German shepherds and their handlers compete for spot at worlds in Saskatoon

Roughly 140 participants and their furry friends took part in the 2019 German Shepherd Dog Championship and Sieger Show.

This was the first event in Saskatoon since 1995.

It consisted of different competitions for the dogs over five days.

“This is really two events — the first one is the championship,” said event co-ordinator Holly Powell. “The working part of the event (includes) tracking, obedience and protection, and each of those phases were broken down into 100 points each. ”

The working part of the event took earlier in the week, with the confirmation or beauty run for the dogs taking place on Sunday, the last day of the competition.

For veteran dog handler Dan Waters, the event can go either way depending on the dog’s performance that day.

“There are always times where you can enjoy the competition and trials while you’re being tested,” said Waters, the German Shepherd Dog Club of Canada chair of the Prairies. “And there are times where you don’t feel so good about being tested because your dog is not where it needs to be.”

Luckily for him, this event secured him a spot at worlds after placing fifth with his dog Ekko.

Elements such as the heat came into play.

“Dogs up here are not used to the heat,” said event participant Danny Grayson, a native of Austin, Texas. “In Texas, dogs are conditioned for heat and they don’t carry as much coat.”

“So, we did postpone the trial for an hour” on Friday with temperatures above 30 degrees Celsius, Grayson added.

Grayson is borrowing a dog from another owner because it was too inconvenient to bring his own dog to the competition. He didn’t want to miss the event, along with the opportunity to help put on a great show.

He competed with a German shepherd by the name of Mafia.

The top six Canadian handlers and their German shepherds will advance to worlds, which take place in Italy in October.

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