From the common family dog to the more obscure, more than 500 dogs representing 100 breeds took to the field at the Rotorua International Stadium this weekend in the battle to be named the Best in Show.

The Rotorua Kennel Association held two championship shows this weekend which saw people from around the country converge on Rotorua for the popular and prestigious competition.

Show secretary Lenore McVicker said there was plenty riding on the competition for competitive dog owners who were out to win the prizes up for grabs.

"It's one of the bigger shows in the country."

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The club has been going for about 75 years and has been running the competition for almost as long, Ms McVicker said.

She said there were about 550 dogs taking part in the show with national and international judges critiquing them.

While there were a few local contestants, Ms McVicker said the general public couldn't just turn up with their family pet on a leash and take part - it was for purebred dogs only.

"It's very competitive - everyone wants to be the best labrador or the best German Shepherd.

Ms McVicker said some of the more unusual dogs on display over the weekend included the Portuguese water dogs and the standard schnauzer.

As well as the competitive aspect, Ms McVicker said a key focus of the show was educating the general public on dog ownership.

She said many people came along to ask the breeders questions to try and find the best kind of dog to suit their situation.

Between 500 and 600 people headed along to watch during the shows.