The Heart of Iowa Kennel Club will hold two American Kennel Club All-Breed and Obedience Dog Shows on April 26 and 27 at the Central Iowa Fairgrounds, East Olive Street and South 12th Avenue.
According to Show Chairman, Shelley Barron, "Although the Westminster Dog Show that is telecast every February is larger, our shows follow the same judging procedures and American Kennel Club rules and guidelines. Most of our judges at this show have judged Westminster and there may be dogs at this show that competed at the recent Westminster or National Dog Show. Our judges this year come from California, Oklahoma, Kansas, Illinois and Minnesota."
Each day of the weekend is considered a different show for exhibitors and there are over 500 entries each day. These dogs come from all over the United States and Canada. Top winning dogs in breed, obedience and rally obedience will be strutting their stuff 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 more than 100 breeds or varieties expected to compete, from Afghans to Whippets. Some of the more rare breeds entered are Beauceron, Cesky Terrier, Flat Coat Retriever, Havanese, Briard, Shiba Inu, Ibizan Hound, Tibetan Spaniel, English Foxhound, Spinone Italiano, Pulik, Miniature American Shepherd, Lakeland Terrier, Redbone Coonhound and the Portuguese Podengo Pequenos.
There are 49 competitors in obedience and rally obedience. Most spectators will recognize most of the basic commands taught in beginning obedience classes such as heel, sit, stay, down and the recall.
Advanced competition includes these basics plus directed jumping, directed retrieves, off-leash heeling and scent discrimination. Rally obedience has the handler and dog following a specific course with signs indicating the obedience exercise to be completed.
Nine boys and girls between the ages of 10 and 18 will compete in junior showmanship where the handler, not the dog is judged. These junior handlers train, groom and present their dogs in the best possible manner in each of four classes and the winner of each class then competes for Beat Junior Handler.
In addition to the competition there are various vendors selling dog supplies, treats, grooming products, crates and more. Smokin'G's will have a barbecue lunch for sale. No attendance fee will be taken but spectators are encouraged to make a donation to the Marshalltown Dog Park at any of the donations boxes around the show site.
Judging begins at 8:30 a.m. and no unentered dogs are allowed in the show buildings. Show times vary for each breed each day and a show schedule is available at the show. For more information, call Shelley Barron at 641-752-2458.