Picture a winter day, grim and cold, putting a damper on possible outdoor
activities. You and your children are beginning to suffer from the early stages
of cabin fever, and yet the pickings are slim -- movies? Seen
them. Mall? Sick of it. What's a parent to do? I can think of few things more fun for a family than
attending a dog show! You can find one by doing a quick search on the website
for the American Kennel Club, www.akc.org.
From the website home page, click on "Dog Shows and Trials" on the far upper right.
On the page that comes up, click on "Conformation Dog Shows," and from there,
click on "Event Calendar." You can then click on the state you live in and click "Search." That will take you to a page listing all the shows in your state.
Some of the shows are specific to a certain breed, such as German shepherd.
If you'd like to see a variety of dogs, choose a conformation show run by a
kennel club, which will usually feature either all or a group of different
Recently, I went to a dog show held at the Allentown Fairgrounds in Allentown, Pa.
Admission for an adult was $5, and children were admitted free. Once inside,
there were many, many things to watch.
In one ring, Scottish terriers trotted down the marked paths while in an
adjoining ring, a group of Gordon Setters and their owners stood ready for
their competition to begin. In other areas, rows and rows of dogs either
relaxed in their crates or stood tethered to grooming tables, where their
owners fussed over their coats and made last-minute tweaks and snips.
I realized that I had a fundamental thing in common with most of the people
there -- I love dogs! And all around me were people who love their dogs.
You'll need a schedule, which will be available at the door. Then you can
choose the various breeds you'd like to see, and note the times they will be in
each ring. At the Allentown
show, all the "rings" were in the same general area, so it was easy to move
around from one breed to another.
Be sure to talk about just a couple rules with your children. First, they
shouldn't pet or approach any dog without first talking to its owner or handler
to see if that's OK. Also, they should take care that when they're watching the
action in a ring, they're not standing somewhere, which blocks the aisle.
Competitors may be hurrying from one ring to another and may be towing a dog in
a wheeled crate.
But both adults and children may be able to approach participants and ask
questions. A dog show is a great place to see the various breeds "in person" and begin a discussion about which breed may be the right fit for your family.
A dog show may also be a great place to make contact with a responsible person
who breeds, raises and sells dogs.
For a fine selection of Dog Supplies,