Kennel Clubs host dog show in Columbiana

COLUMBIANA- The Birmingham Kennel Club and Tuscaloosa Kennel Clubs hosted their Confirmation Dog Shows at the Shelby County Exhibition Center from Thursday, April 6, to Sunday, April 9.

According to Birmingham Kennel Club President David R. Bacon, thousands of dogs from almost all 50 states were entered in four different competitions in four days.

“Each day is a complete dog show, from puppies to fully grown dogs,” Bacon said. “It’s a sport. Many people even breed dogs to take to shows.”

American Kennel Club Judge Deborah Barrett said she and other judges memorized a set of standards for each breed to determine the winner. Each dog is judged on their general appearance, size, head shape, facial features, body shape, fur and color.

The dogs are divided by age, gender and breed for the first round of the competitions. The winners are then divided into different groups, based on the type of breed, before the overall winner is chosen.

Barrett said many dogs at the competitions had already earned prestigious titles. According to Barrett, the best way for a dog to become a champion is persistence.

“If you show long enough, the dog gets to be a champion. You have to have won under at east 3 different judges,” Barrett said. “The more dogs you beat, the more points you get.”

While some are not considered “dog show material,” Barrett said all dogs are good dogs.

“Even with dogs that don’t meet our standards, there are still good things about them,” Barrett said.

Bacon said this is the eighth consecutive year both kennel clubs have had their dog shows at the Shelby County Exhibition Center. The shows were open for the public to come and observe.

“Just make sure to ask the owner or handler if you can pet the dog,” Bacon said.

According to Barrett, dog shows bring dog-lovers together, and benefit families as well as dogs.

“It’s a nice thing for the whole family, and a lot of the dogs just light up when they do it,” Barrett said.