TOWNSHIP – Gideon, a 2-year-old Smooth Collie from Nimishillen Township, expressed his confidence in his victory.
He easily passed the test where a judge he didn’t know held his leash to see how he would react if he was near a stranger.
Gideon remained still and calm for the required minute during the farm dog competition at the Stark County Fairgrounds on Saturday morning.
“He’s a show dog,” said co-owner Brianna Stevens of Louisville, adding that she hopes to eventually train the farm dog to herd sheep. “He’s used to being handed. … He’s got a Form A.”
After:Gone to the dogs? Annual McKinley Kennel Club show held at the fairgrounds
But each farm dog participant had to be confident on different surfaces commonly found on a farm and maintain their composure around farm animals and other dogs.
“He did well except he peed on the bale of hay,” Stevens said, adding that it didn’t cost Gideon in the pass/fail farm dog competition.
Gideon was one of approximately 670 dogs who competed in a variety of categories at the McKinley Kennel Club dog show at the county fairgrounds on Saturday. The club was due to hold a separate dog show with around 660 dogs on Sunday.
Judges across the country evaluated dogs for appearance, structure, movement, obedience by breed, sometimes by age, and in many types of competition. The show was to culminate in the selection of a best show dog late Saturday afternoon.
Chester, a 3-year-old brown German shorthaired pointer, passed the farm dog tests, including being able to handle the presence of ducks and a goat.
His owner, Linda Lombardy of New Franklin, said Chester had a certain fear of ducks and goats and steered clear of them.
The dog contest has more participants this year
At the conformation competition a few buildings away, well-dressed dog handlers moved around with the dogs leashed in rings as the judges observed how well the dogs moved.
Diana Garcia, president of the McKinley Kennel Club, said the dog show this year had about 100 more dogs than last year after not taking place in 2020 due to the pandemic.
“All breeds should behave properly at dog shows. They’re supposed to be friendly, approachable to strangers,” Garcia said. “These dogs are raised in family environments. They receive good socialization. Good training. They are good representations of their breed. … Purebred dogs. We want people to know that purebred dogs are well bred are a joy to own. You just need to know which breed is right for you.”
At the south end of the Confirmation Competition building, a large number of poodles, toy poodles and small dogs were leashed at grooming stations while waiting their turn to compete in the ring. Judge Karen McFarlane then examined them carefully and watched as the trainers led them around the ring on a leash.
In Ring 5’s butterfly competition, Keegan, a 14-month-old brown and white Papillon, won the round, earning him one point of the 15 points he needs to become American Kennel Club champion. Keegan didn’t step forward to a better band or better on the show.
Its owner, Jack Sirkoch, said the point was well worth the trip from Butler, Pennsylvania.
He said his dog’s results are entirely dependent on a judge’s subjective judgment. Some judges favor movement over appearance and for others, it is the opposite.
Obedience competition among dog challenges
Jeff Liddicoat of Ypsilanti Township, Michigan, said his 6-month-old white husky-like Samoyed dog, Oroblanco Storm, placed fourth in his puppy competition.
“That’s just this judge’s opinion,” he said. “If she judged them tomorrow, she might place herself differently.”
During the obedience competition at a nearby building, Mentor’s Dev Milo was happy that her poodle, Indi Tsu, had achieved opener status thanks to her third-place finish. One of the tests involved standing still and lying still for one minute at a time.
“She loves to play,” Milo said. “She can stay even longer than that.”
Contact Robert at firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @rwangREP.
Correction: The dogs competed in the conformation trial at the McKinley Kennel Club dog show on Saturday. An earlier version of this article incorrectly spelled conformation.