Dog lovers from all over the country found themselves in Wichita Falls this weekend for the 54th annual Faith City Kennel Club All-Breed Dog Conformation Show.
“We have people here from California, people here from Arizona and the east coast,” said show chairman, Margo Klingler.
“Michigan, Minnesota–I saw two vans out there from Michigan and Minnesota,” said dog show announcer, Dick Briggs. “Also Illinois.”
These pooches and their owners have a long, competitive road if they want to take “Best in Show”.
“What we do is we have each of the individual breeds of dogs that come in and show against each other,” Briggs said. “Once the dog is picked closest to the perfect standard then it’s considered ‘Best of Breed’. Once they pick the best in each of those groups, then all seven of those dogs will go in for ‘Best in Show’, and that will be the final judging.”
Michael Brantley knows just what it takes to get the prized Best in Show ribbon.
“I’ve been showing dogs since I was eight years old and I’m 60 years old now,” Brantley said. “So a long time. You know, I grew up with the dogs. My parents had the Chow’s that I have, and it was just something that I enjoyed.”
Brantley has competed in dog shows all over the world and has won best in show eight times at the Faith City Kennel Club show.
His pup, Rush, is in contention for Best in Show this weekend.
“It’s a lot of work,” Brantley said. “A couple hours for a bath and brushing, conditioning, physical conditioning. It’s almost a full-time job to really do it at this level. The obedience part–the training part–is not as important as the breeding part. You want to have a dog that fits every inch of the standard when you go out there.”
By the end of the weekend, one of these canines will wag its way to the ultimate treat: Best in Show.