BANGOR, Maine — The Penobscot Valley Kennel Club will hold its annual breed, obedience and rally-obedience match on Sunday, Sept. 11, at Hayford Park. The American Kennel Club-sanctioned dog match will be held outdoor rain or shine, near Mansfield Stadium and Sawyer Arena. In addition to breed conformation, obedience and rally-O, there will be categories for junior and adult dog handling.
Registration begins for all categories at 8:30 a.m. and concludes 15 minutes before the judging of the category begins. Judging for obedience and rally-O begins at 10 a.m., for junior and adult handling at 11 a.m., and for breed classes at noon. The entry fee is $6 a dog, with a $3 charge for the same dog in additional events. Public admission is free.
In each category the dogs are judged on several factors such as teeth, eyes, expression and bone structure. Each breed is held to a specific set of standards used not only for judging but also for breeding purposes, according to match Chairwoman Margaret Mitchell of Bangor. Mitchell, who has been a member of the PVKC for 30 years, stressed the importance of these matches and of the judging of the dogs.
“It’s not just for fun. Judging is used to point out a dog’s imperfections so that they can be corrected in breeding and prepared for the larger shows,” she said.
Attendance at matches is generally much lower than at actual AKC point shows. According to Mitchell, regular dog shows draw about 1,000 entries; good match attendance would be around 100 entries. The PVKC’s first match was held Sept. 12, 1965, at Chasse’s Campground in Skowhegan and had 71 entrants. The first point show was held on Sept. 3, 1972, in the Bangor Auditorium and had 662 entrants.
In the past, the PVKC’s annual match was held on the Bangor waterfront but was changed this year because of scheduling conflicts with other groups. Mitchell believes that the change in location will not affect the event’s attendance.
“People will come no matter where it is if they have dogs and want to show them,” she said. The change in date to Sept. 11 was made to avoid scheduling on the same date as any other dog-related events. Mitchell believes the ceremonies on Sunday commemorating the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks will not interfere with the match and or affect attendance.
Mitchell expects temperatures to be warm and recommends that all spectators attending the match bring water, a chair and shade. All participants also should bring extra water for their dogs as well as their veterinarians’ contact information.