New York

The Suffolk County Kennel Club holds back-to-back all-breed shows, and obedience and rally trials on Friday and Saturday, September 28 and 29, 2012, at the Flowerfield Fairgrounds in St. James, N.Y., on Long Island. This club justifiably calls its event a “dog show and expo,” because they offer much more than just the usual competition.

On Saturday, Long Island Cares Inc. and the Harry Chapin Food Bank will have volunteers on the showgrounds to accept donations of pet food. Those making donations will get $5 off admission fees. According to the SCKC website, “Since 2009, Long Island Cares has distributed more than 400,000 pounds of pet food to help families in need feed their wonderful dogs and cats.” I can’t think of a better way for a club to show its community it cares than to support an organization that helps in this way.

Suffolk County also kicks off a new event this year called “Fun with Fido at Flowerfield Fairgrounds.” Visitors can take their dogs to the show to watch an agility demonstration, then give it a try with their own pets. The club will have trainers on hand to assist and offer information about training classes.

The Suffolk County KC shows are held outdoors at the Flowerfield Fairgrounds on Long Island.

Hospitality will be the order of the day on Saturday, when the club will serve complimentary wine and cheese during Group and Best in Show judging. Among the many vendors for the weekend are several local animal shelters, the Guide Dog Foundation, Canine Companions for Independence, and the League for Animal Protection of Huntington.

The club also offers the Owner-Handler Series competition both days and 4-to-6 Month Puppy competition on Saturday. German Shorthaired Pointers, Irish Terriers and Staffordshire Bull Terriers will have supported entries, with puppy and veteran sweepstakes for Shorthairs and Staffy Bulls.

On Sunday, the Westbury Kennel Association holds its show 25 miles west of the Suffolk County site, at the picturesque Planting Fields Arboretum State Historic Park in Oyster Bay. Also an outdoor show, the day will include obedience and rally trials hosted by the Nassau Dog Training Club. The Long Island German Shorthaired Pointer Club will hold a concurrent specialty, and there will be specialty shows with sweeps for Irish, Kerry Blue and West Highland White Terriers, with supported entries in Pekingese and Bulldogs.

Westbury offers a Best Puppy in Show competition and will hold a Meet the Breeds event during the lunch break. Also on the schedule are Canine Good Citizen testing, a guided dog show tour, a non-contact police dog demonstration and a carting demonstration. These New York clubs are offering so much to their exhibitors and communities.

The 26th year of the Wine Country Circuit in Romulus, N.Y., more than 300 miles north and west of Long Island, kicks off on Thursday, September 27, with four days of all-breed shows hosted by the Kanadasaga, Finger Lakes and Elmira kennel clubs and the Onondaga Kennel Association. Obedience and rally are offered each day, and mixed breeds are included.

The clubs are offering eye and cardiovascular clinics on Friday and Saturday, with Cornell University veterinarians Dr. Ronald Riis on eyes and Dr. Sydney Moise on cardiology. The Lake Country Lure Coursers hosts trials for all sighthound breeds on Saturday and Sunday, and offers the new AKC Coursing Ability Test for all breeds Friday afternoon from 2 to 4 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to noon. The group will test up to 75 dogs per day for the CAT. (To learn more about the CAT, read “Non-Sighthounds Hit the Lure Course.)

Supported entries are offered each day in a variety of breeds. On Friday, the Scottish Deerhound Club of America holds a specialty show with sweepstakes, on Saturday nine local breeds clubs hold specialties with sweeps, and on Sunday two local clubs and the Newfoundland Club of America host specialty shows with sweepstakes.

Arkansas to Michigan

On Friday afternoon, September 28, the Toy Dog Club of Central Arkansas holds its show in Hot Springs, Ark., followed by back-to-back conformation shows and obedience and rally trials hosted by the Hot Springs National Park Kennel Club.

Two special offerings will take place Saturday following Best in Show judging. First will be a free seminar sponsored by Chris Christensen Systems, the company that makes all kinds of grooming products and tools. The seminar, entitled “Corrective Grooming,”will be conducted by Coreen Bebawer and promises to share tips for perfecting a dog’s flaws through grooming. Every attendee will receive a raffle ticket, and the prize is a Kool Pup Dryer offered by Christensen and Courtney Pet Supply.

Also offered Saturday evening is an obedience match. The rally and obedience trials are open to AKC Canine Partners mixed-breed dogs.

Three full days of events will be held in Monroe, Mich., on September 28 to 30. The hospitality starts on Thursday evening, when the Monroe Kennel Club will provide free hot dogs, chips and drinks for all exhibitors who want to get onto the grounds and set up. On Friday, 12 breed clubs host specialty shows, and Monroe KC offers obedience and rally trials.

Saturday and Sunday are the MKC all-breed shows, with a Best Puppy in Show competition Saturday and Best Bred-by-Exhibitor in Show on Sunday. The club also offers 4-to-6 Month Puppy competition on Sunday, with loads of supported entries both days. But there’s more!

Health clinics held on the weekend include BAER testing on Friday and Saturday, with patella, CERF and cardiac testing on Saturday. There will also be a microchip clinic as well as Canine Good Citizen and Therapy Dog International testing on Saturday.

As you can see, clubs have so many ways today to reach out to their local communities and to offer a richer experience to their visitors and spectators. We are happy to report on what clubs are offering, so if you’d like to tell us about your upcoming shows, please email me at