FRESNO COUNTY, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – Saturday and Sunday the Fresno County Fairgrounds have gone to the dogs as the Sun Maid Kennel Club “all-breed dog show” is in full swing.
It takes a lot of “primping” and pampering before these dogs enter the show ring.
“People are eager to show their dogs you know they’re wanting to be back out there in the ring and doing what is normal for them,” President of the Sun Maid Kennel Club Cindy Mcalester, “we do have some nice top-notch dogs here – dogs you will see in some of the national shows – Westminister – we have some very very high-end dogs here”
Dogs come from all around the country including Nevada, Arizona, Washington, Idaho, and Hawaii.
“We travel pretty extensively with Annie… I think it’s more of a prestige we enjoy showing it’s something all of us for many many decades we love to show, get out and enjoy the dogs.” says participant Kimberly Baker with her dog Annie.
An Akita named “Forest” is destined for great things according to his handler, in fact, they say he’s the number 3 Akita in the country.
“Forest won the breed today which means he has to go compete in the working group and we’re getting him ready. He’s a big winner,” says junior handler Ava Hata, “I started in service dogs so I had service dogs that competed in obedience and then I ended up getting into the show aspect of it.”
“All these dogs today have already competed once in their breed and they won their breed and now they’re coming for their group placements… It’s a beauty contest but it goes much more than that as far as what our breed standard is for each breed and you want to get your dog to that standard,” says Mcalester.
While those beautiful dogs are in the spotlight, there are opportunities for the junior handlers.
“There’s more than just competing with dogs you have a lot of opportunities for jobs and scholarships and you learn so much with your dogs,” says Mcalester.
Those who would like to check out the dog show, it runs through Sunday at the Fresno Fairgrounds from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. each day.
Admission is free but parking is $10 and dogs that are not entered in the competitions are not allowed on the show grounds.