CHICAGO (CBS) — Twelve children from the Youth of Englewood will be learning how to be junior handlers at the 11th annual American Bully Kennel Club dog show, the first of its kind at Navy Pier.
“We always partner with a local organization. We chose the Youth in Englewood kids,” said Hakim Brimah, ABKC Chicago Liaison.
The kids, ages five to thirteen, will show bully dogs and be given a mini junior handling experience. They’ll also be at nationals for their first ever dog show experience and will interact with junior handlers coming in from all across the country.
“Some of these kids have never even been in downtown Chicago. It’ll be quite the experience. They’ll get to dress up, boys will wear a suit and they’ll be in front of hundreds of people and their family and friends,” he said.
For a few days prior to the national event, the ABKC, along with two local breeders Animalville and Lou City Bullies, will work with children in this organization to introduce them to the dogs and educate them about dealing with these kids of dogs.
“These dogs need care, they need maintenance so the kids will learn how to clip their nails, how to groom them, how to keep them mentally calm,” he said.
Brimah said the young people will take away life lessons and valuable career skills.
“They learn about responsibility, discipline and caring for another life,” he said. “By you having another life you have to be responsible for, as you get older and grow in life, it’s going to make you respect life a little bit more.”
Established in 2004, the ABKC brings together Bully breed fanciers from across the nation to celebrate the ultimate companion breed, which includes the American Bully, French Bulldog, English Bulldog, Shorty Bull, and Old English Bulldog.
The Bulldog show will be at Navy Pier Nov. 11. Tickets for children ages 12 and under are free. Adults 13+ are $20 and if attending with your crated dog, $35. For more on the ABKC visit www.theabkcdogs.org
The ABKC Junior Showmanship Program was created to educate, teach and encourage junior handlers in the sport of dog showing in basic dog anatomy, in promoting of responsible ownership and good breeding practices.
The Youth of Englewood is an organization that helps keep youth safe while keeping them engaged and involved in a positive environment.