Knoxville woman becomes one of the country's top dog breeders

Knoxville woman's love for dogs turns her into one of the country's top breeders

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Step into Keith Bailey's world and you will find little puppies too cute for words. Step into Keith Bailey's world and you will find little puppies too cute for words.
"I had Welsh Corgis that shed like crazy, and I wanted a companion, and I wanted a dog that didn't shed," Keith Bailey said. "I had Welsh Corgis that shed like crazy, and I wanted a companion, and I wanted a dog that didn't shed," Keith Bailey said.
What she settled on was a Welsh Terrier, a friendly, fearless breed that shows affection indiscriminately. What she settled on was a Welsh Terrier, a friendly, fearless breed that shows affection indiscriminately.
In order to get the dog, she had to agree to show it.  Her dogs have chalked up victories all over the country and been best of breed at the prestigious Westminster Dog Show seven of the last eight years, a very impressive run. In order to get the dog, she had to agree to show it. Her dogs have chalked up victories all over the country and been best of breed at the prestigious Westminster Dog Show seven of the last eight years, a very impressive run.

By GENE PATTERSON
6 News Anchor/Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Keith Bailey lives in Knoxville and is one of the top dog breeders in the country. If you ask her how that happened, she's liable to shake her head and smile.

Step into Bailey's world and you will find little puppies too cute for words.

She has older pups, too, whose energy and playfulness will put a smile on your face.

These beautiful animals are the offspring of champions and were a bit of a surprise to Keith, who fifteen years ago had never even attended a dog show. Her goal then was to simply find a pet.

"I had Welsh Corgis that shed like crazy, and I wanted a companion, and I wanted a dog that didn't shed," she said.

What she settled on was a Welsh Terrier, a friendly, fearless breed that shows affection indiscriminately.

In order to get the dog, she had to agree to show it. That decision led her to a handler in South Carolina, and ultimately to Atlanta and breeder Sharon Abmeyer, who is now her business partner and best friend.

"There's a lot in showing dogs and she's been doing it for a long time. I'm sort of a new spark of energy and its more fun to share the joy and share the heartache," said Bailey.

There's been much more joy than heartache for the team of Bailey and Abmeyer.

Bailey's walls are covered in ribbons. Her shelves are filled with silver trophies. Her dogs have chalked up victories all over the country and been best of breed at the prestigious Westminster Dog Show seven of the last eight years, a very impressive run.

I was tickled to death," said Bailey. "I never even dreamed I'd have a dog invited. Its an invitation show and much less to win. It's absolutely amazing."

While breeding champions is the goal, it's not the only goal for Keith.

"When a dog finishes its show career, I don't accumulate dogs. As soon as they finish their show career, typically around one to a year and a half, then they go and become someone's family pet," she said. "Happy homes. Healthy pets. Good companions. I'm not here to have a big kennel. We want healthy happy dogs that closely conform to the ideals of a Welsh Terrier."

If you're interested in buying one of her pups, it's a rigorous process just to be considered. It's not cheap either. If breeding one is your thought, Bailey doesn't encourage it.

"Not a good idea. To do it properly and safely, it's not something you can do in your spare time. It's like leaving a baby unattended. You can't do that," she said.

What we can do is sit back and at least for a moment, enjoy the beauty of these Welsh Terriers made in Tennessee.

Click here for more information on Keith Bailey and her Welsh Terriers.


If you know of a product we should profile for Made in Tennessee, send Gene Patterson an email or a Facebook message.

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