The 14th annual Bonanza Kennel Club Obedience and Conformation Shows at Fuji Park were bigger this year with about 100 more dogs than last year.
"We had about 1,100 dogs entered this year," said event chairman and Bonanza Kennel Club board member Richard Berger. About 750 dogs came from California, 250 came from Nevada, and the rest came from 23 other states and Canada for two separate shows on Saturday and Sunday.
Handlers, breeders and owners wandered around the 10 fenced competition areas at the park Sunday with tiny Maltese, leash-tugging pinschers and poodles with Afro hairdos. Other dog lovers groomed their pooches on tables or shaded them under canopies on the grass. Dogs in travel carriers barked at others straining on their chrome-plated choke chains.
The 120 breeds represented competed in conformation and obedience classes.
In conformation, Judges compare dogs to a written breed standard and select the best of breed at the show. The 140 breeds recognized by the American Kennel Club are broken down into seven groups: sporting, hound, working, terrier, toy, non-sporting and herding.
The first-place dog from each group then competes in the best-of-show category. Taking home that honor Saturday -- and the famed red, white and blue ribbon -- was an Akita named Texas Brew. Hailing from a Mount Shasta, Calif., kennel called Tuscanadeel, the champ is owned by Mark and Joan Cochrun and Robert and Donna White.
In the obedience competition, dogs are tested for their ability to obey commands in three levels: novice, open and utility levels.
Novice includes on- and off-leash exercises, open includes some jumping and retrieving, and utility includes nonverbal, hand-signal commands.
In the long sit, out-of sight competition the dogs are told to sit and stay while owners leave the ring, said obedience judge Dianne Allen. If the dogs wander off, they don't qualify for the next round, explained the Yerington obedience trainer.
"Then it's 'Thank you,' and 'Have a nice day,'" she said with a laugh.
Allen, who owns three male Belgian Tervurens, said there were some beautiful dogs at the show.
"We had some excellent dogs on all levels -- especially novice," she said. A novice competitor won the overall highest score in obedience.
Jack Frost, a golden retriever owned by Harrie Baker of Illinois, earned 198 out of 200 points.
Also at the shows were 20 vendors.
"They sell everything from crates and wheels to toys and food," said Carolyn Goepner, the Bonanza Kennel Club's secretary and a papillion lover.
She said she loves the breed because they're small, intelligent and great companions. She used to show bigger dogs like shelties and collies, she said.
"But the older you get, the smaller the dogs you show," she joked.
She and Berger said improvements made to Fuji Park -- to which their group has given several thousand dollars over the years -- have helped their show become a national favorite.
"AKC magazine said we were one of the top 30 shows in the nation," said Goepner. "And there's thousands of them."