Ringside at the American Kennel Club National Championship
American Kennel Club Show Dogs
Last week I went to the Canine Extravaganza and American Kennel Club National Championship in Orlando. One really cool thing was sitting ring-side in the press area during the National Championship. I got an up-close-and-personal look at how the handlers managed their dogs during down time. It was a lot of fun seeing the dogs spritzed with water, combed, fluffed, fanned, and generally pampered while they waited their turns.
The Dogue de Bordeaux got his own personal electric fan to keep him cool.
Here’s the Great Dane and his handler checking out a text message from his owner.
And here’s the Cane Corso giving me the once over.
The Doberman Pinscher kept warm between trips around the ring.
For those that don’t know, dog shows are all about “conformation.” According to the AKC:
… the true purpose of conformation showing is to evaluate breeding stock. The dog’s conformation—his overall appearance and structure—is an indication of the dog’s ability to produce quality purebred puppies, and that is what is being judged in the ring. That’s why mixed-breeds and spayed or neutered purebreds are not eligible to compete.
The Australian Shepherd and his handler share a moment.
I got an up-close look at a Bergamasco Shepherd, a relatively new addition to the list of AKC-recognized breeds.
Here’s what the Bergamasco looks like when it’s not doing an imitation of a shag carpet with a nose and tongue.
This is one of my favorite dogs, the Neapolitan Mastiff. Here he is getting a spritz in the ring.
And here’s another dog giving me “The Eye” … the Alaskan Malamute.
The Belgian Malinoise whispers in his handler’s ear.
The German Shepherd Dog was at the front of the line in the Herding Group.
The Bullmastiff gets ready.
The Boxer won “Best in Group” in the Working Group.
The winner of “Best in Show” for the American Kennel Club National Championship was a Puli named Preston. Here is he strutting his stuff during the Herding Group competition.
For more about handlers, check out the American Kennel Club’s Registered Handlers Resource Center and for some funny stuff read about these 13 Behind-the-Scenes Secrets of Dog Show Handlers from Mental Floss.