Put your best paw forward

Pampered pooches of all shapes and sizes will parade at a Traralgon pet store for photo shoots this weekend.

In a bid to win Australia’s Cutest Dog competition, owners will check paws and fluff coats in preparation for the cameras.

“We want to see our local pooches working it for the camera and showcasing their best features for the judges, so a dog from Traralgon can go all the way to the top,” PETstock Traralgon manager Lysa Kewish said.

“This is a chance to celebrate the natural beauty of Australia’s dogs in their many varied forms.

“There is no winning formula, but if there’s one piece of advice I can give entrants, it’s to encourage your dog to showcase their personality – we want to see ‘puppy dog eyes’ in the photos.”

Nicole Calafiore and her fianc Jamie Power are looking forward to entering their border collies Tilly and Indy and believe they are in for a chance at the win.

“Most border collies look patchy around the face but Tilly has the perfect markings and Indy’s markings are pretty good too,” Ms Calafiore said.

Although Ms Calafiore has never entered Tilly or Indy into dog shows because of their “crazy” nature, she believed their appearance would have them in the running for the award.

“Border collies are a hyperactive breed of dog and mine have been in the terrible twos since they were born,” Ms Calafiore said.

“But I think that there will be some pretty good contenders.

“They’re like babies, it’s like how people enter their babies into competitions, everyone’s biased and think their dogs are the cutest dogs.”

The winner of the Traralgon store competition will receive a $250 PETstock gift card and progress to the state final where they’ll compete for a $1000 gift card and a spot in the national final.

National finalists will then be judged by an expert panel to award the winning pooch’s owner with a Renault Koleos, valued at $34,990, and bragging rights for years to come.

Community members can enter by visiting the store at 101 Princes Highway, Traralgon with their leashed dogs between 10am and 2pm on Saturday and Sunday.

For more information about Australia’s Cutest Dog competition, visit