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The AKC Lifetime Achievement Awards were created to recognize those individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the sport of purebred dogs on a national level. The recipients were selected by votes cast by AKC Member Clubs for nominees in each of the following categories: Conformation, Companion Events and Performance Events. The American Kennel Club honors the winners of the AKC Lifetime Achievement Awards with an engraved silver revere bowl. A larger Tiffany & Co. bowl, engraved with the names of all recipients past and present, will remain on permanent display at the AKC Headquarters in New York City.

Conformation: Michael Canalizo

Michael Canalizo has spent many years in the Dog Show World as a Breeder/Owner, Professional Handler, turned Judge. His first exposure to his primary breed: the Afghan Hound came in 1961 as a member of “the typical Hobby Breeder family” with their purchase of “Babu Bamn of Grandeur”. He showed his family’s home-bred dogs through five generations of their own small breeding program. His relationship with the Afghans of Grandeur spans over 60 years. He has owned, shown, and lived with many other breeds, among them: Salukis, Dachshunds, German Shepherd Dogs, Whippets, Border Collies, Parson and Russell Terriers.

He was the Breeder/Owner/Handler of the Top Winning Hound of All Time (Ch. Triumph of Grandeur) with 87 BIS wins until a daughter of his dog (Int. Ch. Tryst of Grandeur) broke that record with 161 BIS. He has won 2 Top Owner Handler Awards and 6 Quaker Oats Awards. Collectively he piloted over 100 Afghan Hounds to their Championships recording 300 All-Breed Best in Shows and nearly 1,000 Hound Group awards in the breed, including Top Dog of the year in 1995.

He is currently approved to judge BIS, All Sporting, Hound, Toy, Non-Sporting and Herding breeds plus breeds in the Working group. He has officiated at events in 38 countries to date.

Michael is a member of the Afghan Hound Club of America, Westbury Kennel Association and the Morris and Essex Kennel Club.

Michael Canalizo’ s credentials include developing and presenting dog-related educational seminars worldwide, 30 years as an OHA Handling Instructor, feature writing, and working as a contributing editor for numerous national and international publications. He was an AKC Executive Field Representative and held the position as Director of AKC Event Management from 2005 to 2016.

While he has demonstrated decades of success in the Conformation world, his focus has always been his unwavering support of the breeders and owners of the AKC purebred dog.

Companion Events: Curt Curtis

Mr. Curtis began training dogs at the age of 8 in 1960 and has been training and working with dogs ever since. At the age of 16 he began to instruct and train professionally, working full time at a kennel in the Portland, Oregon area while attending school.

In 1972, Mr. Curtis founded his own dog training and consultation business, where he met his wife, Karla.

Curt has conducted dog training and tracking classes in the Pacific Northwest, with new training ventures developing in his new home area of Pahrump, Nevada. During this same period of time, Mr. Curtis acted as a consultant and trainer to several Police Canine Programs, in Obedience, Tracking, Scent Work and Handling.

Mr. Curtis is approved to judge all AKC Obedience, Rally and Tracking Classes, as well as being an evaluator for CGC, Trick Dog and Temperament Testing.

In 2005 Curt was hired by the American Kennel Club to oversee and run the Companion Events Department, governing the sports of Obedience, Rally, Tracking and Agility until his retirement in 2012. During his time with the American Kennel Club, his team developed the Beginner Novice Class along with creating many new Companion Event titling classes. Another highlight during his tenure with the American Kennel Club was the celebration of the 75th anniversary of Obedience.

After leaving his position with the American Kennel Club, Mr. Curtis has served as the President for the Tualatin Kennel Club and Portland Dog Obedience Club.

Although Mr. Curtis started training with a Black Labrador, the past 61 years have allowed him to work with and title numerous dogs from many groups in Obedience, Rally, Tracking and Conformation. Curt and his wife Karla are currently having fun working and showing their Pembroke Welsh Corgi.

In closing, Mr. Curtis stated his love of dogs and our sports would not have developed, if not for the support and guidance of his mentors who helped to guide him along the way.

Performance Events: Laurie Soutar

Laurie Soutar has been involved with sighthounds since she was a teenager, bred her first litter of Greyhounds under the Lakilanni prefix in 1976, and since then has worked to breed, encourage and promote dogs who could be successful in both the field and in the ring.

She has been involved in promoting and preserving various Performance Sports for many years, and she has extensive experience in all facets of Performance Events. She hosted events at her property for 30 years, including shows, Lure Coursing, Rally and Obedience Trials, Draft Dog Tests, as well as Specialties and Breed Club Events. She has been Trial Secretary or Chair for many different sports for different clubs and has assisted and supported the creation of numerous Performance Clubs. She has mentored Judges, Field Trial Secretaries and Lure Operators. She oversaw the creation of the Canadian Amateur Racing Association and wrote the rule book. She created and wrote the rules for a Lure Coursing program for the UKC, which included the first ever coursing titles for non-sighthounds. The program was so popular that the following year AKC adopted virtually identical rules, and the CAT and Fast CAT® programs have introduced thousands of dogs and their handlers to the joys of running sports.

She has promoted Performance Sports enthusiastically and tirelessly through articles in many dog publications, teaching classes, as well as offering seminars, workshops and try-it days, and currently teaches Obedience, Rally and Scent Work, as well as running Lure Coursing practices. She is licensed to judge Lure Coursing in every venue, and various other sports through several registries. She organized the Fast CAT® test for the first Eukanuba Performance Games, has hosted the National Lure Coursing Championship, and when AKC Scent Work was introduced, she organized and was Secretary for full trials on the first official date.

She believes that Conformation and Performance go hand in hand and has bred more than 30 Dual Champions since the inception of AKC’s Lure Coursing program in 1991, and more than 50 that included ASFA (American Sighthound Field Association) Field Champions that were also AKC Bench Champions. She was awarded the AKC Performance Breeder of the Year in 2015. In addition, she has titled Greyhounds in nearly every sport, and has had numerous dogs achieve #1 status in Lure Coursing, including two dogs that were #1 in AKC, ASFA and CKC Lure Coursing in the same year.