Summer is the perfect time for clubs to find creative ways to engage young people in the sport of showing dogs. While they’re on break from school, many are likely looking for something constructive to do, and we all know that in order to survive, we must encourage more young people to become involved in dogs.

Summer is the perfect time for clubs to host activities that will encourage young people to become involved in showing dogs.

The Jupiter-Tequesta Dog Club, which holds back-to-back all-breed dog shows on July 13 and 14, 2013, at the Exposition Center at the South Florida Fairgrounds in West Palm Beach, is going the extra mile not only to encourage kids to become involved, but to give them some of the tools to become successful.

On Friday, July 12, Jupiter-Tequesta and the Sunshine State Herding Group Association are sponsoring the “Juniors Jamboree,” a day jampacked with opportunities for kids who want to know more about Junior Showmanship, and for those already involved to learn and compete, and even add to their wardrobes.

In addition to a session during which PHA handlers will give lessons to juniors, there will be a match with kids divided into six groups based on age and experience. The winner of each division will compete for Best Junior of the day. Kids with All-American dogs are as welcome as those with purebreds. Juniors will also participate in a clothes exchange, with kids and adults bringing clothes and shoes in good condition that they no longer use for others to try on and take home.

And as if the Jamboree isn’t enough, the club is offering Junior Showmanship both weekend days at no charge. For more information or to register for the Jamboree, you can visit the Sunshine State Herding Group Association’s Web page where a registration form is promised to be posted soon, or contact Chantal Andrew at

But there’s even more going on at these shows. Friday evening will find conformation and obedience matches at the show grounds. Saturday and Sunday there will be Best Bred-by-Exhibitor competition through the Best in Show level, for which judges are identified in the premium list. Obedience and rally trials will be held both days and a drill team will perform during the weekend. These shows will be held entirely indoors, but according to the premium list “no dogs are allowed in any building overnight,” so exhibitors must plan accordingly.

The Inland Empire Kennel Association is also offering a little something extra for juniors. On Saturday, July 13, following Best in Show judging at the first of back-to-back all-breed shows, former junior handler Casandra Clark will conduct a workshop for juniors, free to those who are entered in Junior Showmanship that day, $5 for all others to pre-register and $10 to register on the day of the show. Casandra has not only spent many years working with professional handlers Bruce and Tara Schultz; she is also a former Westminster and World Show Best Junior Handler. She has the credentials and the talent to teach, and has promised one-on-one instruction for each junior along with group instruction. The form to register for the workshop can be found here by clicking on “Junior Showmanship workshop.”

The Inland Empire weekend also includes agility trials both days, Meet the Breeds, canine auditory response evaluations and, on Saturday, 4-to-6 Months Puppy competition. These shows are also held indoors at the Kootenai County Fairgrounds in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.

The Grand River and Ashtabula Kennel Clubs are showing their support for youth at the Regatta Classic, three all-breed shows at the Bill Stanton Community Park in Madison, Ohio, July 12 through 14, but this time it’s for young dogs instead of young people.

Best Puppy competition through the Best in Show level will take place each day of the cluster, and on Sunday the three BPIS winners will compete for Best Puppy in Tournament and a $500 cash prize. The clubs have kept the entry fee for Puppy classes at just $20 for their shows. In addition, on Saturday Ashtabula will give away three gas cards in an armband raffle, and a portion of the proceeds from these shows will go to the AKC Canine Health Foundation.

There’s a little something extra for human youngsters, in that there will be no charge for Junior Showmanship as an additional entry at the all-breed shows. The cluster also includes the Cuyahoga Valley Hound Association show on Thursday, a heart clinic on Saturday, and CGC testing and microchip and BAER clinics on Sunday.

The Regatta Classic shows are held outdoors.

Speaking of summer, the Vermont Scenic Circuit will bring back memories of the good ole’ summertime. The clubs host an ice cream social on Thursday during Groups and Best in Show, and a barbecue on Saturday evening where the Cold Country Bluegrass Band will supply the entertainment.

Vermont’s Tunbridge Fairgrounds is a picturesque location for a summer dog show.

The Woodstock Dog Club’s back-to-back shows will be Thursday and Friday, July 11 and 12, with shows for Green Mountain Dog Club Saturday and Sunday, all at the Tunbridge Fairgrounds in Tunbridge, Vt. Five obedience trials and four rally trials complete the circuit. Meet the Breeds will take place Thursday, Best Puppy competition Friday, Best Veteran Saturday, and 4-to-6 Months Puppy Saturday and Sunday.

According to, high temperatures in Tunbridge in July average just 81 degrees, with lows in the 50s, pretty ideal weather in a beautiful setting that gives these clubs the right to call themselves the Scenic Circuit. Conformation is judged outdoors, while obedience and rally are indoors.

The Duluth Kennel Club is going the extra mile, but in a little bit different way. The club will hold four, yes that’s four all-breed shows Thursday, July 11, through Sunday, July 14, at the Duluth Entertainment and Convention Center in Duluth, Minn., with all judging indoors. And it’s got a lot of extras to offer.

In addition to the Veterans Celebration on Thursday, Puppy Spectacular Friday, Bred-by-Exhibitor Attraction Saturday and brace competition Sunday, the club will hold a B match on Saturday after Best in Show, along with cardiology, eye, thyroid, patella and microchip clinics, and frozen semen collection.

The Twin Ports Dog Training Club will also hold obedience and rally trials on Saturday and Sunday at the convention center. You have to admire club members who agree to take on four full days of sunup to sundown volunteer work in order to put on dog shows. That involves a great deal of hard work.

Summer is a challenging time for dog shows, and clubs have to really make an effort to be sure dogs and exhibitors are safe during the hottest months of the year. However, it never hurts to remind everyone not to leave dogs in an enclosed vehicle with air conditioning running without a responsible person physically checking at least every 10 minutes to be sure the air is properly functioning and the dogs are kept cool.

I’d like to think – but I know otherwise – that it goes without saying that dogs should not be left in an enclosed vehicle during the summer months without air conditioning running, no matter the outside temperature. It’s too big a risk, even if it “seems” cool enough when you leave windows cracked open. In years past, in vehicles that were vented to let fresh air in, dogs have died when outside temperatures were in the 70s. Don’t do it. Once a tragic accident happens, you can’t go back and undo it. Our dogs can’t let themselves out of crates if a situation becomes life-threatening. If you travel with dogs, it is your responsibility to make sure they’re safe. Remember that if you leave dogs in a vehicle overnight during the summer months, you must stay with them, even if you believe that the temperature might be cool enough. That is very simply the only way that you can ensure that they will be safe. No one can be reliably certain that dogs will be safe enclosed in a vehicle at any time of the day or night during June, July or August, at any location in the country. It’s been proven, time and time again, that the risk is too great.

If your show or cluster has something unique happening this summer, write to me about it… I’d love to tell other fanciers all about it! Email me at Be sure you contact me at least two weeks before your shows close!