VALDOSTA -- Dogs and their owners will have the opportunity to show off at the Valdosta Kennel Club's 50th American Kennel Club All-Breed Dog Show and Obedience Trial on Friday, Feb. 20.

The show begins at 9 a.m. at the Lowndes County Civic Center on Hwy. 84 East.

A Rottweiler Specialty Dog Show and an AKC All-Breed Match starts on Feb. 19 at 9 a.m., and an AKC All-Breed Match is also on Feb. 19, at 7 p.m. Entries for the match will be taken from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. Dogs must be AKC registered and at least three months old.

The shows are free, but parking for each of the events is $3 per day.

Audience members can expect to see quality dogs in their prime condition at these shows, said Sandy Miles, AKC member for more than 40 years and current vice president of the Valdosta Kennel Club. Many of the dogs and handlers competing Feb. 20 were featured on the television broadcast of the Westminster Dog Show, Miles said.

"Dogs are judged on a standard for each breed," Miles said. "Every breed is different. This is to show the quality of the dogs you've bred and to make champions out of them. Once a dog becomes a champion, you work on ranking within the breed."

The matches are held to give puppies and adult dogs, as well as handlers, a chance to practice in the rings and become comfortable with showing dogs at a real dog show, Miles said.

Miles also encourages attending the event as a class field trip, because children will get to see dogs they've never seen before in the best condition they will ever be seen in.

In the obedience class, dogs will learn to perform, heel, sit, stay, come and stand at the basic obedience level, and retrieve dumbbells and gloves and perform jumps at the more advanced level. Miles instructs the class.

Members of the VKC also encourage the public to contact the club whether they are looking for a family pet, show dog or obedience training, Miles said. The breeders will be available if anyone wants to ask them questions about a dog, but no dogs will be for sale at the event.

The dogs will compete next with more than 2,500 other dogs at the Peach Blossom Cluster AKC Show in April at the Georgia National Fairgrounds in Perry, the third largest dog show in the nation, Miles said.

For more information, or for breeder referral, call Sandy Miles or Nora Duvall at 242-8241 or 242-0709.

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