Shows that close on October 10, 2012, fall on the weekend before Halloween, so many of them no doubt include costume contests for canines. Fanciers can be so clever when it comes to planning for these doggy dress-ups, and it’s so much fun to see what they come up with.

Three shows will take place at the Dixon May Fairgrounds in Dixon, Calif., October 26 through 28. On Friday the Northern California Herding Group Association hosts a show that will include the American Beauceron Club National Specialty. The club also offers Best Herding Titled competition. In each breed, dogs with Herding titles can enter the Herding Titled Dog or Herding Titled Bitch class, which will be judged between Winners Bitch and Best of Breed. The winners of the two classes are eligible to compete for Best of Breed, as well as Best Herding Titled for that breed. Then all of the Herding Titled breed winners will compete for Best Herding Titled in Group competition.

Also on Friday are specialty shows for Curly-Coated Retrievers, Dachshunds, Norwegian Elkhounds, Newfoundlands, Chihuahuas and Dalmatians.

Back to the fact that it’s the weekend before All Hallows Eve, in conjunction with the Sacramento Valley Dog Fanciers Association shows on the weekend, the Concerned Dog Owners of California will sponsor a costume contest on Saturday after Best in Show. The contest has been part of the Sacramento Valley shows for many years, and CDOC took over as its sponsor a few years ago, according to CDOC president Bill McFadden.

Prizes will be awarded for best costumes on individual dogs, ensembles and youth (dogs with children 12 and under). Last year a new category was added in which breed clubs can get their members together and present a group of dogs in costume. “They come up with some very clever costume ideas,” says Bill. Revelers compete for cash prizes, with the balance of the proceeds going to CDOC.

Some kennel clubs offer costume contests for exhibitors on the weekend before Halloween. Photo

Sacramento Valley has gone all out to offer a huge number of other perks for exhibitors. The club has made a point to offer reduced entry fees for Puppy, Bred-by-Exhibitor, Miscellaneous and Junior Showmanship classes, and competition for 4-to-6 Months Puppies is offered on Saturday.

Several health clinics will be conducted on the weekend, including cardiology exams all three days by Dr. Richard Kienle and CERF exams on Saturday and Sunday.

Also on the health front, Breeder’s Veterinary Services, with Dr. Randall Popkin, will have a mobile radiology facility on site and can take X-rays without anesthesia or sedation for all OFA clearances. BVS also offers OFA thyroid testing, DNA testing, microchipping, reproductive exams and services, and more. In addition, semen collection, freezing and DNA services will be available on the weekend at the Coolbred Canine Reproductive mobile clinic.

But there’s more! On both Saturday and Sunday, the Northern California Dachshund Club holds AKC-licensed earthdog tests at the show grounds, with Intro to Quarry, Junior and Senior classes available.

The Peruvian Inca Orchid Enthusiasts Club will host a B match on Saturday after Best in Show. The SVDFA shows also include obedience and rally trials. In the past, I’ve mentioned when trials will welcome All-American, or mixed breed, dogs, but this time I’ll note that these trials will not accept entries for mixed breeds.

The Travis County Kennel Club invites exhibitors to “Go batty in Austin!” when they go to its shows on October 27 and 28, at the Travis County Exposition Center in Austin, Texas. The club will host a costume contest that begins one half-hour after Best in Show judging on Saturday. Contestants can have a single dog or group entry, and prizes will be awarded for Scariest, Funniest, Best Owner-Handler and People’s Choice.

Exhibitors will also appreciate the Best Puppy in Show competition on Saturday and Best Bred-by-Exhibitor on Sunday. Rally and obedience trials will be held both days.

Veterinarians Katie Meier and Michael Cocchiaro will conduct a cardiac clinic sponsored by TCKC and the Austin Golden Retriever Club on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Specialties will be held on Friday for Golden and Labrador Retrievers at the same site.

Dog shows in South Dakota are few and far between, and they almost all take place n October. Rapid City KC will hold three all-breed shows October 19 to 21, and then Sioux Empire KC hosts three all-breed shows October 26, 27 and 28, that close on October 10. The American Wirehaired Pointing Griffon Association will hold its National Specialty on Friday in conjunction with Sioux Empire.

Three obedience trials are also offered at these shows, to be held at the W.H. Lyons Fairgrounds in Sioux Falls. Health exams will include a cardiac clinic with Dr. Janet Olson and an eye clinic with Dr. Daniel Betts. Sioux Empire also hosts a conformation B match and an obedience OC match on Friday evening after Best in Show.

Of course there are more shows in other locations around the country that close October 10. If you’d like us to report on what your shows will be doing later this fall, please email me at