Championship Dog Show draws in 200 of Canada’s top-class canines

Larry Stanley and his Sheltie named Colby prepare for the Championship Dog Show at the Prince Albert Armoury on Nov. 22, 2019. (Jayda Noyes/Daily Herald)

“We all come together and we’re all learning from each other and we’re striving to create better quality animals.” – Liana Maloney

Two-hundred powerful pooches have taken over the Prince Albert Armoury.

That’s because the P.A. Kennel and Obedience Club is hosting their all breeds Championship Dog Show this weekend, drawing in canines from across the country.

The panel of judges are from California, Ontario, Alberta and Saskatchewan.

The club’s president, Liana Maloney, is a longtime breeder and handler of Shetland Sheep Dogs, commonly called Shelties. She explained that participants strive to get as close to the 100-point breed standard that’s determined by the Canadian Kennel Club (CKC).

“(They’re judged on) the shape of their eye, coat texture, lay-back of their shoulder, length of tail, ear set—all little things that are all basically linked to the function of the dog. So a working dog would be a very strong dog, toy dogs, they have different functionality,” she said.

They host two shows per day, where all dogs of a certain breed will take to the ring and compete against each other. Then, the winners of each category compete for the best-in-show dog.

Maloney said the show had a limit of 200 entries. In previous years, they’ve had 175-dog shows, but moved to a different venue this time so they’d have room for more entries.

“Our club is very thrilled that in the remote area that we’re in, we have people flying in and entries filled. Our shows fill usually within days of the entries being open. People wait until midnight and they all call in to get their entries in. It’s a big race to get entered,” she said.

She added that there’s a lot of talk that handlers are only in it for the ribbons, but Maloney said it’s a passion for maintaining the integrity of purebreds and encouraging ethical breeding.

“These shows, we all come together and we’re all learning from each other and we’re striving to create better quality animals,” she emphasized. “We love to see people have a good, healthy dog.”

She’s also a former manager of the Prince Albert SPCA and owns a rescue dog.

Maloney was situated in a group of other Prince Albert participants, including Larry Stanley. He has a 17-month-old Sheltie named Colby.

He got into showing dogs about a year ago, making this show his first major one competing with Colby.

“We’ve always had dogs in our family and I really wasn’t into it for a while and then I got engaged with this group and one thing leads to another. In many respects, it’s addictive,” said Stanley.

“It’s a good club and it’s a good group to belong to because they’re very supportive of each other and that’s really how you grow in the sport.”

Another local participant, Connie Richard, also described her love for showing dogs as “addicting.”

She shows a nearly two-year-old English springer spaniel named Courage. She said the hunting breed typically has a goofy personality and excels in agility, conformation and obedience.

Richard has been showing dogs since 1992.

“The funny thing is I was getting the CKC magazines and the top dog in Canada one year was an English springer spaniel, and I fell in love. And then my first one ended up being a field spaniel and then my second one ended up being show-bred,” she said.

The Championship Dog Show is open to the public, costing $3 per person or $5 per family. The money supports the Prince Albert Kennel and Obedience Club.

It’s open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.