The Ingham County Kennel Club had its Winterland Classic all-breed dog show at the Michigan State University Livestock Pavilion from November 30 to December 2, 2012. Kyle and I were there to support Lorie, my mother-in-law, and Keileigh, Kyle’s cousin, who showed their majestic collies.
From a layman’s point of view, I really couldn’t tell how the judges made the selection. When I saw golden retrievers being shown, I would have made all of them winners because they were all cute and basically looked the same! But as Lorie explained to me before, the decision is based on how the dog conforms to the standards of its breed. The standards may be based on its general appearance such as its ear shape, the shape of the snout, its torso, and many other factors. I think I have a long way to go before I learn to compare a certain breed!
It was a very competitive event and dog owners put in their hardest efforts bathing, grooming and styling their dogs. It was like a beauty pageant where the dogs had to wear hair gels, hair sprays and even make-up. I guess just like us humans, dogs also don’t naturally wake up with fluffy, bouncy fur.
There was also an agility test for those cute, hyperactive canines, where they went through a maze of in-and-out gates, tunnels, hoops, etc. All along I thought that dogs were trained to be so smart they could figure out how to make their way through each test on their own. It was a surprising fact for me that the agility test was really more of how the dog and its handler coordinate and work with each other so that the dog can understand the hand signals and do what its handler wants it to do.
Lorie’s collies, Connor and Ivy, might not have won at the show but they did make puppies! So it will still be a double, triple or quadruple celebration in a few months’ time. Keileigh, a wonderful teenager who has been going to dog shows since she was little won first prize in junior showmanship. Congratulations again! 🙂
There seemed to be a hundred dog breeds at the dog show but it was scary to take photos of them. Kyle warned me how competitive these people could be and might not want to have their dogs’ photos taken. Well, I managed to sneak a few shots! And yes, the St. Bernard and Great Dane were HUGE.