Best In Show Daily wants to alert our readers that entries for the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship close early – that is, more than the usual two-and-a-half weeks before their events when most shows close. Final entries will be accepted one month before the show, on Wednesday, November 14, at Onofrio Dog Shows. You’ll find much more information on Best In Show Daily in the coming weeks about this event, but here are four key things to know about the show, set for Saturday and Sunday, December 15 and 16, 2012, in Orlando, Fla.

The major change from previous years is that this year the show will be open to all AKC-registered dogs, instead of by invitation only, and will include regular classes, rather than champions only. This is, I think, a very positive step. So, if you have class dogs that you want to be seen by many of dogdom’s VIPs, enter them in Orlando! Preceding AKC’s two-day event, the Orlando Cluster includes three all-breed shows on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. These shows close on November 21. Entries are limited, so perhaps it would be wise to enter early, although the limit is 4,200 dogs, a number that no AKC show has reached in at least a dozen years.

The Bred-by-Exhibitor competition is arguably the most significant part of this entire event. Note, however, that to be eligible for Bred-by-Exhibitor competition you must check the appropriate box on the entry form or in the class selection section when entering online. One assumes that this applies to dogs entered in the Best of Breed class, and that dogs entered in the Bred-by-Exhibitor class will automatically be eligible, but if this is important to you, I would not take a chance. Check the box when making your entry.

This may be the most important information to people who are entering more than one dog: Reservations for reserved grooming space close on November 8, one week before entries close. However, note that the premium list says that, in the single “grooming hall” where all crating and grooming will be, both “assigned grooming” and “open grooming” will have comparable access to the exhibit hall where the rings are.

Hotels will fill up fast, if they haven’t already. Information about where to stay can be found online or in the premium list. Note that, according to the AKC website, if you need to cancel a reservation made using the show as a reference you must do so before Monday, November 26, to avoid paying for one night. There is also information in the premium list about discounts for air travel and car rental, as well as options for ground transportation.

Spreading Their Messages

Back to the regular shows that close on November 14, and I want to say again, as I’ve said here before, that it’s a shame many of us don’t read premium lists anymore, now that most people make entries online and our hard-copy premium lists have become somewhat obsolete. They often include very interesting bits of information.

A perfect example is this year’s premium list for the “Worcester County Kennel Club” (incidentally pronounced Woo-stah, according to, although I, like many southerners, pronounce it “Woos-ter,” because I don’t have that “prop-ah” – or proper – New England accent), whose back-to-back shows will be held December 1 and 2 at the Central Massachusetts Expo Center at the Holiday Inn in Fitchburg, Mass.

This club has used its premium list as an opportunity to share many messages. This is one among several that I think are as valuable as they are unusual:

It goes on to say that at its 2012 show weekend the club will “tip our hat to the American Kennel Club” and also to the AKC Canine Health Foundation, Junior Showmanship, the Massachusetts Federation of Dog Clubs, NEADS (National Education for Assistance Dogs), the Worcester Animal Rescue League and the Worcester Police Department Canine Unit. When mentioning the Federation of Dog Clubs, the premium includes a line that boldly proclaims:

I have a feeling that, having gone to such lengths to show support for these organizations, and to thank all those who will come to their shows, in print, the club will make sure that it expresses these sentiments in person during the weekend as well. And the club has much to offer at its shows.

On the Friday preceding the all-breed shows, the Worcester County Combined Specialties will include two specialties each for Cockers and Dachshunds, and ones for German Shepherds, Shelties and the Akita Club of America. On Saturday the Akita Club holds another specialty in conjunction with the all-breed show. There will be supported entries during the weekend for Labs, Afghans, Dachshunds, Boxers, Shepherds and Shelties.

The club will hold a B match on Friday evening, with Best Puppy competition on Saturday and Best Bred-by-Exhibitor on Sunday. There seems to be an extraordinarily proud and active bunch of dog people involved with the Worcester County club, and I hope their shows are a great success this year.

The Ingham County KC also used its premium list as an opportunity to thank exhibitors who will enter its shows. This club will hold two shows at the Michigan State Agriculture and Livestock Pavilion on December, 1 and 2, following the Motor City Specialty Clubs Association event on Friday. There will also be three days of agility trials on the weekend.

Ingham County holds a B match on Friday evening, and on the weekend has supported entries for Bassets, Salukis, Dobes, Portuguese Water Dogs, St. Bernards, Labs, Danes, Newfoundlands, Yorkies, Dalmatians and Belgian Tervurens. The Michigan Hound Association supports the entry on Sunday. Competition for the AKC Owner-Handler series will be held on Saturday.

The club offers cash prizes for Best in Show and for all four placements in each of the seven Groups. Eye and cardiac clinics will take place on Saturday and Sunday, with a semen freezing and storage clinic on Saturday conducted by Dr. William Schultz of the Schultz Veterinary Clinic in Okemos, Mich.

I didn’t find much to report on for all the shows in Belleville, Ill., that close on this date, but there is one special item in the premium list that could easily be overlooked, but that is something perhaps more clubs should consider doing.

The Gateway Sporting Dog Association holds its show on Friday, November 30, and not only is the club offering a Bred-by-Exhibitor Showcase, in which the Best Bred-by dog from each breed will compete in the Group, but it will also give the breederof the dog that wins the regular Group a rosette, offered by popular judge Paula Nykiel and her husband, Frank. Paula is also the club’s assistant show chair. A rosette might seem a small token, but the recognition it offers to the person responsible for bringing the winner into the world is huge.

If you’d like for us to report on what your club is doing to make its show unique, please email me at