Janesville79°

Kennel club prepares for weekend show

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ROCHELLE B. BIRKELO
May 1, 2008
— Gamble pleaded with his owner and handler Don Miller to get into the show ring.

The rambunctious 2-year-old Belgian sheep dog barked loudly, lunging toward the fenced area at the Janesville-Beloit Kennel Club, 102 W. Delavan Drive, where other dogs were in obedience training.


Gamble and Miller were waiting for rally training, anxious for a final rehearsal before Saturday’s dog show that has attracted 1,564 dogs in 137 different breeds from all over the United States.


The two will compete in rally novice and conformation divisions.


In rally competition, dogs at least 6 months old with basic obedience skills go from sign to sign on a course, performing the exercise indicated on each sign, explained instructor Emily Nie of Beloit.


Conformation competition focuses on presentation of the dog, showcasing its best attributes, said Linda Hays, club president.


Miller said competing involves a lot of training.


“We do ongoing classes, probably several hours a week, to get him socialized around other dogs and puppies, and there’s grooming. I brush him every night plus have a professional groomer who likes to work with him,’’ the Janesville man said as he brushed Gamble’s luxurious black coat.


Miller, who previously competed with two other dogs in obedience and agility, also walks Gamble regularly to keep him conditioned.


Miller, a board member of the local kennel club, said time spent training is well worth it.


“I just enjoy working with the dogs and I learn from them,’’ he said.


Miller said competition provides the challenge of being the best.


“My goal is to have fun and work toward titling. It’s the idea I can do better than other people and that my dog is as good as theirs,” he said.


Saturday will be Gamble and Miller’s “coming out party.’’


“We’ve never been to a big show. We’ve been in small obedience trial.’’


While dogs and owners prepare for the show, which welcomes spectators and draws crowds of 500 people, so do club leaders and members.


“To get good judges, the judge selection committee starts two years ahead,’’ said Sharon Grieves, charter member of the local kennel club and an American Kennel Club licensed judge.


Show planning began last year—as soon as last May’s show was over, Hays said.


“Our show chairman works diligently all year round with various aspects of the show,’’ she said.


The club will have an educational booth at the event where people can meet dog breeders, ask questions and get free handouts, she said.


“It’s a great opportunity,” Hays said.


KENNEL CLUB DETAILS

The Janesville-Beloit Kennel Club is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of purebred dogs and responsible dog ownership. The group is a member of the American Dog Owners Association and licensed by the American Kennel Club.


Since the club’s beginning in the mid-1960s, it has hosted matches, all-breed shows and training classes. The club has one all-breed dog show in May and one obedience and rally trial in January.


Club meetings begin at 7 p.m. the first Wednesday of each month at the group’s training center, 102 W. Delavan Drive, Janesville.


Annual dues are $15 per person or $25 per household. Members pay half price for club classes.


The Janesville-Beloit Kennel Club hosted its shows for many years at the Rock County 4-H Fairgrounds. When it outgrew that space, the show moved to Beloit’s Telfer Park. But early May weather often didn’t cooperate, so the club combined its show with the Badger Kennel Club in Madison, and the annual show became the Dairyland Classic. Eventually, the show became too expensive to host at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison, and in 2007 the show was moved to the Jefferson County Fairgrounds.


The dog show at one time attracted up to 2,200 entries, said Sharon Grieves, a charter member of the club that has been hosting shows since 1972.


“Entries (at shows) are down all over (the country) because of the gas prices,” said Linda Hays, club president.


For more information, visit the club’s Web site at www.janesvillebeloitkennelclub.org.


IF YOU GO

What: The Dairyland Classic Dog Show hosted by Janesville Beloit Kennel Club and Badger Kennel Club, Madison.


When: 9 a.m. Friday. 8 a.m. Saturday and Sunday.


Where: Jefferson County Fairgrounds, 503 N. Jackson Ave., Jefferson.


Cost: Admission is free. Parking is $5.


Vendors: Thirteen that will showcase various dog-related items. Concessions include with hot and cold food, beverages and snacks.



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