What kind of dog, did you say? How many different breeds of dogs can you identify? Most of us readily recognize the Labrador Retriever, German Shepherd, Shih Tzu, and Poodle, but how about the remaining types of dogs from the 190+ different AKC recognized purebred breeds? Then there are all of those “Designer Dog” mixed breeds…..which are also popular today.
Could you identify the Leonberger? Pumi? Sloughi? Cesky Terrier? Coton du Tulear? Or the Xoloitzcuinti? And then there are the Ibizon Hound, Lowchen, and Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever just to name a few.
October brings the annual AKC dog shows to town, hosted by the RCKC (Rapid City Kennel Club), and gives you the opportunity to see and meet all kinds of dog breeds you might not have ever seen before. It also offers you the chance to watch highly trained dogs perform in the obedience rings.
How does a dog show function and how do they choose just ONE dog as the Best in Show from all those different breeds and several hundred of dog entries? It takes many years of training and experience to become an AKC judge. Each breed is judged by its own breed standard, and yes the judges must know them all very thoroughly. You can find the standards for every breed at www.akc.org (then choose the breed you are interested in learning about.)
All dogs are judged first within their own breed to determine which dog best fits the definition of their breed standard. Starting in the breed ring are those which have not yet earned the title of Champion. The boys go first in various age groups until the judge narrows it down to one single male as the Winners Dog. Next to show are the girls until one single female is the Winners Bitch. For the Best of Breed competition all the Champions enter the ring until the judge chooses the one they believe to be the best example of their breed as the Best of Breed. After all the breeds of dogs have been shown, and the Best of Breed for each breed has been chosen, it is time for the group judging.
190+ breeds are now divided into the seven groups: Herding, Hounds, Non-Sporting, Sporting, Terriers, Working, and Toys. The group judge will choose the group winner, the one dog they deem to be the best representative for their breed within the group of different breeds. The 7 dogs which won their groups then compete for the coveted title of Best in Show.
Be sure to stop by the obedience rings and watch the performance dogs competing while you are there. It is amazing how well trained some of these dogs are and the tremendous bonds they have with their people!
Only dogs entered in the shows are permitted on the show grounds. – So leave your dog at home and come see all of these amazing different breeds of dogs for yourself.
Special Report by Busy
Assisted by Prada, the show dog