The following previously appeared in the AKC Gazette.

April 2-9, 2024 will be an exciting week to celebrate all things PBGV. Come to Roberts Centre in Wilmington, Ohio to try a new sport or show off your skills in your current sport, visit old friends, take advantage of educational opportunities, have your dog’s eyes examined, and see lots of PBGVs from all over the country. This year will include several special events focused on the theme of Preserving Our Future. 

This year’s theme is really personal to me. I chose it because I’ve been struggling to believe that the breed I have loved since I was a teenager even has a real future. PBGVs have never been a popular breed but registration numbers have dropped to a critical point as many breeders have retired or changed breeds. I know everyone has a different view of what breed preservation means, but to me there needs to be a happy medium between the two extremes of protecting the breed out of existence and pretending that every drop-eared fuzzy-faced dog in the shelter is a PBGV. I think that middle ground needs to start with education and I’m trying to make that a big part of this year’s specialty.  

All through the preparation process, I’ve tried to keep the theme at the forefront. Since social media is such a big part of how we communicate with distant friends, I established a Facebook group for the show early in the planning process. In addition to news and updates about the show, each week the group has featured Tuesday Tips, Throwback Thursday posts, and Friday facts.  The tips have included an introduction to each event at the show, training and travel ideas, and podcast and app recommendations. Thursday posts have featured video clips from specialties going back as far as 1998.  Friday posts have helped to clarify rules and policies that are sometimes misunderstood. The group has also featured two free webinars, one on “Entering Your First Dog Event” and another on “Preparing for Triathlon Events.”  Prior to the opening date for entries, I plan to host a third webinar to help new exhibitors navigate the entry and activity registration process. 

The show itself will include agility, scent work, rally, obedience, conformation, Junior Showmanship, Canine Good Citizen, Trick Dog testing, Fast CAT, and hunt tests. We will also feature a variety of seminars throughout the week, including Judges’ Education, Mentor Education, a Breeder’s Roundtable where 4 longtime breeders will speak about establishing a line of dogs, a presentation on Canine Reproduction by Dr. Marty Greer, and a number of short educational events about hunting with PBGVs. We hope to make some of the educational seminars available via Zoom for those who can’t attend the show in person. Please join us in April for a great week of PBGVs!