Bayfront Convention Center Goes to the Dogs
Erie Kennel Club hosts annual dog show
SATURDAY, JAN. 29 - 30
Who is the goodest boy? Who is the goodest girl? (Asking for a man's best friend.)
The answer awaits at the Erie Kennel Club's 2022 All-Breed Dog Shows, Obedience Trials, and Rally Trials this weekend, just a bone's throw away at the Bayfront Convention Center. But whereas most pet owners will award "goodest" superlatives for naught but adorably good looks, here such distinctions are less superficial. Yes, puppies and dogs registered as one of the 193 breeds recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) will be scrutinized according to certain identifying physical characteristics (i.e., conformation). But they'll also be evaluated on behavior, temperament, and how well they synergize with their humans. As the competition gets progressively hairier, judges will not hesitate to express their quibbles one bit.
Pooch-person duos young and old will contend in several categories throughout the weekend, with prizes for the best handlers (including juniors aged 9 to 18), best of individual breeds, and best in show, as well as the best performances in Obedience and Rally Trial classes. Obedience and Rally constitute two of the AKC's four companion sports open to all dogs — purebred and otherwise (mutts must be spayed and neutered, however). Both events measure the communication and side-by-side working relationship between the handler and the dog, although the setup is slightly different — Rally is in the form of an obstacle course with numbered signs spelling out instructions for the skill to be demonstrated. High scores are based on talent (i.e., the dog's ability to perform a physical feat), teamwork, and control.
While the Erie Kennel Club expects serious competitors from all over the Northeast and Canada, they also wish to extend a paw to current or prospective dog owners from around the region. Formally, they'll hold "Meet the Breed" events to acquaint you with popular breeds and their personalities, helping you to determine the best match for your family. Informally, you'll be able to mingle with dog lovers of all sorts, many of whom will have plenty of wisdom to share about getting the most out of dog ownership and navigating its (p)ups and downs.
Fetch your coat and slippers and go for a ride to the Bayfront Convention Center. It's a barking good time waiting to be unleashed.
Saturday and Sunday, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. // 1 Sassafras Pier // eriekennelclub.com/dogshow