Not everyone is going to ditch leftovers after Thanksgiving or defy shoppers on Black Friday.
Instead, many will be on the grounds of the Eastern States Fair in West Springfield with their dogs as the Thanksgiving dog shows take place from November 25th through November 28th.
They’re calling it “the greatest show on dirt,” as the LEAP Agility Club in central Massachusetts and Talcott Mountain Agility Clubs will be showcasing agility competitions at Mallary Complex, while Windham County, South Windsor, Springfield, and Holyoke Kennel Clubs will be breeding. Gathering and obedience competitions at the Better Life Centre, Mallari Complex and Youth Building.
“When we show our dogs and get into the ring and see the spectators and hear the crowd cheering, it energizes you. And for the dogs, I think they hear the applause too, and they know that something special, more than usual, is going on,” said Steve Passon, co-president of the Agility Group.
“Agility is when your dog is walking under your direction along a course of obstacles including jumping over various objects, crossing tires and tunnels, going over seesaws and many other obstacles. Your dog must also maneuver them in the correct order and cannot hit any of them. It is also a timed event.” “.
During all-breed competitions, also known as confirmation, canines will be judged on various criteria that have been established for their breed, such as weight, bite, size, tail, and coat, among other characteristics. In obedience trials, dogs will be judged on how well they listen to commands to sit, heel, walk, jump, and also on scent discrimination. And in a race, dogs and their handlers negotiate a course of skills according to sequentially numbered signals.
Basson noted that during the agility show, there will be vendors selling a variety of canine-themed items such as clothing, jewelry, pictures, leashes, collars, treats and much more, including canine chiropractors, a physical therapist and an animal communicator.
There will also be vendors at other shows.
With Christmas approaching, Basson offers his personal advice for those considering gifting someone a dog/puppy this holiday season.
“A dog is not a gift, but it is a burden if someone is not physically and emotionally prepared for a dog and the responsibility that comes with it, especially young children. You have to train them, feed them, walk them, clean up after them, and so much more.
Check EasternStatesExposition.com/events for hours.