MISSOULA – Breeders and handlers at this year‘s Five Valleys Kennel Club dog show talked less about competition and more about conservation.
“Dog shows are very important to preserve our purebred dogs. There’s a reason they were bred to be purebred and carry those lines on. And they’re used for different jobs. And when we lose that someday if that should happen to happen we’re losing something very important,” said handler Shane Hooper.
Zion won best in show on Friday and each day, a new winner claims the title.
For this group, whether their handlers of dogs owned by other people or here showing their own dogs, many of them agree that it’s all about conserving the history behind each of these special breeds.
Nancy Wight is a breeder and a handler of her own dogs which are ancient Sicilian hunting dogs.
She says the dogs are the center of her life and adds she has always felt the stigma against breeders, and their shows, and this was difficult to stomach.
“To me, the fascinating and interesting part of it was the element of the breeder who cares passionately about the breed and wants to see a breed perpetuated and I’m preserved,” said Wight.
We do love to have the dogs soon because it’s fun it’s our sport. But it’s really not … most people I know our highest goal is dogs to have a great home for life and a wonderful loving family.
The competition continues all weekend. You can go see some of these exemplary breeds up close until Sunday at 5 p.m. at the Western Montana Fairgrounds.