It’s time for local dogs to make a trip to the groomer and brush up on their best tricks — the Ahwatukee Family Dog Show is this Saturday, March 29, at Ahwatukee Park, 4700 E. Warner Road.

The eighth annual dog show will be from 9 a.m. to noon tomorrow, March 29.

Dogs of all breeds can enter the show under nine different categories: best dressed, most talkative, best kisser/licker, best tail wag, cutest dog, cutest senior, cutest rescue dog, best high five and most unusual. Prizes donated by Petco will be given to first place winners in each category. All proceeds from entry fees will benefit Valley Dog Rescue.

“It’s just a nice family event to bring the dogs out to,” said Susan Hyden, community center director at the Ahwatukee Swim and Tennis Center. “The nine categories fit most any dog and it’s fun to participate and raise money for charity at the same time.”

The event will also include obedience demos, cart pulling, flyball demos, and pet CPR demos. This year, there will also be a “barn hunt” course. Dogs can test their skills trying to find a cage of rats among bails of hay.

“I love dogs so that’s why I go,” said Paula Henning, who has attended the show for several years and has participated with her dogs in cart pulling. “You can see all kinds of different breeds and mixed breeds and people interacting with their dogs, which is always fun.”

Several breed clubs will be on hand to educate guests about their breed and rescue efforts. Valley Dog Rescue will also be there to help people understand the process to go through to find the best dog for their home.

“My favorite part about the event is the ability to raise awareness in the community for rescue organizations and what they do and be able to give back to some of those organizations,” Hyden said. “These people do so much and depend on these donations to be able to keep caring for animals that are neglected or abused. I’ve got two rescue dogs myself so that part hits home for me. There’s such a need.”

The show is free for spectators. Entries into the show cost $7 for the first category and $3 for each category after that with early registration. Day of prices rise $1. All dogs are welcomed, but must be at least 4 months old and current on all shots. Dogs must be kept on a leash no longer than 6 feet.

For more information, visit or call (480) 893-3431.

• Contact writer: (480) 898-7914 or

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