KARACHI: There was barking, whining, whimpering, howling, huffing, growling, yipping and yelping, all coming from one direction, the outer area close to the main gates of the Karachi Expo Centre on Sunday where the Dawn All Breed Dog Show organised in collaboration with the Pakistan Kennel Club was under way.
The competition was divided into five groups such as ‘German Shepherd’, ‘Working Dogs’, ‘Hunting Dogs’, ‘Companion and Toy Dogs’, etc. Some of the breeds taking part included German Shepherd, of course, with Great Dane, Boxer, Rothweiler, Siberian Husky, Yorkshire Terrier, Labrador (black, yellow and chocolate) and Pug.
Two-month-old male boxer Tuffy was walked through by his young owner, 11-year-old Zahoor Fatima, who had also dragged her school friend Alishba Kamal to the dog show for moral support.
‘Pit bulls may not show any human aggression, but they do show animal aggression’
Meanwhile, although Zahoor’s father was also present, Tuffy’s parents couldn’t take part because his mother was slightly weak from feeding her puppies and his father was recovering from a skin infection which robbed shine from his coat. Tuffy, meanwhile, was just expected to walk with Zahoor, which he didn’t seem to have a problem doing as long as she treated him with his favourite biscuit later.
Atif Iqbal had entered about five dogs, three of whom were also puppies. He introduced each one who seemed to be on their best behaviour. One of the blue-eyes husky pups was named Blue because of the colour of his eyes. His sister was Elsa after the Walt Disney character. The third little one was called Alpha. And with them were a pair of cute Shih Tzu dogs, who were so small that they also could have been mistaken as puppies but their owner, Atif Iqbal, said that they were grown up dogs, about one-and-a-half years of age. “They are just a small sized breed, also known as Chrysanthemum Dog,” he said.
Atif also shared a few pictures from last year’s dog show of the female in the pair, whom he had named Lewis for some reason, “Lewis had won in the puppy category last year,” he said. The picture showed his own little girl Shiza proudly carrying the little dog. “My daughter has trained the dogs. She is at tuitions right now but will be joining me here in a bit to handle the dogs,” he added.
Ring Steward Usama Malik had 10 entries himself, eight for his pit bulls and two for his rare Dogo Argentino. “Though dogs can be trained easily by offering them rewards such as little treats like biscuits, dog shows can be a tricky affair because dogs too can have mood swings,” he said. “Pit bulls may not show any human aggression, but they do show animal aggression. And Dogo Argentina is itself an aggressive breed. They can really become mean if they want to, which can be a challenge at a dog show with so many other dogs around,” he said and laughed.
Syed Imtiaz Hussain Shah, chairman of the Pakistan Kennel Club and the Pakistan German Shepherd Dog Club, said the interest in dogs had increased manifold over the years in Pakistan. “Everyone whose dog participates in the show justifiably expects to win. However, we all must keep in mind that it is the judge’s opinion. Besides winning and losing is part of the game,” he said.
Judge Elena Sosnovskaya, a certified canine judge of International Kennel Union, had flown in from her native Crimea specially for the event. And all the dogs and their keepers and owners tried their best to impress the lady, who only spoke Crimean, unfortunately.
Dawn also tried to speak to some of the four-legged contestants of the show but ran into a slight, only slight, communication problem there.
Published in Dawn, February 4th, 2019