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July 6, 2004 > Newark's Birch Grove Park Goes to the Dogs

Newark's Birch Grove Park Goes to the Dogs

Visitors to Birch Grove Park on Friday, June 25th were treated to a spectacle not often seen in the Tri-Cities. The Golden State German Shepherd Dog Club of America and the Golden State German Shepherd Dog Club of San Jose hosted the first day of a three day event at the park. The remaining two days of judging were scheduled to be held at another Bay Area location. Seventy German Shepherds participated in Friday's Futurity/Maturity competition.

Local club president Jennifer Rood explained that Futurity and Maturity divide dogs into young (Futurity) animals - under 18 months of age - and older dogs (Maturity) up to 2 years of age. Age classifications divide the major groupings into additional classes. Finalists of each sex ("Best" and "Best Opposite") in each division are eligible to compete from their region in a national competition.

Ms. Rood says that club membership is diverse; "Club members are mixed between breeders with multiple dogs, others who have one dog or a couple of dogs - it varies." She adds that "club members are from all over geographically - some from the Baypoint area, Newark, Dublin, and so on." Competitions - this one representing the Mid Pacific Region - are not limited to local dogs. Entries came from as far away as Oregon and New York. Judges too, move around the country to avoid too much familiarity with local dogs, maintain a "fresh eye," and avoid prejudicial knowledge.

According to Ms. Rood, German Shepherds are smart and versatile and like to work. She says, "They can be used for seeing eye dogs, protection, therapy, herding and lots of other things." Anyone interested in the German Shepherd Dog Club of San Jose can contact Jennifer Rood (925) 458-4150. She says, "We are always looking for new members to share our love for these dogs."

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