Dog Shows for the Dog Loving Traveler
Dog lovers around the world have multiple opportunities to observe elite dog shows that celebrate the breeding, agility and obedience of the world’s purebred dogs, as well as their trainers’ skill in training and managing the dog.
In the North American region, there are three organizations that host well-known dog show events: The Westminster Kennel Club, the American Kennel Club and the Canadian Kennel Club; in Europe, the best-known show is the World Dog Show, which is held in different countries each year. If you’re interested in seeing a professional dog show during your vacation, there are a few options.
Westminster Kennel Club
The Westminster Kennel Club (WKC) show is the pinnacle of the dog show world. The 138-year-old event has the power to elevate dog breeds from obscurity or make even the strangest-looking breed a high-demand dog. The WKC dates back to 1877, when a group of gentlemen chose to hold an exhibition to show off their dogs. That show was the First Annual New York Bench Show of Dogs – and more than 1,200 dogs were entered. Originally set for three days, the event was quickly expanded to four.
The prestigious “Best in Show” award was first given in 1907. In shows from 1907-1909, the award went to Ch. Warren Remedy, a female smooth fox terrier. She remains the only dog to win the award three separate times.
American Kennel Club
The American Kennel Club (AKC), founded in 1887, sanctions several types of shows, from conformation to agility, tracking and field events, and the AKC Rally. There’s something for every pet showman with qualified pets at AKC events across the country. The biggest AKC conformation show is the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship. In 2013, the event was held in Orlando, FL, over a two day period. Best in Show was awarded to Grand Champion (GCH) CH Claircreek Impression De Matisse, a Portuguese Water Dog. AKC Agility competitions include the AKC Agility invitational and the AKC Agility Championship.
FCI World Dog Show
This year, the FCI World Dog Show is hosted by the Finnish Kennel Club and is produced by the Federation Cynologique Internationale (FCI). This is the second time the FKC has organized and hosted the FCI World Dog Show. In addition to the World Dog Show, there are several smaller competitions that will take place at the FCI event. Those include the Obedience World Championships, HTM and Freestyle and Junior Handler Competitions.
Canadian Kennel Club
The Canadian Kennel Club (CKC) is much like the American Kennel Club- open to purebred dogs, with a variety of events and trainings. The CKC holds conformation, agility, herding, obedience, tracking and even breed-specific trials and shows. The CKC was founded in 1887, based on the number of dog shows that were being held around the country. The purpose of the CKC, according to their website, was to promote breeding and exhibition of thoroughbred dogs in Canada. In its first year alone, the membership rose from 14 dogs to 70.