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2012 Laramie Kennel Club Dog Show

Thank you to all who attended the 2012 Laramie Kennel Club Dog Show. We look forward to seeing you again next year!



Dogs, owners compete at show

Published: May 29,2012

About 800 people from all over the country, including California, Florida, New Mexico, Kansas, Missouri and Canada, came to Laramie for the Laramie Kennel Club (LKC) Dog Show, which took place over Memorial Day Weekend at the Albany County Fairgrounds.

The number of dog entries this year is down by 10 percent compared to about 870 last year, as a result of unemployment, high gas prices, and other factors associated with the economy, Karin Robbins, LKC Dog Show chairwoman, said.

“But all the dog shows are down. The other dog shows are down 35 percent; we are down 10 (percent),” she said.

The show is licensed by the American Kennel Club (AKC), therefore, only AKC-registered breeds — of which there are more than 160 in seven groups — can compete.

The breeds will be shown in the sporting, hound, working, terrier, toy, herding and non-sporting groups.

About 111 breeds are represented at the show each year.

This year, the show also included two new breeds: Portuguese Podengo Pequeno and toy fox terrier.

Each breed has a standard which covers not only the dog body type, but also its coat, temperament, attitude and movement.

“It’s very comprehensive,” Robbins said. “It’s a total dog package. If you get one of the hounds that is aggressive, that’s not the right temperament. Hounds are permitted to be aloof, because they don’t necessarily like the strangers touching them, but they should never be aggressive.

“And the toy breeds, they live to please, they should be happy to see you, almost vibrating with the pleasure of seeing you.”

This year, 19 juniors entered the Junior Showmanship, a competition for children under 18 to exhibit their dog-handling skills.

“And that’s a good number. They show in different classes,” Gale M. V. Bandsma, co-chair of the show, said.

“And there is nothing more adorable than to see a little boy in a complete suit and a dog bigger than he is, and he is showing the dog,” Robbins said. “If I’m an adult showing a dog, I don’t worry that the other adults will be more precise, more careful, more correct. I worry about that kid. That’s all they live for, that’s all they do, and they are perfect.”

Not all owners of purebred dogs choose to compete in dog shows. One reason some dog owners choose to is because they are committed to the breed, Robbins said.

“So if you don’t do that and you let people breed and there is no standard to judge them against, the breed morphs out and wanes,” she said.

“With purebred dogs you have the certainty of the temperament, you have certainty about the health problems or non-health problems, you have certainty about the behaviors.”

For those who don’t have a dog, attending the show is an opportunity to see the variety of dog breeds, discuss them with the breeders and, maybe, find the one that is appropriate for them as a future pet, Bandsma said.

Robbins’ cousin Justin Roberts knew nothing about dogs six years ago when he first came to the LKC Dog Show.

“I really liked the way the arctic dogs look, like huskies, malamutes. They just stick out against the other hounds,” he said.

Roberts doesn’t have a dog right now, but he said he would like to have one once he finds a place that allows dogs. He was able to find a breed that matches his personality by talking to breeders and watching the breeds he liked.

“They have his personality. They work really hard, they play really hard and then they are mischievous,” Robbins said. “When we have that cliché that people are like their dogs, they remind us of their dogs in temperament. And so if you want to know that dog matches your temperament, a purebred dog does that for you.”