HAVANA (AP) -- The Cuban capital has played host to political summits and art festivals, ballet tributes and international baseball competitions. Now dog lovers are getting their chance to take center stage.
Hundreds of people from all over Cuba and several other countries came to a scruffy field near Revolution Plaza this past week to preen and fuss over the shih tzus, beagles, schnauzers and cocker spaniels that are the annual Fall Canine Expo's star attractions. There were even about a dozen bichon habaneros, a mid-sized dog bred on the island since the 17th century.
As dog lovers talked shop, the merely curious strolled the field, checking out the more than 50 breeds on display while carefully dodging the prodigious output of so many dogs.
The four-day competition, which ended Sunday, included competitions in several breeding categories, and judges were flown in from Nicaragua, Colombia and Mexico. [15 photos total]

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Chihuahua dogs in costume, from left, Petite, Legrand and Lentille, sit on the hood of a classic American car at the Fall Canine Expo in Havana, Cuba on Nov. 25, 2012. Hundreds of people from all over Cuba and several other countries came for the four-day competition to show off their shih tzus, beagles, schnauzers and cocker spaniels that are the annual Fall Canine Expo's star attractions. (AP / Ramon Espinosa) #
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A man holds two chihuahua dogs, one dressed in a U.S. flag, at the Fall Canine Expo in Havana, Cuba on Nov. 25, 2012. (AP / Ramon Espinosa) #
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An Afghan hound named Abel waits with his owner before competing at the Fall Canine Expo in Havana, Cuba on Nov. 23, 2012. (AP / Ramon Espinosa) #
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People sit on a car seat with their galgos dogs during the Fall Canine Expo in Havana, Cuba on Nov. 22, 2012. (AP / Ramon Espinosa) #
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A dalmatian sits in a car during the Fall Canine Expo in Havana, Cuba on Nov. 22, 2012. (AP / Ramon Espinosa) #
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An Afghan dog named Samantha wears a decorative hood that protects her ears from getting dirty before competing at the Fall Canine Expo in Havana, Cuba on Nov. 22, 2012. (AP / Ramon Espinosa) #
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A dog looks up at a piece of food offered by its owner before competing in the Fall Canine Expo in Havana, Cuba on Nov. 25, 2012. (AP / Ramon Espinosa) #
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A pekingese dog named Belle holds still while being combed at the Fall Canine Expo in Havana, Cuba on Nov. 25, 2012. (AP / Ramon Espinosa) #
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Three chihuahua dogs peer out the car window as they arrive to be shown off at the Fall Canine Expo in Havana, Cuba on Nov. 25, 2012. (AP / Ramon Espinosa) #
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A man carries his Afghan hound named Abel to keep him from getting dirty before showing him at the Fall Canine Expo in Havana, Cuba on Nov. 23, 2012. (AP / Ramon Espinosa) #
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Dogs on leashes stand by their owners waiting to show them off at the Fall Canine Expo in Havana, Cuba on Nov. 23, 2012. (AP / Ramon Espinosa) #
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A bichon habanero dog named April Ferher peers from a car window before competing in the Fall Canine Expo in Havana, Cuba on Nov. 23, 2012. (AP / Ramon Espinosa) #
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Left: A chihuahua named Pulgar wears a costume at the Fall Canine Expo in Havana, Cuba on Nov. 25, 2012. Right: A man watches the competition with his German shepherd at the Fall Canine Expo in Havana, Cuba on Nov. 23, 2012. (AP / Ramon Espinosa) #
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A man holds his chihuahua dog wearing a costume at the Fall Canine Expo in Havana, Cuba on Nov. 25, 2012. (AP / Ramon Espinosa) #
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The Aguiar family shows off their chow chow dog named Paco who won a prize in the puppy category at the Fall Canine Expo in Havana, Cuba on Nov. 25, 2012. (AP / Ramon Espinosa) #

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