Claudia Orlandi, Ph.D. and Guillermo Gonzalez

Topsfield Kennel is nestled on 200 acres

in the Green Mountains of northern Vermont. 

Claudia pictured above with one of the puppies in the backyard at Topsfield.

Claudia and Guillermo pictured with their Topsfield-Lebrera Hunting Pack in Spain.


Topsfield was founded by Claudia and her late husband Dom.  Both Dom and Claudia’s involvement in showing various breeds of dogs (and horses) had begun when they were much younger.

Dom showed Dobermans and Dalmatians in the 50’s and Claudia showed a St. Bernard and competed in Junior Handling in the 60’s.

Dom & CH Bone-A-Parts Cuervo Gold

Claudia & CH Bowser Waller

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.  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!


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.

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.


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. 


Topsfield Basset Hounds have flourished under Claudia's direction.  Topsfield Basset Hounds have won over 120 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. 

The entrance

to Topsfield Bassets

To date (1/1/2017) there are 156 Champions, 12 All Breed Best in Show Winners, 4 Dual Champions & a several Obedience, Rally & Agility Titleholders.

Multi BIS & BISS Winning
CH Topsfield Bumper Cars CD, ROM

Topsfield Bassets have 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 14  consecutive years.


Claudia  has served as the 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 &

Bumper Cars

CH Topsfield Beethoven

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 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 more recently authored the Practical Canine Anatomy & Movement Home Study Program & Seminar for breeders and judges.


Claudia is please that both the ABC's of Dog Breeding and Practical Canine Anatomy and Movement are now available on the AKC Website Breeder Education Section.  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.

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 presenting
a seminar

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.


 She judges Basset Hounds, Dachshunds, Petite Basset Griffon Vendeens, Beagles, Basenjis, Rhodesian Ridgebacks and Junior Showmanship. 

Claudia and pups enjoying the afternoon
Claudia & CH Topsfield-Sanchu Pop Art O'Bridi, ROM

Claudia married Guillermo Gonzalez, of Asturias Spain in 2014.  Claudia and Guillermo maintain a hunting pack in Spain, and spend several months each year hunting with their hounds, many of which are American bloodlines, and a number of which came directly from our Topsfield Bassets.

Claudia and Guillermo will continue to live both in Spain and in Vermont.

Guillermo &

Guillermo's portrait of CH Topsfield Bumper Cars, CD, ROM in motion

The breeding program will continue here in Vermont, with a goal to continue to breed excellent examples of our breed, and with the additional goal to be able to have them perform in the field, as they were originally bred to do.