The last day of July is the closing date for entries for all-breed shows in 12 locations across the U.S., including two shows in Hawaii.

The Danville, Greater Hickory and Carolina Kennel Clubs host the Carolina Cluster, five all-breed shows held at the Coliseum Complex, a nice big air-conditioned facility in Greensboro, N.C., Wednesday, August 14 through Sunday, August 18. My favorite thing about this cluster is that the clubs are offering “My Dog Can Do That!” As many of our readers know, MDCDT is where experienced agility people guide people and dogs that have never tried the sport through an agility course, to give them a chance to see what it’s all about. Carolina KC show chairman Carl Ashby reports that MDCDT will take place on both Saturday and Sunday of the cluster.

Families can try agility, with the help of experienced trainers, at “My Dog Can Do That” events like the one that will be held at the Carolina Cluster in Greensboro, N.C., in August. Photo by Robert Young/AKC.

MDCDT is open to all dogs, mixed breed or purebred, and during the event all participants are offered discounted enrollment in the AKC Canine Partners program, which allows mixed-breed and other dogs that otherwise wouldn’t be AKC registerable to “list” with AKC so they can compete in a variety of events. I worked at the MDCDT event last fall in Raleigh on Responsible Dog Ownership Day and thought it was just great that so many people really seemed to enjoy learning about agility with their dogs.

This cluster also offers the AKC Owner-Handler series, CGC testing, health clinics for heart and eyes, and a mobile clinic offering low-cost vaccinations and wellness checks sponsored by Pug Rescue of North Carolina. There will be bathing stations featuring Pure Paws products sponsored by About Our Dogs.

The middle of August seems like a perfect time for the Iced Tea Cluster, four all-breed shows hosted by the Muncie and Anderson Kennel Clubs, along with numerous specialties, at the Delaware County Fairgrounds in Muncie, Ind., beginning on Thursday, August 15. The clubs will serve complimentary coffee and donuts each morning and iced tea each afternoon for exhibitors. After Best in Show judging on Saturday, the clubs will hold a cookout for all active junior handlers and their parents, with prizes and gift cards for all the kids who attend.

Each afternoon during Group judging, the clubs will serve refreshments to go along with the iced tea – cookies on Thursday and Sunday, pizza on Friday and ice cream on Saturday. As an additional way to beat the summer heat, there will be ice water stations for people and dogs and cool down pools around the grounds for the pooches.

A drawing will be held every day for a $50 gasoline card. Members from both clubs will take their dogs for the cluster’s seventh annual Meet the Breeds on Saturday. There will be Best Bred-by-Exhibitor competition on Thursday and Best Puppy on Saturday, with $50 cash prizes for Best in Show each day. There will also be an eye clinic on Saturday. These two clubs are obviously working hard to provide an enjoyable four days for exhibitors.

The Reno Kennel Club, with back-to-back shows on August 17 and 18 at the Grand Sierra Resort in Reno, are doing two things in particular that are worth mentioning. On both Saturday and Sunday, the winner of Best Junior Handler in the Junior Showmanship competition will receive a $500 “scholarship certificate” offered by the club. These certificates can be used for several purposes: either to attend an approved post-secondary school, or to enter and travel to a National Specialty, Westminster or the AKC/Eukanuba show. As proven by the two juniors featured yesterday in Kayla Bertagnolli’s DFR, just qualifying for Westminster or AKC/Eukanuba doesn’t always mean that juniors’ families can afford for them to go. These certificates offered by the Reno KC are very generous, and I’m sure will be very much appreciated by the winning junior handlers.

Best Bred-by-Exhibitor competition is becoming more common at shows these days as clubs seek to recognize some of the sport’s dedicated participants. Reno KC will have Best BBE in Show competition on Sunday, but on Saturday there’s something that’s quite uncommon: Best Amateur-Owner-Handler in Show. The AOH class hasn’t taken off the way I think AKC officials thought it might, but I applaud the Reno KC for offering this competition to give some extra recognition to those in our sport who show purely at an amateur level. Maybe more clubs should consider offering something extra for the Amateur-Owner-Handler level.

The club will also offer microchipping during the weekend, and Cool-Bred Canine will be on site to offer reproductive services.

The St. Clairsville Ohio KC, with two shows at Belmont County Park in St. Clairsville on August 17 and 18, will show its appreciation for exhibitors with a 50/50 raffle as well as drawings for a new grooming table and a crate dolly. They’ll also have an armband drawing both days for one $50 and two $25 gas cards.

For spectators the club is hosting Meet the Breeds both days, and is offering a free gift for everyone who participates by taking their dogs to meet the public. Sometimes it just takes a little something extra to let people know you appreciate them!

This is just a sampling of the things going on at dog shows the third week of August. If your club has something special happening at its upcoming show, or if you went to a show that had an extra activity that you especially enjoyed, please leave a comment below, or contact me at and give me the details and I’d be happy to report on it.