I’ve noticed over the past year or so, in reporting on innovative offerings at shows all over the United States, that by and large the clubs that are doing new and different things at their shows are located in pockets around the country. In some areas lots of clubs are doing more, and in others it seems that it’s just the same old, same old, year in and year out.

In California, in the Northeast and on the East Coast, many clubs are really working hard to offer their exhibitors much more than the traditional dog show experience. Of course, it’s happening in other areas as well, but I realize now that progressive clubs influence others in their areas to do more at their shows. The Sunflower Cluster in Wichita, Kan., for instance, set a strong example for other clubs in the state to add more activities to their shows, and, as we reported back in April, clubs like the Sunflower KC of Olathe, Kan., were inspired to make their shows more interesting.

Blackfoot, Idaho.

If you’re in a state or geographical area where dog shows haven’t changed much over the past three or four decades, make it your job to encourage your own club to add something new to its agenda. Countless ideas are presented every week right here in Shows Closing.

I wrote last week about the closing date for the first two shows of the summer Idaho circuit, and next week the Blackfoot shows close. These four all-breed shows, hosted by the Eagle Rock and Pocatello Kennel Clubs, will take place Thursday, June 13, through Sunday, June16, at the Eastern Idaho State Fairgrounds.

Day two will be festive, as it is billed as “Aloha Day.” Participants are encouraged to wear their best Hawaiian outfits, leis will be provided for everyone, and prizes will be awarded for the best Hawaiian shirts. Eagle Rock also hosts “Yappy Hour” on Friday during Group judging, when the club will provide “a selection of libations and a yummy assortment of Aloha treats!”

Also as a show of appreciation to exhibitors, the clubs will provide free coffee and donuts each morning. There will be a B match on Saturday, and a Take the Lead raffle during the weekend.

I personally love Group shows. Maybe that’s because I grew up going to Montgomery County, and I find that when a Group club really makes the effort, these shows can become something extra special for breed fanciers. The Cascade Hound Association seems to be creating a great weekend for Hound exhibitors.

The club’s back-to-back shows, held June 15 and 16 at the Washington County Fair Complex in Hillsboro, Ore., just a half-hour west of Portland, will include Beginner Puppy competition, this year judged by a consummate Hound woman, Valerie Hamilton; Best Bred-by-Exhibitor in Group competition; three AKC Coonhound bench shows; and Miscellaneous classes for Azawakh, Cirnechi dell’Etna, Peruvian Inca Orchids and Sloughis. There will also be supported entries in Salukis and Whippets. The club will host a Strawberry Shortcake Social on Saturday during Group times, right in the heart of strawberry country. Sounds like a terrific weekend for Hound folks.

The Ludwigs Corner Horse Show Grounds has been the venue for the Bryn Mawr Kennel Club show for decades. Photo by Dan Sayers.

In the “old days,” we would just now be getting ready for Poodle Club of America and the Bryn Mawr all-breed show that followed it, both at Ludwigs Corner Horse Show Grounds in Pennsylvania. It’s been many moons since PCA was held there, or in June for that matter. Although we’re much better off in April, and indoors where it’s cooler for both dogs and humans, lots of people still have a sense of nostalgia for the days at Ludwigs Corner. The drive up Route 100 is so picturesque and brings back so many fond memories.

Bryn Mawr KC now holds back-to-back shows, still at Ludwigs Corner, and I’m sure it’s still warm most years! There are three specialty shows, for English Cockers, Cardigan Corgis and Dobes, on Saturday, and Cardigans again on Sunday, as well as supported entries in eight breeds. The club hosts Best Veteran competition on Saturday, Best BBE on Sunday and CGC testing. Club members invite everyone to join them in wearing the club colors of green and white, and more casual attire – golf shirts and the like – is certainly in order at these outdoor shows.

The Bahia Sur Kennel Club, whose June 15 and 16, 2013, all-breed shows and obedience and rally trials will take place at Southwestern College in Chula Vista, Calif., is preceded by a handful of specialties on Friday. The club hosts a B match on Saturday evening, and entries are free! Now that’s one way to encourage folks to come to your puppy match. There will be classes in conformation, Junior Showmanship and obedience.

That’s all for this week. We’re always happy to report on what clubs are doing to make their shows more meaningful. If your club has something interesting to report, email me at Christi@bestinshowdaily.com.