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Saturday, 16 February, 2008 7:28 PM

The Detroit Kennel Club Celebrates 100th/101st Annual Shows March 1 & 2, 2008 at Cobo Center

Dedicated breeders make the annual shows the most valuable resource for dog lovers


DETROIT -- The Detroit Kennel Club will celebrate a milestone when its 100th and 101st shows open at Cobo Center on March 1 & 2. The annual Celebration of Dogs, proudly presented by Purina, allows visitors up-close and personal time with breeders, owners, handlers and over 2,500 canines from the 169 breeds and varieties recognized by the American Kennel Club.

The DKC shows are a 'benched show,' which offer visitors the unique opportunity to meet with owners and breeders and learn about breed characteristics, temperament, care, health, grooming, history and other issues for dog owners. When dogs are not in the judging rings, they are required by the rules of the show to be displayed on a bench according to breed, making it easy for a spectator to talk to several breeders of a specific dog in the same location. The DKC Dog Shows are one of only six benched American Kennel Club (AKC) shows left in the United States (Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Portland and New York). The American Kennel Club Community Achievement Award was recently presented to the DKC for successfully promoting purebred dogs and responsible dog ownership through public education and or legislation programs and activities.

"It is hard to believe that these shows started back in 1916," said Detroit Kennel Club President Erik Bergishagen. "This show exists because we have very dedicated dog people in Michigan who really care about their breeds."

The benched format show is demanding on both exhibitors and their dogs, but worthwhile for all because of the public support and appreciation. Visitors can leave with the show catalog containing a breeder's directory that is a year-long reference for local veterinarians, breeders and show spectators, and is considered "the local source" for a good breed referral.

"We have breed clubs and individuals that have not missed participating in the DKC shows for thirty-plus years because it is so important to educate people about the many breeds." Bergishagen adds, "Today breeders have a new challenge. The new "designer dog" fad has truly placed reputable breeders on the defensive when it comes to protecting their lines. Designer dog advocates aren't improving a breed, they are feeding a demand. The fact is that a breed takes years to define, and dedicated breeders breed to better the standard, not simply to have litters. We get calls all the time from people who bought a designer dog or a puppy from a backyard breeder and are finding out that their puppy is not well due to an illness that tends to run in the breed and could have been avoided had the person who bred the dog been knowledgeable about the breed."

The 100th DKC Show will take place on Saturday, March 1, and the 101st show will follow on Sunday, March 2. This year more than 2,500 dogs representing 169 different breeds and varieties are expected to compete for honors at each show. Four new breeds are eligible to compete at this year's
shows: the Tibetan mastiff, the Beauceron, the Swedish valhund, and the Plott hound. Show entries close on February 13.

Conformation Competition

Each day, dogs of each breed will be judged in different classifications: puppies, novice, American-bred, bred-by-exhibitor, open class, winners' class, and best-of-breed competition. Dog breeds are divided into seven groups (sporting, hounds, working, terriers, toys, non-sporting, and herding). Competition begins at the breed level and moves through groups to Best In Show.

Saturday's show will feature the Best Puppy prize and will be awarded to the best puppy at breed, group and Best in Show levels. Best Junior Handler from each show will receive a ribbon. The Best Bred by Exhibitor in Show Competition will be held on Sunday, March 19 and will award a prize to the Best Bred by Exhibitor at breed, group and Best in Show levels. According to American Kennel Club regulations, only dogs entered in the DKC Dog Shows and assistance dogs are allowed to enter Cobo Center during show hours.

Special Events Make the DKC Dog Shows One-of-a-Kind

The 100th/101st DKC Dog Shows, proudly sponsored by Purina, are packed full of fun for the entire family. Special events running throughout the day offer an entertaining look at the rewarding relationship between dog and man. No other show in the Midwest brings as many canine special events, vendors and demonstrations under one roof. Demonstrations and feature events include:


Ring A:
-- American Kennel Club Agility Trials -- Back by popular demand, this display of dog talent organized by the Sportsmen's Dog Training Club of Detroit never fails in bringing spectators to their feet as dogs jump over hurdles, through tunnels, climb teeter-totters and go through obstacles competing for ribbons. Times: 8:00 a.m. thru 6:00 p.m. both days.

Ring B:
-- Pet Therapy Program -- The Detroit Kennel Club continues its support of Children's Hospital of Michigan Pet Therapy Program. The program started by Dr. E. Bryce Alpern has brought the comfort and warmth that can only be offered by man's best friend at bedside to hospitalized children. Times: 8 a.m. thru 4 p.m. both days

Ring B.
-- New -- Dog Scouts of America -- The Dog Scouts of America is a Michigan based organization that has spurred a new trend in vacationing to allow dog and master quality time together earning badges as rewards for experiences and new skills. Dog Scout troops are popping up across the country and participants are meeting for year round activities, including summer and winter camping and day trips. Badges can be earned for canoeing, hiking, biking, obedience, water safety, pho'dog'raphy, Frisbee, first-aid, community service, travel safety, household manners and Tricks 101 (just to name a few). To talk to the human half of a Dog Scouting duo visit Ring B. Times: 9 a.m. thru 4 p.m. both days

Ring C:
-- Leader Dogs for the Blind
Since 1939, Leader Dogs for the Blind have been providing dogs to the blind and visually impaired to enhance their travel abilities. Stop by and see Leader Dogs in action as they navigate sidewalks, stairs, obstacles and demonstrate how they serve their masters every day. Times: 10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. both days

Ring D:
-- Terrier Racing -- Watch 'em run! These steam-powered terrier pooches will chase a lure down a 300 foot straightaway at amazing speeds when the Motor Cities Fox Terrier Club demonstrates what terriers love to do best. Times: 10 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. both days

Ring E:
-- Michigan Veterinary Specialists -- Animals & Arthritis: Helping your pet age gracefully This 30-minute presentation by an expert in orthopedic surgery from Michigan Veterinary Specialists (MVS) will help dog owners learn the mechanics of arthritis, dispel common myths and advise owners of their medical options. Attendees will also learn how providing a blanket, rug, pad or pillow to cushion their four-legged friend during sleep can help an aging pet. Times: Sunday only; 10:30 - 3:30 p.m.

-- Michigan Veterinary Specialists -- First Aid and CPR
Protecting your dog's health begins with an understanding of basic first aid techniques. MVS, the Midwest's most advanced specialized veterinary medical and 24/7 emergency trauma center, will present Pet First Aid & CPR, a 30-minute primer for pet owners. This informative presentation by veterinarians will equip pet owners with emergency action plans and hands-on techniques from how to clean and bandage a wound to what to do if you dog is choking. Heat stroke, eye injuries, poisoning and even how to stop the bleeding of a nail with common household items will be covered. Veterinarians from MVS will share their expertise in these vitally important sessions and answer questions about what is new in advanced medical treatment for dogs. Times: 10:00 a.m. - 3 p.m. both days

-- Michigan Technical Rescue Operations Team -- MTROT canine units will show how dogs use their tracking, trailing and air scenting capabilities to aid in search and rescue operations. This team is prepared to aid in many different types of disasters, including building collapses and floods. Times: 9:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m., both days

Ring F:

-- Retriever and Field Training -- Len Jenkins will demonstrate techniques used in training upland bird dogs including field work, pointing, flushing and retrieving. Emphasis will be placed on teaching the techniques, equipment, and attitude necessary for developing a stylish upland bird dog. Times: 9:30 a.m., 10:45 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 12:45 p.m., 1:30 p.m., 2:45 p.m. and 3:30 p.m., both days

Ring G:

-- Herding Demonstration -- The Border Collie Society of America will demonstrate herding using live ducks. Times: 10:15 a.m., 11:15 a.m., 1:15 p.m. and 2:15 p.m., both days

Additional Attractions:
-- Canine Care Merit Badge -- The Detroit Kennel Club Canine Care badge invites participants to take a self-guided tour of the show and learn about all the activities on display from canine care basics, obedience, and junior showmanship to pet therapy. Registration required. Time: Self guided tour of the show runs both days. For more information and to register go to

-- Obedience Competition -- Obedience trials test and score a dog on its ability to perform a prescribed set of exercises. Dogs can earn titles on three different levels -- Companion Dog, Companion Dog Excellent and Utility Dog. Times: Ring 1, Trials run both days.

-- Obedience Trials and American Kennel Club Rally Obedience -- AKC Rally is the dog sport that adds a new twist to traditional obedience competition. The dog and handler team move continuously through a rally course of 10-20 signs with the dog at the handler's left side. At each numbered sign the team performs the indicated exercise before moving on to the next sign. Times: Ring 1, 8 a.m. thru 6 p.m. both days

-- Breed Seminars -- Local breeders lead discussions at the Information Booth on the following breeds: Basset Hound, Portuguese Water Dog, Rhodesian Ridgeback, Pomeranian, Weimaraner, Cardigan Welsh Corgi, Australian Terrier and Schipperke. Plus, 'How to pick the right puppy' will be presented each day. Saturday: Sunday:
11:00 a.m. Basenji 11:00 a.m. Bull Terriers
12:00 p.m. Akitas 12:00 p.m. Shetland Sheepdogs
1:00 p.m. Guide to buying a 1:00 p.m. Guide to buying a
purebred puppy purebred puppy
2:00 p.m. Chesapeake Bay Retrievers 2:00 p.m. French Bulldogs
3:00 p.m. Portuguese Podengo 3:00 p.m. Pugs

-- NEW - The American Kennel Club(R) selected Lake Orion resident Kimberly Kelly Santini's as the winning artist in the fifth annual AKC/Eukanuba National Championship commemorative art poster competition. The winning piece, entitled "Many Faces," is an acrylic painting laid down over giclee on canvas and depicts some of the faces of dogs from the artist's year long project called "Painting a Dog a Day." Santini painted the face of one dog each day for over a year. Her design best captured the contest's theme "The Wonderful World of Purebred Dogs." Santini will personalize purchased copies of the poster in the American Kennel Club booth. Proceeds from the sale will benefit Take the Lead, a not-for-profit foundation dedicated to providing direct services, support and care for all qualified participants in the sport of dogs who suffer from the devastating realities of life-threatening or terminal illnesses. Times: 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. both days

-- Michigan Gazehound Association - SPECIAL BENCHING SECTION The Michigan Gazehound Association is a lure coursing club that represents "Sighthounds" and their owners. Bred for hunting, their primary method of finding and tracking prey is by sight, relying on a combination of speed and stamina to capture its target. Nine of the twelve sighthounds will be presented in a Parade of Sighthounds in which a representative from each breed will introduce their dog and do a short narrative on its breed origin and utility. Times: 11 a.m., Noon, 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. both days.

Booths and Vendors

The shows have an Information Center staffed with volunteers, qualified judges and breeders with years of personal and professional canine experience. Show participants are eager to answer questions about their breed and areas of interest. Trained veterinarians from Michigan State University will be on hand to answer questions and canine friendly organizations such as REGAP (Retired Greyhounds as Pets), and a number of breed rescue groups continue to be active participants in the shows.

Vendors come from across the US and Canada to exhibit their wares at over 100 retail booths offering pet supplies, unique gift items, canine art, and items of related interest.

Hours and Ticket Prices

Tickets are $12 for adults and $8 for children (under 12) and senior citizens (60 and over). Family packs (2 adults, 3 children) are also on sale for $35. Tickets will be sold separately for each show and are good only for that day's show. Group rates are available by calling (248) 540-5206.

Show hours: Dogs will be on display to the public and demonstrations will run from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Best in Show will go into the ring approximately 6:00 PM each day. Tickets are available at the door. For more information call 248-DKC-SHOW [(248) 352-7469], or online at

Source: The Detroit Kennel Club




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