The GKKC, a nonprofit organization, held its first show at the Appalachian Fairgrounds in 1977. This year marks the 77th and 78th all-breed dog shows and obedience trials and the 25th and 26th rally trials.
Dog show organizers said some of the top dogs in the nation have competed at these shows, and some of the judges have judged at Westminster and other top dog shows.
Saturday’s event will feature 561 dogs in 109 breeds or varieties, including 22 obedience entries and 14 rally entries, with a similar number on Sunday.
Confirmation judging starts at 8 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday in the Farm and Home building. Dogs in this competition are judged based on each breed’s standard.
Each best-of-breed winner will then compete in the toy, sporting, working, terrier, non-sporting, herding or hound group, with the winner of each group competing for the coveted Best in Show award.
Owner-handled group judging starts at 1:15 p.m., and group judging starts at 1:45 p.m. on both days.
Obedience trials start at 8 a.m. each day at the outdoor stage area. In this event, dog and handler teams will perform a series of specified exercises, with different levels of competition.
Novice dogs can demonstrate their ability to heel, come when called, sit and stay. Utility and open dogs will perform scent discrimination, work only with hand signals, retrieve dumbbells and go over jumps.
In rally trials, dogs and handlers will move through a course following directions on signs, similar to rally car racing.
There is a parking fee of $5 per day. Dogs that are not entered in any of the events are not allowed on the fairgrounds, and baby strollers are not allowed in the Farm and Home building.
For more information about the dog show, visit www.infodog.com, click on “Show Info,” search by state, look up GKKC and view the judging schedules for individual breeds.
More information about the GKKC is available at www.gkkc.org or by calling (423) 323-8775.