Tails wag as pooches put their best paw forward
CANINE lovers flocked to the Irish Kennel Club's annual show to display the best of breeds.
As revellers flew into nearby Dublin airport for the St Patrick's Day celebrations, there was a much more tense, competitive air in the Irish Kennel Club's annual dog show in Cloghran.
Tails were raised and coats brushed as owners put their four-legged friends forward to the close scrutiny of judges from as far away as Slovenia and the USA.
In the region of 10,000 people turned up to the show, which saw 150 breeds compete for the success in the terrier, working, pastoral, hound, gundog, utility and toy areas.
The winners of each section then went forward for the overall prize of 'Best in Show' and a years supply of Pedigree dog food (who sponsored the show).
The show dates back to the early 1920s when revolutionary/dog lover Michael Collins exhibited a Kerry Blue Terrier leading the annual St Patrick's Day institution.
There were 3,000 entries for the show with owners travelling from across Ireland and the UK to put their pedigree pooches forward for the coveted prize.
However, even with hundreds of dogs crammed into the North Dublin hall, there was no scuffles or biting among the well-groomed society classes of the canine world.
"The dogs are used to having other dogs around them and in general all of them at the show are very well behaved," said Kilkenny woman Margaret Loughlan, whose Bearded Collie 'Teddy' won best of breed.
"Sometimes there may be scuffles between the terriers but there's no such thing as an aggressive dog, just the way they're brought up.""
A Great Dane, 'Tawnybray Bold and Brave', owned by Belfast woman Lillian Connolly was awarded best in show while a Bichon Frise, 'Warmingham Jaunty Plume', owned by Oliver Noonan and Marie Renehan got reserve best in show.
Best pup was a Rottweiler, 'Everready Butch Collidge', while reserve best pup was a Samoyed, 'Sherylbrina Silver Snow'.
The dog of the year for 2001 an Old English Sheep Dog, 'Allmark goes ballistic with Scallywag', owned by Joyce and Des Manton.