A barking good time: Jack Russell terriers take over Fairgrounds – video included | TheUnion.com

A barking good time: Jack Russell terriers take over Fairgrounds – video included

Visitors to the Gold Country Fairgrounds will be greeted by barking ” lots of barking ” as more than 250 Jack Russell terriers have gathered from all across the country for the California Gold Jack Russell Terrier Club’s annual spring trial.

This year’s trial is distinguished by Ted Harris, an internationally-known terrier judge from Portsmouth, England. Harris has been judging terriers of all kinds for 30 years in Europe, South Africa and the United States.

“You look for good confirmation and how well they cover ground. They were bred to chase foxes and small vermin, so speed is important. Confirmation is how the dog looks and moves,” Harris said.

Shelly Firestone of Fairbanks, AK, holds the title of having traveled furthest for the trial. She owns four terriers and brought two dogs with her for the weekend.

“Since they’re small, one dog rides under the seat of the plane and the other rides in the belly. They travel pretty well and have been all over.”

Firestone, who a former Lodi resident, has been breeding and showing Jack Russell’s for nine years.

“This show is a good reason for me to come down and visit friends. It’s in a beautiful spot and draws a great crowd,” she said.

Jennifer Elsner of Grass Valley brought six dogs to the show.

“One is never enough,” she said. “Jack Russell’s have a big dog attitude in a little dog body, I think people like that. They’re spunky and energetic, but definitely not for everyone.”

This weekend’s show is the largest Jack Russell spring trial on the West Coast. Racing will take place Sunday morning starting at 8 a.m. followed by agility and tunneling in the afternoon. Tunneling is when the dogs are timed as they go through tunnels as part of the agility course.

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