Make us your home page
Instagram

Lesser-known breeds included in dog shows this week at Florida Classic Park

BROOKSVILLE — German shepherds, Labrador retrievers and poodles. All popular purebred dogs.

But what about the Saluki hound or the Polish lowland sheepdog? Though not particularly popular in the United States, both breeds have been around for a long time. In fact, the Saluki, also known as a Persian greyhound, is among one of the oldest breeds in existence.

Folks will get a chance to see both breeds this week at the Florida Combined Specialties shows, which kicks off Thursday and continues Friday at Florida Classic Park, east of Brooksville. Larger, all-breed shows, sponsored by the Hernando County Kennel Club, take place on Saturday and Sunday.

It will be a rare opportunity to see some breeds. For instance, the Polish lowland sheepdog, popular for centuries, was once on the brink of extinction during World War II.

The specialty shows will feature several other breeds of dogs, including poodles, collies, Shetland sheepdogs, Boston terriers, dachshunds and afghans.

"The Salukis are a new club with our show, and we're very excited to have them," said Karen Toth, assistant show coordinator for the Florida Combined Specialties. "Salukis are a very old breed, and very few people know about them, which is unfortunate because they are a very good breed."

Folks can expect to see about 42 Salukis participating in this week's shows.

"Some are coming from as far as California," said Caroline Coile, president of the Central Florida Association of Saluki Hounds. "But in all the places in this country, we have more (Salukis) in Florida than just about anywhere else."

Toth, of Pinellas Park, shows standard poodles and has been teaching dog obedience for 18 years. She and her dogs will also be participating in this weekend's all-breed show.

"They keep me very busy," she admits. "It is very rewarding. … And if I can educate the public on how to be a responsible canine owner, then I've done my job."

Coile said showing dogs becomes addictive.

"You start out thinking you'll just go to local shows," she said. "But it doesn't stop there. … Part of the fun is just doing things with your dogs. Taking a trip, staying in a motel room, camping out. … They love it. It is so much fun, and they get lots of attention and liver treats. They don't know, or care, if they win or lose."

After the specialty shows, the weekend's all-breed show is expected to include more than 1,000 dogs, with about 170 breeds represented.

"It is amazing to see everything run so smoothly," said Deborah Rocco, a board member of the Hernando County Kennel Club. "The judges keep things running on time, and the dogs aren't barking. … It's amazing how well behaved the dogs are."

Rocco said those who show and breed purebreds are often criticized. "What about adopting a shelter dog?" is a common question, she said.

Rocco, who breeds Rhodesian ridgebacks, said she encourages people to check out the shows.

The shows are a good opportunity for people who are thinking about owning a particular breed of dog, she said.

"They can spend the day and talk to owners, breeders, handlers, and get a feel for the kind of dog they would like for a companion," she said.

And for breeds like the Polish lowland sheepdog and the Saluki, the shows might be a lifesaver.

"There are a lot of breeds that are extinct," Coile said. "Do you just let that piece of history go? … I think that there is a place for both purebreds and mixed breeds, rescues. … These shows give people an opportunity to learn about these dogs."

. If you go

Dog shows

The Florida Combined Specialties shows will be from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday and from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday at Florida Classic Park, 5360 Lockhart Road, east of Brooksville.

The Hernando County Kennel Club's All-Breed Dog Shows, Obedience Trials and Rally Trials will follow, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Admission to both events is free. Parking is $5 per vehicle each day. For information, call Deborah Rocco of the Hernando County Kennel Club at (352) 263-3775.

Lesser-known breeds included in dog shows this week at Florida Classic Park 11/05/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, November 5, 2013 12:11pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Anna Maria City Pier to close for year after 'extensive damage' from Hurricane Irma

    Travel

    ANNA MARIA — While Hurricane Irma's last-minute shift helped spare large swaths of Florida cities from catastrophic damage, the Anna Maria City Pier didn't fare so well.

    A damage assessment following Hurricane Irma suggests repairs for the Anna Maria City Pier can take at least 12 months. [LUIS SANTANA for Visit Florida]
  2. Top picks for healthy convenience foods that put popular whole grains to good use

    Cooking

    Whole grains are trending. The National Restaurant Association declared them one of the top 20 food trends of 2017, multiple surveys report that consumers are seeking them out, and thousands of grocery items have been reformulated to include more in the past year. That's a good thing because there is a tall stack of …

    There is a tall stack of research supporting the health benefits of eating whole grains, which include preventing the risk of stroke, diabetes and heart disease and helping with weight management.
  3. 'Battle of the Sexes' is a fine time capsule comedy, and not really about the tennis

    Movies

    In 1973, tennis champion Billie Jean King joined a two-ring circus with hustler Bobby Riggs, billed as a Battle of the Sexes amid the women's liberation movement. Fifty million Americans watched the pop spectacle on TV.

    Emma Stone and Steve Carell in the film "Battle of the Sexes." [Fox Searchlight Pictures.]
  4. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Sept. 26

    Events

    University Lecture Series: Jackie Cruz: In part of USF's Hispanic Heritage Month activities, actress Jackie Cruz (Orange is the New Black) presents "Cruzing Through Adversity" in which she offers lessons on resilience, determination and turning life's challenges into opportunities and a better outlook. 8 …

    Jackie Cruz in a scene from Netflix's "Orange is the New Black" Season 2. Photo credit: Jessica Miglio for Netflix.
  5. Restaurant review: Mortar & Pestle in Seminole Heights should focus on mom-and-pop pharmacy vibe

    Food & Dining

    By Laura Reiley

    Times Food Critic

    TAMPA

    Sometimes, the more time you have with a project, the more complicated it gets. I started hearing about Mortar & Pestle in Seminole Heights about 18 months ago. It was the vision of Ujwal Patel, a pharmacist;

    Mortar & Pestle opened in Seminole Heights in Tampa in August. [MONICA HERNDON   |   Times]