Albany- You wouldn't know it, but Amanda Alexander and Elwood Simmons are fierce competitors inside the show ring.
Outside the ring, they're friends.
"You get these dog people together and they can talk for hours," Alexander said.
This is how they spend almost every hour of every weekend; at dog shows all over the country. There's no doubt the people who do this love dogs. But don't let 'them fool you. There's more to it than that.
"I love competition," she said. "To really keep doing it as often as most people do, you've got to be a competitor."
When they step in the ring with their pooches at their side, this is what they're here to show.
"They look for nice straight legs, they gotta be strong, be muscular, have nice big padded feet. They like a nice big houndy head, these long ears."
Simmons and Alexander know what it's like to be and to have the top dog. Both of them are owners of champions like Alexanders' Excalibur and Sugarbaby.
"It's a challenge," Simmons said. "I've always told everybody the whole key is being smarter than the dog."
It's the love of the dog that keep's them handling these hounds. But the people at the other end of the leash are another reason to be here.
"To visit our friends mainly," Simmons said. "I mean, you got to love winning or you wouldn't do it."
And doing this with man's best friend is fast way to make good friends out of fierce competitors.