Sylvia Chapoulaud, a France native who currently lives in Pasadena, brought her 9-month-old Dutch shepherd Fifi to the California Classic, her first time visiting Bakersfield. Chapoulaud has four dogs at home, all Dutch shepherds.
“They’re kind of a rare breed in California. They’re not very popular here,” she said.
Chapoulaud said what participating in the dog show circuit really comes down to though is strengthening the bond between the dog and its owner, as well as testing it.
“I’d always wanted one as a kid. They’re beautiful dogs,” she said. “I was coming home from work one day and there was one there at the house. I found out my husband and kids had bought one and brought it home. It all started from there.”
“We’re a team. She has to trust me, I have to trust her,” she said. “You have to respect your dog and be very calm. It’s a relationship, and like any relationship, they take a lot of time and work.”
Fresno resident Tomara Twigg is showing golden retrievers at the event. Twigg said she has been showing dogs since she first did it through her 4-H club when she was around 9 years old.
Modesto resident Celine Tews brought her five-year-old Siberian husky Dude to the show. Tews said he’s just the latest in a line of huskies that she has brought to shows like this across the country for more than 20 years.