Portland’s Favorite Dog Show: The Rose City Classic

Rose City Classic Dog Show

Portland is a dog-friendly city, there is no doubt. And everyone appreciates a well-behaved dog.  

Are you a dog lover? Better yet, are you a fun lover? If either of your answers are “Yes!” plan to attend the Rose City Classic. You’ll find it at the Portland Expo Center on January 17-21, 2018. It’s one of the top dog show series in the US and the biggest dog show series in the West. Dogs from all over the world come to compete in Portland each January. These 5 days are jam-packed with activities. Imagine 31 separate Specialities and Group Shows including conformation competitions and obedience, rally, and agility trials. Almost 200 individual breeds attend! Even if you’re not a dog lover, you can still appreciate the other offerings during the show. Each day you’ll be able to view the student art contest. Plus, lots of vendor booths will be open for shopping, including dog photography, jewelry, fine art, and toys. 

Portland dog friendly

Here’s a bit more about the competitions open to spectators: 

Conformation Show

This is what most people think of when they hear “dog show.”  And they’re right. Conformation is just the fancy, official name for dog show. This competition is all about how well each dog “conforms” to the ideal dog of a specific breed. Essentially, each dog is judged on breeding stock based on overall appearance and structure. As a result, mixed breeds and spayed and neutered dogs are not allowed to compete.  

Obedience Trials

Dogs and their owners will also compete in Obedience Trials. These trials showcase dogs who know how to behave well in lots of different situations — places like your home, the local coffee shop, out on the street, and at the dog park with other dogs. You’ll see dogs heel, do figure eights, heel without a leash, come when called, retrieve things, jump, sit for up to 3 minutes, and lie down obediently for up to 5 minutes. In the advanced trials you’ll watch dogs follow hand signals, discriminate between scents, and heel, stand, and stay away from the owner, and jump as directed while at a distance from their owner. Can you imagine Portland filled with these kind of dogs? 

Rally Trials

I think all dog owners dream of the day their puppy will sit quietly and walk well on a leash. Watch puppies all the way up to senior dogs as they follow their handlers lead through a series of challenges in the Rally Trials. Each rally trial includes 10-20 stations where a dog owner must instruct the dog to follow the exercise described at the station. Anywhere from turning 360º to changing paces during the course, jumping, and calling your dog to the front of you instead of in the heel position. Owners competing in the beginner rally trials keep their dogs on a leash and may verbally and physically reward their dog throughout the trial. The highest level of competition happens with the dog off-leash. Owners verbally encourage their dogs, but may not physically encourage.

Agility Trials

Agility Trials are the fasted growing dog sport in the United States, and for good reason. These competitions might be some of the most exciting to watch. You’ll watch dogs zoom across the field in a timed test — over jumps, through tunnels, between weave poles, and across beams. Dogs love the game, and most handlers love the greater bond that comes as they compete with their dog.  

Tickets are only $10 per person or $20 per family and can be purchased here. Take a bus or ride the Max to avoid the $7-8 parking fee at the Expo. 

Leave a Comment