What did you do last Saturday? If you had a chance to attend the Every Dog Club Fall 2017 Dog Show, the answer undoubtedly includes family-friendly fun, good food, and watching a competition between some of the country’s most incredible dogs.
Dog enthusiasts gathered at the Livingston Parish Fairgrounds last weekend to compete in the day’s events and watch them unfold. The show, which was put on by the Louisiana-based Every Dog Club, began at 10:00 a.m. and lasted until 2:00.
Attendees had a chance to see some exceptional dogs strut their stuff and show off for the judges, including West Highland terriers, Yorkshire terriers, shih tzus, Australian shepherds, German shepherds, poodles, bichon frises, Papillons, and more.
But not everyone came to compete: some attendees watched patiently from the stands to show support for their favorite dogs and handlers, while others came to observe and learn how to compete in future events. Huey Miller was one of the latter group. He showed up with his gorgeous American Eskimo, Toby, and puppies in tow.
When asked what piqued his interest in the Every Dog Club, Mr. Miller offered a heartfelt answer. “Yeah, I’ve got to learn how to train them first [before showing the dogs in completion], but I don’t fish anymore, I don’t hunt anymore, so this is my life.”
While the show was somewhat of a new experience for Miller, in a different way it also became a first for show veteran Billy Douglas of Douglas Farms. Because he’s normally assisting during the events to keep everything running smoothly, it was the first time Douglas, a professional breeder, was able to show his dogs in 30 years.
According to Douglas, the experience was everything he wanted it to be. “You know, when you love your dogs that much, and then you get to do something with them—you want to show that off. From start to finish, I mean some of these dogs—I’ve raised their grandma and their great-grandma, and I mean, this is three or four generations I’ve raised, and [they’re] like family.”
And the time, dedication, and TLC definitely paid off, since Douglas left the show with a new title in the terrier group for his Yorkie, King Price.
But undoubtedly two of the day’s biggest winners were Starla Aceneaux and her beautiful bichon frise, Kammie Lee. After last Saturday’s show, Kammie had four new awards to add to her collection, including the coveted title of Best in Show.
Arceneaux knows what it takes to raise and show top-performing dogs, and she has some excellent advice for those who are interested in showing off their dogs but lack experience. “First, find a mentor. Study the breeds—study the characteristics of every breed that you are interested in, and see which one best suits your personality, and your time availability, and what you’re willing to invest into that breed. Then once you choose a breed, find a mentor that is already showing that breed to teach you to correctly groom that breed.
“When spending time with your dog and learning how to correctly train and groom your dog, you form a partnership with your dog. And then your dog wants to get into that show ring and perform.” So, after you’ve found a mentor and decided on a dog, that’s when your journey together can truly begin.
If you’ve been thinking about showing dogs yourself, there’s no better place to go than an Every Dog Club or other CKC-sanctioned event. Be sure to check the CKC event calendar for upcoming shows and remember to like and follow the official CKC and Every Dog Club pages on Facebook to get to know a helpful, welcoming canine-centric community.