Entries for North Carolina’s Tar Heel Cluster, hosted by the Cary, Alamance, Durham, Raleigh and Fayetteville Kennel Clubs, close next week. In the interest of full disclosure, I am a member of the Raleigh Kennel Club, but this set of shows has plenty of good things going on in any case.

The cluster’s five all-breed shows, held Wednesday through Sunday at the state fairgrounds in Raleigh, include obedience and rally in addition to conformation each day. There will be concurrent specialties on Friday for German Shepherds and Saturday for Boxers, Poodles and German Shepherds, and a variety of specialties and supported entries every day. Friday evening after Best in Show the Moore County KC will hold a B match, with a $100 prize for Best in Match.

The Tar Heel Cluster takes place in Raleigh at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds.

On Saturday Katherine Settle, D.V.M., a well-known reproductive veterinarian in Sanford, N.C., will conduct a breeder’s seminar. On Sunday the cluster offers a Best Junior Handler in Cluster award of a $100 MB-F gift certificate, the winner of which is determined by a point scale outlined in the premium list. The clubs offer free coffee every morning, and a drawing will be held each day for a $100 gas card.

The “March Madness” Take the Lead booth will be open each day, with the terrific silent auction items show-goers have come to expect at this cluster, and a “duck toss” benefiting Take the Lead on Saturday before Best in Show.

The Fort Worth Kennel Club holds its back-to-back all-breed shows the third weekend of March, as it has for as long as I can remember, at the Amon Carter Complex in Fort Worth, Texas, with 30 breed clubs hosting specialty shows on Friday at the same venue. FWKC participates in AKC’s Owner-Handler Series on Saturday, with competition through the Best in Show level. Also on Saturday there will be a seminar entitled Judging Junior Showmanship, put on by AKC, and the Dallas/Fort Worth Judges Association sponsors seminars and hands-on workshops on Saturday and Sunday, at no cost, for four Miscellaneous breeds: Lagotto Romagnolo, Berger Picard, Pumi and Cirneco dell’Etna.

The Fort Worth Kennel Club holds back-to-back all-breed shows the third weekend in March at the Amon Carter Complex.

Purina sponsors both the Tar Heel Cluster and the Fort Worth shows, and the company offers great prizes of dog food and other gifts and products for many wins.

There will be four days of shows in Edison, N.J., with the Big Apple Sporting Association, the Non-Sporting Group Club of the Garden State, the Herding Group Association of N.J. and Progressive Dog Club, for Toy breeds, holding shows on Thursday, followed by the March Madness Cluster that includes two New Brunswick KC and one Bronx KC all-breed shows.

Progressive offers CGC testing and a Puppy Group, Big Apple offers a Puppy Group, Bird Dog classes and refreshments and hors d’oeuvres during Group judging, and the Non-Sporting Group club offers 4-6 Puppy class competition. The all-breed shows include many specialties and supported entries. There will be a cardiology clinic on Friday and Saturday where fanciers can get either an auscultation exam or an echocardiogram, and an eye clinic on Sunday.

Fewer shows than I would have expected close on this week’s date. In addition to the above, there are two all-breed shows in Alaska, four in California’s Bay Area and two in Washington state, and that wraps it up for that weekend.