Show stoppers cut above dog on the street

SEVEN-YEAR-OLD Aoife Kelly, from Kells, Co Meath, was delighted with the strawberry outfit she got for her pet, Gypsy, a Yorkshire terrier.

But Gypsy is fussy about what she wears. She only likes legless outfits. “She will not walk in anything that has a full leg — she can’t,” Aoife explained.

Pampering the pooches is all in a day’s work for owners of show dogs.

Nearly 1,300 were put through their paces yesterday at the St Patrick’s Celtic Winners Show in the National Show Centre Cloghran, Co Dublin.

And among the side shows were chocolates and jewellery for dogs and humans.

Lu Han’s Pimp my Pooch clothing for dogs, ranging from the sublime to the ridiculous, was selling well.

Lu, from China, has been designing clothes for dogs for the past two years and her business, based in Malahide, is thriving.

The show attracted 1,276 entries, Irish Kennel Club (IKC) show secretary Marion Campbell confirmed.

Of all the breeds, the Alsatian, also known as the German Shepherd, had the highest number of entries followed by the Rottweiler, Cavalier King Charles and the Staffordshire bull terrier.

One of the obedience competition judges, Peter Height, said scent tests — using a series of rags strewn on the ground — quickly sort the best from the rest.

“Their handlers cannot do anything but look on and cringe with embarrassment when their dogs pick up the decoys,” he said.

Later on, it was the turn of the “good citizen dog” to strut their stuff.

The dogs are not entered in the show but take part in IKC-approved classes to improve their overall behaviour, such as fouling in public.

Meanwhile, Ross Delmar, from Palmerstown gave his smooth Fox Terrier, Shaka, a good brushing after the eight- month-old male won best of breed.

While the Fox Terrier is not as popular as the Bullmastiff or Alsatian, they dress up better, said Mr Delmar.

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