Which dog is Best in Show? We’ll soon find out.
The Minneapolis Kennel Club Dog Show is coming up Nov. 18-19 at Canterbury Park.
To get the lowdown on this two-day all-breed show, we spoke with Larry Mackai, president of the Minneapolis Kennel Club.
CP: What’s so special about this dog show?
LM: This is the last show of the calendar year in the Twin Cities area. It does draw over 1,000 dogs with over 130 different breeds of dogs, and most of the dogs are from the Twin Cities area. It is a show that does not draw many professional handlers from outside the area.
Saturday, Nov. 18: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Gates open 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Sunday, Nov. 19: 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Gates open 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
$8 – Adults, kids 11-5
$4 – Seniors 62-plus
Free – Kids under 5
CP: What do you love about dogs? What kind of dog do you have?
LM: I have had Samoyeds (medium-size long-hair white Northern Breed) for over 45 years. They give you unconditional love. They do the things we ask them to do because they want to please us and they enjoy doing it. If we think they are not enjoying what we want them to do then we try to find something they do enjoy doing.
CP: What will the experience be like for attendees?
LM: First of all, they will be able to see many breeds they never knew existed.
It is interesting to watch the conformation judging. This is where they judge which dog is closest to the written standard in that judge’s opinion.
If they are interested in a particular breed, they could talk to some of the owners of that breeds they are interested in and get their opinion on what the breed is like in a home environment.
CP: What will this competition decide?
LM: There are three types of competition for each of the individual breeds at this show. First, every breed entered will have a competition among themselves. First all of the non-champion boy dogs will compete, and there may be several different classes of non-champion boy dogs.
The first place winners from each of the classes of non-champion boy dogs will then compete against each other and the winner of these dogs will earn championship points. The number of championship points depends on how many boy dogs the winner defeated.
Then we do the same for the non-champion girl dogs. Only one boy dog and one girl dog of each breed will get championship points. These two winners will then compete with the Champions of that breed and we will have a Best of Breed for each breed entered at the show.
The second level of competition has the Best of Breed winners, who will then compete on the Group level. All of the breeds of dogs are divided into seven different Groups–Sporting, Hound, Working, Terrier, Toy, Non-Sporting, and Herding. For each of the Groups you will have the Best of Breed winner for the breed that is in that Group. The dogs in each of the groups are placed first to fourth place.
The last level of competition is the Best in Show level. The seven group winning dogs are in competition against each other for the award of Best in Show. This will be done both Saturday and Sunday, as they are different dog shows. You may wind up with some of the same winners or you could have completely different winners each day.
The other competition that takes place is the Junior Showmanship judging. The juniors are divided by age, Junior class at least 9 years and under 12 years, Intermediate class at least 12 years and under 15 years and the Senior class who are at least 15 years and under 18 years. Within these three age groups there are two divisions: Novice (they have not had three first place wins) and Open (they have had at least three first place awards in their age group class). The winners of these six classes will then compete for Best Junior Handler. Again, this is done each day of the dog shows.
CP: Anything else you’d like to add?
LM: It is a relatively inexpensive day. A chance to see many different breeds.
Remember, one should always ask if they can pet a dog. Some of the dogs are going into the ring for competition and are groomed for the ring. The handlers will advise you if it is OK to pet. Some dogs may not like crowds and there are some dogs that may not appreciate children.
Some of the handlers are showing many dogs and may have to go to another ring with a different dog and may not have time at that point to visit with everyone.