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November 24, 2014

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Training class prepares dogs, owners for show

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Mona Shield Payne / Special to the Home News

In preparation for the Black Mountain Kennel Club dog show, Heather Aguilera gives Abrams, her 9-month-old mastiff, instructions and praise during training class at Pecos Legacy Park.

Black Mountain Kennel Club

In preparation for the Black Mountain Kennel Club dog show, Heather Aguilera gives Abrams, her 9-month-old mastiff, instructions and praise during training class at Pecos Legacy Park. Launch slideshow »

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For more info, call the Black Mountain Kennel Club, 223-6665.

The trainers and owners parading around the outfield come from all walks of life and all parts of the Las Vegas Valley, but the true diversity to be found here is at the other end of the leash.

From a massive Great Dane that outweighs its owner to a tiny Chihuahua that has an affinity for hopping around on its hind legs, 26 dogs are strutting their stuff in preparation for the Black Mountain Kennel Club's annual show Oct. 10-12 at Veterans Memorial Park in Boulder City.

During September, the Kennel Club held training sessions every Tuesday night at Pecos Legacy Park in Henderson. The classes drew a broad swath of dog aficionados, from pros with experienced show dogs to novices training young dogs for their first show.

Class participant Yvonne Paddack brought Taylor, a 6-month-old Labrador, to the classes. Though Paddack has been training show dogs for a year and a half, she faced a number of challenges getting Taylor ready, she said.

"It's a lot of work," she said. "I have not done my part on this one yet. … (The class) has helped because she needs the socialization more than anything — learning to be on the leash around other dogs."

Volunteer class instructor Michelle Bedowitz, a Kennel Club board member, said the upcoming dog show is meant to provide a resource for aspiring dog owners to learn more about different breeds.

"It's meant to educate people on where to get a dog and how to get a good dog," Bedowitz said.

Bedowitz said the process of training a dog for a show usually begins when the dog is about four months old. It is an ongoing process that needs to be carried out on a daily basis.

Dogs must be at least six months old and registered with the American Kennel Club in order to appear in the show.

Cindy Yurek, who was at the class training her 10-month-old Vizsla, Bobbi, said most of the training takes place at home, but that classes are important because they socialize the dog and get them comfortable with strangers.

"They have to learn to stand still and let a stranger come up and put their hands all over them and inspect them," she said.

Jeremy Twitchell can be reached at 990-8928 or [email protected].

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