Dogs shows are both a way of life and business for those who show their favorite dog breed. American Kennel Club-registered dogs compete in shows that include conformation, where purebred dogs compete against each other and are evaluated as breeding stock, and obedience, field and agility trials, where canine athletes get their moment to behave and shine. Dog shows are also a great way for the general public to learn about a breed of dog they might be interested in owning. In California, there are plenty of shows that celebrate man's best friend.
Pasadena Kennel Club
The Pasadena Kennel Club has held its annual show in late May or early June for more than 100 years. This AKC-sanctioned show is an all-breed event; mixed breeds are not allowed. Visitors to the dog show can watch their favorite breed compete in conformation, obedience and agility trials, and there is an AKC Rally. The Pasadena Kennel Club is an unbenched show, which means exhibitors are able to arrive at the time their dog is shown and then leave, which differs from a benched show where the dog must stay all day. The show is held outdoors in Brookside Park, from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults and $2 for seniors over 62 and children under 12.
Pasadena Kennel Club Brookside Park 360 N. Arroyo Blvd Pasadena, CA 91103 818-771-5544 jbradshaw.com/37/index.htm
Silver Bay Kennel Club
The Silver Bay Kennel Club Dog Show attracts nearly 1,800 dogs on each judging day, and is one of the largest shows in the country. Visitors can stroll through the vendors' exhibits and check out a multitude of canine competitors in one of three exhibit halls. The thrilling and fast-paced all-breed agility trials are always a crowd favorite here, and all dogs entered must be registered by the AKC. The show, which takes place over the course of a 3-day weekend each year in late February, runs from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday; 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday; and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is free, and parking is $9.
Silver Bay Kennel Club Dog Show Del Mar Fair Grounds 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd. Del Mar, CA 92014 858-755-1161 jbradshaw.com/64/index.htm
Golden Gate Kennel Club
The Golden Gate Kennel Club holds its all-breed dog show every year at The Cow Palace. More than 2,000 dogs take part. Dog fanciers can get up close and personal with the canine beauties, and most breeders are available to educate and answer questions on pedigree and puppy availability. Events take place annually in late January, beginning at 8:30 a.m., and include two all-day shows with final judging of a best-in-show dog. Agility team demonstrations, training exhibitions and an all-breed fashion show are among the events on the jam-packed agenda. Admission is $12 for adults, $10 for seniors, and $7 for children 2-12 years of age.
Golden Gate Kennel Club Cow Palace 2600 Geneva Avenue Daly City, CA 94014 415-404-4100 goldengatekc.com/ShowInfo.htm
Elle Smith has been an advertising professional for more than 25 years. Her work for ABC, CBS and Sony Pictures Television has appeared on radio, on air, in print and outdoors. In addition, Smith has more than 20 years experience in marketing, graphic arts, commercial photography and print production, and is a licensed real estate agent with property management certification in California.