Thousands of dogs and their owners and handlers are heading to Novi this weekend for Michigan's largest dog show, the Winter Dog Classic. This four-day AKC show, held at the Suburban Collection Showplace, will feature more than 7,000 dogs from over 160 breeds. The show runs Thursday through Sunday, and offers a variety of activities and demonstrations for participants and spectators. The Livonia Kennel Club and Oakland County Kennel Club sponsor the show.
The Michigan Winter Dog Classic is of course, above all else, a dog show. Conformation judging runs throughout the day, with Group and Best in Show judging in the afternoon. Obedience and Rally competitions are held in the morning, and Agility also runs throughout the day. Special competitions will be held on various days -- Best Puppy on Friday, Best Owner Handler on Saturday and Sunday, and a special 4-6 Month Beginner Puppy competition on Sunday. "Meet the Breeds" seminars will be held on Friday and Saturday, giving prospective owners a chance to interact with the breed and ask questions of a breed expert.
The always popular duck herding demonstrations return this year, on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. New to the show, and to the AKC, is the "My Dog Can Do That" event, where professional trainers and competitors will help introduce the exciting sport of agility. Dogs that are not entered in the show (minimum 6 months old with valid rabies vaccination) can come on Saturday or Sunday between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. to run through a simple agility course and get advice on basic obedience, agility training and trials. Mixed breeds are welcome, and will be given information about the AKC's Canine Partners program for mixed-breed dogs.
Boxers at the Classic
Readers of this column, of course, are mostly just interested in when they can see their favorite breed. This year's Boxer entry is quite large, and we have our traditional early morning ring times. Boxers take over Ring 1 for the weekend, with 50 entered on Thursday at 9:00 a.m. with judge Mr. Robin Stansell. Fifty-three Boxers are entered on Friday under judge Col. Jerry Weiss; Saturday's entry with judge Miss Evalyn Gregory jumps to 62; ring time is 8:00 a.m. both days. On Sunday Mr. James Noe begins judging the 61 entered Boxers at 8:10 a.m.
Location, Admission and Parking
The Suburban Collection is located on Grand River Avenue, between Novi Road and Beck Road. Parking is $5 per car per day. Admission is $10 for adults, $8 for kids 7 to 12 and seniors. Kids 6 and under are free. A family admission is available for $35, which includes two adults and three kids.