GREAT FALLS- The Great Falls Dog Training Club, which formed in 1972, held their 100th dog trial on Saturday, which is part of a two-day competition.
More than 40 exhibitors from the Northwest and Canada entered this weekend’s competition in the Trade and Industries Building at the Montana ExpoPark.
Organizers said the weekend event features two types of trials: obedience and rally.
The obedience trials reflect how the dogs behave at home, in public, and in the presence of other dogs.
The rally trials are more laid back and involve athletic movement and the trainers talking with the dog.
According to organizers, dogs can take two years to become ring-ready for entry-level trials.
However, the biggest draw for most trainers is having fun with their dogs.
Barbara Flaherty, the chairman for the Great Falls Dog Training Club Trial, explained the fun behind the trials.
“You know, dogs love to have the attention of being trained, and you know coming to the shows, and then there’s different ways to train. I mean these aren’t the only two ways,” she said. “A lot of dogs love agility. They get to run and jump and do tunnels and weaves, things like that.”
Organizers said mixed-breed dogs can enter the trials but first need to be registered with the American Kennel Club.
Around $12,000 to $15,000 worth of cash prizes were awarded to many classes over the weekend in honor of the 100th trial.
The winning dog also had a portrait sketched by Great Falls artist Sarah Boston.