Competitors from the Wollongong and District Kennel Club annual dog show at Shamrocks in Woonona

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Dogs shows are usually quite formal affairs with owners dressed in suits to accompany their fury companions. Not so at Australia’s favourite dog show of 2018 (as voted by competitors) in Woonona, with a beach theme for the Wollongong and District Kennel Club annual event. Judging, however, still followed a strict format with each pedigree dog marked on how well they presented in all characteristics of their breed – not just how pretty they were. Read More: Could steel city Port Kembla be the next Bondi? Around 500 pampered poochies of all shapes and sizes turned out to Shamrock Park on Saturday, with some coming from interstate. Watson, a white male standard poodle, traveled from Queensland to be judged in the non-sporting group (though technically he is a “gun dog” or retriever). His owner Lorraine Boyd explained the breed was traditionally a hunting dog, originating from the Germany/Russian border. While the fluffy extravagant cuts you often see, she said, were used to keep their muscles and joints warm in the cold. “It’s to protect their vital organs so they don’t cease up when they’re retrieving in the icy, cold lakes and things,” Ms Boyd said. Organisers welcomed many spectators to the show as one of their main aims is to promote responsible dog ownership. The dog show continues on Sunday. Read More: The Illawarra has a movement for free food sharing

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