Wednesday, March 9, 2011

This Weekend - The Purina National Dog Show

Out of the way Westminster! We here north of the border are taking time out to recognize the best of the best in dog breeding this weekend at The Purina National, taking place at The International Centre in Mississauga. I had the pleasure of speaking with award winning breeder and judge Richard Paquette, who expressed that beyond the pomp and circumstance of the competing dogs themselves, the weekend also serves as a great (and reasonably priced) fun filled event for the entire family.

Paquette has been involved in competitive dog shows for over 40 years, and began doing so after being pushed by a friend to show his Samoyed at a competition. Prior to this Paquette had no desire to take part in any such contests, though his attitude quickly changed after entering his first contest, and he got what he considers to be "the bite" (I'm sure the fact that his beloved Samoyed took home a championship helped to sway him!). Since that competition, Paquette has spent the better part of four decades showing, judging, and organizing several competitions. In addition, he currently shows his Shih-Tzu (another champion) in competitions.

Last year, The Purina National drew upwards of 9000 spectators, and Paquette expects nothing less this go around. In the competition itself there are over 1000 dogs entered representing more than 100 breeds (Paquette says the sporting breeds are always a popular category), coming from all over the country. In addition, The Purina National boasts an international panel of judges, many of whom will not be seeing the competitors until the event itself, opening the field for a great competition with no clear front-runner. Judging the "Best In Show" this year will be Thornhill resident Eve Whitmore, who will be coming out of retirement to face the daunting task of choosing the eventual winner, who will also take home $10 000 for their efforts (that's a lot of squeaky toys!).

In addition, Paquette says that the entire weekend will be a blast not only for the dogs, but for kids as well. The all new 15 000 sq ft Pawsway neighbourhood will feature arts & crafts, face painting, a Wii fitness challenge, as well as an internet cafe. For those families interested in possibly adding a four legged friend to the home, there will be a breeder's village, where they can be educated on more than 40 breeds, as well as vendors displaying the latest & greatest pet supplies (if you're getting a new pooch you've got to be prepared!).

Above all, The Purina National is a charity event for The Canadian Kennel Club Foundation, a non-profit registered charitable organization dedicated to encouraging the health and welfare of dogs.

Who will be this year's top dog? Find out this weekend, & for more event info, visit


  1. Did you go? I loved it this year. Way better with the Rally and Obedience in the separate room. Got some amazing photos (currently on my flickR account. Will be putting them on my blog later this wk.

  2. I didn't make this go the link below so people can click to your recap!! :)

  3. It took me 3 days to process the photos!! I'll be posting later this weekend, but in the meantime:
    Awesome Photos:
    Friend's Recap:

  4. Thanks Miss Kodee just checked out both...awesome!