Local News – 51st Annual Dog Show – Oct. 16-18, 2015
Kristi Dobson, Alberni Valley Times
Some of the top dogs in the country will be showing their stuff at an upcoming dog show.
The long-running show, hosted by the Alberni Valley Kennel Club, is the final competition of the season on Vancouver Island, so it attracts one of the largest groups of participants.
In its 51st year, the dog show features handlers and breeders of all types, from the largest Great Danes to tiny chihuahuas. In that respect, it has something for everyone, but this year, the show will offer an educational component for anyone wanting to learn more about the various breeds.
On the evening of Saturday, Oct. 17, the We Love Dogs Breeders forum will be set up with information on all types of dogs.
“It is a chance for the public to talk to breeders about their specific breeds,” said kennel club member, Jolie McMullan.
She said the push is on to educate the public in order to keep the animals out of shelters and the hands of those running puppy mills.
“Someone might be interested in getting a border collie, but goes to work for 12 hours a day and wonders why it destroys the backyard,” McMullan said. “This prevents that.”
She said it is also an opportunity to see what is available for those looking at acquiring a dog for the home.
“Not every breed of dog is suited to every type of person,” McMullan said. “They can find out about a dog’s health problems and exercise needs. Some are great for apartment and others, not so much.”
Bulldogs are large, but great for apartment dwellers, she said, because they do not require a lot of exercise. Dalmatians and Weimaraners, on the other hand, are sporting dogs and require much more outdoor activity.
The show starts Friday morning and after the Best in Show, participants and the public will take in the annual dinner. That evening features the Chuck-a-Duck fundraiser for Junior Handling. Every zone that competes sends a youth aged six to 18 to the Canadian Nationals and funds are need to assist with flight costs. Port Alberni is included in the Vancouver Island and Lower Mainland zone and has a number of junior handlers. This year’s winner, who was awarded the most points at the Zone Finals in the summer, is from the Lower Mainland.
The show has 783 dogs registered for the three-day event.
“We are the only show on the Island where numbers went up this year,” McMullan said. “Some of the top dogs in Canada will be here and even the number one dog in Canada is entered.”
The dog show is free to the public and runs from Friday, Oct. 16 at 8 a.m. to Sunday, Oct. 18 following the Best in Show at 3 p.m. For more information, including the judging schedule, go to www.https://albernivalleykennelclub.wordpress.com.