When you look up “brace dogs” these days, mostly what you find are orthopedic devices to help injured or disabled dogs. This is kind of sad because “a brace of dogs” is a wonderful thing to behold, and a long-standing tradition in hunting breeds.
Three years ago at Fort St. Clair Kennel Club, we unveiled our special attraction Brace class. Judged after best of breed, each pair of dogs has a single handler. The judges choose the pair that they think best evoke the image of a “matched” pair– in appearance, and/or breed type, or movement, or synchronicity.
The dogs can be on separate leashes and do not have to wear a “coupler.” We don’t mind if the dogs have been spayed or neutered. They don’t have to be entered in any other class at the show. They do have to be AKC registered and have at least one owner in common. Of course, all breeds are welcome! The entry fee for brace is $10 for the pair.
The winner of the brace competition at breed level gets a special rosette, and then may compete for Best Brace in Show on Sunday afternoon in the group ring. Best Brace in Show gets a rosette, a pair of kennel leashes and a silver bowl. Think about bringing your dogs out for brace. It’s a lot of fun.