CADIZ – Have you ever watched the Westminster Kennel Club dog show or watched dog performance shows on tv? Ever dream of showing your purebred dog? Well, a dog match is a fun way to start for both adults and juniors. The St. Clairsville Ohio Kennel Club (SCOKC) is holding a Breed and Obedience (B-OB) match on Saturday, May 5 at Gold Star Kennel (off Rt. 9) in Cadiz and the public is invited to attend and enjoy the day with other dog lovers.

Don’t know what a match is? Matches are designed to prepare both beginning dogs and/or beginning owners for the AKC shows where dogs accumulate points towards a Champion or Obedience title. Owners of all ages and their dogs (dogs from 3 mos. and up) will have a chance to show the public just what the excitement of dog showing is all about. Showing is not only fun, but what people enjoy most is the camaraderie of other dog people.

The match will include conformation, obedience, and handling for juniors and adults. The dogs in conformation are judged and evaluated for structure, movement and temperament. Judges look for the dog that closely meets the written AKC standard for that particular breed.   Mixed as well as purebreds can compete against each other in obedience and performance events. Obedience judging will include heeling (on leash and off leash), jumping, retrieving and scent discrimination where the dog has to retrieve an article with their owner’s scent on it from a number of other articles. Dogs must also sit/stay for one or three minutes without moving from its position and down/stay from three to five minutes, depending on the level of class.

The handling competition is judged on how well the dog is presented by the handler. This class is open to ages 8 yrs. to adult and is divided by age classifications.

Along with watching the match, spectators can participate in a drawing for baskets filled with prizes donated by club members, local business and dog supply companies and a 50/50 raffle. Food is available and there will be an information table set up with AKC pamphlets, training information, breed information, and dog supply catalogs.

Whether you are a spectator or entered in the match and need some direction as to which ring you are showing in, experienced club members will be on hand to answer questions and are willing to help you get started showing in conformation, obedience or other AKC activities.   Obedience judging starts at 8:30 a.m. and conformation/handling starts at 11:00 a.m. Drawings for the raffles will be held at 1:00 p.m.

If you are thinking about joining a dog club, there are many activities you can participate in. The SCOKC is dedicated to educating the public and strives to educate owners on health, nutrition, grooming, care and training of their dogs. Members visit nursing homes, conduct trainings on “Living Safely With Dogs” for area schools, participate at informational booths and several members work with breed rescue and dog transports for area shelters. A portion of the club’s income is used to fund public education programs and the children’s educational program to prevent dog bites. The next kennel club program, featuring a local service dog, will be held on Tuesday, May 8, 7 p.m. in the Community Room at the Ohio Valley Mall in St. Clairsville. The SCOKC will also hold an AKC All-Breed Conformation show on August 18 and 19th, 2012 at the Carnes Center, Belmont Park, home of the Belmont County Fairgrounds in St. Clairsville.

For more information on the club, visit them on facebook. For questions on care, grooming, where to get that special breed or directions to the match, call Kay Moore at 740-942-3262.