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Canine carnival a must-see for all dog lovers

by Eriko Arita

One of the biggest festivals for dogs in Japan will be held at Seibu Dome in Tokorozawa, Saitama Prefecture, on Nov. 14-15.

Super Dogs Carnival 2009 will feature events involving dogs, dog owners and dog lovers. Last year the annual fair attracted 70,000 people and 8,000 dogs.

The main event is the final of the 11th annual Extreme Championship. In this contest, dogs will compete for prizes in six athletic categories. In a high-speed category, dogs will see how fast they can reach a goal after clearing hurdles.

In another category, the high jump, dogs will try to leap over a bar that is set 60 cm high. The bar will be raised higher gradually. The competitors are allowed an approach run of 20 meters.

Some 2,000 dogs were accepted into the nationwide competition and 240 winners of local preliminaries will fight to be Japan’s top athletic dog.

There will also be performances by dogs that have various skills, such as dancing with elementary school students and catching flying disks. This canine talent show will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. on both days.

In “wan wan shopping mall,” about 100 shops will sell goods related to dogs. Snacks, toys, leads, books and clothes for dogs are among the products available.

For those who have troubles in disciplining dogs, “dog-life” counselors will be on hand to share their wisdom. The counselors can also advise on how to keep dogs healthy.

In the fureai (petting zoo) zone, 100 dogs will welcome visitors and children will be allowed to pet them.

Super Dogs Carnival 2009 takes place at Seibu Dome in Tokorozawa, Saitama Prefecture. Admission costs ¥1,700 (¥1,200 in advance) for adults and high school students; ¥1,000 (¥600 in advance) for elementary and junior high school students; and admission is free for younger children and dogs. The festival is from 9 a.m. till 5:30 p.m. on both days. For more information, call (03) 5733-7261, or visit www.super-dogs.net