Student trains dogs for dog shows

Showing+off+all+of+the+ribbons%2C+sophomore+Megan+Hamilton+and+her+dog+Derby+won+at+4-H+and+American+Kennel+Club+shows.+They+won+in+the+categories+of+High+Placements+in+Obedience%2C+Rally%2C+Agility+and+Junior+Showmanship.
Back to Article
Back to Article

Student trains dogs for dog shows

Showing off all of the ribbons, sophomore Megan Hamilton and her dog Derby won at 4-H and American Kennel Club shows. They won in the categories of High Placements in Obedience, Rally, Agility and Junior Showmanship.

Showing off all of the ribbons, sophomore Megan Hamilton and her dog Derby won at 4-H and American Kennel Club shows. They won in the categories of High Placements in Obedience, Rally, Agility and Junior Showmanship.

Used with permission: Megan Hamilton

Showing off all of the ribbons, sophomore Megan Hamilton and her dog Derby won at 4-H and American Kennel Club shows. They won in the categories of High Placements in Obedience, Rally, Agility and Junior Showmanship.

Used with permission: Megan Hamilton

Used with permission: Megan Hamilton

Showing off all of the ribbons, sophomore Megan Hamilton and her dog Derby won at 4-H and American Kennel Club shows. They won in the categories of High Placements in Obedience, Rally, Agility and Junior Showmanship.

Carol Kornworcel, Staff Writer

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Playing with dogs all day can seem like lots of fun, but for some, playing has turned into a professional competition and sport. Sophomore Megan Hamilton has been training her two dogs Daisy and Derby, both dachshunds, and has been competing in dog shows for the past five years.   

“Initially it was easy to begin, but as I progressed and became more competitive against other people, the difficulty increased and there were harder challenges,” Hamilton said. “For example, the complexity of an exercise in rally increases, and I have to train a lot and work hard with my dachshunds to be competitive and win placements.”   

Participating in competitions like the American Kennel Club, United Kennel Club and International Canine events and junior showmanship have strengthened her handle with her dogs and has made it a big part of her life, Hamilton said. 4-H is a showmanship club that represents four personal development areas of focus for the showers: head, heart, hands and health. 

“The reason I decided to start this sport is because when I was younger, I would always watch the dog shows and canine events when they came on T.V.,” Hamilton said. “My love for dogs also pushed me to start in 4-H.”   

Hamilton spends about six hours a week handling her dogs: three hours for a bathing and blow dry a week, 15 minutes for nails every three days, an hour in refreshing and training once a week and two hours for grooming daily.   

Used with permission: Megan Hamilton
Sophomore trainer Megan Hamilton prepares her dogs at home using videos, articles and other sources to train and perform basic obedience and rally. They won first place in their class at American Kennel Club Conformation Dog Show and went on to win winners dog in Davie, FL.

“This is for sure a passion and a sport,” Hamilton said. “If you don’t have a passion for this, it is extremely hard to enjoy. Lots of work goes into every dog sport.”   

Hamilton is a self-starting trainer by preparing her dogs at home using videos, articles and other sources to be able to train and perform basic obedience and rally. Her dogs have learned basic training like sit, spin, focus, weave, beg, shake and touch. 

In 2017 she met her mentor Marianna McCullough who breeds, shows and owns dachshunds as well as gets asked to judge occasionally. Later Megan had more mentors and teachers to help her. 

“They all give me encouragement, tips, support, tell me things to improve on and things to try differently,” Hamilton said. “Some of them are judges, so they give me insight on certain topics.”   

Hamilton is a Junior Handler and on the top 10 list of Junior Handlers of 2018. She has competed in Westminster, Royal Canin and all National Owner-Handled Series all-breed Florida shows.    

In the future, Hamilton is not sure about what she wants to do with dog shows, but for now, wants to continue her passion and see where it takes her in the future.   

“The thing about dog shows that appeals to me most is the bond between the dog and I,” Hamilton said. “How the dog pours their whole heart into performing well for me is what makes dog shows fun.”   

Print Friendly, PDF & Email