If you haven’t seen Christopher Guest’s excellent mockumentary Best in Show, you’re missing out.
A host of diverse, dynamic, deranged and downright dangerous characters travel across the US with their prized pooches to converge at a high-profile dog grooming show – with calamitous results. Harland Pepper and his Bloodhound Hubert are our favorites but every character is a gem.
Thankfully, real-life dog shows aren’t usually quite as madcap as the one portrayed in this classic comedy, but they’re entertaining and exciting nonetheless, which makes attending an international dog show an excellent excursion to base an alternative vacay around.
You don’t need to be showing your dog to enjoy the occasion, you’ll meet fellow canine fans and will also have the opportunity to explore a new city, country and culture – what’s not to love?
With that in mind, here are three must-see dog events for 2020.
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1. American Kennel Club (AKC) National Obedience Championship
If you love seeing dogs sitting on their hind legs, playing dead, jumping over obstacles and waving their paws in the air like they just don’t care, the 2020 AKC obedience champs are returning to the Roberts Centre in Wilmington, OH on June 27-28.
And if you haven’t been to Wilmington before, you can catch a show at the stunning Murphy Theatre, slake your thirst at TinCap Hard Cider and enjoy sublime scenery at Cowan Lake State Park during downtime. Find out more about the canine gathering at AKC.org and plan your trip ahead of time.
2. Dog Lovers Show Melbourne
You might not see any indigenous Dingoes at Dog Lovers Show Melbourne on 1-3 May 2020, but the Royal Exhibition Building will be packed with practically every other type of breed, as well as many fascinating keynote speakers and guests.
The Black Hawks DockDogs might be the main attraction for many visitors – watching these super-fit dogs compete against each other in a range of pool-based activities is awe-inspiring. Get to grips with everything on offer at this show by browsing dogloversshow.com.au.
For many dog lovers, making a pilgrimage to Crufts rates highly on the bucket list, because it’s still the world’s foremost dog show and attracts entrants and fans from around the world.
Held between 5-8 March at Birmingham’s National Exhibition Centre, this high profile event is the dog Oscars and Olympics combined. Plus, if you aren’t too tired out with the thrills and spills of the competition, we hear that the Bull Ring shopping Centre offers excellent retail therapy opportunities – perhaps you can procure a snazzy collar to take back to your own four-legged friend?
No one wants to spend unnecessary cash on flights, so to find the best deals possible from a range of carriers, check a comparison site like Kayak.com and book as early as possible to maximise savings.
Finally, getting to the airport in your own ride makes for a much more pleasant pre-flight experience than public transport – find airport parking on Looking4.com for San Diego, San Francisco and a host of other US air hubs.
That’s our list! Share your own animal lover vacay ideas in the comments section.