Dogs and their people showed up in Bible Hill over the weekend to take part in a show where European judges provided written critiques.
© lynn Curwin
Stephanie Horan and Reno took part in the CANS conformation show in the Agridome during the weekend. The shows are different from CKC shows in a few ways.
The Canine Association of Nova Scotia show incorporates breed standards and group guidelines set out by the Federation Cynologique Internationale (FCI) and some of the breeds recognized are rarely seen outside of European shows.
‚ÄúThe judges here are qualified to judge all breeds,‚ÄĚ explained Marie-France Prayal, CANS president and secretary for the Bible Hill show. ‚ÄúThe dog is evaluated with a standard and the judge takes time evaluating dogs and talking to exhibitors. The judge also provides written comments. Our judges are from Europe so nobody knows them.‚ÄĚ
Where the Canadian Kennel Club divides dogs into seven groups, the FCI has 10 groups.
Stephanie Horan, who lives near Tatamagouche, shows Pulis in both CANS and CKC shows, as well as sometimes travelling to the US for AKC shows.
‚ÄúI started with Old English sheepdogs but heard about these and got one, then got more,‚Äô se said. ‚ÄúI like their unusual look and that they‚Äôre lively, animated, energetic and easy to train. They‚Äôre very smart.‚ÄĚ
She said that the dogs don‚Äôt require as much grooming as many people think. The cords, which are similar to dreadlocks, are groomed using mainly fingers and scissors.
Pulis are often used to herd livestock, especially sheep. One of Horan‚Äôs dogs went to British Columbia and works clearing airport runways of seagulls. The majority of the dogs she breeds become pets but some are sold as show prospects.
‚ÄúAt the CANS shows we get a written critique for a dog, which is really useful to us as breeders,‚ÄĚ she said. ‚ÄúWe get to see exactly what the judge liked or didn‚Äôt like.
‚ÄúOne of the interesting things at these shows is that we sometimes see breeds in the ring that are not CKC recognized.‚ÄĚ
Showing dogs is a family activity for her, as her husband Terry and her daughter Tamzin Hart also take part.