FD dog shows, trials set

The Fort Dodge Kennel Club AKC All Breed Dog Shows and Obedience Trials takes place Saturday and Sunday at the Webster County Fairgrounds.

More than 500 dogs participate in the show, Pat Saunders, obedience chair and club public relations director, said.

“Anybody is welcome to come watch. Leave the dogs at home,” she said. “Because the AKC dogs have to be pre-entered and all that. If you haven’t entered by now, it’s too late.”

The event will feature the usual obedience classes.

The novice-level class trains dogs on heel pattern with a figure-eight, and a one-minute sit and three-minute down in a ring, Saunders said. The open-level class adds a “wood dumbbell” the dogs have to retrieve, and a broad jump, which is twice the dog’s height. The open class has a three-minute sit and a five minute down with the owners out of sight.

The utility-level class is “college work,” Saunders said, with a heel pattern commanded by hand signals.

“You leave the dog in a stand position, walk to the other end of the ring, turn and give it a hand signal to lay down. Then it has to sit up, and then it has to come to you,” she said. “All with hand signals.”

In addition to novice, open and utility classes, this year the Fort Dodge Kennel Club is offering pre-novice, grad-novice and grad-open classes.

“One is for very beginning dogs, to get used to the show ring,” she said. “Grad-novice is if they have their first title but are not ready for the open work yet. And grad-open is they have their open title but aren’t ready for utility. It’s easing them in, to see what they still have to work on.”

Breed conformations are done at the show portion of the event, Saunders said. The dogs in each breed compete for group winner, and the winners compete for best in show.

Saunders said a favorite part of the show is getting together with friends, the other dog owners.

“About the only time you see them is at dog shows,” she said. “And seeing how people work with their dogs, and how much improvement the dogs have made as they’re growing up. And a lot of the handlers, when their dogs get too old and retire, they get new pups and train those, so it’s nice to see how the new ones are coming.”

Seeing the new breeds is also a treat, Saunders said.

“There are so many new breeds that the only time you would probably see some of these dogs would be at a dog show,” she said. “They’ve got rare ones you don’t see every day around here.”

The dog shows and obedience trials begin at 8 a.m. on both Saturday and Sunday. Events held Sunday are completely separate with all competition and scoring starting over on Sunday. Admission is $1 per person.