FRANKSVILLE — Standing aside dogs and trainers from all over the country, Sage the golden retriever was a little more familiar with the grass at Caledonia-Mount Pleasant Memorial Park.
Sage, owned by Sheri Laufenberg of Caledonia, won first place in the golden retriever competition Friday and was being shown by Gabriella Beilke of Antigo, a friend of Laufenberg.
Beilke showed Sage in the process of becoming a handler — meaning, showing different breeds and other owners’ dogs. In the past, Beilke showed Great Danes, traveling the nation to compete in shows such as the Great Dane Nationals in Virginia Beach.
Beilke and hundreds of others across the Midwest have been traveling to Caledonia to compete in this weekend’s American Kennel Club (AKC) All-Breed Dog Show that runs through Monday at Caledonia-Mount Pleasant Memorial Park, 9416 Northwestern Ave. in Franksville. The show is being hosted by both the Cudahy Kennel Club and the Racine Kennel Club. Admission is free, but parking costs $5.
Trainers and owners are competing for championship points which are used toward AKC titles such as “grand champion.” Points are also used to rank the dogs nationally. Those who have purebred dogs are eligible to start competing for points at six months old.
Judges from the AKC traveled to Caledonia from areas including California, New York, Kentucky and Florida. Most of the 500 dogs that will be shown during the weekend are from contestants in the greater Milwaukee and Chicago areas, but many tour the Midwest and come from parts of Minnesota, Iowa, Michigan and Missouri.
People can choose to enter any AKC show at any time, as long as the dog has an AKC number.
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What you’ll see
Caledonia’s dog show is an all-breed show, meaning all of the AKC’s 170 approved breeds are eligible to compete.
While dogs are in the “ring,” judges are trying to determine how close a dog is to the AKC’s written and sometimes visual standards of those breeds. Each judge interprets the standards independently, encouraging trainers to show their dogs in multiple shows.
Bev Sigl Felten of the Cudahy Kennel Club said judges look at “the shape of the head, the length of the nose, the height of the underjaw, the bite, the shoulders, the forechest, the kind of coat.”
A typical show will involve an evaluation either on a table or in a line on grass, followed by a lap around the ring led by the trainers.
“The judges are evaluating how they’re moving,” Felten said. “They’re looking at thigh movement, and then as a down and back where you can see front movement. The judges are evaluating all of that along with temperament.”
The winning dog from each “conformation show” goes on to the group competitions, and each of the seven winners (sporting, hound, working, terrier, toy, nonsporting and herding) from the group competition then compete for “best in show.”
The show runs from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. through Monday.
All-Breed Dog Show
Hundreds of dogs and trainers from around the midwest are traveling to Caledonia to compete in this weekend’s American Kennel Club (AKC) All Breed Dog Show. The show runs Friday through Monday, Aug. 9-12, at Caledonia-Mount Pleasant Memorial Park from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.