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Paradise Valley man to judge Westminster Dog Show for 4th time

Austyn Rock, a golden retriever, competes in the Masters Agility Championship during the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, Saturday, Feb. 10, 2018, in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

PHOENIX – As organizers prepare for the 142nd annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, one Paradise Valley man is preparing to judge for the fourth time.

However, Clayton Coady’s dog show career extends far beyond his four years of judging.

“I’ve showed there so many times, I’ve competed in best in show many times, you know. 45 years,” Coady said in an interview with Fox 10 Phoenix on Wednesday.

Coady made his first ever appearance as a handler when he was just 12 years old with his purebred Samoyed named Snow. According to his biography on the Westminster Kennel Club website, it sparked his love for competition and allowed his career to take off when he became a teenager.

His first appearance at the most well-known dog show was in 1966 as a competitor, and has become one of the most well-respected handlers to ever appear at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.

So what does someone with 15 years experience judging dog shows look for to decipher the best from the rest?

“Length of leg, length of back, top line, breed must look like the breed first,” Coady told Fox 10. “Every breed has it’s own standard.”

Despite his love for canines, Coady said that he no longer has any of his own. Instead, he finds joy in taking care of the dogs who come to his business in Paradise Valley.

Coady opened Applewood Pet Resort and Spa 23 years ago, providing a lodge, daycare, grooming services and even a hospital for pets from all over the Valley and the U.S.

Even though they aren’t his own, he still finds joy in treating the dogs at his business as if they were.

“I’m here most everyday, and I have all the dogs I could want to play with,” he said.

The 142nd Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show runs from Feb. 12-13.

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