At NRG Park 7/15

Two new events at the Houston World Series of Dog Shows disprove that theory.

Animal lovers may think a dog show with thousands of beautiful and beguiling canines of every size and shape simply couldn’t get any better. But they would be wrong.

Taking place at NRG Center, July 15 through 19, the 38th annual Houston World Series of Dog Shows is adding two events that will serve up new thrills for spectators. The first is the Barn Hunt. Open to any dog, this competition tests the hunting skills of canines, as they sniff through haystacks to locate a live rat secured safely inside a metal tube. A second new event is Creative Dog Grooming. This mesmerizing exhibition showcases the talents of extreme dog groomers equipped with colored chalk, hair spray and an overabundance of imagination, as they scissor-cut their dogs into works of art and weirdness. Here white poodles become pandas, ponies, lions, giraffes, pirates of the Caribbean or favorite cartoon or video game characters, right before the eyes of amazed onlookers.

Show Chair Tom Pincus explains, “We are always striving to bring new aspects of the dog world to the attention of the public to help them be more appreciative of the joy that dogs bring and more responsible pet owners.” He continues, “We are also focused on adding events that are open to any dog, not just show dogs, such as AKC® My Dog Can Do That!, Weight Pull and Barn Hunt.”

Of course, the dog show’s traditional and ever-popular offerings will reappear. Meet the Breeds provides those longing to become pet parents an opportunity to literally get their hands on breeds of interest and talk to experts about them. Conformation (breed judging) presents more than 150 common and exotic breeds, as they parade around looking beautiful and winning prizes.

For the sports lover, the Performance Events feature athletic dogs in action: obstacle-course-running dogs (agility), hurdle-jumping dogs (flyball), dancing dogs (canine musical freestyle), flying-disc catching dogs (Frisbee®) and sled-dragging dogs (weight pull). In the AKC® My Dog Can Do That! trials, both dogs and owners get some exercise, as they test-run an agility course while receiving instruction from experts.

But some of the most beautiful dogs at the show don’t move at all: they are Houston-area school children’s winning entries in the Dr. Mari Jon Filla Student Art Competition and Exhibition. Don’t forget your own most-beautiful-dog-in-the-world. Surprise it with some special goodies — blingy leashes and collars, comfy beds and fancy treats — all for sale at the McScotty Market. And if your pup needs a new custom home, bid on a one-of-a-kind doghouse designed, built and donated for the 11th Annual Designer Doghouse Competition and Auction. All proceeds benefit homeless animals at the Citizens for Animal Protection shelter. The Houston World Series of Dog Shows, sanctioned by the American Kennel Club, supervised by Onofrio Dog Shows and sponsored by Purina® ProPlan®, is Houston’s must-see dog event, attracting more than 12,000 entries and 40,000 spectators, participants and vendors. Adult admission is $15 per day at the door or via Ticket Master (extra fees apply).

Tickets for seniors 55+ are $10, and children 12 or younger are admitted free with adult. With ID, active/retired military personnel and family pay only $5. Parking is $12, cash only. Visit or follow us on Twitter (@Houstondogshows) or Facebook for the latest information.