The Alberta Kennel Club held its annual Summer Classic dog show over the August long weekend at Spruce Meadows. The event showcases over 2,500 dogs of all shapes, sizes and breeds. An estimated 2,500 people showed up to support dog sport, dog education and dog fancy. The Calgary Journal attended the show to find some unique dog breeds and share their elegance in a brief photo essay.

AfghanFabio is an Afghan hound. Modern-day Afghans were initially brought to Britain in the 1920s as gifts from King Amanullah of the Afghan Royal Family. Afghans make great hunting dogs or guard dogs. Photo: Peter Brand

bearded colliePizzazz is a Bearded Collie. As folklore has it, in the 1500s, a Polish merchant traded sheep for grain, and with it, he left Polish Lowland Sheepdogs to herd the sheep. The Scotsman was so impressed with the herding abilities of the Sheepdogs, he traded several sheep for dogs and bred them with local dogs to create the Bearded ColliePhoto: Peter Brand 

borzoiPilot is a Borzoi. The Borzoi is a Russian Wolfhound breed that is a cross between an Arabian Greyhound and other sighthound dogs such as Tazi, Hortaya, Stepnaya, Krimskaya and Hort. Russian Tsars typically used Borzois as wolf-hunting dogs before the Revolution in 1917. Photo:  Peter Brand

ibizan houndMagic is an Ibizan Hound. Mainly found on the island of Ibiza in Spain, these dogs are used for hunting rabbits and other small rodents. Farmers who own this breed typically have a pack of females with only one or two males because females are considered to be the better hunters. Photo: Peter Brand

irish wolf houndFalcon is an Irish Wolfhound. This breed is thought to be one of the oldest in the United Kingdom, dating back to 6th Century Ireland. Like the Borzoi, Irish Wolfhounds were also used for hunting wolves and as a general guard dog. The American Kennel Club considers the Irish Wolfhound to be the tallest of all dog breeds. Photo: Peter Brand

Standard poodleQuinn is a Standard Poodle. Despite the connection to being a French dog, the British, American and Canadian Kennel Clubs recognize the breed originating from Germany. Initially duck hunting dogs, the name Poodle comes from the German word Pudel, meaning “to splash into the water.” Photo: Peter Brand

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