International dog show judges John and Denise Clark are sharing their vast knowledge of dogs and the showing world with Dannevirke owners.

The couple moved to Dannevirke from Levin, after deciding to semi-retire and Denise said it was the best move.

"We love it here," she said.

Tim Delaney of the Ruahine Kennel Association with his new dog, 10-week-old smooth chow Whio, with judge John Clark.
Tim Delaney of the Ruahine Kennel Association with his new dog, 10-week-old smooth chow Whio, with judge John Clark.

They travel the world judging at shows and this year will see them in show rings in Australia four times, and once in India and China.

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"We've shown dogs for donkey's years and I can't imagine life without them. They are loyal, loving and the best companions you can ever have," Denise said.

Judging allows the Clarks to give back to the sport they have gained so much from.

"We've judged all around the world and dog people are a great community," Denise said.

For Denise, it's the Kerry blue terriers that are her favourite.

"I just love their personality and they love you with their whole heart and are lots of fun," she said.

Conducting sessions at the A&P Showgrounds on Wednesday evenings, the couple are helping local dog lovers learn more about their animals and how to have them show ready, in the lead-up to the Ruahine Kennel Association Dog Dayz show in April.

"To be a judge you need to know all about canine anatomy and judges get just 1.5 minutes to assess a dog," Denise said.

International judge, Denise Clark, checks out Alexis' cocker spaniel. Alexis is an up and coming young handler in the North Island.
International judge, Denise Clark, checks out Alexis' cocker spaniel. Alexis is an up and coming young handler in the North Island.

And there's no perfect dog, the Clarks believe.

From the streamlined 2-year-old whippet owned by Louise Horrocks to the tiny, 10-week-old smooth chow Whio and his owners Tim and Margie Delaney, it's been the long, the short and the tall of the dog world turning up to the showgrounds on a Wednesday evening.

"This is absolutely great," Horrocks said.

"You can't replicate the atmosphere of the show ring at home and an evening like this helps with meeting other dogs."

With smooth chows not well known in New Zealand, people are excited to see the Delaneys' Whio who will attend his first show in Whanganui on March 16.

"He's just a baby," Tim said.

The Delaneys also had their Havanese chow, Sage, at the training evenings and last Wednesday night there was great excitment with the news a Havanese had taken out reserve in show at Westminster in London.

With an Affenpinscher with its little monkey-like face, to the Rhodesian ridgeback, every dog has a required standard and confirmation, but the Clarkes admit, "every dog is different".

The last evening with the judges will be held next Wednesday at the showgrounds, commencing at 6.30pm, with everyone and their dog, welcome.