Merced goes to the dogs at annual fairgrounds show

dyawger@mercedsunstar.comApril 2, 2014 

About 1,000 dogs and their owners from all over the West Coast will converge on Merced this weekend for the Yosemite Kennel Club’s annual All Breed AKC Dog Show.

The event takes place Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Merced County Fairgrounds. The American Kennel Club recognizes 178 breeds of dogs and there probably will be at least 150 different breeds of dogs showing.

Carol Reiter of Mariposa, the club’s obedience chairman, said many of the exhibitors travel the circuit in their motor homes, coming from Washington, Oregon, Nevada, Arizona and Canada as well as California. All exhibitors are seeking the coveted best in show award but others are seeking honors in obedience and rally competition.

“It’s a great venue for the whole family,” Debbie Franklin of Le Grand, show chairwoman, said. “It’s for people of all ages who can talk to reputable breeders and learn about the different breeds. Everybody’s welcome to come down; it’s just a fun day.”

Franklin recently competed at the Westminster Kennel Club dog show in New York with her longcoat Chihuahua and also captured top honors at the AKC Nationals.

Yosemite Kennel Club President Sandi Lavin said people in the community should come to the show because they get to see almost every breed of dog that they have heard or read about.

“They get to see examples of those breeds,” Lavin said. “They can maybe talk to a breeder of a dog they are interested in. If you like dogs, it’s just a fun place to be. We have vendors who sell anything you would ever need or want for dogs. People can see how training is involved for all the classes and see what training can do.”

There is no admission charge for the dog show but there is a $5 parking fee.

The Yosemite Kennel Club, formed in 1964, held its first show in 1978. The nonprofit organization serving the greater Merced area meets the second Monday of the month at 7 p.m. at United Methodist Church on Yosemite Park Way in Merced.

The club’s objective is to further the advancement of all breeds of purebred dogs. The group holds obedience trials, rally trials, sanctioned matches and shows under AKC rules. Spring and fall classes in both conformation and obedience are open to the public.

Sun-Star staff writer Doane Yawger can be reached at (209) 385-2407 or dyawger@mercedsunstar.com.

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