LIZELLA, Ga. — The 2020 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show kicks off at the beginning of February, and one furry Central Georgian will be competing for best in show.
Bluetick Coonhound Annie Oakley is already an American Kennel Club champion.
"She's bossy and she likes to rule the roost," says owner Liz Barnes. Barnes says that the 2-year-old dog has only been competing for a year, but she's already taking after her namesake.
"I like country names and I was trying to come up with some," says Barnes. "I was talking to my sister and she said, 'What about Annie Oakley?' so that's how she got her name."
Annie is used to being a champion, but she's more comfortable when she's hanging out at the farm.
"We just raise her like a dog. She just runs around and chases goats and runs after the 4-wheeler," says Barnes.
All of that running is part of what makes Annie such a strong competitor. According to her trainer, Brenna Carlisle, constantly running around the farm helps her build muscle mass.
The muscle helps her hold poses longer and gives her more fluid movement.
"Annie knows exactly what she's supposed to be doing when she puts that show leash on," says Carlisle.
According to the standards for the breed set by the American Kennel Club, Annie is the perfect Bluetick Coonhound.
Both Barnes and Carlisle are hopeful that Annie could take home a trophy, maybe even Best in Show.
"When you have your blood, sweat, and tears in something like raising and breeding dogs, I would probably cry this time," says Carlisle.
The Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show will be held in New York City from Feb. 10-11.
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