This will be the 41st year dog lovers have flocked to the Houston World Series of Dog Shows. It’s coming up July 18-22 at NRG Center.
If this is your first time attending a dog show, you might wonder what to expect, besides a lot of beautiful dogs and their nervous owners, competing for best-in-show. In addition to the standard judging of most perfect specimens of each breed, the show includes fun and entertaining activities for people of all ages. Here are a few top reasons to go to the show.
Watch athletic dogs
Sure, these dogs look good. But what can they do? If you’re action-oriented, you’ll appreciate the athletic feats of dogs competing in the canine Frisbee exhibition and in the game called flyball. The latter is a relay race in which two teams (with four dogs and two subs in each) compete side-by-side on a 51-foot-long course. They have to clear hurdles along the way. Once they reach the end, they push a spring-loaded pad with their paws, releasing a tennis ball that they must catch and present to their humans. Then the next dog in line does the same thing until one team wins. Flyball is always a show favorite.
See artistic dogs
If you’ve never seen canine musical freestyle, you’re in for a treat. Dogs and handlers perform this choreographed musical program together. These original dances showcase creativity, teamwork, costuming, humor, and style.
The show features creative humans, too. A collection of deluxe dog houses dubbed the “Best Little Doghouse in Texas” will be auctioned off to benefit Houston’s Citizens for Animal Protection (CAP). Area school children compete in a pet art competition.
Learn about breeds
Considering adding a new furry family member? This is your chance to observe more than 80 different breeds at the Meet the Breeds event. Experts will be on hand to answer questions about breeds, behavior, care, health, and any other dog-related topic you can think of.
The McScotty Market features the country’s best vendors of pet-related products. Expect to find cute clothes and home goods adorned with dogs, clothes for dogs, specialty baked goods, and collars and leashes galore. While non-registered pets aren’t generally allowed at the show, the website assures visitors that they may bring their dog for special fittings of canine sportswear or collars.
Show off your own dog
Okay, the exception to the above rule: The AKC’s My Dog Can Do That! event. Anybody who buys a ticket to the show can bring their pet to participate in an agility course. Professional trainers will be on hand to help.
Dog show etiquette
If this is your first dog show, keep in mind that dog-handling pros are a tad different from your average pet owner. They are extremely particular about their dogs. So if you want to have a good time, follow the rules.
- If you’re participating in an event or fitting that requires you to bring your dog, he or she must be at least six months old with up-to-date vaccinations, including the new strain of canine influenza.
- Bring your own water bowl – pros don’t share. Cleaning up after your dog is mandatory. Flexible leads are prohibited.
- If you see a really cute dog and you want to pet it, ask the owner first. No means no. Don’t protest, just move on.
Organizers expect 20k spectators and 3k exhibitors this year. This means parking is going to be hectic. If you can find a spot in the North Fannin lot, it will cost $12, cash only. Trying to organize your large group into carpools will be a headache. Instead of hassling, why not let AFC drive you to the dog show? Give us a call, and we’ll set up your stress-free ride.