For full show information, visit the Cluster Website:
Trophies and Rosettes
Like many shows, we are always looking for people and/or businesses to sponsor rosettes, prizes and trophies. If you would like to sponsor one of these, please contact the Trophy chair, Dawn DeMauex.
The Public Is Welcome to Attend Our Dog Shows
The dog shows are free to the public each day. It's a wonderful and inexpensive way to entertain the whole family.
The shows are held each day, Thursday through Sunday, July 28 through 31, 2016. Each day is a separate show, so you can attend any day and see a complete show.
These shows are among the largest on the east coast with an average entry of about 2,000 dogs each day. The dogs hail from over 40 states from California to New England, along with a scattering of dogs from foreign countries. They include popular breeds, such as the Golden Retriever with an entry of nearly 100 dogs, to the Xoloitzcuintli, the Mexican National Breed. With over 150 breeds represented, there will many breeds that you are familiar with, but many more that you have probably never heard of nor seen.
There are 3 events that are fun to watch. The "Conformation" show is about how the dog looks, the "Obedience" is about how the dog performs, and the "Junior Showmanship" is for children from 8 to 17 who compete to demonstrate their dog-handling skills.
How to Watch the Show
Breeds are judged at different times in different rings every day. To get the most from the show it's best to "know before you go." If you are interested in certain breeds, you should check the schedule for the day you plan to attend. The complete judging program will tell you how many of that breed are competing and at what time and in which ring.
If you are interested in seeing the most breeds in the shortest time, it's best to attend the group judging, where you will see the Best-of-Breed winner of each breed in that group. Judging of a group takes about 20 minutes, seeing all the breeds will take a little over 2 hours. The schedule will also show you when group judging begins and the order of group judging.
Immediately following group judging will be Best-In-Show judging.
How a Dog Show Works
Each breed has a written standard that describes exactly how the dog should look and behave. It goes into great detail as to how the dog looks. The judge evaluates how closely the dog "conforms" to the standard, hence the name "Conformation."
Each breed is judged separately. There are several classes for each sex. Males are judged first. After all the classes are judged the 1st place winners of all the classes are compete against each other. The judge's selection for the best male is awarded the Winners ribbon and receives championship points.
After the males are shown, the females compete in exactly the same procedure.
Following the female judging, the champions plus the male and female that won championship points compete for Best-Of-Breed. Later in the day, the Best-Of-Breed winner competes against the other Best-Of-Breed winners in his group for Best-In-Group. There are seven groups, sporting, hound, working, terrier, toy, non-sporting, and herding.
The Best-in-Group dog moves up to compete for the ultimate prize ... Best-In-Show.
Obedience dogs are trained to perform specific exercises in a precise manner. There are several levels of obedience from basic exercises to advanced exercises. Dogs are scored by the judge on how well they perform the exercises.
There is also a form of obedience called "Rally." It is not as precise as obedience and is performed on a predefined pattern of exercises.
Dog in Obedience are not judged on their appearance, only on their performance. Competitors do not have to be AKC pure bred dogs to compete in obedience.
Junior Showmanship competition is to encourage children to learn how to handle show dogs. It provides an opportunity for the kids to compete against each other to see how well they are progressing. The classes are divided by age of the child. They may handle any AKC pure bred dog.
Suggestions when attending the show
- Do not bring your dog to the show. Only dogs that are entered for competition are allowed.
- Baby strollers are not allowed on the floor of the show. You can check your stroller at the club desk. This is for the safety of the children and small dogs.
- Dogs are not for sale at the show, but you can visit with breeders to find out where you might buy a puppy of that breed and to learn some puppy raising practices to ensure a good pet.
- When approaching an exhibitor at ringside, be sure not to disturb them if they are preparing to go into the ring soon. They are concentrating on the presentation of their dog to the judge and shouldn't be distracted by long conversations. It's best just to ask if you can speak with an exhibitor. Most are happy to talk to you after the competition.
- Please ask before petting a dog.
- Be sure to instruct your children to respect the dogs and ask for permission to pet them.