Miamisburg’s Canine Carnival goes off the chain

By Matt Clevenger

Photo: Tony Hoard of the K-9 Crew and Trick Dog Show at Canine Carnival; photo: Anna Hayslett

Miamisburg’s Riverfront Park is going to the dogs as the 11th-annual Canine Carnival offers dog owners and their furry friends a chance to cut loose and get off the leash.

The carnival features a wide variety of local businesses and organizations specializing in all things canine-related, ranging from veterinary services and nutrition to grooming, training, pet photos, and supplies. Other activities will include wiener dog races, a timed obstacle course, an off-the-leash play zone and contests in categories like Best Howler, Best Groomed, Best Costume, Silliest Pet Tricks, and Best Dog/Owner Look-Alike.

Activities will kick off at 10 a.m. with the popular 5K-9 Run, Walk and Wag, an annual event that leads participants and their dogs along the scenic Great Miami River Recreation Trail. Proceeds from the 5K will benefit the Humane Society of Greater Dayton, and participants can register onsite at 9 a.m., or online at

“We typically get anywhere from 150-200 people that participate,” says Sheila Russell, recreation programmer for the city of Miamisburg. “It’s a run or walk; we have both divisions.

“It’s flat, so it’s not too tiresome for the dogs,” she says of the route. “It’s very scenic because you’re right there along the Great Miami River. Dogs are optional, so if you just want to run it yourself, you certainly can. We will have water stations along the course for both humans and their dogs; we’ll have large kiddie pools out there filled with water to keep them hydrated.”

Contests will run throughout the day, and dog races are scheduled to start at 12:45 p.m., with three separate categories for wiener dogs, small dogs (under 10 pounds), and bassett hounds. “If you have a dachshund, you can register for the wiener dog race,” Russell says.

“Dogs will be taken off their leash for the races,” Russell says. “We are in a fenced-in area. They can bring two people in with them, so one would be at the starting line and one will be at the finish.”

“The off-the-leash play zone is an area in the park that is fenced off,” she continues. “There is an entrance and exit, and people can go in just like a dog park. The dog can run around and play, socialize with other dogs, and the owners can socialize with other adults.

“There’s also an agility obstacle course that is free,” she says. “You can do it as many times as you want. It is in a fenced in area, so you can take your dog off the leash and go through each of the obstacles.

“We will have someone there who will time the dog,” she says. “It’s fun to see if your dog improves each time you do it. They get to go through a tunnel; they get to go in and out and around some obstacles. Every year, it’s a little bit different.”

For humans, food vendors will also be onsite at the carnival. “We will also have many vendors specializing in canine services, everything from designer doggie wear to gourmet dog treats and things to camouflage the scent of dog in your house.”

The carnival will also feature organizations with dogs that are currently available for adoption. “It’s not only for those who love dogs,” Russell says. “If you are looking to adopt a new family member, we will have various agencies onsite that will have dogs available for adoption you can take a look at. They can’t take the dogs home with them, but they can start the necessary paperwork.”

For those bringing their own furry companions to the carnival, organizers ask that all dogs are at least six-months-old, wear current ID tags, and are up to date on all shots. All dog handlers must be at least 13-years-old and control their dogs at all times. Female dogs in season and dogs needing muzzles are not permitted. Owners will be responsible for cleaning up after their own pets.

Sponsors for the Canine Carnival include the city of Miamisburg, Twin Maples Veterinary Hospital, PetPeople, and Paws and Remember. Anytime Fitness is also a sponsor for the 5K-9 Run, Walk and Wag.

“This is a great annual event to celebrate your dog,” Russell says. “This is the 11th year for the Canine Carnival, and we have been at Riverfront Park for the last five years. We have some people who have never missed it.”

The Canine Carnival runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 18 at Riverfront Park, 3 North Miami Ave. in Miamisburg. Admission is free. For more information, please visit


Reach DCP freelance writer Matt Clevenger at

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Reach DCP freelance writer Matt Clevenger at

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