It’s a dog’s life this weekend as enthusiasts gather for the 13th Annual Fulton County Ohio Kennel Club Dog Show on Oct. 5-6.
About 560 dogs from across the United States have been entered each day into competitions to be held at Spangler Arena, the Sale Building, and the Merchants Building at the Fulton County Fairgrounds on State Route 108 in Wauseon. The event will enlist 12 judges licensed by the American Kennel Club (AKC) and hailing from Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, Alaska, North Carolina, New York, and Canada.
Between 200-300 spectators are expected to attend to watch contestants compete for cash prizes across seven rings. All dog breeds participating are AKC certified and will be handled by either professionals or their owners. They will be judged on their appearance and gait.
Individual breeds being shown will include Rhodesian Richback, Cane Corsos, Chinese Cresteds, Papillon, Samoyed, Bullmastiff, Whippet, and Briarid. More familiar breeds will include Shetland sheepdogs, golden retrievers, long-haired dachshunds, chihuahuas, terriers, beagles, greyhounds, and coon hounds.
Competitions will begin both days at 8:30 a.m. Times and locations will be available at Spangler Arena.
On Saturday, the Fulton County Sheriff’ Office’s canine officers, Maggie, Fazzo, and Ausko, will put on a demonstration at approximately 12:30 p.m. The Fulton County Ohio Kennel Club has provided each with a $1,000 bullet-proof vest.
The canine unit of the county’s Tailwaggers 4-H Club will assist with clean-up following the dog show.
Food will be available both days, including a free pancake and sausage breakfast Sunday from 7 a.m. until gone.
Held the first weekend every October, the Fulton County event is one of multiple dog shows held each weekend across the country. In fact, the only time the competitions aren’t held is usually between Dec. 10 and Jan. 1.
“If you want to go to a dog show somewhere in the United States, you can,” said Bill Sahloff, Fulton County Ohio Kennel Club president.
Begun in 2005, the club has about 15 members and met the stringent requirements of the American Kennel Club after five years. Membership in most kennel clubs is not large, although some boast 50-60 participants.
“Back in the ’60s and ’70s it was a big, big deal. Those were the glory days,” Sahloff said. “Like any sport, you go through various degrees. Now we’ve established more of a continuing basis…with people who just want to have fun with their dogs.”
He said, however, that rallies during which dogs run through timed courses are becoming a popular event.
Sahloff added that the dog show is a good time for people considering dog purchases to learn about different breeds. “If you’re looking for a dog, this gives you a chance to talk to the breeders. They will give you all kinds of help.”
Admission to the Fulton County Ohio Kennel Club Dog Show is free. Parking is $5.
Reach David J. Coehrs at 419-335-2010.