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Dog show spectators share what they look for in a winning dog

Saturday, March 10, 2012 | 10:04 p.m. CST; updated 10:25 p.m. CST, Saturday, March 10, 2012

The Boone County Fairgrounds were packed with dogs getting ready to be shown, walking around rings and being petted by amazed spectators Saturday as the Columbia Missouri Kennel Club Dog Show began. 

There were seven group showings leading up to the Best in Show, preceded by many other pre-showings to determine which dog qualifies as the best dog among the nearly 900 dogs participating. The show will continue through Sunday with a new Best in Show to be crowned.

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Sixteen judges from Columbia and other cities rate multiple dogs during the two-day show. The judges follow American Kennel Club's written standards for each breed when looking for a winning dog to be named Best in Show. The standard lists what is expected in each breed, from size to coat to temperament. 

While judges follow the standards, spectators at the show had their own preference when looking for a winning dog. The community outreach team at the Columbia Missourian asked spectators what they would look for in a winning dog.

Here is how some spectators responded:

  • Vicki Bach, of Columbia, said, “The personality of the dog, how friendly and out-going it is.” She owns a 13-year-old Cocker Spaniel named Mac.
  • Alice Locklin, of Columbia, said, “The coat, but obedience is very important.” 
  • Lydia Locklin, of Columbia, said, “How pretty the dog is, I like beautiful coats and pretty coloring.” She owns an Australian shepherd, Patsy, who is not quite a year old.
  • Dave, Deanna and Allie Davenport of Columbia came to the show to support a friend who is showing. Deanna Davenport said, “He (Dave) likes the colors and the coat. I love the faces and whether they look happy or not.” Allie, 5, said, "I like the way the small doggies' legs move when they run around the ring.” 
  • Nora Humfeld, 7, a member of Girl Scouts Troop 30328 said, “Quietness, no barking.” Her dog’s name is Blue.
  • Erin Wiedmier, 8, who is also a member of Girl Scouts Troop 30328 said, “The smallest and the largest dogs.” She owns three dogs; ayellow Lab, a Yorkie and a basset hound.
  • Charlie Hazelrigg, 7, is in the same Girl Scout Troop as Erin and Nora. She said, “What tricks it can do.”
  • Kathy Hackmann of Moscow Mills said, "The closest to the breed standard." Hackmann said she reads the standards for her breeds, golden retriever and German shepherd. Her golden retriever, Rory, is one and a half, and her German shepherd, Pardner, is 7.
  • Carol Morris, 56, of Columbia said, "Looks and the condition of coats." Morris owns two chows: Brutus, 3, and Panda, 3 and a half.

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