BEMIDJI -- Looking for something ‘paws-itively’ enjoyable to do next weekend?

About 100 dogs from all over the country will be strutting their stuff in the Paul Bunyan Dog Training Association’s 10th annual United Kennel Club licensed all-breed dog show from Friday, Sept. 10, to Sunday, Sept. 12, at the Beltrami County Fairgrounds.

Throughout the three-day event, man’s best friend will be competing in the event for Best in Show, Rally Obedience and Total Dog awards. The event will open with two conformation shows at 9 a.m. and a rally obedience competition at 10 a.m. each morning.

“Conformation is an event that goes by the dog’s breed standards, where they’re judged for their appearance, walk and things like that,” said Ethan Larson, a member of the Paul Bunyan Dog Training Association. “The UKC has eight breed groups that dogs are divided into and each group will be represented at the show.”

According to the UKC website, the UKC Total Dog philosophy places an emphasis on dogs who shine in multiple disciplines. To earn a Total Dog award at a UKC show, a dog must qualify in a performance event and an eligible conformation event on the same day or weekend.

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This dog show will mark Larson’s fifth time participating as a handler, and he will be showing his 10-year-old chihuahua, Hero. He said that the free event will give spectators the opportunity to talk to specific breed experts about a wide variety of topics, ranging from training, grooming and the right breed for one’s lifestyle.

He added that there will also be new breeds at the show this year that haven't previously been shown in the event.

During the event, food and beverages will be provided by a variety of local and out-of-town vendors and Boy Scout Troop 82. A Twin Cities-based artist will also be making an appearance to do artwork for any interested spectator or exhibitor.

Larson said exhibitors, judges and handlers are coming from around the country -- not just the Midwest -- which he expects will make for a great reunion after last year’s show was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. He said there’s a feeling of excitement among handlers to be back in action with their furry pals.

“It’s extra special because it’s been two years since we’ve last had our show,” Larson said. “A lot of handlers are looking forward to it. We can interact with other handlers again and see old friends and make some new ones.”

All spectators are welcome, but event organizers ask that people leave their pets at home, as club rules state that unentered dogs may not be at the show. On Saturday, there will be lure coursing fun runs alongside the event.

If interested in showing your dog in the UKC Dog Show, or for more information, contact Kathy Lamping at (218) 760-3763 or the Paul Bunyan Dog Training Association through their website

“It’s just fun to see all the different breeds of dogs, and one of the things our participants love is the fun and friendly atmosphere,” Larson said. “It’s a massive undertaking but we sure appreciate all the support that we’ve gotten from everybody involved.”