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
Lexile

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. It's 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. It's scheduled in New York in February. The show will feature two new breeds and a bigger lineup of dogs in an agility contest. That competition brought new dimension to the show last year. It 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. The pooch is so big that Emma has to lift hard to position the legs of the Dane, named Joy. But Emma is 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. They also are showing dogs at Westminster. The Columbus, New Jersey, family's pastime started with a suggestion from Joy's breeder. 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. Two breeds will make their first appearances at Westminster. One is the coton de tulear (pronounced koh-TOHN' du TOO'-lay-ahr), an easygoing companion breed known as the "royal dog of Madagascar." The other is 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. His 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. The poodle 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 (88)
  • jesusr-Eic
    1/27/2015 - 01:43 p.m.

    I like the idea of dog shows. What I don't like is that there is always that rich owner that's very confident that he or she is going to win and for some reason you just get the feeling that you would like to beat them. I really don't think dog shows are for competitions, I think they are just for fun.

  • alltimeliza
    1/27/2015 - 02:08 p.m.

    The author describes the variety among people by having several different people be quoted and recognized in the event. Many different people are given the chance to share their opinions, and for some, a portion of their stories.

  • Erica-Arm
    1/27/2015 - 02:09 p.m.

    I think it's cool that there are dog shows. It proves that dogs are used for many things other than pets, on a farm, for protection, hunting, or anything else you can train a dog to do. Dogs are very intelligent animals and are good for showing. Showing dogs is really cool and fun. It gives you and your dog some exercise and something to do. Some dogs just sit around all day. If you teach your dog to show it, your dog will excel in agility and showmanship as long as you train them the right way.

  • Kendall-Arm
    1/27/2015 - 02:09 p.m.

    This is so cool. I hope this dog show is on TV so I can watch it. I think it is amazing that Emma age 11 is unfazed and not nervous even though she is going up against 80 years and trainers with a lot of experience. I love how people of all ages large and small thin or fat can compete. Good luck to all contestants!

  • Addie-Arm
    1/27/2015 - 02:19 p.m.

    I would love to enter a dog show! It would be fun to run around and see how smart my dog really is. It would take lots of training though. It is cool how it is all ages, usually some people are older though. It would still be fun to compete with older people.

  • Lucy-Arm
    1/27/2015 - 02:19 p.m.

    WOW! I never knew they're were so many dog breeds and I bet they're are more. I've always wanted to enter a dog show with my dog but she would eat all of the little dogs. she is a boxer with lots of energy.

  • Addie-Arm
    1/27/2015 - 02:19 p.m.

    I would love to enter a dog show! It would be fun to run around and see how smart my dog really is. It would take lots of training though. It is cool how it is all ages, usually some people are older though. It would still be fun to compete with older people.

  • Reagan-Arm
    1/27/2015 - 02:24 p.m.

    I love how there is a contest just for dogs! It can show people how dogs are well behaved (well, most of the time) and can be trained to do cool tricks! The dogs get to have some fun and the owners could possibly win some money (I would use it to buy a lot of treats for my dog because he would definitely deserve it after all of his hard work). I also love how Anton Sagh is promoting his dog at the contest because there's only about 2,000 of his breed in the world! The show is great for promoting breeds of dogs, showing you how cute they are and all of the cool tricks they can do! I hope it will cause more people to have the desire to adopt dogs each year!

  • Ethan-Arm
    1/27/2015 - 02:25 p.m.

    I like dogs and they are mans best friend but I feel sometimes we do too much for them like having whole dog shows, or some dog lovers will buy thousand dollar gold dog houses to impress their neighbors with their pretty pooches house.

  • JamisonRBlue
    1/27/2015 - 02:34 p.m.

    This article is very interesting if you are into dog shows but I am not a big fan of dog shows but I guess good luck to who will win.

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