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Participants from all over Canada vie for top dog at Moncton Kennel Club show – New Brunswick

Dog owners from as far as British Columbia came to compete in the Moncton Kennel Club dog show on Sunday.

Moncton Kennel Club President Brian Reid explained that there were three components to the competition: conformation, obedience and rally.

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Dogs are inspected for their appearance and adherence to breed standards as determined by the original Kennel Club in the U.K. in the conformation competition.

“(Kennel Clubs) started in the mid-1850s largely with the hunting dogs. People wanted to compare their breeding and the functionality,” Reid said in an interview.

He said that beyond appearance, there is a lot of work that goes into training dogs to behave during competitions.

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Bridgewater, N.S., native Lisa Dickie entered two Shih Tzus in the conformation competition.

It took Lisa Dickie an hour to groom her Shih Tzus in preparation for the competition.

Suzanne Lapointe / Global News

She has been competing in dog shows since 2006.

“I start from the young age of four weeks and as they grow they get groomed weekly, the show dogs tend to get a bath every five days to maintain their coat. Good food, good training…and they do well.”

It took her an hour to groom her dogs in preparation for Sunday’s competition.

Preparing for obedience and rally competitions is a different beast, according to Corrie Horne, who entered her dog Huntley into those categories.

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“There’s a lot of training that goes into obedience. You want to start when they’re young and teach them basically the foundation of staying with you, staying in heel position, having a good come on your call. As you get into the higher levels there is opportunity to teach your dog how to do jumps, to retrieve dumbbells…” she said on Sunday.

She has been training with Huntley day and night in preparation for the competition.

“We do lots of (training) that involve play and engagement so that he always thinks that I’m fun so regardless of what’s happening outside of the ring, because it can get very distracting, he’s always wanting to focus on me because I represent lots of fun,” she said.

Though the prizes are largely for bragging rights, Horne said that the main goal of Kennel Club shows is to have a good time.

“Dog shows are a whole lot of fun. It’s a whole bunch of people having fun with their dogs.”

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