116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
Even with the heat wave hitting eastern Iowa, many dog owners still showed up at the Dog Showmanship at Linn County Fair.
Eddie, a cardigan welsh corgi, sits on top of a dog show table with a fan blowing at him. Meredith McDonald, 14, of Central City entered him in obedience, agility and showmanship.
Across the room, seven dogs stand with their owners, waiting to be judged. Sara Anne Kettelkamp, 14, of Marion, stands at the end of the line with Kirby, a labradoodle. Every so often, Kirby would shift and Kettelkamp will have to fix his posture by adjusting his feet, smooth his fur over or pull up his tail.
The dog show starts off with showmanship, followed by obedience and agility, explains Cindy McDonald, who has experienced many dog shows. In showmanship, handlers and the dogs will walk in a specific pattern so that the judge can access the dog's movement.
After the pattern walking, the judge will interview each dog handler and ask them specific questions. McDonald says that questions are varied, and it can be questions about general dog health, first-aid, how handlers care for their dog, what do they know about their breed of dog, or the handling of dogs. Sixty percent of judging is based on the interview.
The agility part of the competition is the fun part and generates more crowd, mentions McDonald. It is when the dogs start going over obstacles like teeter totters, A-frames, and through tunnels. Judging is based on how fast and well dogs complete the obstacles.