BEMIDJI — The “Fur-bulous” canines and their “paw-ssionate” handlers kicked off the first day of the Paul Bunyan Dog Training Association’s 10th Annual All Breed Dog Show on Friday, September 10, beaming with enthusiasm to demonstrate their dedication to the complex sport of the ring.
Even that first morning, the Beltrami County fairgrounds were alive with the bustle of a weekend full of competition: handlers did last-minute brushing and brushing of canine coats; the dogs took intermittent naps and cuddles between shows; and outdoor workouts and potty breaks were frequent.
On Friday, about 125 dogs entered the event for Best in Show, Rally Obedience and Total Dog awards, organizer Kathy Lamping said.
For some competitors like Amanda Robinson’s Cavalier King Charles spaniel, Thelma, it was their first time out. The four-month-old puppy from Pinewood, Minnesota, was the only one of Robinson’s group of spaniels to attend, leaving Thelma without her companion, Louise. But the newbie was happy to receive the extra attention from the spectators.
“Thelma puts herself in the center of attention at home,” Robinson said. “It’s an energetic little thing.”
Other contestants like Tammy Lodien’s Chinese crested Asada were seasoned ring champions. Lodien said one-year-old Asada had done AKC shows before, but the UKC event was new to them.
“I love carne asada tacos,” Lodien said of the inspiration behind Asada’s name. “There’s no switch on her and she really has a lot of mane.”
After experiencing a personal tragedy recently, Lodien, originally from Bemidji but living in Princeton, Minnesota, said the show was an opportunity to refocus her attention and reunite with her local family and friends.
“I’m here trying to forget the grief and have fun,” Lodien said.
The UKC Free Dog Show, which runs until Sunday September 12, gives viewers the opportunity to speak to breed-specific experts, like show judge Gary Richards, on a variety of topics, ranging from training, grooming and the right breed for his lifestyle. .
Richards, who is from Springfield, Illinois, has been involved in dog shows for 50 years. He started showing Great Danes and Shar-Peis, then started judging in shows about eight years ago.
“When you get to a certain age, you realize that running around the ring is a bit more than you want to do, so you get into judging dogs,” Richards said. “I decided it was time to start judging and using my knowledge of races.”
Richards judges about 15 to 20 shows a year and said good judgment comes from years of practice as well as repeatedly reading and memorizing breed standards. He said he was looking forward to finding out which dogs best meet their breed standards this weekend.
“Every breed has a standard and you judge by the standard. I look at the toplines of the dogs, the eye color, the coat color and all the different things the standard calls for,” Richards said. other dogs, you judge by the norm.”
The first event of the day was a junior division with kids and teens showing off their canine friends. Six-year-old Oliver Hambley was the first to take the stage that morning with his golden retriever Jenga.
“The junior division is the judges’ favorite,” said Ethan Larson, member of the Paul Bunyan Dog Training Association and handler in the dog show. “The juniors are the future of these dog shows, so the trainers are happy to advise and coach them. If a judge sees something wrong, he tells him in a non-judgmental way. »
The show marks the fifth time Larson has participated as a dog handler for his 10-year-old chihuahua, Hero. He said they were both excited to get back in the ring and interact with other sports enthusiasts, especially after dog shows were postponed last year.
“Hero is the most outgoing (of my Chihuahuas) and loves crowds, so he likes to show off the most,” Larson said. “His previous owners wanted to show him off, so I’m kind of crossing him off their to-do list for them.”
The event continues Saturday and Sunday, with two conformation shows at 9 a.m. and a rally obedience competition at 10 a.m. each morning.
1/5: Thelma, a Cavalier King Charles spaniel, waits for her owner at the United Kennel Club Dog Show hosted by the Paul Bunyan Dog Training Association on Friday, September 10, 2021, at the Beltrami County Fairgrounds. (Jillian Gandsey / Bemidji Pioneer)
2/5: Dozens of ribbons were on hand at the United Kennel Club Dog Show hosted by the Paul Bunyan Dog Training Association on Friday, September 10, 2021, at the Beltrami County Fairgrounds. (Jillian Gandsey / Bemidji Pioneer)
3/5: Quinn, a blue roan cocker spaniel, is groomed prior to the United Kennel Club Dog Show hosted by the Paul Bunyan Dog Training Association Friday, Sept. 10, 2021, at the Beltrami County Fairgrounds. (Jillian Gandsey / Bemidji Pioneer)
4/5: Jenga, a golden retriever, sits with his handler Oliver Hambley, 6, at the United Kennel Club Dog Show hosted by the Paul Bunyan Dog Training Association Friday, Sept. 10, 2021, at the Beltrami County Fairgrounds. (Jillian Gandsey / Bemidji Pioneer)
5/5: Judge Gary Richards, of Springfield, Illinois, gives directions to 6-year-old Oliver Hambley and his golden retriever Jenga during the junior division of the United Kennel Club Dog Show hosted by the Paul Bunyan Dog Training Association on Friday, September 10, 2021 , at the Beltrami County Fairgrounds. (Jillian Gandsey / Bemidji Pioneer)