LIVINGSTON -- No matter how much Carmen Duncan pulled, Rusty wouldn’t budge.
The 2-year-old ball of tan and black fur planted his feet firmly in the ground, stretching the leash connecting Duncan to her beloved lap-sized Yorkie.
This scenario has played out before.
“Last show we did, he put on the brakes and would not move,” laughed Duncan. “It looks like he’s gonna do the same now.”
The timid Rusty wasn’t the only dog being put in the spotlight.
He was one of several canines that participated in the Fall 2018 All-Breed Conformation Dog Show, presented by Continental Kennel Club and Every Dog Club, held at the Livingston Parish Fairgrounds on Saturday, Nov. 3.
The event invited dog owners to showcase their lovable companions and have them evaluated by a professional show judge for quality breeding programs.
The show also featured a costume contest, drawing one politician to the fold.
“There’s mini Trump,” someone said of the 9-month-old Bichon Frise named Trump, who wore a black suit and red tie with flecks of orange spray paint in his hair.
Paul Bruneau, a 15-year veteran who has judged dog shows across the globe with his wife Glenda, served as the show’s official judge, grading the contestants on their particular breed standards.
“That standard describes the dog in total,” said Paul, who can recall standards for hundreds of dogs. “It describes the pigment of the nose, around the mouth and its lips. It describes the eyes, where they’re placed in the head, as well as their shape and color. It describes the ears and where they’re supposed to be set.
“Every breed is different, even the way the teeth are.”
Judging dog shows has consumed Paul and Glenda in recent years. The two recently sold their home in Florida, bought a 38-foot trailer, and now travel far and wide with their seven dogs to different shows. They’ll judge upcoming dog shows in Utah, Florida and Michigan before heading to Italy for an American pit bull competition.
And in almost all cases, the Bruneaus said they go by a simple rule: Form follows function.
“I come from the world of showing horses, and everything is movement, so I’m primarily a movement judge,” Glenda said. “Form follows function, always, so if the dogs have a proper form, they can do the function they were bred for.”
The Bruneaus said that sentiment applies to all dogs — from gun dog breeds like the American Standard Poodle to companion dogs like the Bichon Frise, breeds that were both represented during last Saturday’s dog show.
Kammie, a 4-year-old Bichon Frise, was awarded “Best in Show,” which is given to the top dog among all breed winners.
According to Paul, Kammie matched her breed’s standard more than any of her competitors: Small, compact and sturdy in appearance with a merry temperament, an inquisitive expression, sparkling dark eyes and a white coat that gives the appearance of “a white powder puff.”
Though Kammie looked like a “Best in Show” dog, it was more important to Paul and Glenda that she moved like one, evident by the way she bounced around the show ring.
“There are lots of pretty dogs out there, until they start to move,” Glenda said. “If the movement isn’t there, then I don’t care how pretty it is when it’s standing, it can’t do its job. Even companion dogs that were bred to do nothing except sit in your lap... they still have to be able to move, and companion dog people forget that because all they’re concerned with is making them pretty.
“No, they’ve still got to be able to move. Any breed of dog must be able to move.”
Every Dog Club was established to educate in proper handling and training of dogs in the home and in the community. Its goal is to provide members with the resources necessary to solve everyday training issues as well as specialized training to participate in show events.
For more information on EDC’s dog shows or training classes, visit www.everydogclub.com or visit the “Every Dog Club” on Facebook.
Winners of the Fall 2018 All-Breed Conformation Dog Show include:
Best in Show
Kammie, Bichon Frise
Best in Group
Pinchers and Schnauzers - Sasha, Miniature Schnauzer
Terrier Breeds - Casperetta, West Highlands White Terrier
Gun Dog Breeds - Tango, Standard American Poodle
Companion and Toy Breeds - Kammie, Bichon Frise
Grand Champion - Trump, Bichon Frise