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Not a Gene Pool.. a Gene Puddle: Dandie Dinmont Terriers with Betty-Anne Stenmark

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Betty-Anne Stenmark is one of the Holy Grail of Judges...nice to people and dogs, the real thing.

Laura Reeves

Mrs. Betty-Anne Stenmark: AKC Judge, Author, Activist, and True Contributor to our Sport

Mrs. Betty-Anne Stenmark wrote the book on Dandie Dinmont Terriers...literally.  Under the King's Mtn. kennel name, a long line of champions have been bred and an endangered breed preserved to this day.

We don't have a gene pool, we have a gene puddle.

Dandie Dinmont Terriers are a low-entry breed.  A situation that many of our breeds face today.  In Episode #31 of, Mrs. Stenmark shares her wisdom and generous humor on the "Dandies".


Born in North Vancouver, BC, Betty-Anne Stenmark's first show breed was St Bernards.

Met Roy Stenmark when he judged at the 1974 St. Bernard National Specialty. Marriage to Roy included 16 Lhasa Apsos.

Together,  in 1976,  they started breeding Dandie Dinmont Terriers, and King’s Mtn. champions continue to this day.

AKC Judge of Sporting, Hound and Terrier groups, both Corgis, Best in Show and Junior Showmanship.

Contributions to our Sport

When animal rights anti-breeding legislation in 1990 endangered her local area, Mrs. Stenmark took bold action and founded the Responsible Dog Breeders Club of San Mateo County.  She rallied breeders and purebred supporters, and fought the legislation with education and strength of an activist.

She has served both the Del Valle Dog Club of Livermore as show chair for many years, as well as the Dandie Dinmont Terrier Club of America as president, national show chair, judge's education and other committees.  She is now retired from City of Palo Alto's Animal Shelter from her time as a volunteer coordinator.

King's Mtn. Dandie Dinmont Terriers

The top winning Dandie bitch of all time, Ch. King’s Mtn. Angelina Ballerina with seven all breed Bests in Show piloted by Carlos Puig, Group 4 at Westminster 2015 under Dr. John Reeve-Newson in one of the strongest terrier groups in many years.  Shown by her co-breeder/owner handler, Sandra Hickson, she was Best of Breed at the 2015 National Specialty from the Veterans Class under Mr. Bruce Schwartz.  She gave us 10 puppies in two litters.  Sired by Ch. King’s Mtn. Stuart Little and out of Ch. King’s Mtn. Elsbeth Elfwish she was co-bred by myself, Sandra Hickson, Sandra Wolfskill and Donna Francis.

The top winning Dandie bitch of all time, Ch. King’s Mtn. Angelina Ballerina
The top winning Dandie bitch of all time, Ch. King’s Mtn. Angelina Ballerina

Ch. King’s Mtn. Minnie Mouse winning the 2009 DDTCA National Specialty under the late Sandra Goose Allen.  Shown by her owner Don Watkins, the most marvelous dog person to enter the world of Dandies.  With a little coaching, and a seminar by the late Corky Vroom, Don showed Minnie to six owner-handled Bests in Show, second only to her niece Angelina Ballerina in the number of all breed bests won.  Minnie is sired by America’s #1 Dog All breeds 2006 when shown by Bill McFadden, Austr. NZ & Am. Ch. Hobergays Fineus Fogg (called Harry) and out of Ch. King’s Mtn. Mouse Trap.  It was a litter of six that gave us three top producers, Champions Stuart Little, Godiva and Minnie Mouse.  Bred by myself, Sandra Pretari Hickson and Ryan Horvath, and owned by Don Watkins and Sandra Hickson.

Ch. King's Mtn Minnie Mouse
Ch. King's Mtn Minnie Mouse

Ch. King’s Mtn. Mouse Trap bred to Austr. NZ & Am. Ch. Hobergays Fineus Fogg produced Champions King’s Mtn. Stuart Little, Minnie Mouse and Godiva, all of whom have had a positive influence on the future of the breed.   BOS under Elliott Weiss this day at the DDTCA National Specialty at Montgomery shown by her co-breeder/owner Sandra Pretari Hickson.

Ch. King's Mtn Mouse Trap
Ch. King's Mtn Mouse Trap

Books by Mrs. Betty-Anne Stenmark

Interested in a Dandie?  Find out more at through the AKC Parent Club - Dandie Dinmont Terrier Club of America


  1. […] Read the Full Article Tagged betty anne stenmark, dandie dinmont terriers […]

  2. John Schwartz on 02/22/2017 at 10:29 AM

    This lady is a wonderful person. In addition to the work that she has done In the dog world, she is just a genuinely nice person. I am lucky to own one of her dogs and she encouraged and helped me along the way. I’m older and have had many dogs in my life, but never one with the personality of my Dandie. He’s just a great guy and her help along the way has made him the great guy that he is.

    • Laura Reeves on 02/22/2017 at 1:53 PM

      Thank you for sharing John! I agree with you whole-heartedly. One of the great people in our sport.

    • Cathi Tower-Chriscaden on 05/31/2017 at 6:19 AM

      And BA is delighted you have become part of the DDT family. The companion homes for the pups are as, if not more important, than the show homes, John.

  3. Cathi Tower-Chriscaden on 05/31/2017 at 6:17 AM

    I joined the ranks of preservation breeders of Dandie Dinmont Terriers 12 years ago. Betty-Anne encouraged me by selling me the best King’s Mtn. had and I joined the team.

    I had shown under Betty-Anne and Roy during my years of loving, breeding and showing Giant Schnauzers, Bullmastiffs, Standard Poodles and Miniature Wire-haired Dachshunds. I had been in the sport of showing purebred dogs since 1968.

    With her ongoing mentoring, without any coddling but sharing her wealth of knowledge, I have continued learning from Betty-Anne. She has THE eye and hands that only a very few judges ever acquire. She will handle a puppy with the utmost of respect and care, and can always be depended on to run her ring with grace and control and attention. She will reward breed type, movement and correct preparation for the ring, all the while making the exhibitor’s and dogs’ experience worthwhile.

    One of the truly gracious and professional judges. We look forward to watching her judge Best in Show at Westminster 2018.

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