Best In Show ~ Dog Themed Party

Best in Show Birthday Party

My daughter has yet to meet a dog without some redeemable quality.  Every dog regardless of pedigree, grooming, or personality is either the cutest, sweetest, or smartest dog on earth.  And if they’re not, well, it’s not their fault and they deserve an extra dose of love and affection.

Dog themed children's birthday party from

Case in point, when choosing a pet to be photographed with during Humane Society day camp, my daughter lovingly chose a large, gray pit bull with one eye.  As I looked at the photo of her with an arm draped around it’s neck and her face glowing, I both cringed at and admired her for her choice.  While I don’t share her passion for canines, every dog must have its day, and her 7th birthday had to be a day for dogs.

dog invitation

One of my kids’ favorite things to do when dreaming up birthday plans is to choose a color palette and this birthday girl was super specific about the shades she wanted.  A trip to the paint aisle to get color chips was helpful and carrying those cards in my purse allowed me to color match to her specific palette whenever I was out shopping.  I love how color can unify a theme and make even a few, simple decorations pop.

party decor

In order to create a more feminine dog party, I brought in dog show elements using paper medallions and frilly prize ribbons (both vintage and diy ones) in the décor.

front door

paper fan backdrop

white ribbon

The table settings featured miniature dog house candy boxes, and the birthday girl ate from her own fancy dog dish.

place setting

dog dish

No dog party would be complete without the guests of honor (which in our case are stuffed) decked out in party hats.  As a surprise for the big day, I designed fancy new kennels for them out of empty Amazon boxes.

party dogs

dog house

dog balloons

Another thing my kids are really specific about is their cake.  This year my daughter insisted on a 4-layer vanilla cake, with creamsicle frosting between the layers and I loved how the citrus-y flavor complemented the bright orange colors of her party.  To make the creamsicle frosting I used our family’s favorite buttercream recipe and added vanilla bean paste, a few tablespoons of orange juice concentrate and a few teaspoons of orange zest, adjusting the flavors until she gave her final approval.

dog cake

sweet treats

large dog bone cookies


After sweets, we passed out dog noses and the kids had a blast playing a version of Simon says (dog trainer says) and competing in relay races by pushing balls around with their snouts and balancing tennis balls on Frisbees.  The noses were such a hit that some wore them for the rest of the party, sometimes resting them on the tops of their heads when they were concentrating like during the draw-a-dog art lesson.  It was totally hilarious.

dog noses

dog artists

dog nose drawing

The favorite activity might very well have been when we gave them all a chance to eat like dogs.  Bowls of cocoa puffs were devoured by kids on hands and knees as they were given permission to forgo all mealtime manners and lap up their food and slurp up their drink.

dog food

In order to truly celebrate my daughter’s love of dogs, we made special doggie bags for each party guest to give to their favorite friend, family or neighborhood pet.  They braided tug toys and filled their bags with peanut butter & pumpkin dog treats, tennis balls, and mini bones.

doggie bag

doggie treats

craft table


After a round of dog Mad Libs, we watched the 1950s version of Shaggy Dog and, as each guest left, they were given a dog pop and a hand selected dog of their own to take home.

dog pops

dog favors

The dog day was over but fortunately for us, the library hosted a reading event with therapy dogs the very next day, so we could keep the love going.  My daughter’s passion for dogs was totally affirmed and she didn’t ask for a dog all weekend which made this celebration a total success, in my opinion.  Now if only I could find a way to stop my husband from sending me dog listings on craigslist!  ;)

puppy love

Julie Signature

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  1. This is such an adorable and fun idea for a birthday party. Love all of the sweet and creative details!!!
    Lauren recently posted..A New Wreath To Welcome Spring!My Profile

  2. Patty Lucas says:

    God bless your daughter for posing with a pit bull. I have two pit bulls who own me and you would not believe the discrimination that is placed on these dogs. My red nose pit is 85 pounds who thinks she is a lap dog and is absolutely terrified of our cat. I won’t give you the statistics regarding pit bulls and how many are put down each and every day because they are “bad”. Please give your daughter a kiss and hug from me and thank her for all the love she shares with dogs. And for you, please don’t shop – adopt.

  3. Such a cute party! Where did you find the white trophy cups that are holding the dog pops and also the dog house candy boxes?

  4. Oh I just love the details of this amazing party. my lily loves all her animals and this could be perfect for her upcoming birthday.
    laura@top this top that recently posted..Weekly Wows….Summer Break Kick OffMy Profile

  5. This has got to be one of the cutest themed birthday party I have seen….magnificent!!!!…..Happy Memorial Day ladies!!!….Incredible job Julie!
    Shirley@Housepitality Designs recently posted..Reflections of Memorial Day {Honor Flight}My Profile

  6. This is incredible. What an effort. The only thing i see wrong with it is that her future husband will never be able to celebrate her birthday right! Ha. Will likely be in the doghouse for i.t too ;-)

  7. Darling theme that every kid would be sure to like and have fun with!

  8. Your daughter has a gift of caring for others already at a young age. A tribute to her patents. Love the theme carries this attribute on. But the cake & cookies are darling. Where did you get the doggie pops in the trophy cups? ?
    I think these would be a cute gift.
    Happy Birthday to a wonderful young lady..
    Barbara Ann / shop / barbaraannscreations
    Barbara Ann recently posted..Vintage Cottage ChicFloral China Platter Gold Rim Embossed Design ShabbyChic Style Mauve Roses by BarbaraAnnsCreationsMy Profile

  9. Oh. My. Gosh! What an ADORABLE idea!! Everything is PERFECTION!!!
    Jenn @ My Fabuless Life recently posted..SUMMER PARTY FAVORS (FREE PRINTABLE)My Profile

  10. I just want to let you know my birthday is in January and I like Barbie, Hello Kitty and all the evil queens of Disney. Pick any theme and use any colors you like, I’m sure it’ll be fabulous. You’ll need a 4 and a 6 for my cake ;)

    This was too, too cute!!!
    Shannon @ Fox Hollow Cottage recently posted..How To Make a Garden Trellis on GlassMy Profile

  11. Where did you get those adorable stuffed animals?

  12. Liz Archie says:

    So many great ideas! It looks like the kids had a lot of fun!
    Where did you find the stuffed animal dogs used for the favors?


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