The Pratt County Fair Dog Show was held Saturday morning. Contestants and their dogs can be judged in any or all of the following categories: Showmanship, Agility, Obedience and Rally Obedience.
The purpose of Showmanship is to determine how well the handler and the dog work together. The dog’s fitness and appearance; the handler’s appearance, grace and knowledge; and coordination between the dog and handler are among the factors that are judged.
In the Agility events (of which there are various levels), dogs are led through an “obstacle course” where they must climb over, crawl through and in general negotiate a variety of apparatuses. The behaviors the dog must complete become increasingly difficult as the level of the competition increases.
In Obedience, dogs/ handlers are judged on how well the dog responds to various commands such as heel, sit, stay, etc. Dogs must demonstrate the ability to sit and stay down for long stretches of time without wandering off or losing discipline.
Rally Obedience is a demonstration of how well dogs/ handlers can navigate a course that simulates what a dog might be expected to do if it is out on a walk on the streets with the handler. The dog must be able to accomplish a variety of starts/stops, turns and so on. The course is laid out with cones, with signs along the way giving the handler directions, which then must be communicated to the dog for compliance.
A fun component of the Dog Show is a costume contest, where handlers and their dogs make a fashion statement.
Winners of the 2014 Pratt County Fair Dog Show Showmanship and Agility categories were: Grand Champion Kassandria Fox and Reserve Grand Champion Breanna Tatro. Crystal Lukens was Grand Champion of Rally Obedience. A photo gallery of the dog show appears at pratttribune.com.