Every man and his dog turn out to Porirua show

More than 1260 dogs from across the country are in Porirua to compete (Simon Wong / 3 News)
More than 1260 dogs from across the country are in Porirua to compete (Simon Wong / 3 News)

Dogs of every shape and size have descended on Porirua for this year's National Dog Show and for all involved it's the love of canines that brings them together.

For the owners of the more than 1200 dogs on show over the weekend the event is very serious business and there's no place they'd rather be.

New Zealand Kennel Club president Clyde Rogers says the 133 different breeds at the show represent the best dogs in the country as decided by judges from Japan, Argentina and Poland.

Despite the many and varied breeds people choose, Mr Rogers says they all have something in common.

"I think people who own dogs and exhibit dogs love dogs. They care about their dogs and a big part of owning a dog is being a responsible owner and everyone that is involved in the sport actually care about their dogs," he says.

That was certainly evident in the grooming room away from the lights and sounds of the main show area.

Sean Walton drove his van from Auckland with his Afghan hound Kiesha for her first national show, and was busy brushing her long, white coat, preparing her for her event later today.

He said Kiesha appeared nervous ahead of her big moment, and wasn't standing as still as she normally would be at home.

"She stands at home, but there's alot going on here. This is the first big show she's had inside so I expect that. But later on when I'm grooming her she'll actually lay herself down on the table and she'll stay there." Mr Walton finds it "therapeutic" to brush Kiesha's coat every day and says it's a breed he's wanted for a long time.

"I really enjoy the coat, when they run around the ring they're graceful and elegant."

And it takes a lot to keep her looking that way.

"I drive a van and it's just about chock-a-block with crates and pens and tables and all the stuff plus our stuff."

Daphne Painter from New Plymouth has brought six Chihuahuas and they've been her breed of choice for the past 50 years because they're "easier to manage" than bigger dogs.

"Even six of them. Even 20 of them."

Auckland's Shirley Brown says she'd never choose anything other than dachshunds.

"I like their style, I like everything about them, I just like dachshunds fullstop."

Today she's brought four of them – three of them from the same litter.

She says travelling to shows doesn't bother her one bit.

"A dog show is never too far," she laughed.

Mr Rogers, a breeder of St Bernards, says he's seen preferences in dogs change recently to new and different breeds being introduced into the country, but the focus for owners is their health and welfare.

He's been a dog man all his life, having had them for nearly 40 years.

What about other animals?

"[Just] one cat."

3 News