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Playing with the big dogs: Junior handler invited to AKC

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By Special to the Monitor

Jennifer Necker, a Piñon Elementary School fourth-grader, has made good on a promise that she would one day show a dog at the American Kennel Club National Championship Dog Show. Necker, a member of the Los Alamos Dog Obedience Club and the English Setter Association of America, will be showing an English Setter at the show in Long Beach, Calif., Saturday.

Necker has been showing her 3-year-old English Setter, Owen, for a little more than a year in the breed ring and began showing in Junior Showmanship events in April. AKC’s Junior Showmanship events are open to children ages 9 -18 and are designed to provide children with the opportunity to develop their dog handling skills, learn about good sportsmanship and learn about dogs and dog shows.

Juniors are judged on their ability to present, or handle, their dogs within the same formats and guidelines as those who compete in the breed ring. The quality of their presentation, not the dog, is judged. Juniors are encouraged to develop their handling abilities, dress appropriately, conduct themselves in a proper manner and present their dog in a well-groomed condition.

Junior handlers compete in classes according to age and ability, starting as novice handlers and then achieving open class status after three wins with competition.


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