Sarah Mabe with 10 Shih Tzu dogs at last year's Paws in the Park
The ultimate celebration of man’s best friend is taking place in the county this weekend.
Paws in the Park, the UK’s largest outside event for working, trained and pet dogs, is taking place at the Kent Showground in Detling near Maidstone.
Whatever your dog’s age or ability there is a whole host of ‘have a go’ events and fun competitions including flyball, agility and fun scurries.
The K9 Aqua Zone is returning, featuring Dash ‘N’ Splash which sees energetic pooches sprint along a ramp and then jump into a 40ft pool of water.
There will be a host of exciting arena events, including a sheepdog and duck herding display by award-winning UK trainer Richard Curtis. His sheepdog will guide the ducks through obstacles including the ‘tunnel of doom’, a slippery slide and rings of fire.
Dima Yeremenko will return to Paws in the Park
Russian dog training instructor and behaviourist Dima Yeremenko, who has appeared on Sky One show A Different Breed, is back with his Happy Dog School, providing a spectacular obedience display.
Visitors can also watch dog frisbee for the first time in the UK. The Disc Dog team are travelling over from Poland to perform a choreographed freestyle catching display including incredible flips, multiple catches and spectacular vaults.
If you were impressed by Pudsey the dancing dog and his owner Ashleigh Butler, who won ITV show Britain’s Got Talent last year with their freestyle Heelwork to Music routine, try it for yourself with Canine Performers.
Staff from the Kent-based training school will take you through the first steps of how to train your dog to do tricks and moves to music.
Gus Sikora with Jasper at last year's Paws in the Park
And if you fancy some retail therapy, there will be stands selling everything you could need for your dog, from food and equipment to bedding and health care.
English cartoonist Rupert Fawcett, best known for his Fred cartoons, which were syndicated in the Mail on Sunday, will also be signing copies of his new book Off the Leash.
Visitors in need of refreshments will be spoilt for choice, and owners who want a bit of time away from their pooch can drop them off at the new Dog Creche facility, with donations for the service going to the Dogs Trust charity.
Event manager Jacqui Curtis said: “This year’s show looks set to be bigger and better than ever, with loads for visitors and their dogs to take part in, explore and enjoy.”
Paws in the Park is taking place on Saturday, September 21 and Sunday, September 22. It is open from 9.30am to 5pm each day. Tickets are £10 for adults, £7.50 for children aged three to 15, and £32 for a family. Advance booking discounts are available.
Camping is also available, priced £40 for two nights (including entry to the event on both days) for one person, and £50 for two people. It must be booked in advance.
Campers have free access to the VIP (Very Important Pooch) Training Day on Friday, September 20, offering tuition courses and a range of activities.
For information visit www.pawsinthepark.net or call 01730 266633.