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A Pumi at a previous AKC dog show (Courtesy/Chris Levy)

Chris Levy, president of the Silver Falls Kennel Club, can’t remember the last time there was an AKC dog show in Salem.

“All I can tell you is that it was over ten years ago,” she said. Previously, the event was held annually beginning in 1972.

The event returns Saturday and Sunday at the Oregon State Fairgrounds.

Over 1,000 dogs from over 100 breeds are competing. Levy said these include rare breeds such as Pumi, Bluetick Coonhound and Otter Hound.

“When you watch it on TV, people tend to think it’s a beauty pageant,” she said. “There’s so much more involved.”

There are three types of competitions, according to a press release:

-Rally, where dogs and handlers move through a course with 10-20 signs that show actions like circle, sit, sit and stay.

-Obedience has dogs walking on and off leash, jumping or showing they are able to stay. It is open to all dogs who behave well at home, in public and around other dogs.

-A conformation show has a judge who is knowledgeable about a dog breed who rates dogs on how well they match the breed standard for ears and other traits depending on what people have historically relied on race.

Dogs are not allowed at the event if they are not participating, Levy said.

The event will take place at the Oregon State Fairgrounds and Expo Center at 2330 17th St. NE on March 12 and 13 from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. each day. Free entry.

More information on the event schedule can be found on the Silver Falls Kennel Club website.

-Ardeshir Tabrizian

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