AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - Competitors from across the country and even internationally came to the Amarillo Civic Center to show what their dogs can do in the four-day competition that began Friday.
Nearly 700 dogs were in this weekend's competition in conformation, obedience and rally trials.
Show Chair and Vice President of the Panhandle Kennel Club of Texas Charlissa Stokes said conformation can best be described as a sort of ‘beauty pageant’.
“The dogs are actually compared against each other against a standard,” she said. “And so they have this standard and they’re seeing which dog in that class most closely matches the standard. They’ll choose that dog and then we have seven groups.”
These are sporting, non-sporting, hound, working, terrier, toy, and herding breeds, all competing separately and then against each other to be best in show.
In the obedience and rally trials, both handlers and their dogs get to perform.
The Obedience Chairman for the Panhandle Kennel Club Laura Teichmann said rally trials are a little more challenging than basic obedience.
“You follow signs. It’s a little bit more competitive, as far as that goes,” she said. “The dogs have to learn several different things. Whereas obedience has a little bit more stricter guidelines, it has just certain specific things they have to learn over and over again.”
One dog handler from Amarillo competed in the highest level of obedience on Sunday morning with her 9-year-old Golden Retriever named Charger.
“I’ve been in obedience for about 30 years,” said Judy DeShong. “That’s just what I love to do and so he’s been a special boy for me. A very special boy and he loves it. He loves to compete. He’s a challenge, but we always have fun when we go in.”
DeShong said the best part about competing in these shows is traveling and meeting different people.
The Panhandle Kennel Club believes each year the show brings good business to Amarillo and a boost to the economy.
“It’s great to see the competitors come to town,” said Teichmann. “We have a very good show, we have a very good show venue for the competitors from out of town and out of state to come. So it’s a really nice show for people to hit. It’s four days, so it does give them an opportunity to really kind of show off their skills, as far as that goes. And it is nice to see people from other states and other towns come to our show.”