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Dogs, Handlers from Across the Country Attend 97th Annual Sacramento Dog Show

SACRAMENTO -- It's one of the oldest dog shows in the country.

"It's one of the big shows on the calendar for us on the west coast," said David Alexander.

The 97th annual Sacramento Dog Show brings people -- and dogs -- from all over the world to Cal Expo, all hoping to take home Best in Show.

"We're proud of what we've bred and we like to come out and show it," Alexander said.

Their weekend starts with a bit of pampering and then their handlers take the canines to the ring.

A main challenge for a handler in the ring is getting their dog to focus. So they use treats and hand signals.

Some of the best handlers in the country were in Sacramento for the weekend.

"I went Best in Show at Westminster this year," said Bill McFadden.

McFadden travels to about 150 dog shows every year, showing dozens of dogs at each one.

"It does look like you're just walking them but you're really trying to get them to move," McFadden said. "Each breed has a specific kind of movement and it takes a while. I've been doing this for about 40 years."

Dog shows have taken some of the handlers all over the world.

"We have been invited to judge... I think David has judged in 20 countries," said Carolyn Alexander. "I have judged in about 25, and that includes China. We've judged in Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe."

Carolyn Alexander said it's the people they have met at different dog shows that keep them coming back.

"This is our family and we can go anywhere, even if we don't know the people, and they will welcome us in," Carolyn Alexander said.

She encourages other people to get involved in the dog show community too. "There is nothing better than working with dogs as far as we're concerned."

The Sacramento Dog Show is happening all weekend at Cal Expo and there are vendor booths with pet products as well. Tickets are $15 for adults, $12 for juniors and seniors and kids 12 and under are free.