LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - If you noticed an increase of dogs around the Lake Area over the last week, that’s because June 6 through June 9 was the annual Calcasieu-Acadiana Dog Show.
The show was for all breeds. While the dogs look put together by the time they hit the show room floor, getting them show ready is no easy process.
The dogs train year-round, like any other professional athlete.
“It’s a lot of preparation. Not just at the show, this is the easy part. Back home, we have to train them, get them in condition code wise, hair, build muscle," Jesus Moreno, a professional dog handler, said.
However, the day-of preparation isn’t what most would consider easy.
It consists of hours of grooming, showing, resting and repeating, according to Kim Murphy, a show dog owner.
“It lasts all day long," Murphy said. "You do your breed first, your individual breeds, and then you go in with whatever group you happen to be in; sporting group, working group, whatever, and then, if you’re lucky, maybe best in show.”
Kim Murphy, the Show Chair of the Acadiana Kennel club, said close to 1,000 people from nearly every state come to the show each year.
He said it’s so popular because of the gratification you get when your dog wins it’s category, or best in show.
“To breed an A.K.C. dog as close to the standard as you can, you’re getting the best dog you can in that breed. And to compete with other dogs in the same breed, it becomes very addictive," Murphy said. “You get the bug.”
The A.K.C., or the American Kennel Club, publishes standards of what dogs for each breed should conform to, which is how the dogs are judged.
It really comes down to a passion for animals, and making them the very best they can be, that makes all of the hard work and long hours worth it.
Showing that while it’s a very rewarding experience, getting the the top is no walk in the park.
The next A.K.C. dog show is in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, on June 12.