Tiller girl hopes to succeed in Portland dog show

TILLER, Ore. -- When Olivia Pierre got a puppy for her 11th birthday, he wasn't just a gift.

She also got a lesson in responsibility.

Kat Bierkens, Olivia's mother, says that she didn't just hand over a puppy to her daughter, she handed over some valuable lessons. "Part of the deal is that she has to get its championship in order to take full ownership of the puppy," Kat said.

Loki is a Norwegian Buhund, and Olivia has spent her time after school and on weekends prepping him for the Rose City Classic Dog Show.

"He's really smart and he always tries to outsmart me," Olivia said.

While most dog owners are trying to train their dogs to sit, Olivia's challenge for Loki has been the opposite. "You can't make them sit, they have to stand," Olivia said.

Kat describes some of the things her daughter and Loki must master to do well in the competition. "The main goal is to get them to set up, and that's called stacking, and walking back and forth in front of the judge so they can see the dog's gait," said Kat.

Whether Loki places high in his class or not, Kat's goal for Olivia goes beyond the Rose City Classic. "By practicing for this show, she's really learning dedication and to go for a goal, and not be afraid to try her best and just go for it," Kat said.