Compared to Memorial Day and Labor Day, the Fourth of July inspires many fewer choices where exhibitors can spend the holiday at a dog show. However, some great shows and clusters are scheduled for that week.

The Independence Cluster, four shows at the Howard County Fairgrounds in West Friendship, Md., Thursday, July 4, though Sunday, July 7, has made an announcement that will no doubt bring many sighs of relief. The cluster’s main hall, where this year all judging and grooming will be located, is now air-conditioned! This is great news for everyone.

The Howard County Fairgrounds venue where the Independence Cluster will be held in Maryland in July now offers a fully air-conditioned building for both judging and grooming.

The four clubs that make up this cluster are the Catoctin, Northeastern Maryland, Upper Marlboro and National Capital Kennel Clubs.

Fanciers will be able to offer their support for canine health research on Sunday by visiting the booth for the Canine Genome Project in the Ostrander Laboratory at the National Human Genome Research Institute, sponsored by National Capital KC. Blood samples will be drawn for research into four topics: genetics of cancer and other disease susceptibility; genetics of breed morphology (for which samples are “needed from breeds of all shapes and sizes”); genetics of brachycephalic airway syndrome; and genetics of breed variation, origins and history. All samples will be drawn on site by a National Institutes of Health veterinarian or vet tech. You can find out more about the Canine Genome Project at the Ostrander Lab here.

National Capital also offers CGC testing and Best Puppy in Show competition, and Northeastern Maryland KC will have free coffee and donuts the morning of its show.

The Ann Arbor Kennel Club will hold back-to-back shows at the Monroe County Fairgrounds in Monroe, Mich., Saturday and Sunday, July 6 and 7, following the Maize and Blue Combined Specialties on Friday, which will include shows hosted by the Michigan Sporting Dog Association, Michigan Hound, Michigan Boxer Club, Doberman Pinscher Club of Michigan and Wolverine Great Dane Club.

On Saturday and Sunday. Ann Arbor KC will have free coffee and muffins in the morning, as well as popcorn and lemonade during Group judging. As these are outdoor shows, bottled water will also be available all day at the “exhibitor cooling tent.” Ann Arbor will join the Raisin River Rhodesian Ridgeback Club in sponsoring a CAT (coursing ability test) for all breeds and mixed breeds on both Saturday and Sunday at the fairgrounds.

The all-breed shows will include six specialty shows; supported entries in 26 breeds; eye, heart and wellness clinics; 4-to-6 Month Puppy competition; and the AKC Owner-Handler series. Both days also include obedience and rally trials.

The Yankee Classic begins on Wednesday, July 3, at the Eastern States Expo Grounds in West Springfield, Mass., and runs through Sunday. The cluster is made up of five all-breed shows and obedience and rally trials hosted by the Naugatuck Valley, Holyoke, Kenilworth and Farmington Valley Kennel Clubs.

A free AKC Registered Handler-sponsored junior handling clinic will be held, co-sponsored by Purina and Farmington Valley. In addition there will be competition for the AKC Owner-Handler series, 4-to-6 Month Puppy, Best Bred-by-Exhibitor and Best Puppy in Show during the five days.

The New England Non-Sporting Association is sponsoring breed seminars for Poodles and Tibetan Spaniels after Best in Show two days, and the Mayflower Pembroke Welsh Corgi club hosts judges’ education on Friday.

The Lone Star State Classic, three all-breed shows and a day of specialties held at the spacious Market Hall in Dallas July 4 through 7, offers cash prizes for the winners of the Grooming Area Decorating Contest. Exhibitors are encouraged to decorate their setups in the spirit of the holiday. The weekend, with all-breed shows for the Texas, Trinity Valley and Greater Collin Kennel Clubs, will also include CGC testing.

The four-day cluster held ocean-side in Ventura, Calif., also closes June 19, as do shows in Illinois, Missouri, Oregon and West Virginia.

If your show or cluster has something fun, unique or interesting going on, write to me about it… we’d love to tell the fancy all about it! Email me at