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‘AMAZING DOG-GONE’ – The Friendship Cluster AKC All Breed Dog Show during the Labor Day weekend at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds at Friendship Park in Smithfield will be held September 3-6. Hours are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. The show will feature over 800 dogs and 160 breeds with performances including dockside diving as shown in the photo. – Contributed

SMITHFIELD – This year’s AKC All Breed Friendship Group Dog Show over Labor Day weekend promises to be another “dog gone” exciting event, according to the organizers.

Members of the St. Clairsville Ohio Kennel Club, the Fort Steuben Kennel Association and the Beaver County Kennel Club have been planning the four-day show for over a year.

It will be held at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds at Friendship Park in Smithfield from Friday to September 6. Hours are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The annual show draws people from all walks of life and from all professions, not only locally, but across the United States, Canada and abroad competing for championship points and victories for championship titles. obedience and rally.

“It’s fun entertainment for you and your family” noted Jane Hendricks, president of the St. Clairsville Ohio Kennel Club. “If you’ve never been to a dog show, come see what you missed. “This show is a big attraction, ”said Hendricks.

Participants will have the chance to see over 130 breeds every day, from 4 months to adulthood.

On September 3, 700 dogs are registered; September 4, 865, September 5, 850; and September 6, 726.

Each day, one dog will receive the coveted Best in Show Conformation, and one dog will receive High in Trial in Obedience. In conformation, AKC judges look for the dog that closely matches the AKC written standard for that particular breed. These dogs are judged and evaluated for their structure, movement and temperament.

This year some of the biggest entries are: Pharaoh Hounds with 63 dogs, 65 Otterhounds and 60 Black and Tan Coonhounds.

Performance events are also part of the show, including CABT, an acronym for Coursing Ability Test. It is a 100 meter timed race where the dogs run one at a time, chasing a decoy.

“It’s over before you know it – and it’s just astonishing to see the dogs running at full speed, ears back, eyes focused, legs strong. “ Hendricks watched. Any dog ​​can enter on September 4 or 5 as long as they are 12 months old and registered with the AKC or their canine partners or the PAL program.

Another event is the AKC Lure Courses. It is an exciting way for greyhounds to do what comes naturally to them, but in a safe and controlled environment. In this event, the dogs chase a mechanized white plastic decoy around a 600-meter course that simulates the unpredictability of chasing live prey.

“Zigzagging across a large open field is simply paradise for these dogs”, Hendricks added.

Bob Damron, President of the Fort Steuben Kennel Club, said: “The North America Diving Dogs will be hosting an All-Breed Dock Diving event each day where titles can be earned. Dock diving is a fast growing sport that is fun for dogs of all breeds, mixtures and sizes. You can watch the competition or bring your dog in for a fun splash.

“Try her” are also available daily, assisted by experienced trainers.

Visitors will also be able to watch obedience and rally competitions. In obedience, each purebred or mixed breed dog and its handler work as a team by performing a series of exercises, including kicking on a leash and off leash, retrieving an object over a jump, and a More advanced exercise would include scent discrimination where dogs retrieve an item with its owner’s scent from among a number of similar items.

The rally competition consists of a team of dogs and handlers who complete a course that has been designed by the judge. The dog and handler advance at their own pace through a course of designated stations. The handler is allowed to talk, praise and encourage the dog. The exercises include varying degrees of turns, circles, spirals, sits, and variable speeds. Rally promotes fun and enjoyment for dogs at all levels of competition.

Tom Davis, president of the Beaver County Kennel Club, said “We also have a special treat every day: it’s the competition for puppies from 4 to less than 6 months old. This competition prepares the puppies for the show ring when they can enter the show for points at the age of 6 months.

“There’s also one class you won’t want to miss – it’s the Junior Showmanship Competition,” said Hendricks. “Boys and girls aged 10 to under 18 compete with others their age, where they are judged on how they present their dog. Juniors also participate in many other performance events such as obedience, agility and rallying.

The 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 ensure a place for these young people in the imagination of today and that of the future. as they become adults.

On September 5, a rabies and microchip clinic will be open to the public from 10 a.m. to noon under the grooming lodge. Draws for baskets and other items will be held.

A variety of food will be available and vendors will have dog related items for sale. Judging hours are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day. Groups start at 1:15 p.m. on September 3, 1 p.m. on September 4, 2 p.m. on September 5, and 1:30 p.m. on September 6. From September 3 to 5.

There is no admission fee, but for a $ 5 parking fee, visitors can bring the whole family. Participants can bring their own garden chairs for a view of the ring. All the rings are in tents, and the obedience and the gathering in one building. There are 11 rings.

For more information on the show or to find out what time a favorite breed is on show, visit the Labor Day Weekend Friendship Group All Breed Dog Shows on Facebook or call (304) 281- 3087.

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