Where do big fish and fat cats show off their top dogs? At the biannual Kennel Club of Beverly Hills All Breed Dog Show & Obedience Trials, of course.
The event, which will be held Sunday at the L.A. Memorial Sports Arena, is "one of the two most prestigious dog shows in the country," the other being the Westminster show in New York, reports DOGworld magazine.
At the Beverly Hills show, some of the fanciest pooches and their owners will be on display. But there's another event this weekend for those for whom a $1,000 Chinese Shar-Pei is a mere pup dream and who must be satisfied with a pound hound: The ninth annual Ashley Whippet Invitational Frisbee Disc Championships.
It begins at 9:30 a.m. today at Torrance Park. Sponsored by Gaines Cycle Dog Food and named for the late Ashley Whippet, three-time world champion Frisbee catcher and celebrated canine athlete, the invitational is one of more than 100 regional contests between local dog-trainer Frisbee teams.
The competition will work up to the World Finals on Oct. 9 at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla., where the champion team will win $1,000 in U.S. Savings Bonds and a trophy, among other prizes.
There are rules for the throw-and-catch events, which sponsors say almost any kind of mutt can master. These and other important points are discussed in "Teaching Your Dog to Catch a Flying Disc," a free booklet that Gaines will provide on request.
Frisbees will be provided for contestants this weekend, said John Jones, recreationsupervisor with the Torrance Department of Parks and Recreation and director of this year's competition.
Although it is unlikely many Frisbees will fly at the Beverly Hills show, there will be a sled dog race, featuring teams pulling 100-pound carts called gigs . The show also will feature finals of "The World Series of Junior Showmanship," in which 14 young people who survived local contests will compete with their dogs for the No. 1 Junior Handler title.
Like many of those who will attend the show, Robert Rains--publicity, promotion and advertising chairman of the Kennel Club--and his wife, Shirley, club president for seven years, are knee-deep in dogs themselves. "We don't have dogs, the dogs have us," Rains said. "People never own dogs, you see. The dogs own them. My wife and I are owned by miniature schnauzers."
There are 2,286 show entries, representing 136 different breeds, said Carmen Visser, of the Newport Dog Shows Co., which organized this year's event. This list includes 46 Afghan hounds, 44 Pekingese, 63 miniature schnauzers, 36 Doberman pinschers and 32 Great Danes.
The American Kennel Club of New York, the official licensing and registering body for American pure-bred dog sports, reports that the most popular breeds in the United States, in order, are: cocker spaniels, poodles (all breeds) and Dobermans.
The Ashley Whippet Invitational, Torrance Park, 2001 Santa Fe Ave . , Torrance. Free admission. Events get under way at 9:30 a.m. Information: (213) 533-9550 .
Kennel Club of Beverly Hills All Breed Dog Show, L . A . Sports Arena, 3939 S . Figueroa Ave., main entrance. 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Admission: adults $4.50; seniors 60 and older and children 11 and younger , $1. The club is a nonprofit organization. Information: (818) 789-8350.