Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Impressions from the Halifax Dog Show

I attended the Halifax Kennel Club Dog Show the Labour Day weekend and had a great time - largely due to the fact that I was surrounded by wonderful people. My friend Joan already blogged about the show and also added a bunch of great photos you can check out.
I didn't take any pics and don't want to repeat what Joan said, but want to share what I reflected on each day on my hour-long drive home.

On Saturday, three perfect specimen of my favorite breed, Australian shepherds, were a couple of tables away from us and I was happy for the eye candy. Although the dogs were part of the event and competed in Rally O', they needed to move. Someone (stupid) complained cause there were a couple of food vendors in close proximity. I wonder what the person who had an issue with it expected to find at a dog show? The next day the Aussies were out of my sight and I had to do with all the other dogs that walked up and down the aisles and passed the food vendors. It ended up not being too bad because one was a huge drooly, hairy Newf and the owner/handler was nice enough to stop for a bit so I could get my cuddles in.

I was busy selling my book and mittens, but thanks to Ann and Heather who did a great job manning my table, I was able to watch some of the events. One was part of an obedience trial and I watched a German shepherd, a Labrador and a Sheltie compete. The Sheltie was fantastic and I thought to myself that somehow, to make things fair for all other breeds, there should be a handicap applied whenever they compete. Both the Lab and shepherd ran enthusiastically away to get the dumbbell and got slower and slower as they got closer to the owner/handler on the way back. If one of my dogs would do that, I'd look myself in the mirror and ask why she hesitates to return to me.

I also watched some Rally O', the much kinder way of obedience, and again a Sheltie excelled, but also a miniature schnauzer and that was great cause many people do not train their schnauzers to that level. And he or she, like the Sheltie, was really focused, happy and upbeat in the ring. No hesitation to be near their person with these two.

At my table, and close to it, there were great conversations with breeders, dog owners and people looking for a dog - or not looking for one, like one young lady who loves dogs but chooses to live without one because of the lifestyle she enjoys. I wish everyone would give that much thought before they get a canine companion. A family who stopped by was just as conscientious. Even though their son, who appeared very mature and well behaved, really, really wants a dog, they aren't rushing in it but invest a lot of time researching the right dog and breed for them.

We talked to wonderful breeders who have a small number of dogs, keep the puppies until they are 12-weeks old and have a thorough questionnaire potential buyers have to fill out.
We also talked to ones who have so many dogs and litters that they pee in the house and on dog beds and I wonder if they tell their buyers that a dog who learns to pee and poop in the house is more difficult to train to go outside.
One other breeder was proud of the fact that the outside runs she keeps her dogs in are in the shade. I get it. Breeders of large dogs can't have all of them in the house, but I do hope that her criteria for choosing her puppies' new family is a little higher than a dog run out of the sun.

Throughout the three days I periodically played with the idea what kind of dog I would get were I interested in a dog right now, which I am not. My friend Joan wants a black standard Poodle. I always came back to the gorgeous Saluki I saw several times. And the Saluki pup was just as wonderful. The Salukis were my favorites - and the most beautiful Chinese Crested I ever saw. She wasn't hairless or a powderpuff, but had hair half of her body, which I didn't know existed. I'm glad I learned something new at the dog show.

1 comment:

  1. Yes - I want a standard poodle because of one kennel's poodles that I met at the show - their temperaments were so beautiful and loving and calm and the way the breeder and handler were treating the dogs was so amazing that I couldn't imagine that they'd treat them badly once they got home - that they've made me think that maybe I might not get my dream dog of a black russian terrier as my next dog - but get a standard poodle - but only if it's from the kennel of "Seven Seas" kennel - if she's still breeding when I'm finally ready to take on a non-rescue dog! And that's not going to be for a while I'd say! haha!