Dog owners from around the country compete in Columbia dog show

Saturday, March 10, 2012 | 7:23 p.m. CST; updated 9:13 p.m. CST, Saturday, March 10, 2012
Handler Daryl Martin brushes her dog Tango’s coat before showing her at the Columbia Missouri Kennel Club Dog Show on Saturday. Tango, a 2-year-old Lhasa Apso, is currently the second-ranked show dog of this breed in the nation.

COLUMBIA — Jessica Cobban has been all over the country showing her dogs at competitions, including the Eukanuba National Championship in December.

Cobban, who is from Fairgrove, had two Newfoundlands and three Spinone Italianis — Italian hunting dogs — in the Columbia Kennel Club Dog Show on Saturday.

Like many attending the show, Cobban has been doing it all her life. She competes mostly with Newfoundlands but got into Spinone Italiani two years ago when her sister wanted a new breed, she said.

In addition to her five dogs in the show, she brought along Bodie, a Newfoundland, and Bree, a Spinone she got last December.

"She's a champion but not flashy enough to be showed," Cobban said.

The Columbia Kennel Club Dog Show has been held annually for more than 50 years, and this year's show has drawn participants, handlers and vendors from at least 35 states. More than 900 dogs representing more than 170 American Kennel Club-recognized breeds appeared Saturday at the Boone County Fairgrounds.

Each of the dogs in the show are first judged by their breed, and the best of each breed is then judged according to a group, which includes multiple breeds. There are seven American Kennel Club groups: sporting, hound, working, terrier, toy, non-sporting and herding.

The best dogs from each group are then judged to find the Best in Show. A boxer, a dog from the working group, won on Saturday.

But the show attracts more than just competition.

Kim Wingate, owner of Pets Pride Grooming, said even though she doesn't have any dogs in the show this year, she enjoys the dog show atmosphere.

Wingate, who has been showing poodles for more than 20 years, brought her blue standard poodle with her to watch on Saturday.

"His name is Riot," she said as he jumped up to her with his front paws, "and boy does he fit that name real well. He's just a goofball."

Riot sports a mohawk and the letters "MU" shaved onto both his sides, which Wingate did for MU's homecoming last October. Previously Riot has touted other styles on his coat, including his name and lightning bolts.

"There's nothing like getting your dog all pretty and bringing him out and showing him off," she said.

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