Canfield dog show brings flood of Valley visitors

Canfield, Ohio dog show

CANFIELD, Ohio (WYTV) – The Valley’s most prestigious dog show is back at the Canfield Fairgrounds this weekend.

It’s the 24th annual Steel Valley Cluster Dog Show and it brings in big bucks for the Valley.

“We have people staying in the hotels. We have people eating in our restaurants, filling their cars with gas, shopping in our stores. So there is a huge economic impact,” Linda Macala of the Mahoning County Convention and Visitors Bureau said.

The Steel Valley Cluster Dog Show brings in thousands of people each year to the Canfield Fairgrounds. On Thursday, organizers expected 15,000 visitors, with another 22,000 Saturday and Sunday, from the U.S., Canada and Mexico.

The event features hundreds of pure-bred dogs in 160 categories.

Ashley Watkins from Summerville, Ga., stays at the Red Roof Inn while she’s in town because it is pet-friendly.

“I tend to stay in hotels because I carry a small amount of dogs. So, the dogs get to come and relax in the hotel at the end of the day,” Watkins said.

Macala said the dog show continues to grow and that means more money for the Valley from out-of-town guests.

“The state office of tourism does give some general guidelines of a little over $100 a day for a day visitor to the area and if they are staying overnight, a little over $300 a day per visitor,” she said.

New at this year’s show is the doggy diving event. Dock diving is the newest competition, recently sanctioned by the American Kennel Club.

Plenty of spectators watched Thursday as the dogs jumped for distance in the pool. The competition is the talk of the dog show as owners couldn’t wait to bring their pups to the water.

“After they are done showing and looking pretty in the confirmation ring, the owners and the dogs can come out here and have some fun for the rest of the day,” Debra Markwardt of North America Diving Dogs said.

Next to the Canfield Fair, the event is the biggest for the fairgrounds and one of the top five largest outdoor dog shows in the U.S. Four hundred motor homes are expected to come to the event, which costs $5 per car for spectators.

Seven different groups will have best-of-breeds named at the show: Sporty, working, toy, non-sporty, hound, terrier and herding. Best in show and reserve best in show dogs will be named each day.

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