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Premier Dog Show
June 17-19, 2016
Hosted by United Kennel Club • 269-343-9020
Based in Kalamazoo, Michigan for over 100 years

Kalamazoo County Expo Center & Fairground
2900 Lake Street, Kalamazoo MI 49048

Gate open from 8 a.m.-4 p.m.
Come early and stay for the day!
$5/car per day

SPECTATOR NOTE: Spectators’ dogs not permitted.
Only dogs entered in the event are allowed on the event grounds.

Download Your Discount Coupon

Map & Schedule of Events

What will you see at the UKC Premier dog show?

Dog Shows at UKC are more than just beauty contests for canines. At UKC, we embrace our "Total Dog" philosophy. Simply stated, this means that dogs should be sociable and trainable to allow them to easily adapt to their homes and their owners' lifestyle, possess the instincts that enable them to do the work for which they were bred and the physical traits that identify them as a member of a distinct breed. There is something for every dog and every dog owner at a UKC Dog Show!

Conformation Events are what most people think of when the hear the term "dog show." They are competitive events for purebreds where a judge evaluates a dog's structure as it compares to a written description of the perfect specimen of that breed, called a standard. While it may appear that dogs are being judged against one another, each dog is actually being compared to the judge's mental image of the perfect dog of that breed. The judges must be familiar with not only the standards of the breeds they judge, but with the Conformation rules and regulations as well. Each dog is examined by the judge in a posed position and must also gait in a pattern to allow the judge to evaluate its efficiency of movement. Dog shows may be held for one breed, several breeds or all breeds, depending on the experience of the club in managing such events.

Dock jumping is a simple, yet exciting sport that has been exploding all over the country. UKC is excited to add it as another performance event, through Ultimate Air Dogs; yet another way to have fun with your dog! There are three different forms of jumping that UKC dogs will be able to obtain titles in: Ultimate Air or Distance Jumping, Ultimate Vertical and United Fetch It.

Ultimate Air is the basic form of competition that started dock jumping. Dogs run down the dock and handlers try to get them to fly as far as they can after a toy. It’s a thrilling, adrenaline-driven event that is a blast for handlers and crowds alike. Ultimate Vertical is a different twist on the sport that started as a training tool to get more distance out of dogs. It’s a form of high jumping. A training bumper is held 8’ out over the water by an extender. A starting height is set and dogs must bring the bumper down (by either a knock or a catch) for that height to count, then the bumper is moved up two inches and the dog progresses until the next round. This repeats until there is only one dog still soaring, and crowd excitement builds the higher and higher the dogs fly
. Fetch It Jumping is another competition that measures the distance a dog jumps. Unlike the Ultimate Air distance jumping, a bumper is suspended out and over the edge of the water at varying distances, in which the dog must jump and catch or knock down the fetch it bumper.

Agility competition is probably best described as an obstacle course for dogs. Agility Events are fast-paced exercises in which the handler directs the dog through a course involving tunnels, a sway bridge, jumps and other obstacles in a race against the clock. Speed is important, but control and accuracy are as well. The dogs are scored on the manner in which they negotiate these obstacles and the time elapsed to complete the course.

Rally Obedience is a fun, fast-paced demonstration of a dog and handler's ability to perform basic obedience exercises. Purebred, mixed breed and rescue dogs of all ages benefit from the training and fun in this event. Rally is open to all dogs and handlers and offers an opportunity to showcase teamwork between you and your dog through a series of exercises. Teams follow a course of signs in a ring which indicate an obedience routine based on their skill level.
-Photos for the Rally Obedience section are courtesy of Karen A. Hollis, Sirius Pet Images

If you hear a lot of cheering and shouting coming from a corner of the dog show grounds, it probably means Drag Racing is being held nearby. Open to all breeds 18" and under, these speedsters charge out of the gate, down a track in pursuit of a lure, through a chute into the arms of their owners. Nothing too complicated here; the first dog across the finish wins!

Is your dog a star at bunny chasing? How about those pesky squirrels? If your dog lives to chase the creatures of the wild check out Lure Coursing! Lure Coursing is a performance event in which dogs chase an artificial lure around a predetermined course. Dogs are evaluated based on speed, agility and endurance.áLure Coursing is just that simple, and exciting, for dogs and spectators alike.

Obedience Events test the training of dogs as they perform a series of exercises at the command of their handler. There are several levels of competition, ranging from basic commands such as "sit," "come" and "heel" to scent discrimination and directed retrieves over jumps. The classes are further divided by the experience of the handler as well. All dogs start their competition with a perfect score of 200, and points are deducted according to the performance of dog and handler. Obedience events offer an opportunity for the handler and dog to form a special bond of trust unequaled in other events.

Does your dog pull you along the sidewalk every time you take him for a walk? Does your shoulder ache from your dog's constant straining at his leash? Well, your dog might be a star at Weight Pull! Weight Pull Events give dogs an opportunity to perform a function that comes naturally to many dogs, one that they obviously enjoy. Dogs are placed in a harness and pull a weighted cart a prescribed distance. The weight vehicles operate either on wheels, on snow or on a rail system. The dogs are scored based on how much weight they can pull and by the proportion of their body weight to the amount of weight pulled. From the smallest of breeds to the largest, all dogs can compete. Never count out even the tiniest of dogs in this exciting competition!

Nosework was created for the purpose of allowing any breed and type of dog to use their natural olfactory abilities to work in partnership with their handler to respond to specific target odors modeled after working detection dogs. This activity provides a safe and enriching environment that can be easily performed anywhere and builds a trusting and lasting relationship between handler and dog. The concept of Nosework is that all handlers, regardless of physical abilities, and all dogs, regardless of physical structure, should have the opportunity to participate and experience success in Nosework.

The purpose of the UKC« Junior Program is to encourage young handlers to become fully involved with the world of dogs, by encouraging participation in conformation and performance events, breeding dogs, and promoting responsible dog ownership. The unofficial UKC motto is "Our Dogs Do Stuff™." One very important goal of this program is to encourage UKC« Juniors to embrace this philosophy.

The UpDog Challenge will return again for any dog who can catch a flying disc! Be sure to check out this event!

Barn Hunt is a rat hunting game for all breeds of dogs. In Barn Hunt, dogs race the clock to locate rats (safely enclosed in aerated tubes) hidden in a straw/hay bale maze. It’s a timed event with 3 different height sizes. Teams can get titles, placements, and championships.

So come to the show early and plan to stay late! Be sure to check out your spectator bag at the gate, this will give you complete details of this event, including a map of the grounds and an Index of Breeds so you know when your breed will be judged in the Conformation Rings in the Main Expo Center and outdoor Conformation rings. There's something different going on every minute, events that will appeal to people of all ages. Just remember to ask before touching dogs, but don't be afraid to ask questions. Who knows, someday that might be you and your dog in the Winners Circle!

If you would like further information about United Kennel Club's PREMIER show, please feel free to contact our office at 269-343-9020 or e-mail at sherbert@ukcdogs.com

Thank you to all our generous sponsors of this year's PREMIER event!