Friday, January 21, 2011

PSA: More Handling Classes in Saco

Petiquette Canine Education is holding handling classes on Wednesday evenings at 6:15 starting on 2/2. These classes take place at Paw-zn-Around in Saco. FMI or to sign up, contact Penny Cary of Petiquette at

Monday, January 17, 2011

Guess the Plan Worked!

The following press release comes straight from the AKC Communications Department. I find it interesting to note that the inclusion of mixed breeds in certain performance events was not specifically cited as a cause for the increase in entries. This doesn't mean that it wasn't -- only that there was no specific mention. The Grand Champion program in conformation appears to have lured people back to Best of Breed competition. This release is good news for agility and conformation events, anyway!


-- Records More Than 3 Million Entries --


New York, NY — The American Kennel Club® ( AKC®) leapt over the 3 million entry mark in 2010, recording a total of more than 3,014,000 dog entries across all conformation, companion and performance events. The growth over the number of entries received in 2009 was sparked by the ever-growing interest in the sport of Agility, where entries increased by 9%.  The new “Grand Champion” title assisted shows by providing an increase of over 40,000 additional entries in Best of Breed.  This equates to more than $1.2 million in additional entry fees to Conformation clubs.

“We were very proud to see the uptick in entries,” said Dennis B. Sprung, AKC ’s President and CEO. “The increase is a promising step forward for our clubs in the face of a persistently challenging economy.  We will continue to research ways to enhance the fun and value of competing in each of our sports.”

In addition, Sprung said, “We salute the finest Agility competitors in the nation who continue to set records; the entire AKC community appreciates their skills.”

The 2010 entry total includes entries from all-breed and specialty conformation shows, obedience, field trials, hunt tests, coonhound events, herding tests and trials, lure coursing, agility, earthdog, tracking and rally.


The American Kennel Club, founded in 1884, is a not-for-profit organization which maintains the largest registry of purebred dogs in the world and oversees the sport of purebred dogs in the United States . The AKC is dedicated to upholding the integrity of its registry, promoting the sport of purebred dogs and breeding for type and function.  Along with its nearly 5,000 licensed and member clubs and its affiliated organizations, the AKC advocates for the purebred dog as a family companion, advances canine health and well-being, works to protect the rights of all dog owners and promotes responsible dog ownership. More than 20,000 competitions for AKC -registered purebred dogs are held under AKC rules and regulations each year including conformation, agility, obedience, rally, tracking, herding, lure coursing, coonhound events, hunt tests, field and earthdog tests. Affiliate AKC organizations include the AKC Humane Fund, AKC Canine Health Foundation, AKC Companion Animal Recovery and the AKC Museum of the Dog.  For more information, visit

AKC, American Kennel Club, the American Kennel Club seal and design, and all associated marks and logos are trademarks, registered trademarks and service marks of The American Kennel Club, Inc.
To become a fan of the AKC on Facebook, go to To follow the AKC on Twitter, go to

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Public Service Announcement: Group Practice Match in Saco, March 5

The Pine Tree State Doberman Pinscher Club is holding an all-breed Group Practice on Saturday, March 5 at Finish Forward Dogs in Saco. (Snow date: March 6.) Breeds in the Miscellaneous Group are welcome; a Miscellaneous Class will be offered. Come practice for the spring shows!

If you haven't been to a Group Practice before, it goes something like this: You enter your dog's class (for example, Open) as usual, but all dogs (and bitches) within your group and class (e.g., 9-12 month Toys) will compete at once. Since the classes range from 3-6 month Puppy to Open of any age, you'll first see the 3-6 month ring with (for example) all the little Shepherds leading the pack, huge puppy feet flying, and the little 3-month-old Corgi puppies toddling sweetly in the rear. Next, the 6-9-month-old puppies in the Herding Group get to do the same thing... up through the Open class. Spectators are welcome, and all dogs could use practice moving to applause. Come cheer the next generation of group winners!

Entries are $10 apiece, and you sign up the day of the match. Show up between 9 AM and 9:45. Judging will start at 10:15.

Here are the rest of the rules:

  • Classes offered are: 3-6 month, 6-9 months, 9-12 months, 12-18 months, and Open.
  • Dogs with one major are welcome to enter.
  • All dogs must be current on their vaccinations (as recommended by their vets) and free of internal/external parasites and communicable diseases.
  • No heavy grooming, no chalking, and no taped ears.

Crating space is limited, as is table space. The match will take place indoors on Finish Forward's wonderful cushioned flooring.

Food will be available in the morning and the afternoon, and there will be prizes and a 50-50 raffle.

FMI: Email Penny at

Public Service Announcement: Handling Classes in the New Year (Southern Maine)

It's a new year, all right -- so new that I'm still writing 2010 on the checks I've been sending out for the latest training classes. Anyway, if you've made a New Year's resolution to sharpen up your handling skills, continue with your handling classes from the previous year, or begin to get the puppy ready for the spring showing season, here's your chance.

Penny Cary of Petiquette Canine Education and Finish Forward Dogs will be offering handling classes on Monday evenings starting on February 2. Class sessions are 6 weeks long and cost $120. Look here for a registration form. Classes take place at Finish Forward's facility in Saco. Penny's classes always fill up quickly, so sign up soon if you plan to join in the fun!

Casco Bay Dog Training Club offers classes in Bath at the Bath Recreation Department. Their class listing doesn't show handling classes for January or February just yet, but visit the page again and/or contact the club to find out when they plan to schedule classes.

It's a Dog's World in York has drop-in handling classes on Monday nights with Sue Burrell. Sue is taking a break this winter, but will start classes up again in March.

Carroll County Kennel Club offers conformation classes in North Conway and Shelburne, NH. Their January class schedule hasn't been announced yet.

If you know of other conformation handling classes or seminars going on between southern NH and Mid-Coast Maine, please let me know at saltysheepdog at gmail dot com and I'll gladly announce them.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

First Shout-Outs of the Year

Congratulations (slightly belated) to our long-time Dog Show Newbie friends Barb Rimoshytus and Rio the Papillon! Rio earned his AKC championship at the Worcester County KC show on 12/4. His handler Courtney Pray finished him, and she sports a great grin in the win photo. If you're a friend of Barb's on Facebook, you can see him with Courtney and with judge Ruth Zimmerman. The win was a little bittersweet for Barb, who couldn't be at the show, and who wishes she could have been holding the lead that day... but the deed is done. Rio is now officially CH Brookfield's Slam Dunk, and he might also have some Rally title initials after his name. Rio and his Golden roomie Tazzy have both been doing rally this past year.

Another old friend picked up some alphabet soup at this year's Springfield Thanksgiving shows. Deb and Richard's Moxie was already a Canadian champion, but now you can call her Am/Can CH Cameron's Kiss Me Quick. Moxie's long march to the CH was even longer than ours. Even with the slightly reduced number of dogs it takes to make a major in our region nowadays, it still took forever to find majors, and for those majors to hold. I'll have to ask Debbie how many points Moxie finished with. Dinah has something like 24 or 25, and Rowdy Blue had close to 30 by the time he caught his big break.

Fiona needs only two more singles, and her brother Brae finished this past fall at the age of only 17 months -- that's a month younger than his sire Traveler was when he finished. CH Bramley's Green Mountain Boy CGC and handler Brian Kirk made a great pair. Brae took his last points with another handler whose name escapes me, but whom Brae's owners also like very much. Good work, kids!

Okay, I admit that I feel just slightly nostalgic for those days in the classes and all of the socializing that went along with them -- but the whole ordeal of hunting majors feels somewhat like having kids. You have to forget about the pain before you're prepared to have another. We have no room here for a puppy anyway, much less a litter. Maybe someday it would be nice to start again, but in the meantime, it will be fun to cheer for Cash/Casey, Bonnie, and all the new kids. Good luck this year!