By MATT CRANE
The Golden Triangle Kennel Club welcomes hundreds of canine enthusiasts with its annual dog show Saturday and Sunday beginning at 8:30 a.m. at the Mississippi State University Horse Park.
GTKC President Nancy Boden said entries increased for this year’s competition with approximately 600 participants scheduled to attend.
“There are 160 breeds recognized by the American Kennel Club and we’ll have a majority of them here,” she said. “It’s a good chance for people to come out and see breeds they wouldn’t normally see in everyday life.”
The free event is the perfect opportunity for area residents to join fellow dog lovers for a day of fun and excitement, Boden said.
“We have vendors with a variety of dog paraphernalia and things that you might not be able to find locally,” she said. “It’s a lot of fun and a great chance for people to see what’s happening with the kennel club.”
While her title as president calls for organizing this weekend’s event, Boden said she will be pulling double duty as she shows off two of her own Norwegian Elk Hounds: Troy and Maggie.
“I’ve been showing for about six years,” she said. “We found a breeder in Michigan who had show dogs for years and she started talking about how much fun it was, so that’s how I got interested and I started doing some research.”
Boden said she began training Troy since he was a puppy.
“We start with the puppy class we offer through the kennel club and then on to the confirmation or handling class when they are about 12 weeks old,” she said. “After that, I’ll take them around to different shows to get used to the noise and other dogs which can be kind of hectic.”
Boden said grooming preparation depends on the particular breed of dog being shown.
“Norwegian Elk Hounds are to be shown in their natural state so there’s no trimming or extra grooming,” she said. “Mostly I just bathe them, blow them dry, brush them off and they are pretty much ready to go into the ring.”
During the competition, Boden said each dog is judged on how well it conforms to the written standard, with each breed having its own standard providing the ability to judge a Pekingese next to a Great Dane.
“They’ll be judged on movement, temperament, the condition of their coats and how they move,” she said. “They’ll have their teeth checked to make sure they have the correct bite.”
Boden said judges will pick the best of each breed that will go to compete for best in show.
“A best in show will be chosen on both Saturday and Sunday, so it’s like having two complete shows during the weekend,” she said. “A different judge will come in Sunday and that allow for getting a different opinion.”
Although she is a veteran of dog shows at this point, Boden said she still gets nervous before a competition but mostly tries to have as much fun spending time with her dogs.
“I just try and relax and have fun with the dogs,” she said. “It’s an educational time, but it’s fun and filled with fellowship with other dog lovers.”
The Golden Triangle Kennel Club’s annual dog show runs Saturday and Sunday at the MSU Horse Park beginning at 8:30 a.m.
For more information, call 662-323-2331 or visit http://www.goldentrianglekcofms.com .