Dogs days of summer
Kennel club hosts annual show

CONYERS - Dog enthusiasts will have a chance to see how their dogs measure up in an upcoming competitive show match hosted by the Conyers Kennel Club.

The event is an American Kennel Club-sanctioned match that will be held May 31 at Rockdale County's Parker Road government annex at 1400 Parker Road. The match will be held in the recreation field near the Board of Elections office.

Registration is from 10 to 11:30 a.m. with judging beginning at noon, said Merry Carol Houchard of the Conyers Kennel Club.

The local club has held sanctioned matches for 25 years. Houchard said the competitions offer a chance for club members to prepare for regional and national matches. She added the matches are also a great chance to see a dog show in a friendly setting.

"Regular people, the dog breeders, use matches as training sessions for their dogs," she said. "For novices, the show is also a training session for them to learn how to show their dogs. The entries are usually small, but we have a good time."

Judging begins with junior showmanship and is followed by conformation and obedience. Junior showmanship is for young dog enthusiasts. Judges look not so much at the dogs but how well the children handle the animals during their showing, Houchard said.

Conformation is where judges determine how close a dog matches to American Kennel Club standards on the appearance for groups, breeds and age. In the obedience competition dogs are judged on how well they respond to basic commands given to them by their handlers.

Awards will be given for best puppy in show and best dog in show, Houchard said.

The Conyers Kennel Club also hosts an annual Responsible Dog Ownership Day in September that gives the public an opportunity to learn more about dog care. The event is in coordination with the American Kennel club's nationwide efforts to encourage responsible dog ownership.

The Kennel Club also holds an essay contest on responsible dog ownership each year among elementary and middle school students in Rockdale and Newton counties.

Other outreach efforts by the local club included the purchases of a drug dog for the Newton County Sheriff's Office and a bulletproof vest for dogs at the Conyers Police Department.

For more information on the match or the Conyers Kennel Club, call Merry Carol Houchard of the Conyers Kennel Club at 770-483-7027 or visit www.conyerskennelclub.org.

Jay Jones can be reached at jay.jones@rockdalecitizen.com.