The National Dog Show- one of the few remaining Benched shows

Yesterday was the National Dog Show, held in Philadelphia.  It is a "Benched" show. There are only a few benched shows left in the country- Westminster being another one.  Historically there was an actual "bench" and each entered dog was assigned a specific space on the bench.  At this show, there is no actual bench, but dogs are still assigned a specific space and much be crated in those assigned spaces.  Benched shows are really for the public to come and see the different breeds and learn what makes them unique.  I think of them as an all day "Meet the Breeds".  Breeds are assigned spaces together so that people coming to see shelties, for example, will find them all in one place.  The dogs must be in the assigned spaces all day, 11:00-5:00 were the required time, but once a dog was in the building it is not allowed to leave, and are only allowed to be absent from their assigned space, during their ring tine (when they are being judged) and for short potty brakes.  Yesterday our ring time was 9:00 am, so we were in the building at 7:45am and couldn't leave until 5:00.  The goal is that no matter when the public arrives, they will still be able to see all of the breeds entered that day.  This is different from "un-benched" shows in which the dogs can arrive and depart the show site at will.

As a competitor in these benched shows it is a long day, and it is important to enter a dog that can be available to meet the public and be an ambassador for the breed.  Not all dogs are up for that challenge.  Luckily for me, Luke, Ch. Acadia's Crown Prince, is one of those dogs.  He was a trooper and greeted people almost all day- usually with a tail wag, and occasionally with a kiss.  I was thankful to see so many people coming to see the dogs.

Last year, Liza won Best of Breed at this show and then went on to win a Herding Group 3rd place. This show is televised on Thanksgiving Day- and it was fun to relive the positive experience while surrounded by family and enjoying a good meal.

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