10 Fur-tastic Events Across the Continent for Dog Lovers

Sep 29, 2018

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Calling all dog lovers! We’ve scoured North America for the finest events featuring cute (and ugly) pups. The best part: you don’t even need a dog of your own to attend. From surfing dogs to racing wieners, let one of these fun doggie events inspire your next vacation.

New York City, New York
The Javits Convention Center will be taken over by wagging tails and furry faces this November for the second annual PetCon in New York City. Attendees are invited to bring their dogs along for two days full of insightful panels, fun activations and meet-and-greets with celebrity pups. Visit the adoption garden to cuddle with cute adoptable pets, and maybe even bring one home with you. This year’s event takes place on Nov. 17 and 18.

World’s Ugliest Dog Competition
Petaluma, California
Dogs participating in this competition may have heard the phrase, “It’s what’s on the inside that counts,” one too many times. The World’s Ugliest Dog Competition is an annual contest held at the Sonoma-Marin Fair every June. The contest has been around for nearly 30 years and has welcomed hundreds of dogs of various breeds and sizes. The canine competitors walk the red carpet while the judges and fans “ooo” and “aww” (and maybe even “ew”) over the ugly dogs seeking the grand prize of $1,500.

(Photo by Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images.)
(Photo by Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images.)

Dog Bowl
Frankenmuth, Michigan
The annual Dog Bowl is dubbed “The World’s Largest Olympic Style Event for Dogs.” The Dog Bowl hosts almost 30 different doggie events every May, including a trick tournament, howling competition and frisbee catching contest. In a new dog sport called “Barn Hunt,” pups use their vermin-hunting instincts to search through straw bales to find rats. In addition to the dog events, there are multiple hot air balloon flights that will take place over the weekend. The balloon pilots will compete in a ballooning match, which is an actual sport that requires the pilots to throw bean bags at a target to score points. The next Dog Bowl will be held on May 25 and May 26, in 2019.

Barkus Parade
New Orleans, Louisiana
Did you know that New Orleans hosts a Mardi Gras parade specifically for dogs? The Krewe of Barkus Parade will be holding it’s 27th annual celebration in February. Pups dressed in purple, green and gold walk the streets of the French Quarter to celebrate the holiday. To add to the fun, each year the parade has a different doggie-inspired theme. Recent themes included “Game of Bones: Barkus Marks Its Territory,” and “Bark Wars: The Return of the K9.” The 2019 Barkus Parade will be held on Feb. 24, 2019. 

Corgi Con
San Fransisco, California
Head to San Francisco’s Ocean Beach for a cute canine convention. Corgi Con is a semi-annual gathering of hundreds of corgis from all over the country. In 2017, the event had more than 900 corgis in attendance. The day starts off with a big group photo, followed by a stacked schedule of events. Corgis are even invited to compete in an agility showcase, known as Corgi Ninja Warrior. Other events include corgi races and a costume contest. The events are open to spectators, so you don’t need a corgi to enjoy the festivities. Join the next Corgi Con on Saturday, Oct. 13, 2018.

(Photo by Jason Doiy/Getty Images.)
(Photo by Jason Doiy/Getty Images.)

Toronto, Canada
The largest dog festival in North America, Woofstock, is held annually in Toronto, Canada. The weekend-long festival hosts many events, including speaker series, competitions, performances and doga (yes, dog yoga). Through the acts of meditation, massage and stretching, doga is beneficial for both dogs and their humans. Performances to look forward to include the extreme tricks at the Ultimutts Stunt Dog Show (think: piano playing and tightrope walking pups) and the diving dogs at the Dock Dogs event. Pooches can participate in the fashion show, costume contest, canine pageant or the festival’s Canine’s Got Talent show. The next Woofstock takes place on Sept. 29 and Sept. 30, 2018.

Annual Dog Show on the Beach
Cannon Beach, Oregon
The Annual Dog Show on the Beach takes place every October at one of the most pet-friendly beaches in the US. Pooches will compete for “barking rights” in more than 20 categories, including cutest puppy, best handshake, best tail wag and fluffiest dog. There’s also an owner look-alike competition for dog parents who share a natural resemblance to their fur babies. All proceeds from the event go to a local animal shelter. Join the next one on Oct. 20, 2018.

Surf City Surf Dog Competition
Huntington Beach, California
Watch some talented canines perform a skill that even most humans haven’t mastered at the Surf City Surf Dog Competition. This annual event is held every September at Huntington Dog Beach. There are multiple heats throughout the day, categorized by dog size and surfing style. Dogs can compete on their own or in tandem with another dog or human. Our favorite competitor is the talented, surfing French bulldog, Cherie!

(Photo by Danielle Vito)

Oktoberfest Wiener Dog Races
Huntington Beach, California
Cheer on your favorite dachshund while he or she wiggles and races across a 22-yard course. The German dog breed inspired this popular event to be held during the Oktoberfest season at beer gardens throughout the country. The most well-known wiener races can be found in Huntington Beach at The Old World Village. Spectators can enjoy the Running of the Wieners” every Sunday in September and October during The Old World Village’s big Oktoberfest celebration.

Somerville, Massachusetts
The Somerville Dog Festival boasts a day full of fun activities to do with your family (including your dog), contests, demonstrations, vendors and food for pets and people. The festival takes place about 15 minutes outside of Boston. Held every September, Somdogfest even put a doggie play on this year: “Harry Potter Learns He Is a Wizard.” The organization behind this dog festival funds the Somerville Pet Food Bank, providing pet food to homeless and at-risk families throughout eastern Massachusetts.

Feature photo by damedeeso / Getty Images.

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