CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Amy Kotula wanted a dog that would match her personality. After a number of tests, she found the Anatolian Shepard to be best.
"We are very much alike," Kotula said. "Very easy going and calm unless something happens."
The match worked out so well she decided to start training her dog to get some exercise. Now, "Kudzu" is just back from competing in the National Dog Show set to broadcast on NBC Thanksgiving Day!
"It was a lot of work," said Kotula. "I had no experience showing my dog when I started. We actually have a good time and it's amazing."
Team Kudzu won "Best in Breed" and will be on the televised portion of the show.
"I hope everyone has a great time watching on Thanksgiving."
Amy says some of the dog breeders that viewers see on Thanksgiving have been working for decades to breed the best specimen of their breed. The professional handlers work very hard to present the dogs as well as possible.
"While my girl has done well, we have much to learn," Kotula said. "Especially me and my handling abilities."
If you think your pooch has what it takes, Kotula has advice:
"Piedmont Kennel Club near Carowinds offers show classes," she said. "There are excellent obedience, agility, tricks and basic good behavior classes offered at the PKC facility throughout the week. I spent three months researching the breed and another eight months looking from Virginia to Alabama and Florida to Ohio to find my girl. I wanted the traits of this purebred breed."
"Train your dog with goals in mind," she added. "We get titles for accomplishing those training goals. AKC Champion is just one of many titles we are working on."
"Kudzu has completed the requirements for titles in seven trick titles (going for trick champ next), lure coursing, 100-yard dash, all three canine good citizen and farm dog. Also in the works... tracking, dock diving and weight pull."
Already a champion, Team Kudzu hopes to compete for even more awards soon.