Day 1 of Duluth Kennel Club Dog Show

Alejandra Palacios
Updated: July 11, 2019 08:16 PM

The DECC is filled with hundreds of dogs who are competing in the Duluth Kennel Club All Breed Dog Show.


Thursday was the first day of the four day event. Over 700 representing 150 breeds compete for a shot at winning the title for Best in Show.

The DECC looked like dog heaven as hundreds of dogs were getting groomed and prepped to compete in the Duluth dog show.

“This is Jack, he is a eight-month-old Spinone Italiano, they’re a bird dog, a pointing dog,” Ted Wentink, a handler from the Twin Cities, said.

"People like to come to the show in Duluth because it's a friendly show and it's a friendly town,” Jeff Urbaniak, the vice president for the Duluth Kennel Club, said.

One dog out of each breed gets chosen to be the best representative of the group and goes on to compete for the Best in Show title against all the other breeds.

“Gillian won best toy poodle in the dog show. It’s called Best in Variety and she'll compete in the toy group this afternoon against some of the top dogs in the country,” Sharon Svoboda, a dog handler from Missouri, said.

Dog lovers couldn't resist petting the variety of big and tiny dogs who have their quirks and unique personalities that make them stand out in the competition.

“Jack is full of himself actually, he's a bold little puppy. His poppa got best in opposite for Spinone and we’re going to be in the owner handler group ring soon,” Wentink said.

“She's a happy girl. She loves everybody and loves to be held. She loves belly rubs at end of the day,” Svoboda said.

The best of the best dog handlers invest a lot of time and money to make sure their dogs are in great shape and look their best for the show.

"You have to really take good care of the dogs. Make sure they're eating good food, that they’re happy and they’re healthy, doing good exercise, and take care of their hair and weight,” Svoboda said.

“These are dogs that live in your home and lay on your couches but when they get in the ring, they’re expected to be a high quality representative of their breed. They have to walk a certain way, they have to stand so the judge can take a good look at their build,” Urbaniak said.

Dog handlers say lots of traveling, training, and work goes into competing in dog shows but at the end of the day, they say it’s worth it because they enjoy the quality time they spend with their trustee companions.

“We get to go all over and meet new people and see different parts of the country,” Svoboda said.

“It’s something else I get to do with my dogs I like doing stuff with my dogs,” Wentink said.

The event runs through Sunday. Judging takes place from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. There's also vendor booths with fun items for people and dogs.


Alejandra Palacios

Copyright 2019 WDIO-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved


Protesters confront police on W. Superior Street

Protesters block I-35 in Duluth

Protesters take to streets of Duluth in memory of George Floyd

Duluth imposes Citywide Curfew

Walz says violence not about Floyd death, fully mobilizes National Guard

MDH reports 30 new COVID-19 deaths; 660 new cases