The Renaissance Man of Pups

Allan Reznik, journalist and editor of the dog magazine, breeder, exhibitor and judge of the dog show and respected dog expert, is a renaissance man
of puppies.

Allan’s family dog ​​grew up in Canada and was a beagle and then a standard poodle. Allan explains, “We had a dog. they [Allan’s parents] did not believe in several dogs. “With this limited exposure as a kid, one wonders where his passion for pooches comes from. It turned out that as a young lad, Allan was an voracious reader and religiously bought the monthly Dog World magazine. “I just inhaled the contents. It was this incredible fantasy world for me, ”he admits.

His passion grew with his knowledge of the subject and by the age of 11 or 12, Allan convinced his father to drive him to a dog show. After Allan was deposed, he was free to explore and meet many of the breeders he read about. His experience at dog shows at a young age was key to getting him started on his diverse dog-related career paths.

Photo: Courtesy of Allan Reznik

Connect two passions

At that first dog show, he was attracted to an Afghan Hound breeder. Allan describes the Afghan as “a powerful, athletic and primitive hunter who is nonetheless very exotic” and admits to being “fascinated by the breed”. This initial reaction would lead to a lifelong love for Afghans that would include owning, breeding, showing, and winning with the beautiful dogs.

An introduction to the Afghan breeder, who was to become Allan’s first mentor, came from his desire to observe her majestic animals. The breeder, an Englishwoman whom Allan describes as “the quintessential dog woman with sensible shoes,” noticed young Allan watching from afar and decided to take him to work. Allan remembers her calling him, “Young man, make yourself useful!” before he gave him a brush.

Allan was eagerly indebted, and his future mentor realized he was very useful indeed! The duo became a team at dog shows over several weekends stretching over a couple of years. Not only was it crucial to Allan’s career path, but also to his mentality, sharing his knowledge and expertise. Allan recalls, “You saw that I had promises, a love for dogs and a love for sports.” One of the lessons he learned: “It’s really important that we pay it forward.”

Allan went to college and majored in English with a minor in psychology. He found that he could combine his two loves, writing and dogs, by working with various dog publications in Canada and America. He eventually became editor-in-chief of Dog Fancy and Dog World before collaborating with the prestigious dog show publication, Dogs in Review.

Although he loved his years with these various publications as the editor of dog show-oriented magazines, he was unable to judge. The American Kennel Club has a rule prohibiting editors from judging this topic due to potential conflicts of interest. In 2016, when Dogs dropped out of Review, Allan was able to apply for a judge’s license. Today he is a respected judge of various breeds of dogs.

Allan Reznik

Allan judges a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel at the Del Valle Show. Photo: Callea Photos

The judicial life

Allan moved from urban southern California to live with his animals on a 16-acre farm in northwest Arkansas. He currently has three dogs – a 12 year old female Afghan Hound and two Tibetan spaniels, a male and a female (all retired champions) – as well as a tom who spends his days doing his job as a successful ratter. adored together with his four-legged siblings.

Allan is eager to get back to his life and judge dog shows. He was sad about the 2020 exhibitions that were canceled due to the COVID pandemic. Allan admits his heart was broken in 2020 and lists the number of professionals at the shows whose lives have been impacted – breeders, professional dog handlers, vendors, and snow groomers. During our talk he mentioned more than once how welcoming and wonderful people are in the world of dog shows.

It is obvious that he is very interested not only in the dogs but also in the people.

As with other sports, dog shows are finding ways to come back and Allan is already prepared for the changes that will take place to keep everyone safe.

There won’t be an audience cheering for the winners as they are used to, and contact will be limited and made behind masks, adequate spacing, and sanitary hands. Nonetheless, Allan is looking forward to the future: “It is a privilege to visit other parts of the country, evaluate the dogs and see which breeders they have
to produce. “

Allan’s as busy as ever. He’s a freelance writer – you can read his racial spotlight, Breed Bytes, in this magazine. He is still very active in the world of dog shows. Retirement is not in sight for Allan. When it comes to dog shows, “You’re not retiring,” explains Allan. “There are a lot of people in the 70s, 80s and even 90s who are still showing and judging, being generous with their knowledge.”

When our discussion ends, I ask Allan if he would have wanted to do something but couldn’t. After a silence, Allan replies, “No. I was very lucky. “Allan’s career centered on his passion for dogs is something any dog ​​lover would be jealous of, the life of a Renaissance man.

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