The animals are skinned, filleted and slow-roasted like Peking Duck and their meat – known as 'fragrant meat' – is highly prized.
The festival in Yulin, in the Guangdong province, celebrates the area's reputation for producing the world's tastiest dog meat
One of the festival organisesr Lu Hin said: “It is just like other meat. Smaller animals tend to be more delicate and sweeter while very big dogs have a strong, muscular taste.
“We proved that when we started the festival a few years ago and everybody accepts that the best dog meat dishes come from Yulin.
“That was why we created the festival and the number of visitors we get is a testimony to the fact that everybody recognises how good the dog meat is from the region.”
Preserved dog meat is a common dish in this part of China. Animals are bred for up to four months on local farms before being slaughtered for market.
There are uncorroborated storied of the dogs being beaten to death to release blood into the meat to tenderise it.