “I have just two.”

Pippin also took top honors in Orlando at last year’s American Kennel Club National Championships winning Best of Breed and Best of Opposite Sex. (A male or female dog can win Best of Breed, the Best of Opposite Sex recognizes the opposite gender.)

Biewers are known for their perky personalities and silky white, black and tan hair. You’d pay hundreds at a salon for those natural highlights.

For a dog whose hair tickles the ground, haircuts are less frequent than you might think. Pippin’s hair gets tidied up before every show — just a little off the bottom, please, “since you’re trying to make her hair reach the ground,” West said.

And because it’s hair and not fur, a dab of mousse is a sure cure for flyaways, West said.

Her diet includes a special, insect protein-based dog food.

“I wanted to try something different to see if it agreed with her,” West said. And to keep her at a svelte 6 pounds, she gets 48 large kibbles each day, 24 for breakfast, 24 for dinner.

“I count them out every day,” West said.

Pippin hasn’t let fame turn her head or nose.

A few of Pippin the Biewer Terrier and owner Kathy West’s ribbons are laid out on a table on Monday, May 20, 2024, in Marysville, Washington. Pippin has won a number of awards, including best of opposite sex for her breed at Westminster. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

A few of Pippin the Biewer Terrier and owner Kathy West’s ribbons are laid out on a table on Monday, May 20, 2024, in Marysville, Washington. Pippin has won a number of awards, including best of opposite sex for her breed at Westminster. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

When the spotlight dims, she’s an avid walker, trail guide and bunny chaser.

“Terriers have such a cool personality. They know who they are by golly, a big dog in a little body,” West said. You’ll get no argument from this reporter who bunks with a Rat Terrier rescue. (Hi Viggo!)

A relatively new breed, Biewer Terriers originated in Germany in 1984, “when two tricolor puppies were born in the kennel of experienced Yorkshire Terrier breeders, Werner and Gertrude Biewer,” according to the American Kennel Club.

In 2021, the AKC recognized the Biewer as its own breed. That same year, they made their first appearance at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.

They’ve been crowd pleasers ever since.

West previously showed West Highland Terriers and Norwich Terriers. But a couple years ago, she began searching all “over the country” for a Biewer.

As it turned out, West found the dog of her dreams in her own backyard. A Colorado breeder recommended Lynn McKee, a Lake Stevens breeder and groomer who began raising Biewers eight years ago.

“I fell in love with Pippin at 3 weeks,” West said. “It was her coloring and size.”

What’s the difference between a Yorkshire Terrier and a Biewer Terrier?

“Yorkies are known for being a bit spun up,” West said. “Biewers are more laid back.”

And why show dogs? The costs of care, grooming and travel can add up. Win big at Westminster and you’ll take home the roar of the crowd and a trophy, but no cash.

“I’m just competitive,” West said. “And it’s fun to know you have a top dog.”

Plus, you can’t beat the camaraderie among dog owners and handlers.

“We cheer for each other,” she said

Pippin, who had her first litter last year — two male pups — also has reason to be proud.

One of her sons, Rivendell’s I Feel the Need for Speed (but call him Maverick — he’s a member of the Top Gun litter) was named Best of Opposite Sex at AKC’s Redwood Empires Kennel Club Dog Show this year in Vallejo, California. (In a nod to “The Hobbit,” West named her kennel Rivendell. As for the “Top Gun” reference, breeders typically name their litters to reflect their “impressive pedigrees and history,” according to the AKC.)

Outside the ring, you might spot Pippin on a weekend sweeping the Pilchuck Tree Farm Trail in Arlington.

“We take her hiking in the North Cascades,” West said.

But carry a comb.

West has to brush her undercarriage after every walk.

“Her long hair picks up everything,” she said. “She’s like a Swiffer.”

Janice Podsada: 425-339-3097; jpodsada@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @JanicePods.

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