Over the weekend Red Deer & District Kennel Club concentrated on hosting its annual fall Dog Show but soon the focus will shift to training, classes and more at its new building.
Show director Suzan Humprheys, said the club hasn’t had its own building for several years, but members reconsidered after growing interest. It will be used for dog-related activities for both club members and the public.
Approvals are in place and the club is moving into 4-7045 Edgar Industrial Link on the north end of Red Deer.
“We actually took it over as of the Nov. 1. So there’s going to be a mad dash when the show finishes to get it painted and everything so we can open it up,” Humphreys said on Saturday at the three-day Dog Show held at Westerner Park.
“We are going to be not only offering training like agility, rally obedience, obedience, also ringcraft classes. We’re going to be holding seminars as well. One of our main programs is for people who just bought a puppy and don’t know what to do.
“In 90 per cent of cases it’s the person that needs the training, not the dog. So we’re hoping that we’re going to fill that gap.”
She said the club has trainers wanting to rent the building.
“We already decided they’ll have to go through a vetting with the show committee. We only want the best because our name is over the door.”
On Saturday there were 700 dogs competing in the club’s November show. Its April show had 1,400 dogs a day.
Humphreys said the numbers are down for this show likely due to recent snowfall. Most of the competitors come from around Alberta, but some are from as far away as Ontario.
“The number of people has gradually risen and it is on the rise which is very nice because there’s a lot of dog clubs that are either having to close their shows, or downsize their shows, because of lack of attendance,” Humphreys said.
Ani Marroquin, of Okotoks, brought her six-and-a-half-month-old puppy Georgia, on Old English Sheepdog, who won ribbons forBest Puppy in Breed, Best of Winners and Best of Breed.
It was only Georgia’s second show. She’s been competing for a just over a month.
“She looks like she’s enjoying it,” said Marroquin brushing fur away from Georgia’s eyes.
She said sheep dogs have a wonderful temperament, and they’re adorable.
“They are super nice with kids, with people in general. They’re a great pet to have and also a sheepdog is super, super good with sheep or horses.”
The Dog Show continues Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.