Dog day weekend

Schnettie, the blog author's dog. "Schnett" is what is said in Albanian after someone sneezes.

It took more than a decade of living in Montgomery County, but last year my family finally went to the National Dog Show at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center at Oaks.We loved it.

It’s one of the few such competitions in the country that is a bench show. The American Kennel Club defines that as “a dog show at which the dogs are kept on assigned benches when not being shown in competition, so they can be viewed and discussed by attendees, exhibitors and breeders.”

Translation: You get to visit the doggies throughout the weekend.

When we went last year, not only did we meet one of the announcers for the national Thanksgiving Day broadcast — J. Peterman, er, actor John O’Hurley — we got to marvel at and learn about all sorts of breeds.

My husband, our 12-year-old daughter and I had a great time. We’ll be going again this weekend. Here’s a kibble-and-bit of information on the two-day event.

Every year, the Kennel Club of Philadelphia qualifies a few more breeds for the competition. This year, they are the Chinook, the Rat Terrier and the Portuguese Podengo Pequeno:

Here’s what the dog show’s website says about the trio:

“The Chinook was developed in New Hampshire as a sled dog whose function was drafting and sled dog racing. Bred to combine the power of freighting breeds with the speed of the lighter racing sled dogs, he is an athletic, hard-bodied dog. The Chinook, whose name means 'warm winter winds' in Inuit (Eskimo Language), was named New Hampshire's State Dog in 2009. The breed has a thick, tawny-colored (ranging from pale honey to a deep reddish-gold) double coat lying close to the body.


“An American Breed, The Rat Terrier is a multi-purpose companion dog that is capable of hunting rodents and vermin above and below ground as well as coursing small game. He is a sturdy, compact, small-to-medium sized parti-colored dog giving the appearance of elegance and athleticism. His short, smooth coat may come in any variation of pied patterning. Pied is described as comparatively large patches of one or more colors in combination with white. Acceptable colors, with or without "tan points," include the predominate black, or chocolate, red, apricot, blue, fawn, tan or lemon.


“The Portuguese Podengo Pequeno, a primitive breed, is known for its small size, erect ears, wedge shaped head, and two coat types, smooth and wire. It hunts by sight, scent and hearing, and is related to the Pharaoh Hound, Ibizan Hound, Cirneco dell'Etna and Basenji. The smooth coat is short and very dense, while the wire coat (rough) is long and harsh, with a bearded muzzle. Preferred coat color is yellow or fawn, with or without white markings.”


And here is the logistical information:

Greater Philadelphia Expo Center at Oaks
100 Station Ave, Oaks, PA 19456
Get directions
8:00 AM - 6:00 PM Saturday, Nov. 16, 2013
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM Sunday, Nov. 17, 2013
Adults (ages 13+): $14
Children (ages 4-12): $7
Children 3 and under are admitted free