Calcasieu, Acadiana Dog Show this weekend at Civic Center

By By Jordan Gribble / Special to the American Press

Dogs and the humans who love them will travel from all over the nation to take part in the Calcasieu and

Acadiana Kennel Clubs Dog Show set for today through Sunday at the Civic Center.

Over 1,000 dogs, representing nearly 130 breeds, will be judged against the standards set by the American Kennel Club and will compete for the titles of best in breed, best in group and best in show.

The competition will run from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day. Admission is free and the show is open to the public. Children are welcome, but parents are advised to not bring strollers. Canine entries are closed and will not be accepted at the time of the event.

“We’re one of the largest shows in the

south, and people just love to come out and look at the beautiful

animals,” show chairman,

Sally Shepherd said. “You can really appreciate how well groomed

and behaved these dogs are, and it’s really just a beautiful

sight to behold.”

Shepherd said patrons will get a

chance to see each dog as it gets ready for the spotlight in the Civic

Center’s Exhibition

Hall, where each dog be groomed before being judged.

“During the show we encourage everyone to walk around the grooming area, to watch people grooming their dogs and talk to the

trainers. We’ll also have several vendors on hand selling dog supplies, jewelry and clothing,” she said.

Judging will take place throughout each day in the Civic Center’s coliseum. Each dog will be judged

not against other dogs, but against the standards the American Kennel Club has mandated for the breed. Categories are broken into breed and group, which includes sporting, working, hounds, terriers, toy, non-sporting

and herding.

Shepherd said many spectators who have seen dog shows on television, like the Westminster Kennel Club dog show, are fascinated when they get the chance to see the judging process up close.

“When you watch one of these shows on

television sometimes you might wonder why a particular dog won over

another dog whose

look you preferred. Here you’ll get to see the judging process,

and how the dogs are judged in obedience, agility and how

they conform to the standards of the American Kennel Club. The

judge feels each dog’s bone structure, measures the set of

their eyes and tail, checks their bite and decides whether or not

to award them based on how they conform to the standards,”

she said.

Shepherd said the dogs get a break in judging during the Junior Showmanship event, which will put the trainers in the spotlight.

“In our Junior Showmanship category,

that’s when the judge really judges the child, aged 10 to 18, who is

showing the dog. You’re not just paying attention to what the dog

looks like, but to how the child shows them,” she said.