This year, the AKC All Breed Dog Show Labor Day Weekend Friendship Group promises to be an exciting event, which members of the St. Clairsville Ohio Kennel Club, Fort Steuben Kennel Association and Beaver County Kennel Club have been planning for over a year.
The four-day show takes place at Friendship Park at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds in Smithfield from Friday through Monday.
The annual show draws people from all walks of life and professions, not just locally, but across the United States, Canada and abroad, to compete for championship points and wins for championship titles. obedience and rally.
“This show is a big attraction,” said Donna Simpson, president of the St. Clairsville Kennel Club.
She noted that there will be over 630 dogs and 132 breeds each day, ranging from puppies to adults. One dog will receive the coveted “Best In Show” and one dog will receive “High in Trial in Obedience”.
New this year is the “FAST CAT”, which stands for “racing aptitude test”. This is a timed 100 meter dash where dogs run one at a time, chasing a decoy. Any dog can enter as long as they are 12 months old and registered with the AKC or their Canine Partners or PAL program.
Another event is AKC Lure Coursing in which dogs chase a mechanized white plastic lure around a 600+ yard course that simulates the unpredictability of chasing live prey while zigzagging across a wide open field.
North America Diving Dogs will host an All-Breed Dock Diving event each day where titles can be won. Dock diving is a growing sport that is fun for dogs of all breeds and sizes. Practices are available at noon each day, assisted by experienced coaches.
People will also be able to attend obedience and rally competitions. In obedience, each purebred or mixed breed dog and handler work as a team and complete a series of exercises, including on-leash and off-leash heeling, retrieving an object over a jump, and a more advanced exercise would include olfactory discrimination where dogs retrieve an item with their owner’s scent from among a number of similar items.
The rally competition consists of the dog and handler team running a course that has been designed by the judge. The dog and handler advance at their own pace through a course of designated stages. The handler is allowed to talk, congratulate and encourage the dog. Exercises include varying degrees of bends, circles, spirals, seats, and varying speeds. There is also a puppy competition.
“This competition prepares puppies for the show ring when they can enter the show for points at 6 months of age,” said Tom Davis, president of the Beaver County Kennel Club.
Bob Damron, president of the Fort Steuben Kennel Association, said the Junior Showmanship Competition is a class “you won’t want to miss.”
“Boys and girls between the ages of 10 and 18 compete against others their own age, where they are judged on how they present their dog,” Damron said. “Juniors also compete in many other performance events such as obedience, agility and rallying.”
Junior classes have been developed to recognize and support the unique relationship between a child and a dog, to encourage responsible dog ownership and to secure a place for these youngsters in the imagination of today and tomorrow when they become adults.
On Saturday, a rabies and microchip clinic will be open to the public from 11 a.m. at 14h. Raffles for baskets and other items will take place and there will be a bake sale on Sunday.
Also on Sunday, the Steel Valley Chihuahua Fanciers will host a Fun Match and the first 4-H challenge. Six local counties from Ohio and one from Pennsylvania were invited to compete as teams in four classes. Classes are Showmanship, Rally, Costume, and Obstacle Course. Locally, some 4-H kids have become big players on AKC shows. 4-H encourages sportsmanship, good citizenship and responsible animal ownership.
A variety of food will be available and vendors will have dog-related items for sale. Judging hours are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. The Friendship Cluster invites visitors to join them for refreshments during the afternoon group assessment each day. Groups start at 12:30 p.m. on Friday, 12:45 p.m. on Saturday, 1 p.m. on Sunday and 12:15 p.m. on Monday.
There is no admission fee, but parking is $5.
For more information about the show or to find out what time a breed is shown, visit the All Breed Dog Shows Labor Day Weekend Friendship Group on Facebook or call 304-281-3087.