Tracy Houlihan, OutBack Kennel
A fan of the Working breeds, Tracy Houlihan of OutBack Kennel in Berkley, Mass., has owned Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs, Boxers and Doberman Pinschers throughout her career as a breeder. She began showing dogs when she was 31 years old; however, multiple sclerosis sidelined her from the conformation ring 10 years ago.
After the diagnosis, Houlihan got CH Magis Serg of the Storm, CGC, a Doberman Pinscher, and trained him to be her service dog. “Sergio” passed away a few years ago. Houlihan currently is training another Doberman Pinscher called “Blade” as her service dog. With Blade always by her side, she attends as many American Kennel Club sanctioned shows as she can to watch.
“My advice to novice handlers is to watch other handlers, learn from them and always ask questions,” Houlihan says. “A show career can only be successful if you enjoy what you do and have fun doing it.”
Houlihan feeds her dogs Purina® Pro Plan® SAVOR Adult Shredded Blend Chicken & Rice Formula because it keeps them in shape with great muscle tone and gives them a shiny coat. Puppies are fed Purina® Pro Plan® SAVOR Puppy Shredded Blend Chicken & Rice Formula. “People frequently stop me and ask how I keep Blade in such good condition. I tell them it’s all about the food I feed and advise them to go to the Purina website to see which formula is best suited for their dogs,” she says.