Ahwatukee Foothills Dog Show

Stewart a Boston Terrier watches the crowd as his owners Tony and Kim Baucato watch the talent show during the fifth annual Ahwatukee Dog Show, sponsored by the Ahwatukee Community Swim and Tennis Center, PETCO and Desert Dog Obedience Ahwatukee March, 27, 2011. Darryl Webb/AFN

Darryl Webb

Ahwatukee Park is going to the dogs this weekend for the sixth annual Ahwatukee Foothills Dog Show.

All dogs and their owners are welcome to attend the big event from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, March 24. This year the dog show has some new categories including Best Tail Wag, Cutest Senior Dog, Cutest Rescue Dog, Best Mystery Mutt and Most Unusual. Categories continued from past years include Best Dressed, Best Trick, Best Kisser/Licker and Cutest Dog.

“Usually our cutest category was the biggest one so we gave the seniors their own category and we have a lot of rescues so we have a cutest rescue dog category, too,” said Susan Hyden, community center director for the Ahwatukee Board of Management. “These replaced some categories like Longest Tail and Longest Ears. We didn’t have a lot of dogs that could participate in that so these are better for more dogs to participate in.”

The cost to preregister a dog for the show is $5 per dog and an additional $3 for each entered category. Participants can also register the morning of between 8 and 9 a.m. for $6 per dog and $4 for each additional category the dog is entering. There will be a separate children’s ring for kids ages 12 and under entering with their dogs.

The event will also have free demonstrations and games for dogs and their owners. There will be demonstrations of Flyball and Freestyle. New this year, Bernese Mountain Dogs will give a draft test demonstration where the dogs will pull a small cart through an obstacle course, facing different obedience challenges along the way.

There will be three games for dogs and their owners to take part in. In a muffin tin game a treat will be placed under one muffin tin and the dog will have to locate the treat among a line of muffin tins.

In a “Find my Shoe” game owners’ shoes will be placed among a pile of other shoes and dogs will have to identify which shoe belongs to their owner. There will also be paw painting. All games are free.

In addition to games and events the park will also have 11 breed clubs, a service dog group, Betty’s Dog Wash and Grooming, and Ahwatukee Commons Veterinary Hospital will be present with information for visitors.

The event is being co-sponsored by Desert Dog Obedience, PETCO and Ahwatukee Board of Management (ABM). Proceeds will benefit Valley Dog Rescue, a local rescue group that takes in any dog and finds them a foster home until they are ready for adoption. Donations help the organization pay for medical expenses for the dogs.

For more information or to preregister, visit the ABM office, 4700 E. Warner Road. The office will be open until 7 p.m. tonight for those who want to preregister.

Dogs must be at least 4 months old and current on all shots to participate in the event. They must also remain on a leash no longer than 6 feet long.

• Contact writer: (480) 898-7914 or ahurtado@ahwatukee.com

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