03/02/2012 06:00 pm ET Updated Mar 04, 2012

Detroit Dog Show Draws Exotic Breeds, Thousands Of Human Fans To Cobo

Move over, Fido! Pure-bred dogs with names like "Casablanca's Thrilling Seduction" and "Grandcru Clos Erasmus" will be trotting, sniffing and having their tails inspected at the 108th and 109th Detroit Kennel Club Dog Shows in Cobo Center this weekend.

Detroit's dog show is one of just five benched shows around the country, and the only one in Michigan. Participating pooches often go on to compete at the Westminster Kennel Club show in New York, dog breeding's biggest event.

The dog that won Best in Show in Detroit last year, a Pekingese named Malachy, went on to take top honors at Wesminster last month.

Malachy, who has since retired, will be on hand in Detroit this weekend to greet fans and shake a few paws.

Kirsten Borgstrom, a spokeswoman for the event, said the Detroit Kennel Club expects 50,000 visitors over the course of the weekend.

"We see a lot of Metro Detroit folks, but also people from Grand Rapids, Lansing, Flint -- that surrounding 2 hour drive into Metro Detroit, and number of folks from outside of the state as well as Canada," she said.

At least one local dog, an Afghan Hound named Akiki Gahiji, has his sight set on the championship ring this year.

The dogs, their handlers and owners come in from around the country for the opportunity to win best in breed, best in group and best in show. The weekend will include two identical competitions -- one Saturday and one Sunday -- so each dog has double the chances of taking home a trophy.

"We get a lot of dogs that will compete on Saturday and then again on Sunday," Borgstrom said. "A dog may show great one day and not the next, really it depends on what type of mood the dog is in."

In addition to the formal competitions, Borgstrom said the weekend will include plenty of family-friendly events, like a show of non-stupid pet tricks from the Rock & Roll K9 Performance Team.

There will also be a rare breed exhibit -- "Not your everyday dog," Borgrstrom said. Be sure to spot one of the show's newest breeds, the "xoloitzcuintli," or Mexican Hairless Dog, competing in Detroit for the first time.

Check out photos from last year's Detroit show and a video of Malachy the Pekingese below: