Claudia Orlandi, Ph.D. and Guillermo Gonzalez

Claudia & the late Dom Orlandi with
CH Bone-A-Parts Cuervo Gold

Topsfield Kennel is nestled on 200  acres in the Green Mountains of northern Vermont. 

Both Dom and Claudia’s involvement in showing various breeds of dogs (and horses) had begun when they were much younger. 

Photo of Topsfield
The entrance to
Topsfield Kennel of Vermont

Dom showed Dobermans and Dalmatians in the 50’s and Claudia showed a St. Bernard and competed in Junior Handling in the 60’s.  Claudia is pictured right with her St. Bernard, the future Best in Show winner, CH Bowser Waller (Waller is Claudia’s maiden name), winning the First Company Governor’s Foot Guard Jr. Showmanship competition in 1962. 

Claudia & CH Bowser Waller

The judge was Basset Hound breeder, Howard Nygood.  Perhaps it was fate that almost 25 years later she herself fell in love with the Basset Hound breed, with which Howard and his wife Blackie was also involved!
Dom with CH Bone-A-
Parts Cuervo Gold

In 1987, Dom and Claudia purchased their first Basset Hound, a pet bitch called Emma, who taught them the true function of a Basset Hound.  Emma’s incredible nose and love of hunting prompted the Orlandi’s to form an AKC Basset Hound pack in Vermont, for which Emma was the strike hound. 

Dom with CH Strathalbyn Beguiling

It also led them to purchase several pack hounds from the now disbanded Timber Ridge Basset Pack of Maryland, one of which was CH Strathalbyn Beguiling, pictured right with Dom.


Claudia & CH Topsfield Giselle

Reflecting the influence of Strathalbyn, Tantivy and Lyn Mar Acres bloodlines these early hounds and their offspring regularly hunted at Topsfield with Claudia and Dom until the beginning of the 1990's.

It was at that time the Orlandi’s chose the name "Topsfield" for their kennel, hoping to convey their goal of producing hounds that are capable of being "tops" in any field of endeavor, from the hunting field to the show ring.  Indeed, choosing such a name set the bar high, and Claudia and her Bassets exceeded all expectations.  



Claudia and her late husband, Dom, have owned and produced over 125 champions.   In the last 13 years, Topsfield Basset Hounds have won over 100 All  Breed Bests in Show, over 500 Group Firsts and numerous Best in Specialty wins, including three Basset Hound Club of America National Specialty Breed Winners.

They have also received a record breaking 4 Hound Dog of the Year Awards, which is awarded to the hound winning the most group firsts in a calendar year and Number One Basset Hound All Systems for a record 9 consecutive years and Number One Basset Hound All Breed for 13  consecutive years.*  (as of end of 2013)

Claudia & Dom with Bryan & Nancy Martin at the Pedigree Award Dinner


CH Topsfield Bumper Cars, CD, ROM

Claudia's Topsfield Basset Hounds continue their success.

Most recently, in 2013, two of the Topsfield Bassets were Number 1 and Number 2 in both Breed and All Breed Statistics. * Dog News Top Ten

CH Topsfield Beethoven


Claudia & CH Topsfield

Bumper Cars, CD, ROM

Claudia is currently (2014) chairman  of  the Basset Hound Club of America Judges'/ Breeders’ Education Committee.  She has also served on the BHCA Health and Research Committee. 
Claudia's enthusiastic work in Member Education led her  to design an innovative educational concept called Basset Hound University which in addition to providing valuable information to fellow Basset devotees, is now being used as an educational template by a number of other Parent Clubs.
Claudia showing
CH Topsfield Fresca

Claudia at one of her


Claudia authored the “Breeder’s Toolbox” column in the BHCA's  newsletter, Tally Ho for a number of years.
She has spoken at numerous National Specialties and dog clubs and has been a speaker for the AKC/CHF Breeder’s Symposia, the Eukanuba Breeder’s Symposium and various AKC Judge’s Institutes.
Claudia with one of her
She has also developed a home study program and  seminar for breeders called the ABC’s of Dog Breeding, which is sponsored by the American Kennel Club and the Canine Health Foundation.
She has more recently authored the Practical Canine Anatomy & Movement Home Study Program & Seminar for breeders and judges.


Claudia and pups
enjoying the aftrnoon
Claudia & CH Topsfield-Sanchu
Pop Art O'Bridi

She has conducted over 125 seminars.  Those seminars include: The ABC’s of Dog Breeding; Anatomy Review for Judges and Breeders; Hands-On Angle Evaluation in Dogs BHCA Judges’ Education Seminar on the Basset Hound. 

Claudia is still actively involved in her breeding program and showing her Basset Hounds.  She judges Basset Hounds, Dachshunds, Petite Basset Griffon Vendeens, Beagles, Basenjis, Rhodesian Ridgebacks and Junior Showmanship. 

In 2011, Claudia  joined AKC's innovative Breeder of Merit Program.

Claudia was a 2009 Dogs in Review Outstanding Breeder nominee. Claudia was honored to be named as the 2009 AKC Breeder of the Year which was  awarded during the 2009 AKC Eukanuba Championships.


Claudia is pictured above receiving the AKC 2009 Breeder of the Year Award.

Information on the ABC's of Dog Breeding and Practical Canine Anatomy & Movement can be found at

Basset Hound University information can be found at