The Heart of Iowa Kennel Club will hold two American Kennel Club All-Breed and Obedience shows on October 23 and 24 at the Central Iowa Fairgrounds in Marshalltown.
“While Westminster dog shows or the televised National Dog Show on Thanksgiving are considerably larger, our shows follow the same procedures and American Kennel Club rules and guidelines. Our judges may have judged at these shows and we should have some top nationally ranked dogs. Our judges hail from Georgia, Iowa, Connecticut and Illinois,” said show chair Shelley Barron.
Each day of the weekend is considered a different show for exhibitors and there are over 325 dogs entered each day. These dogs will come from all over the United States and often from other countries. The best winning dogs in breed, obedience and rally will strut at these shows.
Breed competition involves judging individuals of a breed against the judge’s idea of the perfect representative of that breed. There are over 75 breeds or varieties slated to compete, from Beagles to Yorkshire Terriers, with Labrador Retrievers, Samoyeds, Cocker Spaniels and Shih Tzus having the most entries. Some of the less common breeds that should compete are Flat Coat-Coated Retriever, German Wire-haired Pointer, Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever, Irish Wolfhound, Petits Bassets Griffon Vendeens, Treeing Walker Coonhound, Cane Corso, German Pinscher, Bedlington Terrier, Manchester Terrier, Rat Terrier, Havanese, Tibetan Spaniel, Tibetan Terrier, Border Terrier, Chinese Crested, Belgian Malinois, Bouviers des Flandres and Pulik.
There are 104 registered in obedience and rally. Most onlookers will recognize many of the basic commands taught in beginner obedience classes, such as sit, stay, come, down, and stay. Advanced competition includes these basics plus directed jumps, directed retrieves, off-leash heeling, and scent discrimination.
In rally obedience, the handler and the dog follow a specific route with signs indicating the obedience exercise to be performed. The AKC allows half-breeds known as “All Americans” to compete in rallies and obedience and win titles.
There are eight boys and girls between the ages of 10 and 18 entered in junior show where the handler is judged, not the dog, as in 4H and FFA competitions. These junior handlers train, groom and show the dogs in the best possible way in each of the four classes and the winner of each class competes for the best junior handler. Some of these trainers may also compete with adults in regular breed competitions.
Judging begins at 9 a.m. each morning and will continue until 2 p.m. or 3 p.m. No unregistered dogs are allowed in the exhibition buildings. Spectators should be aware of the surroundings, particularly of strollers and children and remember that many exhibitors may have spent an hour or more grooming the dog, so ask before meeting the dog. Many exhibitors show more than one dog or may be in different classes and may be pressed for time. There will be a food vendor available for breakfast and lunch and the club hopes many people will support this restaurant owner.
Although there are no COVID safety requirements, the show committee hopes that common sense COVID recommendations will be followed. Try to social distance, and the CDC recommends unvaccinated people wear a mask indoors. For more information on the shows or the club, contact Barron at 641-750-2862.