Breeder Álvaro Escalante with four of his podencos Alba Tenza
Archidona dog show attracts breeders from all over Spain

Archidona dog show attracts breeders from all over Spain

The town in the north of Malaga province held its 31st Feria del Perro last weekend, with around 400 dogs of 70 breeds

Alba Tenza

Tuesday, 7 May 2024, 11:55


A long row of stalls selling local products, cheeses, honey or even handmade decorative accessories attracted visitors' attention on the fairground in Archidona last weekend. Early in the morning the smell of freshly brewed coffee and toasted 'molletes' mixed with the occasional canine scent. The barking from different parts of the site in this town in the north of Malaga province also caught the attention of visitors attending this gathering of breeders from all over Spain with their faithful four-legged companions.

"I learned to walk at the same time as I learned to be around podencos and look after them," young Álvaro Escalante told SUR. He travelled from Seville to attend the event, an important date on the calendar for hunters, dog lovers and the general public. In fact the Archidona Feria del Perro dog fair, now in its 31st year, has been declared a festivity of "national tourist interest" by Andalucía, as well as being one of "singularidad turística" (unique tourist interest) on a provincial level.

Hundreds of dogs

More than 400 dogs of 70 different breeds were present at this event during the weekend, where breeders and hunters shared their passion in three different areas, one for show, one for competition and one for demonstration. If there is something in common among all of them, it is that dog breeding remains a way of life for them.

"In my house we have a roof terrace for the more than thirty dogs we have bred, as well as land with kennels," said Escalante, who came with six of his podenco breed dogs; of them he brought one to compete and the other five to obtain the RRC, that is, the breed recognition to be able to participate in shows and officially register their new litters.

José Manuel Salmoral, who has been breeding dogs since 1990, was in the breeder's section of the show. He was competing in the show with seven of his dogs. He officially breeds Brittany spaniels at Bretones de Trassiera, although at home he has more than fifty others of different breeds such as border collies, Andalusian Ratoneros and the odd podenco.

"The other day my son showed up with a puppy he found in the rubbish and we took it into our big dog family," said the breeder, who added that he has a plot of more than 4,000 square metres for his dogs to run around every day, although they then sleep in their respective kennels.

In the competition ring there was a presentation of Ratonero Bodegueros, with explanations of the breed, morphology and functionality. There was also a Podenco Andaluz show, assessed by judge Manuel Ramírez, who described this breed as "comfortable due to its short hair". He highlighted the need to make the breed better known internationally and that children should be encouraged to take part as they are the future of cynophilia - the word the breeders use to define the love of dogs or dog breeds in general.

On the other side of the competition area, there was an exhibition of show dog training by Adiestramiento Canino Scan, where the four-legged friends showed the public their ability to obey and understand the handler. "The most important thing is to correct them, in training we have to work with positive reinforcement, but with 20% negative so that the dog learns," explained one of the handlers to the public while Zaida and Tobi, two labradors, obey each of his orders, from turning around to running after their prey.

In the audience, María Garrido and her little toy poodle Lerele were watching the show. "We have twelve dogs, including Spanish mastiffs and toy poodles, some of which are about to become national champions," said the local woman, who has been breeding these dogs for six years.

Local councillor Manuel Almohalla, who attended the event with the mayor, Pablo Garrido, is proud of the show, as, after 31 years, it has become an event of national importance.

"It is a unique event, recognised both by the Diputación and at regional level by the Junta de Andalucía," he said, adding that a passion for the canine world is passed on even among the youngest members of the family.

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