Remember Lassie? If you do, you were probably born before 1980. If not, you probably don’t know that, once, the collie was a celebrity among K-9s. Episode after episode, usually on Sunday evenings, Lassie-to-the-rescue was a common theme. The collie was ideally suited for the role. Regal in appearance, most collies possess all the characteristics casting was looking for when they sought the right dog to play Lassie.
Whether you’re familiar with Lassie or not, there’s an event coming up at Alden’s Kennels, 6810 Barnard Mill Road, Ringwood, Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 19 and 20, that you might want to see. The Central States Collie Club will hold its annual specialty show. Only collies, please. But, if you know collies, you realize that’s quite alright.
“The temperament of a collie is outstanding,” said Karen Soeder, the corresponding secretary for the collie club. “They’re very loyal to their family, eager to please and loving with children.”
Soeder said Central States held its first show in 1937. She anticipates 70 or more dogs competing in this year’s show. Collies and their owners will travel to the show from all over the country.
The show will include both obedience and conformation competition. The prior of these has various levels of ability corresponding to the dog’s training. Basics include heeling patterns, recall, and sit and down stays, while advanced levels include off-lead work, scent articles, retrieving and jumping.
In conformation, the dogs are evaluated on how well they conform to the standard for the breed established by the Collie Club of America and registered with the American Kennel Club. This covers bone structure and how well the animal can move, and includes the actual beauty of the dog. In the case of the collie, form follows function—because it is a herding dog, movement is important. The coat of the collie, both rough and smooth, is soft underneath, with a harsh top coat being resilient to the weather. Because of this texture, the collie coat is easy to take care of, as it easily repels dirt and water. Another important facet of evaluating the collie is the sweet, alert expression.
Saturday during the event, one of the highlights is the junior showmanship competition, open to young handlers ages 9 up to 18 years. This year’s junior showmanship competition is being judged by club member Patt Caldwell, who is licensed by the AKC to judge this event. Junior showmanship is less about conformation of the collie and more about the bond and rapport between the handler and their dog. Central States is proud of its tradition in offering junior showmanship as an opportunity to mentor and nurture responsible dog ownership.
Before and during the show, visitors will have a chance to meet the dogs under the owner’s supervision. They’ll watch the grooming and the showing of the dogs.
There is no cost for spectators and parking is also free. Lunch is available on site.
For more information about the show, call Karen Soeder, 847 658-9033.
Alden’s Kennels, the site of the show, has state-of-the-art boarding kennels and provides professional dog training with Master Trainers Ashley O’Byrne and Carlos D. Aguirre. Training, in private or group lessons, includes puppy imprinting, behavior modification, conformation, Schutzhund, therapy dog, hunting dog and more.
For more information about Alden’s Kennels, visit http://www.aldenskennels.com or call 815-728-0559.