Dog show held Sunday afternoon

| October 3, 2016

COSHOCTON – A small crowd gathered Sunday afternoon at the Coshocton County Fair to watch the 4- H dog show. Although there were few competitors, the crowd wasn’t disappointed as they watched the dogs and youth show-off their mastery of commands all dogs should know.

The judge for the event was Penne Smith. She has been showing dogs since the late 80s and judges shows as a way to help 4-H’ers get started in showing their pets. She wants youth to know that any dog can be a show dog – your pet does not have to be a purebred animal. Any dog over 6 months old can compete in the fair and she encourages youth to work with their dogs and bring them to the fair.

Smith judges obedience and showmanship classes. When a dog/youth compete in obedience classes, she watches how well they work together as she gives the youth commands, such as right turn, left turn and stop.  The dogs are also expected to follow their handlers in a figure eight and to stop when the handler does.

Smith expects the dogs to know basic commands that every dog should be taught, whether it is a show dog or a pet. Such commands include “heal” (following beside their handler, not pulling at the leash), “stay,” “stand” and “recall” (come to their handler when called). Many of these commands are for the safety of the animal.

When she judges showmanship classes, she watches the youth more than the animal. She wants to see patient handlers and watches to see how well they explain to their dog what is expected of them. Each participant in showmanship classes must also answer six questions about dogs. These questions can range from basic care to health issues to reproduction.

Emily Burrier, 15, brought two dogs, Tessa and Maddie, to show. Her dad showed dogs when he was younger and won many awards, so she decided to follow in his footsteps. She is very involved in the training of her animals and enjoys working with both dogs. Burrier said the hardest part of working with her dogs is when they want to play and are being uncooperative when she wants to teach them commands. She also said that the best part of showing dogs is that, at the end of the day, win or lose, she still has awesome dogs.

Smith would like to see more youth involved with the dog show and hopes the number of dogs competing will grow over the next several years.

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