SYRACUSE, NY (NCC News)-The New York State Fairgrounds is hosting the Salt City Cluster Spring Dog Show this weekend. Over 150 different dog breeds are attending in hopes of winning best breed, working dog, or even non-sporting. The event kicked off on Thursday at 8 a.m. and is running through Sunday.
Doug Fisher, a Saint Bernard breeder and trainer for over 40 years, brought his three-year-old Saint Bernard Xexroxes. He wanted to name him something because of the size and strength of Saint Bernard. Fisher is the only one with a saint bernard entry for the working dog category and the only saint bernard trainer who attended the event Thursday.
“I actually am the only one today, and there are only going to be two this weekend,” Fisher said.
“Syracuse does not have a lot of saint bernard breeders in the area.”
Fisher currently has 11 Saint Bernards that he takes care of and trains. He cites dog training as his one true love.
Xexroxes went to the Saint Bernard nationals, and out of more than 100 dogs, he placed in the top four. Fisher believes in positive reinforcement and repetition of training. The Marion, New York native is confident that Xexroxes can advance into the farther rounds of the competition.
“Well, I am the only one here… he’s not going to growl or bite the judge”.
Fisher explained that judges will withhold the first-place ribbon from dogs if they growl or bite the judge. Dog shows are all about if the dog sets the standard that the American Kennel Club has placed.
Patricia Welch, the show chairman for the weekend, says it is all up to the standards the judge has. “Each breed has a standard according to the American Kennel, so each dog in each one of the people middle of the ring is a judge … and (they) are selecting the dog that most closely meets the standard for that particular breed in (their) opinion.
Welch was born into the dog show business and details that some of the requests at the show have been to turn on the heat and get more toilet paper. She says she deals with some interesting dog owners who are too confident about their dogs as they only bought them as a pet.
The event is free to anyone to attend, as the last day is this Sunday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.