STOCKTON - Thousands of dogs from across the region will descend upon the Stockton Firemen's Fraternity Grounds this weekend for the second annual Southern Tier Area Cluster Great American Family Dog Show Weekend.
Co-sponsored by the Conewango Valley Kennel Club and the Olean Kennel Club, the event attracts dog owners from across the northeastern United States, said Judy Hartley, president of the CVKC.
''People travel generally to go to a show - 300 miles is not a big deal to go to a dog show,'' Mrs. Hartley said. ''We'll get dogs from Michigan, from Ohio, from the New England states ... and somebody who really likes a particular judge may come all the way from California.''
American Foxhound Ch. Kiarry’s Reflection of the Sun was judged Best In Show during one day of the 2008 Conewango Valley Kennel Club Dog Show. CVKC and the Olean Kennel Club will present the second annual Southern Tier Area Cluster Family Dog Show Weekend on June 17-20 at the Stockton Firemen’s Fraternity Grounds.
The four-day event will be held from Thursday to Sunday, beginning at 8 a.m. each day and lasting until 5 in the afternoon. Dog owners will be competing for breed, obedience, rally and best-in-show awards each day, and on Sunday a best overall amateur owner-handler will be chosen to win a grand prize.
While the Conewango Valley Kennel Club has been holding its dog shows for 38 years, Mrs. Hartley said, it merged its shows with the Olean Kennel Club's the past two years as a cost-saving move.
''More and more clubs are doing that to defray costs,'' she said. ''The amount of dogs being shown and the amount of dogs being registered is less than what it was, so we're trying to survive just like everybody else.''
That being said, more than 1,000 dogs are expected to be shown during each of the four days of the event. Dogs will compete among their own breeds, then in their groups, and then they will go for best-in-show. A best-in-show dog will be named on each day of the event.
Mrs. Hartley also said that many vendors will be on-hand selling items that are often unavailable at pet stores, including leashes, collars, grooming paraphernalia and other specialty items.
''You can come and get your favorite dog an early Christmas present,'' she said.
Admission to the event will be $5 - for parking - each day, and a four-day pass can be purchased for $15. Camping is available on-site for anyone who is interested in staying for the entire four days, and the Stockton Firemen's Auxiliary will offer a chicken barbecue on Friday and Saturday nights.