Civic Center going to the dogs

By By Lance Traweek / American Press

More than 1,000 dogs representing 121

breeds will be judged at the annual Acadiana & Calcasieu Kennel

Clubs’ All-Breed & Obedience

Dog Shows, which will be held Thursday through Sunday at the Lake

Charles Civic Center.

The Acadiana Kennel Club shows begin at 8:30 a.m. each day Thursday and Friday; the Calcasieu Kennel Club shows start at 8

a.m. each day Saturday and Sunday.

Admission is free. There will be activity in six rings at the same time, with different dogs in each ring.

Judging will be completed by 4 p.m. each day. There will be 815 dogs shown on Thursday, 922 on Friday, 1,029 on Saturday and

999 on Sunday.

“We have 121 of the 155 breeds recognized by the American Kennel Club at our shows,” show chairman Sallie Shepherd said. “We

usually have our shows at Burton Coliseum, so do not forget that we are in the Civic Center this year and next year.”

She said the dogs being exhibited were entered more than three weeks ago, and only participating dogs are allowed at the venue.

“Dogs in conformation are judged on how well they conform to the standard for that breed, which is published by the American

Kennel Club,” Shepherd said. “Dogs mainly compete for points toward their championship, but we do offer nice trophies for

those winning groups and best in show.”

Shepherd said there are different standards for different breeds.

Sharon Calhoun of Sweetlake will show her 3-year-old basset hound, Grand Champion Downright Texas Splenda.

“I walk her every day to get her muscles toned just like an athlete,” Calhoun said. “You can’t just take her in the ring and

expect to win.”

She said her dog is in the Top 20 in the nation for its breed.

“The day of the show, before we go in the ring, I do her nails and trim her loose hairs. I put her on the table and cut her

whiskers, and I wipe her down so she will smell good.”

Calhoun said the basset hound is a hunting breed, so it must have a 90-degree angle in the front and an equal angle in the


“You want the angles to match,” Calhoun said. “They are supposed to be a smooth-moving dog — not fall on their noses when

they walk. They are not supposed to be clumsy. They are supposed to have effortless movement, according to the standard.”

Shepherd said dogs need 15 points to be a champion, which is determined by the number of dogs against which the dog competes

at a show. Point systems vary from breed to breed, she said.

“Judges are not really judging the dogs against each other, but with the point system standards,” she said. “A schedule of

points is listed with each individual breed in the catalog, which lists all of the exhibitors with the dogs’ information.”

Shepherd said 25 vendors will be on-site for “some of those hard-to-find items for dogs, as well as jewelry, foods and cleaning


Shepherd asks that spectators stay out of the center aisle by the rings in the coliseum. The Exhibition Hall will house the

exhibitors grooming the dogs; visitors may observe.

Strollers are not permitted in the Civic Center Coliseum or the Exhibition Hall — for the safety of children, who are not always visible to their parents, she said.

For more information, contact Shepherd at 304-5788 or

Kennel Club Schedule