Dogs of all types will be a spectacle at the Uretara Domain in Katikati when the Tauranga Kennel Association hosts its Championship Shows in conjunction with the Bay of Plenty Gundog Show Society over Labour Weekend.
More than 500 dogs of numerous breeds will be involved in the shows, from the big utility breeds, gun dogs, hounds, toys, terriers and non-sporting dogs, with more than 140 dogs in the Bay of Plenty Gundog Specialty Show on Saturday.
The domain has a name among dog breeders as an ideal location for the three-day event, said Show Manager, Michele Reichmuth.
"The biggest compliment we get from exhibitors is the venue, which is kudos to Katikati.
"We have so many people who come for the venue and Katikati will reap the rewards with the judges and exhibitors staying in town, people shopping here and at the Friday market, so everyone gets a kickback."
The Uretara Domain provides a good atmosphere for the dogs with trees giving plenty of shade, and for the public to come and see popular breeds like golden retrievers, labradors, great danes or beagles.
A rare breed of dog to see in the utility section is the Italian corso dog, and new to New Zealand, the Bracco Italiano in the gundog ring. In the toy breeds there is one affenpinscher entered, which is not a common breed. And there are plenty of all-time favourites — golden retrievers, border collies, bulldogs, great danes, terriers, dobermans and one old English sheepdog.
Four international judges are travelling from Canada with one coming from Western Australia. Michele said they try to bring new faces who haven't been here before to see the dogs to compare them with other dogs around the world.
There is a golden retriever specialty show on Saturday with a judge from the United Kingdom which has seen numbers in this breed bumped up.
"People will travel when they know there is a judge with a depth of knowledge."
Exhibitors come from all over the country to compete in the shows with six rings running over the three days. Saturday is the specialty shows, including two gundog championships, Irish setter specialty shows and a Pomeranian specialty show.
Sunday is the start of the All Breeds Championship Show which includes toys, gundogs, utility and non-sporting and Monday will be terriers, hounds, working and Best in Show.
Of the seven groups, the best of the group winner will be selected, with the top seven dogs going through to the finals on Monday, for the international judges to select two Best in Show winners. The finals will start at around 1pm.
The dog show is the best place to learn about various dog breeds and ask the breeders about traits and whether that breed is suitable for their lifestyle. The main sponsors for the Gundog Shows are local Katikati business, Out of the Wild petfood suppliers, who will be onsite on Saturday, and BlackHawk, sponsors of the Tauranga Kennel Association's shows will be onsite Sunday and Monday.
Stallholders will be there with pet comforts, leads and shampoos. There will be coffee and food — catered for by the Karate Club to raise funds to send their athletes to overseas tournaments.
The event runs over three days starting from 8.30am-3pm. Entry is free to the public.