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Attending an International Dog Show

By Lynn Taylor

Most people have heard of the traditional AKC Dog Conformation show, but have you ever heard of the International Dog Show that takes place in the U.S.? The International All Breed Canine Association (IABCA) is an independent organization that offers the same ring procedures as the other organizations but with the European-style flavor of providing all dogs with a written critique against the breed standard. There are both American (AKC) and International judges at every show, including judges from Australia, Canada, Colombia, Germany, Puerto Rico and Sweden.

The IABCA began more than twenty years ago with the intent of making the International Title available to the American public without having to expose dogs to the dangers and inconvenience of international travel.

I attended my first show recently and was very pleased with it. The show runs as a typical dog show with the same ring process. However in addition, during each show personalized attention is given to each exhibitor by the judge and a full written critique of your dog is received encompassing 12 different parts of his body and movement. The judges take time to explain what they see in each dog. It provides a nice relaxed atmosphere too.

When working toward an International or National Title, the dog is judged against the breed standard and rated. The rating of each show will count towards the title. In turn the rating will determine the title your dog will receive. There are both puppy and adult titles available. During each show there are Class winners and a Best of Breed winner that moves on to Best in Show.

The IABCA holds shows all over North America in 20 U.S. states as well as Canada. You can check their website for the calendar of upcoming shows, which is currently updated through June 2012. Their shows run both Saturday and Sunday, with two shows each day, so four shows total in a weekend. Seasoned exhibitors enjoy having an additional venue to show their dogs and earn additional titles. However, these shows also provide novices an opportunity to show their dogs in a smaller, more laid-back and social atmosphere within a learning environment. A primary focus of the IABCA shows is education and a sharing of knowledge between exhibitors and judges.

I was very proud of my dog Riot at our first IABCA venue. In all four shows he received a rating of V-1, which is the highest ranking possible and received the INT CH title. It was great to hear different opinions on his overall show/breed qualities and weaknesses. There is only one show per year in my state, but I’m already planning on attending next year to try to earn the next ranking title!

I have to attribute Riot’s fine coat to CANIDAE Grain Free pureELEMENTS. This super-premium food provides a well balanced diet for a working dog enabling him to stay active and in show form year round. Thank you CANIDAE for your continued support!

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