Only one dog in all the world could win that trophy last weekend at the AKC/Eukanuba World Challenge in Orlando, as part of Celebrate Dogs! weekend.
The road to getting this trophy though is not easy, and that's the first thing I learned.
- Showing a dog isn't easy. I got to show a dog myself as part of the Blogger Stakes. They paired me up with a show dog named Copper. On top of the grooming and the lessons and everything else, there's a whole particularly way to show a dog in the ring. I had to learn it all in a few minutes. We'll talk more about this soon, but this isn't easy.
- The American Kennel Club is not just for pure breeds. Mixed breed dogs may not be allowed in the big show rings, but you can register your mutt, and there's plenty for them to do -- from obedience to canine good citizenship. Head to the AKC website to find out more.
- Rescue dogs can join AKC too! The Purebred Alternative Listing/Indefinite Listing Privilege program allows you to register your dog with AKC even if it doesn't have papers. You just need to include pictures of the dog in your application. Check out the PAL/ILP section of the AKC website for more information.
- Eukanuba is getting into breed formulas. Eukanuba is the sponsor of Celebrate Dogs! and they were there in full force. We won some awesome prizes, and learned about their newest products, including Shakeables treats, which come out in January. They also just added a dachshund formula, and mom is pretty excited about it. Now we just need to find it.
- There are field beagles. I often wonder whether Lulu is a full beagle. She is bigger than the beagles I saw at the show this weekend. And while one Treeing Walker Coonhound breeder thought she might have some coonie in her, the beagle breeders in the "Meet the Breed" section thought she may be a field beagle. They tend to have a different body type. I had never heard of that before. I hope to find more information when I contact the beagle breeders this week.
- There are lots and lots of breeds! I knew there were lots of dog breeds, but I was amazed at the Meet the Breeds section at Celebrate Dogs! There were dozens of breeds. They filled aisles and aisles. Some of the breeds were familiar, like the beagles or the dachshunds. Some I had never heard of before, like the Xoloitzcuintli! There are dog breeds all over the world. So when you walk into a shelter, and you see a dog that's unusual, don't just walk past it. It may be a great dog!
- Children can show dogs. After a day at Celebrate Dogs! my six-year-old niece was itching to get into the ring. Well she can. AKC told us that my niece can show dogs at her age. Of course, she needs a dog she can show first. Cappy and her new rescue dog are not quite ready for primetime.
- Dogs can do awesome things. There were high-flying dock-diving dogs, and soccer-playing dogs, and hurdle-jumping, agility-racing dogs, and dancing dogs, and celebrity dogs, and service dogs, and of course, show dogs. It's amazing what a dog can do if their owner (and the dog) put their mind to it.
- Show dogs eat regular food. I asked around, and many of the owners feed their dogs Purina Pro Plan. I was amazed by that. You'd think they would go for one of the cadillac brands, or make them special food. And some do. But others use Pro Plan or Eukanuba. Very interesting.
- Show dogs are just like regular dogs. At the show, I saw show dogs bark at people and other dogs. I saw show dogs beg for treats. I saw show dogs try to play (or fight) with other dogs. I saw show dogs have accidents. Just like my dog. Ok, so my dog doesn't get groomed daily with $100 brushes, and Lulu isn't exactly show quality yet. But she is just as good as the beagles I saw at Celebrate Dogs! -- they all eat their food on the same side of the bowl!
|My niece with some of the beagles at the Meet the Breeds section.|