MARIETTA - Hundreds of dogs from around the country are being shown by owners and handlers this weekend during the Mountaineer Spring Classic Dog Show at the Washington County Fairgrounds.
"I've been showing dogs for 20 years and have come to this show for a while," said Jean Kroll, of Pittsburgh, who was showing Belgian tervurens this weekend.
The event kicked off on Thursday and will continue through today. It is sponsored by the Blennerhassett and Greater Clarksburg Kennel Clubs and offers four separate opportunities for a Best in Show award.
Cardigan Welsh corgis are shown to judge Neena Van Camp during the breed’s showing.
Roughly 100 different breeds were involved, including Yorkshire terriers, cardigan Welsh corgis and golden retrievers.
"Participating in the shows helps handlers to bond with the dogs they are working with," Kroll said. "When I'm working with a dog there is a really important connection and energy that is magical, whether I'm showing my dogs or someone else's.
"There is a total connection between the dogs and their handlers and they learn to love their people," she added.
Photo by Jolene Craig
Mary Augustus, of Akron, grooms Stoli, a samoyed, before he is shown at the Mountaineer Spring Classic Dog Show on Saturday at the Washington County Fairgrounds in Marietta.
Nancy Willoughby, of Columbus, showed her cardigan Welsh corgi Chili Palmer on Saturday where he was named Best of Opposite Sex against Ziba - registered name We'll Always Have Paris - a female cardigan Welsh corgi who was named Best in Breed.
"It doesn't matter if you win or lose, the shows are just a lot of fun," said Willoughby. "Now Chili will get a treat when we stop for a hike on the way home."
Joyce Fortney, with the Blennerhassett Kennel Club, said dog shows are not only for breeders and handlers to show off their dogs, but promote the general well-being of the breeds.
"Every dog has a breed standard and qualities breeders are looking for that are looked at and rated by the judges," Fortney said.
Joe Earnest, president of the Greater Clarksburg Kennel Club, said while there are breed standards and certain things the judges look for in the dogs, it all comes down to a desire to keep the breed healthy.
"The shows allow the breeders the ability to improve the quality of their breed and the health of their dogs," he said.
Ring times for today's final showings will begin about 8 a.m. and Best In Show will be about 2:30 p.m. Admission and parking are free.
The show features judges and dogs that have appeared at Westminster Kennel Club and American Kennel Club/Eukanuba National Championship shows.