Breeds vie for Best in Show at annual Dog Show


Published: Saturday, January 27, 2007 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, January 27, 2007 at 1:08 a.m.

Facts

Annual Dog Show

What: The Greater Gainesville Dog Fanciers' Association Inc. Annual Dog Show, Obedience Trials and Rally Trials When: Today and Sunday 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Where: Ocala Dog Club Show Grounds on Eastside County Road 25A North, Ocala, 2.3 miles north of State Road 326 Tickets: Parking fee is $5, Canine Good Citizen Testing is today 9 a.m. -12 p.m., 1-3 p.m. with a $5 entry fee, sign up at the show.

Play It Again Sam started his training at a young age and it paid off after winning his first champion in 1993.
Sam is now deceased, but his former owner, Ruby Ramsey, said she still remembers the excitement of taking the poodle to a dog show.
"You're rooting for your dog and hoping everyone around you is, too," she said.
Poodles, pit bulls and other breeds will compete at the Greater Gainesville Dog Fanciers' Association Inc.'s annual Dog Show, Obedience Trials and Rally Trials today and Sunday at the Ocala Dog Club Show Grounds.
There are 1,493 dogs entered in the show and trials, and 143 different breeds or varieties are represented.
The Greater Gainesville Dog Fanciers' Association hosts two dog shows a year and previously held one in September.
Dog shows, or conformation events, judge a dog's overall appearance and structure as an indication of its ability to produce quality puppies.
"Conformation shows are often thought of as a beauty contest," said Nancy Groff, newsletter editor and first vice president of the GGDFA. "The judge is judging the dog on its correctness and which one has the most appeal to them."
There are seven groups to compete in: sporting, hound, working, terrier, toy, non-sporting and herding. The winner in each group on both days competes for best in show, the highest award at a dog show.
"We've got 1,493 dogs in the competition," said Janet Fletcher, show chairperson and secretary of the Greater Gainesville Dog Fanciers'. "The dog that gets best in show is the best out of all those dogs in that whole day."
A dog must be six months of age or older, registered with the American Kennel Club, fit into a breed and meet breed eligibility requirements in order to compete. Spayed or neutered dogs are ineligible.
Each dog is presented by its breeder or a professional dog handler.
"Most people who are seriously into dog shows will have a professional handler," Groff said. "They are experts in knowing what to do and do it better."
Judges examine the dogs and award winners based on how closely they compare to the breed's official standard, Groff said.
Breed standards are established by the parent club for a dog and submitted to the American Kennel Club for approval.
"When you enter a dog show you are paying for the judge's opinion as to how close your dog meets the breed standards," Fletcher said. "Not the same dog will win each day because one judge looks for one thing and (others) look for other things."
Groff said members of the GGDFA recommend judges who can evaluate several different breeds and are reputable in the American Kennel Club. There will be 14 judges in the upcoming show.
"People have to be happy with who's judging or else they won't enter your show," Groff said.
The dog show will also offer canine good citizen testing, junior showmanship and rally and obedience trials.
Canine good citizen testing judges dogs on good manners, and junior showmanship judges children under 18 on how they showcase their dogs.
Rally trials have the dog and handler complete a course designed by the rally judge. Obedience trials show dogs that have been trained to behave in several places "(The trials) are not a beauty contest at all," said Fletcher. "It's how they mind and complete the task they do."
Spectators at dog shows get to see almost every breed in the American Kennel Club participate in the show or trials, Fletcher said.
Dog shows are also an opportunity for breeders to show what they have accomplished with their dogs.
"You put your dog out there and show 'This is what I bred,'" Fletcher said. "'I'm the reason that dog is out there.'"

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