626 – Kelly Lyn Marquis Shares Her Insights from the Masters

Kelly Lyn Marquis Shares Her Insights from the Masters

Kelly Lyn Marquis in the ring.

Host Laura Reeves is joined by Kelly Lyn Marquis to discuss the stories in Marquis’ new book Behind the Scenes of Best in Show: Intimate Moments with the Masters.

“When I started writing (the book),” Marquis said, “I was seeing some dissension, sometimes some frustration where I would hear people saying things about handlers doing all the winning and you know I really really wanted to show all of the work that goes into those wins.

“And even even for many of us that you see in the book, for so many of the masters, it’s not about the wins. Actually, not one of them, not one of them, mentioned about the win being something that matters to them. It’s the behind the scenes things that matter to them whether it’s making their clients happy or the connection that they have with that dog. And that was a motivation.

In her conversation with Michael Scott, Marquis admits struggling to understand his thinking.

“…(T)o Michael, it is his job to handle the dog to the (best of his) ability and to bring that dog to the right judges. And he knows his judges well. He knows what they like, as did Gwen (DeMilta). (B)ut Michael’s job was to handle. Well, there wasn’t the messiness that I would see in Gwen, and that also was active in myself as well.

“So when I interviewed Michael and Michael said, ‘My job is to handle the dog and to bring it to the right judges. Period.’ And he even went on to say that, ‘Look, it’s a game.’ And that really triggered me ’cause I thought, ‘No, this is serious business!’ And it isn’t that Michael doesn’t take it seriously, but he’s very clear on what his role is as a handler.

“That was one of the things that really struck me interviewing Michael, was if Michael had been my mentor and if I operated and navigated the dog show world with Michael’s mindset, how might my… my life be different? So that is one of the values that I think a reader can get from reading this book where when you see where someone’s priorities are and how that shapes how they navigate the world…

“When it comes to the passion and the emotional attachment, I always give credit to the owner handlers and let them know that when it comes to my own dog, I have to have another handler show it because it gets messy.

“One of the things that I love about handlers that I think is a lesson for, well, even for ourselves to bring  out into the world, but we’re masters of our emotion. It’s like you, okay, we look at this, what do I need to be? How do I need to show up for this dog?

“And we’re very clear about that. We have a very clear role and we’re able to be in integrity and we’re also able to look at that dog and go, okay, what’s going on with you? You and I, we need to… make this work. We don’t have the luxury to have an emotional moment,

“Which also gets me thinking about another motivation for my book. I wanted to show our humanity because when we’re at a dog show, we need to be in business mode. We’re not showing our… our feelings.

“You know, Michelle Scott talks about how difficult it can be for her at times, managing her expectations and how she knows she wants to make people happy. And it can be so disappointing when you’re not able to make that person happy. But we can’t show that we have to show up and we have to be professionals. But it doesn’t mean that we don’t feel things. It just means that we’re in business mode, we can’t be getting caught up in those places, but we do have feelings just like everyone else.

“Another motivating factor for me is this is our community. I’m looking around it it’s scary it looks like a dying community. I believe that this is an underlying theme in my book as well is that we are people. There are people at the ends of those leads and we need to be taking care of ourselves and our community better. One of the things that I’ve learned. Being a mom is my number one priority. And if my work is getting me so strung out that when my daughter comes home from school I can’t hold space for that because I’m too agitated myself, then I’m not able to be the mom that I want to be. And so even as handlers, when we show up at our job, are we making good choices for ourselves so that we can serve not only ourselves but more people?”

430 — Everything I Need to Know About Life I Learned from My Dog

Everything I Need to Know About Life I Learned from My Dog

Kelly Lyn Marquis, professional dog handler and life coach, joins host Laura Reeves for an uplifting, insightful and powerful conversation about our messaging to ourselves and how everything we need to know about life, we can learn from our dogs.

“This is a transition to be able to go let me take what I was doing with dogs and teach dog people how to be that person that their dog sees in their eyes,” Marquis said. “If only I could be as grand as my dog thinks I am. Well, what if you can?”


Marquis’ mother, Linda Marquis of Marquis Dobermans, and AKC judge George Marquis were dog enthusiasts. Falling asleep in crates and whelping boxes with puppies and raising, training, and playing with dogs was an integral part of her childhood years.

As her parents’ involvement in the pursuit of conformation exhibition deepened, so did Kelly’s.  She began competing in Junior Showmanship at the age of ten.  She honed her craft as a dog handler by apprenticing with some of the most respected Doberman handlers in the country.  In addition to her hands-on training, she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from the University of New Hampshire.

Upon graduation she worked full time in marketing and public relations while building her professional dog handling business.  In 2000, she transitioned full time into showing dog professionally.

In 2003, she handled Ch. Blue Chip Purple Reign, AKA Raisin, to #1 Doberman all systems, #1 Working Dog, and #5 All-Breeds, and was recognized as the Working Dog Handler of the Year.

Kelly has campaigned several breeds on the national breed level including a Miniature Pinscher, Rottweiler, Portuguese Water Dog, Boxer, and several German Shorthaired Pointers.  In addition to these nationally ranked dogs, Kelly has handled hundreds of dogs to championship and grand championship tiles.

Her interests and talents continued to evolve and in 2018 she began writing professionally for Dog News Magazine.  Her writing offers provocative insights on human and canine dynamics.  That same year she completed certification as a life coach from the Coach Training Alliance.  In addition to professional dog handling, Kelly now also operates Winall Coaching LLC.  Her specialty is teaching people how to apply canine wisdom in daily living, and she particularly enjoys working with members of the dog show community because of their deep love and respect for dogs.

Her coaching approach is a unique extension of skills she developed as a professional handler in which she is able to sense, feel and receive intuitive information that guides her sessions with clients.  She utilizes her gifts as a professional dog handler and life coach to help guide dogs and people to their highest potential and live life to the fullest.

She is currently writing a book titled, Behind the Scenes of Best in Show, a compilation of interviews with some of the top professional dog handlers in the country.