Yip, yip, hooray! Fair dog show showcases canine talent

Christy Perry for The Cullman Tribune

Savannah Bischoff with her Australian Cattle Dog, Skye (Christy Perry for The Cullman Tribune)

CULLMAN – The dog show, hosted by the Cullman County 4-H Club, drew a large crowd to the Cullman County Fair’s Tri-Green Arena this week, as young competitors and their dogs competed in several categories.

Judging this year’s event was Dr. Barbara Buettner. Buettner is a former American Kennel Club (AKC) judge with a long history in judging dogs. She has been active in various training disciplines for more than 20 years.

Buettner explained to the contestants, “I want to conduct this dog show as closely as possible to the way AKC shows are conducted.”

Amanda Richter was chosen to present the awards to this year’s winners.

The first dogs to enter the arena were the herding and working breeds:

  • Savannah Bischoff with her Australian Cattle Dog, Skye
  • Ruth Adams with her German Shepherd, Maverick
  • Haley Duckett with her Labradoodle, Opal
  • Drew Conway with his Labradoodle, Daisy

The group took a trot around the arena before being called individually to the center for closer inspection. Judge Buettner asked each contestant a few questions while getting a better look at each dog.

The dogs took a final lap before the results were announced.

Herding and Working Breed Division winners:

  • 4th place: Haley Duckett and Opal
  • 3rd place: Drew Conway and Daisy
  • 2nd place: Ruth Adams and Maverick
  • 1st place: Savannah Bischoff and Skye

Next up were the Toy and Terrier breeds:

  • Emily Durham with her Shih Tzu, Memphis
  • Ashlynn McClusky with her Chinese Crested, Kiwi
  • Lexie Smith with her Jack Russell Terrier, Skippy

The group was asked to follow the same procedures. Judge Buettner took her time as she deliberated. Each handler showed great control as she led her dog.

The winners were:

  • 3rd place: Emily Durham and Memphis
  • 2nd place: Lexie Smith and Skippy
  • 1st place: Ashlynn McClusky and Kiwi

The third division was the Mixed Breed division featuring:

  • Amanda Miller with Ella, a Golden Retriever/Great Pyrenees mix
  • Arianna with July, a brown terrier mix

Arianna told The Tribune, “I’m not sure what breed July is, but we named her that after we found her as a stray in July. She has to have some rat terrier in her, I think. She’s a great rat hunter.”

After a tough decision, Judge Buettner made her choice:

  • 2nd place: Arianna and July
  • 1st place; Amanda Miller and Ella

A 10th contestant, Grayson, and his 10-month-old Great Pyrenees, Pippa, had enter the contest, but Grayson made the decision to withdraw as he saw Pippa became uncomfortable. This was Pippa’s first show and it seemed to overwhelm her.

The next category was Obedience. The groups were divided based on the handlers’ ages. Handlers were asked to lead their dogs around the arena while pausing to demonstrate commands such as sit, heel and stay.

Obedience Winners:

  • Pre-Novice: Arianna and July
  • Novice: Ashlynn McClusky and Kiwi

The Best Trick competition featured the unique talents of each of the dogs and their handlers. The crowd saw fetching, jumping through hoops, roll over, and even a War Eagle high-five. The winner was Ashlynn McClusky with Kiwi. Kiwi had a variety of tricks.

The last event would determine Best in Show, as the winners from the three groups entered the arena for one last chance to wow Judge Buettner.

The winners of the 2018 Cullman County Fair Dog Show Best in Show:

  • 3rd place: Ashlynn McClusky with Kiwi
  • Reserve winner: Savannah Bischoff and Skye
  • Best in Show: Amanda Miller and Ella

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