Who can resist their beguiling eyes? Dogs just want to be friends! A dog show is a great place to enjoy the whole range of their beauty and see how clever a smart dog can be.
Dog chasing a lure in lure coursing. Some smart dogs sometimes even catch the lure! Dog chasing a lure in lure coursing. Some smart dogs sometimes even catch the lure!

Dogs make me laugh.

Although I’m not a dog owner, I think I can read them pretty well. My daughter has two Maltese terriers, one of my sons has a beautiful golden retriever and the other has a French and an English bulldog. All of these dogs are just mush balls of fun and affection! And a certain screwball nature.

Sure, they sometimes do smart things that make you wonder how they think. Then they do things that have nothing to do with pleasing a human. They do dog.

I recently visited NewBARKet Dog Fest in Newmarket. I watched dogs madly chasing a fast-moving lure around a zig-zag course with fences in it. Holy cow! One dog figured it out quickly and jumped the fences to cut off the lure. Another dog kept running into a blind end of the zig-zagging fence. Other dogs just stared when the lure went by.

There was a great exhibit of dog diving – fetching a stick tossed out into a swimming tank. Dogs were leaping as much as 17 feet into the water!

Smart dog jumps into a pool

Hey, let’s go for a swim!

Then I went to see the dogs having a swim in the Lions Park pool. Joyous mayhem! People were tossing discs into the pool for the dogs to fetch. Really fun when water is involved! They barked. They splashed. They swam. They went barreling into the water. Here’s an idea of why I left laughing.

Dogs are family – just give a dog owner a chance to brag about theirs

That the nice thing about the people at dog fests (fests are usually more relaxed, lots of fun) and who exhibit at dog shows (dog shows tend to be more structured). They’re proud to show off their companion and tell you all about them. You can learn which breeds tend to be a happy jumper (Jack Russell terrier, for one), which love to cuddle (Maltese terrier), which can’t resist a game of “chase me, Charlie,” (border collie, Australian shepherd) and which love squeaky toys (the little lap dogs, such as Pomeranians, Maltese and pugs).

Want to engage more with friendly dogs? You may pick up some tips

Among the events at a dog show, you’ll find excellent training demonstrations. Besides being amazed by how dogs respond to audio and visual commands, you may pick up a tip that will help you greet a dog and manage the situation.

My daughter’s Maltese, for example, yap their head off and jump on anybody who visits. I’ve learned to manage that by pointing to the kitchen, where there’s a special chair I sit in. There, I’ll satisfy the dogs’ need to be acknowledged and petted by insisting that they “sit” before I’ll touch them. That calms them down and it’s a love fest from there on.

The DogFest@Riverwood Walk-A-Thon: a great Fall walk with canine fun and games

The event is a go from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Sunday, September 30th, rain or shine. The Riverwood Conservancy is a short drive from Toronto – best to check Google Maps or Apple Maps for directions and drive time.

DogFest@Riverwood Walk-A-Thon will feature a dog-and-owner walk-a-thon, vendor displays and contest and activities for the dogs. For humans, there’ll be food on sale too.

The event is sponsored by the Riverwood Conservancy and the Mississauga Animal Services Special Care and Resources Fund.

This gets serious: the Burlington Kennel and Obedience Club All-breed Championship Dog Shows on September 21, 22, and 23rd

Burlington Kennel and Obedience Club All-breed Championship Dog Shows are the kind of dog shows you may have seen on TV. Serious owners parading beautiful dogs groomed to a T.

Saturday, September 21st, looks like the choice day to visit if you’re not a deeply committed show-dog lover. It will give you a taste of several different kinds of competition. There’ll be a “sanction match.” That means it’s more informal and the results don’t count toward championship or title points. There’s also be Baby Puppy Classes, Veteran Classes, Junior Handling – Conformation and Sweepstakes and Veteran Sweepstakes and more.

This show is near Niagara Wine Country. So you can sample competitive dog showing and some of Niagara’s best flavours on the same day. The show is at the West Niagara Agricultural Centre and Fair Grounds, 7402 Mud Street, Grassie. Again, bes to check your favourite map app for directions and estimated travel time.

Staying in town?  Drop in on the FREE Leslieville Park & Bark Dog Show on September 22nd.

This pop-up show is centered on 1151 Queen Street East, three blocks east of Cape Avenue. There’ll be speakers and experts to talk to, lots of great dog and human food, instant giveaways, and contests.

If you get this, you’re a real dog fancier: UKI at the Red Barn, September 23rd

Nope. UKI is not a dog breed, which was what I thought. It stands for UK Agility International. This organization is dedicated to the betterment of agility competition and training for all dogs, from just-want-to-have-fun enthusiasts to hard-core professional competitors. There are more variations on this theme than you can shake a stick at – and I’m not about to fetch it.

Think of it as a day in the country for this dog competition. It’s only about an hour away, at the Red Barn Activity Centre, 8464 County Road 27 Barrie, ON L4N 9C4.

Have a dog? Thinking of bringing one into your family? Don’t miss The Toronto Christmas Pet Expo, November 18th and 19th

Oh, there’ll be smart dogs and beautiful dogs, not to mention fun dogs, at the International Centre, 6900 Airport Road, Mississauga. This would make a great day with your grandchildren, given all the dogs, the activities and the wide range of other animals to see and learn about.

You’ll be able to talk with dog breeders or explore the joys of acquiring a rescue. The WoofJocks Canine All Stars will perform. And there’ll be a pet-friendly Santa on hand for a chat with your grandkids.

The show includes the CPE Classic – a gigantic show of breeds from poodles top Rottweilers to great Pyrenees to Eskimo dogs, good old Labradors and many more. The Classic is licensed by the Canadian Kennel Club, and hosted by the Aurora and District Kennel Club in conjunction with Toronto Christmas Canadian Pet Expo. So you know it’s big-time!

You may find it hard to keep your mind on the dogs, considering the cats, exotic animals, small animals, feathered friends and pet-centric gifts in over 200 booths.

The Toronto Christmas Pet Expo runs November 18th from 10 a.m  to 6 p.m. and November 19th from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets are $8.00 for seniors and kids 6 to 12 at The International Centre.

Why not get out there and enjoy some time with our furry friends?

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