Pooches prepare for top dog show Dog handler Emma Rogers stands with Joy, a great Dane. At left are new breed entries Chanel and Burberry, both Cotons de Tulear breed (Reuters)
Pooches prepare for top dog show
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Eleven-year-old Emma Rogers is only six years older than her great Dane and half the size, but she's set to squire her dog in the ring at this year's Westminster Kennel Club show.

At 80, Marge Yonda is looking forward to leading her standard poodle through the fast-paced agility competition, a pursuit Yonda took up when she stopped running marathons at 73.

There's plenty of variety among the people, as well as the dogs, participating in American dogdom's most prestigious event scheduled in New York in February. It will feature two new breeds and a bigger lineup of dogs in an agility contest, which brought new dimension to the show last year and marked the return of mixed-breed dogs for the first time since its early years.

Two new breeds added to dog show

Emma will face much older handlers and show a dog over twice her weight, so big that Emma has to lift hard to position the legs of the Dane, named Joy. But Emma's used to the double-takes and unfazed by the competition.

"With Joy, she's easy most of the time," Emma said after appearing at a news conference with her twin sister Faith and 17-year-old sister, Sophia, who also are showing dogs at Westminster. The Columbus, New Jersey, family's pastime started with a suggestion from Joy's breeder, and mom Kim Rogers soon came to see the benefits.

"It teaches responsibility and winning and losing gracefully," she says.

Over 2,700 dogs are slated to compete in the traditional main event, breed judging, at Westminster's 139th annual show Feb. 16 and 17. Making their first appearances are the coton de tulear (pronounced koh-TOHN' du TOO'-lay-ahr), an easygoing companion breed known as the "royal dog of Madagascar," and the wirehaired vizsla (pronounced (VEEZ'-shlah), a stalwart Hungarian hunting dog. It's related to the more widely known vizsla.

There are only about 2,000 wirehaired vizslas worldwide, said owner Anton Sagh, whose dog Falko is entered at Westminster.

"That's why I'm trying to promote the breed," said Sagh, a Hungarian-Canadian of the Montreal suburb of Laval.

Meanwhile, the Feb. 14 agility contest will feature 330 contestants, up from 225 last year.

After knee surgery ended her marathon running, Yonda tried dog agility to stay active. It suits both her and her dog, Maggie, a poodle that eagerly leaped jumps and pranced around poles in a demonstration Wednesday.

"It's a very intricate, complex sport," said Yonda, of Ridgefield, Connecticut. "We're learning all the time."

Critical thinking challenge: How does the article describe the variety among the people"?

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COMMENTS (11)
  • stevenm-Lam
    1/27/2015 - 04:37 p.m.

    Doing dog shows gives money to the owner of the dog for them to use to make the dogs beautiful so that they do well in the show.

  • deondrei-Lam
    1/27/2015 - 04:53 p.m.

    I used to have a pit bull. He was a good dog. His name was Damien, and I had him when he was six. During the winter I would tie a rope on to him, and he would drag me around the snow, and I would ride him like a horse.

  • jamieu-Lam
    1/27/2015 - 05:32 p.m.

    Dog shows are really interesting. We can see many dogs we don't normally see and laugh at how their owners dress them up and style their hair. I really love dogs and would love to go to a dog show!

  • mirandama-Lam
    1/27/2015 - 05:44 p.m.

    What I think about this story is that the great Dane is a fluffy dog, and I'd like to have one. They would have to be a lot of responsibility because you'd need to keep them clean.

  • CapeleyZ-1
    1/27/2015 - 08:27 p.m.

    An eleven year old named Emma Rogers is entering the Westminster Kennel Club show. This is a dog show that measures the ability of the dog. Emma is only six years old and her great Dane, Joy is going to be one against 2,700 and counting dogs that have entered this prestigious show. Another contestant, an eighty year old woman named Anton Sagh, said that she took up the sport so that both her and her dog could stay active after she stopped doing marathons at age 73. I honestly hate dog shows. I feel that dogs should be able to go run without worrying about what score they got or if their toes were pointed.

  • TaylorHartman-Ste
    1/28/2015 - 08:39 a.m.

    I actually feel like dog shows or any type of pet show is a disgrace. I feel bad for dogs who have to sit through the agony of being pampered to just walk around and get judged. Just like Toddlers and Tiaras, a lot of people find shame in that. I find dog shows just as bad.

  • VSiara-Cas
    1/28/2015 - 03:38 p.m.

    The article describes "a variety among people" because they have 2 new breeds of dogs which gives the dog show dimension which gives other people the opportunity to enter their dogs.

  • johanna.galloway34
    2/02/2015 - 12:51 p.m.

    I think running in dog shows could be really fun. But running marathons only at 73 is a lot of hard work for that age. I can't believe how long that dog is. Its almost as long as Emma Rogers.

  • zG2000mimi
    2/04/2015 - 08:53 a.m.

    this is cute how they enter the dog show but the puppy have to compete against dogs twice her size and twice her weight and they also say its very intricate ,complex sport

  • SantanaC-Sym
    2/06/2015 - 09:37 a.m.

    I think that it is cool that a dog at her age is in a dog show.She is a good looking breed it is amazing how tall she is.

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