Dogs vie to be the best in Western Pennsylvania Kennel Association competition
It's a dog's life — especially this weekend, as nearly 2,000 pooches are primped and paraded at the 75th Western Pennsylvania Kennel Association show.
The two days of competition in the Monroeville Convention Center featured dogs competing for the coveted title of Best in Show.
There were 1,019 dogs representing 143 breeds entered in Saturday's daylong competition, and 872 dogs from 138 breeds slated for a separate competition on Sunday.
While this year's show featured two newly recognized breeds — a Portuguese Podengo Pequenos and a Tree Walking Coon Hound — the competition was heavily represented by traditional breeds.
Roman Capalbo, 16, of Monroeville said he got interested in showing toy poodles two years ago because that was the breed his grandmother raised.
“I just love them because they are so smart and fun,” Capalbo said as he groomed Tina, his 2-year-old toy apricot poodle. “I also like to do hair, so this is a great breed when it comes to getting a chance to do a lot of primping before a competition.”
Poodles have their fur clipped in highly stylized fashions, but even working breeds get the full treatment when they compete.
Derek Beatty, 27, of Northview, Mich., methodically teased the long fur on the 2 1⁄2-year-old Old English Sheepdog he was preparing for competition.
“A sheepdog's hair is supposed to be higher in the rear than in the front, so we rat it all up to accentuate the hair in the back,” he said. “The grooming we do can help boost a dog's positives and minimize what might be seen as negatives.”
Debbie Martin of Plum said she began showing dogs in the 1970s and picked the Maltese because “they're small, great with kids and really cute.”
“I love a lot of breeds, including the large ones, but the Maltese really is my favorite,” she said.
Ron Hill, 72, of Morgantown, W.Va., said he never thought about entering dogs into competition until an obedience trainer noted that his daughter's Siberian Husky had the qualities of a show dog.
“When we researched her pedigree, we found out that she came from some show stock. So we learned about what it takes to show dogs and began entering competitions,” he said.
In addition to the contingent of owners, handlers, groomers and judges on hand for the show, the event attracted a number of people looking for entertainment.
“We've come out here the past two or three years just to see the dogs,” said Mike Traficante, 36, of North Huntington, who with wife Antonia, 31, brought their daughters, ages 5, 2 and 8 months, to the show.
While the family is too busy raising a family to consider getting involved in competition, Antonia Traficante said it might be something they will consider.
“I'm drawn to the big breeds,” she said, noting that the family has a Newfoundland. “I'd think I might like to try this someday. It looks like it could be fun.”
Tony LaRussa is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7987 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Pittsburgh police break up customer fights over Air Jordan 11 shoes
- Brashear High ‘little libraries’ program rolls out
- Pittsburgh adjusting to new bicycle lane, ‘stop boxes’
- Environmental teachers glean new ideas from networking
- Newsmaker: Cindy Marzock
- Pittsburgh Holocaust Center finally finds permanent home
- Second African penguin chick hatches at National Aviary
- Allegheny County police investigate out-of-state company that hired worker charged in fatal accident
- Investors eager to trade cash for green cards in immigration program
- Ebola alters travel plans, Robert Morris University poll finds