Dog Show. Archidona. May. Unique Festival
This festival has been declared to be of Tourist Interest by the Provincial Council of Málaga.
Please check with the local Town Hall or Municipal Tourism Office for the festival date before planning any sightseeing activities.
Archidona lies on the border with the province of Granada. It is one of those charming places where you can stroll among stately homes from past centuries.
A walk through the streets of Archidona, which has been declared a Historic-Artistic site, feels like a journey back to the 18th century (the town's golden age). Numerous monuments are to be found in this municipality. Without a doubt, the most outstanding icon is the Plaza Ochavada square, which was built more than 200 years ago and is considered an urban showpiece of the Andalusian civil Baroque from the 18th century.
Visiting this historic site involves not only visiting its many spectacular buildings but also attending some of the popular events held in town. Specifically, the Feria del Perro (Dog Fair) is a much-awaited event by animal lovers, which takes place every spring.
The origin of this encounter stems from the retaking of a traditional livestock fair that had been held in the locality since the beginning of the 20th century, and which was lost due to the mechanisation and progress in the countryside. Today, it is a remarkable national event and one of the most prestigious exhibitions relating to the world of dogs and hunting on the Iberian Peninsula—it has become very important for Spanish breeds, especially for the Andalusian Podenco.
Thousands of people come from all over Spain to take part in the festival's programme: activities for children and teenagers, canine training workshops, kids contests, buying and selling opportunities, dog parades through the village streets, training exhibitions (police, fire and shepherd dogs), competitions, and monographic exhibitions featuring the official C.A.C. Diploma (Beauty Certificate), as well as the R.C.I. Certificate (willingness to work, ability to trace, obedience and defence) for service dogs.
As for the cultural programme, it includes conferences, photo contests, exhibitions, and the long-awaited “Luis Barahona de Soto” show dog competition for British and continental breeds. Each year, new activities are incorporated.
Over 36,000 visitors and around 5,000 dogs attend this annual celebration of friendship between dog and human.
Every year, Archidona plays host to a dog show. Held in the first week of June, it has been declared a “Tourist Event of National Interest” and is attended by all manner of dog lovers, from hunters looking for hunting dogs to animal lovers searching for a pet.
The most attractive dogs take part in a canine beauty contest, while others run races or become police dogs for the day, demonstrating how to catch a criminal, play ball games or participate in other activities.
Thousands of people come from all over Spain, mostly with the intention of buying or selling animals, so that the show is also a canine version of a cattle fair, with prices ranging from 60 Euros to 600 or more. A variety of breeds can be found from countries such as Britain, Germany, Italy etc.
The show is considered so important that the Andalusian Hunting Federation itself has its headquarters in Archidona, playing an extremely active role in this event, most of whose transactions involve hunting dogs.