Dog show will draw hundreds to Friendship Park | News, Sports, Jobs


SMITHFIELD — A dog show hosted by the St. Clairsville and Fort Steuben Kennel Clubs next weekend at Friendship Park is expected to attract hundreds of dogs and their owners from across the United States and Canada.

Jane Hendricks, president of the St. Clairsville Kennel Club, said more than 900 dogs have been registered to compete in the Friendship Cluster American Kennel Club dog shows to be held Sept. 2-4 at the park.

There is no admission, only a $5 parking fee, making it inexpensive for families and others to attend, she said.

Hendricks said it will be a great opportunity for dog lovers to see and learn about a variety of breeds and non-competitors will also have the opportunity to involve their dogs in the fun.

She said there will be a separate show each day, with hundreds of dogs competing in conformation, obedience and rally competitions and vying for the best show on that given day.

Hendricks added that each day there will be a dockside diving event, in which dogs are judged on their ability to descend into a pool from the greatest distance or height.

“It’s really cool to watch, and the dogs love it,” she says.

Local dog owners are encouraged to bring their pets to try dock diving outside of competitions, weather permitting.

The cost is $10 for two tickets, which leaves three minutes for the “Try it” with an experienced trainer.

“The people who run it are very knowledgeable about getting the green dogs to try it out,” said Hendricks.

It will also be possible to have the dogs microchipped and vaccinated during a clinic which will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on September 4 at the grooming pavilion. Service costs will be posted at the event.

Hendricks said non-competitors are asked not to bring their dogs to other events so as not to disturb the competing dogs.

Hendricks said organizers were expecting dogs from 130 breeds, including the Peruvian Inca Orchid and the Skye Terrier, a breed native to Scotland.

She added that it is often thrilling to see dogs and their owners traversing the straight or zigzag courses of rally competitions together.

To encourage the involvement of young canines and owners, there will be a Junior Showmanship competition over the three days, open to youngsters aged 10 to 17, and competitions for puppies aged 4 to 6 months, which, according to Hendricks, help introduce them to the world of dog shows in complete discretion.

Of the youngsters taking part in the junior presentation contest, Hendricks said: “A lot of these kids are fantastic managers. They are great.”

Judging will take place from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day, with the Fort Steuben Kennel Club hosting the Trick Dog and Canine Good Citizen certifications from 9 a.m. to noon on September 3.

There will also be plenty of vendors selling assorted dog food and supplies.

Hendricks said dog shows bring dogs and their owners closer together.

She said train dogs “really creates a bond between you and your dog because you do things together and learn together.”

Hendricks added that many friendships have been formed between the participants, who come from many places and from various walks of life.

“It really is a family affair. We all get to know each other and enjoy each other’s company,” she says.

Hendricks said the Friendship Cluster event is relatively new, being one of many held almost every weekend of the year. She said the groups have been happy to hold the event for the past few years at Friendship Park.

“People love the site. It’s beautiful there.” she says.

Information about the event can be found on its Facebook page at Labor Day Weekend Friendship Cluster All Breed Dog Show.

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