Classy kids compete at Moffat County 4-H Dog Show | CraigDailyPress.com

Classy kids compete at Moffat County 4-H Dog Show

Relationships shine during dog show

Kyann Kainz hugs her dog Dempsy after completing the rally competition at the 2016 Moffat County Fair.

— Rivaling any American Kennel Club show, well groomed dogs and handlers dressed to the nines in suites, ties and dresses, bringing best in show style to the Moffat County livestock barn during Tuesday's 4-H Dog Show.

"At dog shows it's more common to dress-up, but it's not western style which is different than at most fair events," said 13-year-old Lauren Hilley, who was showing her Great Pyrenees mix, Winston. "When you go to an AKC show they dress really nicely and so do we at our 4-H show."

Dog show judge, Meghan Munter, who competed in AKC junior showmanship for eight years and worked for four years with a professional handler, picked the Moffat County Fair as her first show to judge. She was impressed by the competition.

"The kids today have been doing a really great job," Munter said. "They are well dressed and they have been demonstrating a great level of respect for their dogs, showing understanding and not frustration. It's clear to see there are some great teams here that have built great relationships."

Relationships between dogs and handlers are important. Practices may last for several hours a day and may extend over several years. Such relationships are most evident during the rally competition.

"I like rally the best because you get to talk to the dogs," said Tyler Burkett, who was handling his dog Nike.

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Fellow competitor Allison Jacobson, showing her Golden Retriever named Bella, pointed out that being able to talk to the dogs isn't always a plus.

"Tyler usually looses in rally. He talks too much," she said

The training that dogs receive brings families closer together.

"My older sister showed dogs. I saw how well it affected the whole family. I think it's one of the best projects because everyone can benefit," Hilley said.

Annette Norton watched as both her sons competed at this year's fair. She encourages more families to get involved.

"The dog program is an amazing educational experience. They learn anatomy, medical care, obedience and provides comprehensive exposure," Norton said.

Results for all of this year's events will be shared in a special section in the Sept. 30 edition of the Craig Daily Press.

Contact Sasha Nelson at 970-875-1794 or snelson@CraigDailyPress.com or follow her on Twitter @CDP_Education.