From Great Danes to Dachshunds and every breed in between canines showed their moves at Kenai Kennel Club AKC dog show at Skyview High School.
Anyone that visited the Kenai Kennel Club AKC licensed dog show last week may think that “Going to the dogs!” is a good thing. A myriad of luxury campers and plush portable kennels converged at the Skyview High School campus for the three day event, with many arriving as early as Wednesday. The annual show sponsored by the Kenai Kennel Club (KKC) brings dog lovers, trainers, and breeders from all over Alaska and the lower 48. The natural amphitheatre at the Skyview grounds makes a great outdoor grandstand and the canines of all breeds seem to be more at ease working and showing in an open air environment according to a dog handler from Utah who has made the show for the last three years.
Shattered is the perception of dog shows only being about breed conformation and redundant obedience trials, enter the era of agility competition and rally obedience with tunnels, hoops, bridges and obstacle courses. “It’s a lot of fun. We got interested in agility training by seeing it on television and it was a natural progression to get involved with the Kenai Kennel Club and now my husband and I actually teach agility classes and obedience,” commented Dori Lynn Anderson. “This type of training not only makes your dog a better pet but the owners become more responsible by getting involved with training their pets and absolutely form a closer bond with them,” added Mark Anderson, vice president of the KKC.
Also adding a new dimension of entertainment for dog show spectators is rally obedience, a canine adaptation of Simon Says according to Anderson, “The dog and the handler follow a pattern of signs telling the dog what he is expected to do and they follow a little course. It’s much more entertaining than regular obedience which is more strict and rally is more loose and we see a lot more people getting involved in rally training now.”
Those who attended the show Friday and Saturday night were treated to a demonstration of Lure coursing, the most popular event for the Sighthound breeds. This competition attempts to create a simulation of a hare's zigzag path to evade a pursuing hound. The hare's path is generated by a continuous-loop line through a series of pulleys simulating a non-uniform set of turns. Instead of a live bunny, a set of white bags attached to the line attract the hound's attention. Hounds of the same breed run in trios with traditional greyhound style racing blankets. The hounds are judged not on time, rather on enthusiasm, ability to follow the lure, speed, agility and endurance, “It’s extremely entertaining,” added Anderson. Earth Dogs also performed their archetypal abilities to root out rats, underground vermin or game for hunters.
Taking Best in Show on Friday was the Briard named Ready To Rumble and owned by Karen Aznavoorian & Janis Charbonneau of Fresno, California. On Saturday Best in Show went to the Colored Bull Terrier - Ch Magor Matchless Matrix - owned by Ruth Macdonald & Norma & Gordon Smith of Anchorage, Alaska, and Sunday Best in Show was a Labrador Retriever named Els's Dart, owned and bred by Els Crisafulli. Judges for the KKC show were Steve Herwig of Las Vegas, Nevada and Rhonda Crane of Des Moines, Iowa.
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