Search Menu
Stephaniellen Photography © American Kennel Club

Puppies and junior dogs can get a head start in the Conformation ring too, setting them up for success for their showing career. One puppy-focused event, the 2023 AKC/Royal Canin National All-Breed Puppy & Junior Stakes, was held in on December 15 conjunction with the AKC National Championship weekend in Orlando, FL. These conformation shows specifically showcase puppies (dogs aged 6-12 months) and juniors (dogs 12-18 months), displaying breeding programs and future purebred conformation stars.

The even took place in one day, before the AKC National Championship conformation shows begun. 1,717 dogs started out in their breed rings to crown Best of Breed. The dog that is crowned Best of Breed will move on to Groups, where each winner from their breed will compete against one another to be crowned the group winner. Groups include the Herding Group, Hound Group, Non-Sporting Group, Sporting Group, Terrier Group, Toy Group, and Working Groups. Once the Group Winners are decided, those winners will move on to the final round of judging, to determine Best in Stakes. Dogs were judged by esteemed panel of judges, consisting of Mr. Clay Coady, Mr. Terry Stacy, and Mr. Dennis B. Sprung.

Best in Stakes Winner

The winner of the 2023 Best in Stakes in the 2023 AKC/Royal Canin National All-Breed Puppy & Junior Stakes was also the winner of the Working Group. Rottweiler “Granger” CH Von Hawes Forever Forward who is 12.5 months old, took home the title, handled by Erin Piercy Foreman of New Castle, CA, also his breeder and owner. “Especially as a breeder-owner-handler, this is a dream come true,” she says. “To do it with such a lovely puppy, it’s amazing.”

Remarkably, they haven’t done too much training yet to get him in show-ready shape. Friday was only the fourth time he’s ever been in the ring, but his accolades already speak for themselves. Among others, he also recently won Best Bred-By at the National Rottweiler Specialty, when he was only six months old. “We decided to bring him out to try for this, and the stars aligned,” she says.

Stephaniellen Photography © American Kennel Club

Piercy Foreman has been in the breed for 23 years, and she and Granger’s other breeders, Peter
Hawes and Kathleen Hawes all had high hopes for the puppy from the start. “We had high hopes when he turned six months and we saw what his quality was, we knew he had something special.” He also won at the Best Puppy at the National Rottweiler Specialty, and had breeder approval, which meant a lot to Piercy Foreman.

“Then today seeing the woman who finished him, a breeder-judge, was here watching and she’s like ‘he looks even better than he did when I had him,'” she says. Piercy Foreman says this is just the beginning for Granger. “We’re really really proud. 2026 is gonna be his year, we gotta let him grow up.”

Group Winners

Herding Group

Call Name: Always

Registered Name: Harmony Hill’s Always Wright

Breed: Australian Shepherd

Owner: Catherine Dougan, Kaylene Scotton, Heather Braddock

Breeder: Kaylene Scotton, Heather Braddock, and Emma Jenkins

Hometown: Barkhamsted, Connecticut

Hound Group

Call Name: Thomas

Registered Name: Trio Bugaboo’s Peaky Blinders

Breed: Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen

Owner: Karen and Clint Livingston, Cameron and Taylor Johnson

Handler: Clint Livingston

Breeder: Patty Opperman, and Clint and Karen Livingston

Hometown: Elizabeth, Colorado

Non-Sporting Group

Call Name: Reina

Registered Name: Dreamstar’s Reigning Queen

Breed: Xoloitzcuintli

Owner: Teresa Campbell, Jose Miguel Sanchez, and Whitney Meeks

Breeder: Teresa Campbell, Jose Miguel Sanchez, and Whitney Meeks

Hometown: Avon, Indiana

Sporting Group

Call Name: Cherrio

Registered Name: CH Ghoststone Honey Nut Cherrios

Breed: Labrador Retriever

Owner: Judy Schenk Chambers

Handler: Judy Schenk Chambers

Breeder: Judy Schenk Chambers

Hometown: Aurora, Oregon

Terrier Group

Call Name: Amadeus

Registered Name: Beauideal The Magic Flute

Breed: Miniature Schnauzer

Owner: Dr. Lisa Sarvas and George Frederick

Handler: George Frederick

Breeder: Lisa Sarvas

Hometown: Morrisville, North Carolina

Toy Group

Call Name: Berry

Registered Name: Kimmilove Newberry Volcano

Breed: Pomeranian

Owner: M-Iae Kim Yong-Jae Lee

Handler: M-Iae Kim Yong-Jae Lee

Breeder: Mi-ae Kim

Hometown: Yangpyeong-Gun, Gyeonggi Province, South Korea

Working Group

Call Name: Granger

Registered Name: 

Breed: Rottweiler

Owner: Peter Hawes & Kathleen Hawes & Erin Maureen Foreman

Handler: Erin Maureen Foreman

Breeder: Peter Hawes & Kathleen Hawes & Erin Maureen Foreman

Hometown: New Castle, California


If you missed the livestream of the AKC/Royal Canin National All-Breed Puppy & Junior Stakes, you can catch all of the action on

The AKC National Championship is right around the corner, and you don’t want to miss the action! Tune in to ABC on December 31 at 2 p.m. ET to see who’s crowned Best in Show. 

Did you miss last year’s show? You can watch the 2022 AKC National Championship Presented by Royal Canin on demand on!