As far back as Corie Hebert can remember, she and her mom, Kim, have attended the Rose City Classic dog show in Portland.
After watching the handling portion, she decided to try it out.
“I just thought it would be fun,” she said.
Three years and dozens of shows later, Corie and her dog, a Great Dane named Matisse, are seasoned competitors.
At the recent Rose City Classic dog show, she earned the Best Junior in Show award.
Her brother, Cody and his Great Dane puppy, Butler, are newcomers to the competitions. However, they raked in the ribbons at the Rose City show, including a first-place award in junior handling.
“It was my first show and my first win, so it felt really good,” he said. “I was shocked by how well Butler performed in the ring.”
Cody is a junior at Washougal High School and Corie is a seventh-grader at Jemtegaard Middle School. In addition to Great Danes, Corie is also starting to work with French bull dogs.
Since Butler is only 6 months old, he has not had the experience with obedience classes that the older dogs have, and tends to get a bit fidgety.
Corie and Matisse also fared very well and came home with a huge pink prize ribbon for Best Junior in Show.
“I really enjoy spending the time with my dog and bonding,” she said.
There are several different competitions held during the show. The Heberts focus on handling and the best-in-show categories.
Kim, whose home is decorated with images of Great Danes, said she is very pleased by how well her children did at the show.
“I was very proud of them,” she said. “Especially with the puppy, he doesn’t do as well with training. Everyone in the classes was so surprised to hear how well he did.”
Corie and Cody take their dogs to training classes three days a week, where they work on skills needed to participate in a dog show, such as running in a circle, doing a down-and-back across a mat, and stacking the dog.
Stacking is when the handler has the dog in a standing position. Its ears should be up, tail down, and head high.
“The judges really look at the dog’s behaviors, so I need to keep him calm during this time,” Cody said. “Most of the competitors I’m going up against are in the senior division with dogs who are champions.”