Canberra Dog Show
December 14, 2020
Exhibition Park in Canberra hosted a family reunion of sorts this weekend.
After three months of planning, the show dog community came together for Canberra’s first official show since February.
“People have been absolutely elated to be back together again but we’ve had to observe the COVID restrictions,” she said.
Jorden Morris of Wagga Wagga said it was nice to have a break from showing in the early months of the pandemic but she was keen to be back both to spend time with her dog and to see friends again.
“I love my dogs. I’ve shown since I was five, I’m now 31. I’ve been in it for a long time,” she said.
“Obviously there’s the social part of it as well, coming to see everybody we know and getting together with friends but it’s definitely about the dogs and having fun with them just so they enjoy it and as long as they enjoy it I enjoy it.”
Her English Springer Spaniel puppy won best baby puppy in group. But the three-month-old canine has also proven to be a big hit as a therapy dog.
“I’m also a youth worker, so working with kids they just love him and Oska loves the kids.
“They’re not just dogs, they’re your pets, they’re family, they’re everything, so it’s been good to have a dog throughout COVID.”
Dogs ACT vice president Judith Woolley also enjoyed having dogs as companions during the pandemic, but was concerned that many people bought puppies this year and would dump them when they returned to work.
“Unfortunately some of the unscrupulous people, and there are a few in this environment, will make more money because they’re putting the prices up and they’re breeding a lot…. they don’t do the health testing we probably do,” she said.
Ms Woolley said she had been receiving some inquiries from people wanting Doberman puppies for Christmas presents and even for dog fighting.
Her message was that a dog was for life, not for Christmas.
“One thing that we promote here at Dogs ACT is that we don’t have a dog just to keep it in the backyard.
“You’ve got to play with it, you’ve got to train it, have fun with it.”
As for Dobermans, she said they would guard their owners when necessary but were generally lounge-loving family pets.
“We call them Velcro dogs because they stick to you like glue.”
Dogs ACT president Kirsty Neiberding was pleased with the performance of her English Cocker Spaniel, Storm, who was just four points off from gaining an Australian championship title.
But she was equally pleased to meet up with friends, even if they needed to remain socially distanced.
“You make some really really good life-long friends in the show world and I’ve definitely got heaps of those now. Some of them are like family.”