This weekend Summit County Fairgrounds will be the host of Akron-All Breed's rally and obedience trial and Ravenna Kennel Club's conformation show. Both shows will run Saturday and Sunday with the rally trial running Friday night.
Rally is a cross between agility and obedience. It is the newest sport AKC has to offer. You will find people just starting out in the world of dog showing to people who have been competing for years and are bring out their newest young dogs. Rally is great fun for dog and handler!
Obedience is like the dressage of the horse world. Three levels of obedience are available to compete in. The first is Novice where heeling, or walking nice next to you, is done both on and off lead. There is also a stand for exam where the dog must allow a stranger (the judge) to come and pet them without moving away--either shying or being so excited that they want to jump up. The class ends with a recall--leaving the dog and calling them to you and sit and down stays with the handler across the room from their dog.
Open class has all the heeling off lead with retrieves and jumping. In Utility all the heeling is done with signals and the handler must have their dog lay down, sit and come all on signals. There is also scent discrimination where the dog must find the article with their owner's scent on it and directed jumping where the dog runs away from the owner and must take the jum that the owner tells them to take.
In conformation, the dog is judged according to how closely it adheres to the breed standard. Each breed club comes up with a standard.
Most people at dog shows love to talk about their dogs and sport. Please be considerate if they are going into the ring. Some people get very nervous and have things they must dog to get ready. Also, leave your pet at home. Do not allow children to hang on the baby gates or to be unattended. Always ask before petting a dog.
Most of all, enjoy your time at the dog show. Oh the shopping is usually pretty good, too!
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