Among the shows closing on September 19, 2012, are the shows I most look forward to each year. The Hatboro Dog Club shows on Thursday and Friday, October 4 and 5, Devon Dog Club on Saturday, October 6, and the Terriers-only Montgomery County Kennel Club on Sunday, October 7, all close on that date.

Truth be told, not much other than dog judging seems to be offered at the three all-breed shows before Montgomery, at least according to their premium lists, but because those of us who attend are so focused on seeing the year’s cream of the crop Terriers I suppose we just don’t notice it. Hatboro has four specialty shows on Thursday, for Welsh, Lakelands, Fox Terriers and Sealys, with supported entries in seven Terrier breeds, as well as Greyhounds and German Shepherds. Friday includes specialties for Australian Terriers and Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers, as well as the four breeds that had specialties the previous day, and supported entries again in 10 Terrier breeds and Greyhounds.

Hatboro also offers rally classes on Thursday and obedience classes on Friday, with entries open to “All-American” or mixed breeds. Brace classes are offered on Friday, as are Veteran classes, for all breeds, for an entry fee of $33.50.

On Saturday at Devon, there will be specialties for Lakelands, Sealys, Welsh and Bichons, with supported entries in 10 Terriers plus English Cockers and Afghans. I noticed on the front of the premium list a note that there will be no Amateur-Owner-Handler classes, no Junior Showmanship and no obedience offered. The Amateur-Owner-Handler class is also not offered by Hatboro DC, nor is Junior Showmanship on Thursday, although it is on Friday. Perhaps club members hope kids will be in school on Thursday. I should disclose that I seldom check to see if clubs offer the AOH class, although I’m surprised that clubs would elect to leave it out.

Montgomery County Kennel Club is, of course, the reason that thousands of people flock to the East Coast the first weekend of October. Nineteen Terrier breeds have their National Specialty shows on Sunday, and nine others have supported entries.

Terrier people the world over look forward to the Montgomery County weekend all year.

Even at Montgomery, there are no classes offered for Amateur-Owner-Handlers, a fact I find especially odd, since it seems that at the National Specialty, with traditionally large, competitive entries, people who are newer to their breeds might want to take advantage of the class. There are lots of other offerings at Montgomery, however, including Veterans classes in every breed; Working classes in Borders, Cairns, Smooths, Wires, Glen of Imaals, Lakelands and Parsons for dogs that have earned AKC earthdog titles; and Earthdog classes in Scotties, Welsh and Westies for dogs that have earned both a conformation championship and an earthdog title. Many specialties also offer Stud Dog, Brood Bitch and other non-regular classes, and braces are always fairly popular at Montgomery, as is Junior Showmanship.

Montgomery is offering reserved seating at Best in Show ringside for the second year. Each seat is $200 and includes a souvenir Montgomery County 2012 Director’s Chair. The chairs are placed on the front row at ringside when the final festivities of the day begin, waiting for those who purchased them. There weren’t many takers last year, perhaps because not too many people were aware of the new offering, so we’ll see if more take advantage this year. Reserved seating has, I’m told, become very popular at a lot of National Specialties, and the income helps defray some of the ever-increasing show expenses.

Nebraska and Ohio

Four all-breed shows and three specialties will take place at the Lancaster Event Center in Lincoln, Neb., on October 4 through 7 at the Husker Valley Cluster. The Platte Valley KC of Fremont and the Cornhusker KC of Lincoln each hold back-to-back events, with a concurrent specialty on Friday hosted by the Missouri Valley Boxer Club. Brittany and Boxer classes on Saturday will serve as the specialty shows for the Nebraska Brittany Club and Missouri Valley Boxer Club.

The fact I first noticed when perusing the premium lists for these shows is that their Puppy and Bred-by-Exhibitor class entry fees are only $18. I know exhibitors must appreciate these fees being more affordable than they are at many shows. Incidentally, these clubs also offer the Amateur-Owner-Handler class at all four shows.

The second thing I noted was that the Group and Best in Show prizes each day are something literally everyone can use. On Thursday and Friday, the BIS winners will receive $100 cash; Reserve BIS, $50; and each Group winner, $25, offered by the host kennel club. On Saturday and Sunday, these prizes are offered by the Hillcrest Animal Clinic, and on Saturday the BIS winner will receive a $50 vendor coupon, while Reserve BIS and Group winners will get $20 coupons. Sunday gift cards for Petco will be given in the same denominations. No one can ever say that the prizes they won at these shows weren’t useful!

The clubs are offering other appealing extras during their shows. On Saturday at 3 p.m., Kelly Stich, D.V.M., will present a free hour-long seminar called “K-9 Chiropractic and Acupuncture.” I know many dog people who find both of these topics interesting, but who’d like to learn more, and I imagine this will be popular. The Missouri Valley Boxer Club also sponsors a microchip clinic on Saturday.

The Coursing Hounds of Iowa Inc., is sponsoring an AKC lure-coursing trial on Friday and Saturday, along with Qualified Courser, Junior Courser and Coursing Ability Testing. There are no obedience, rally or agility trials with these conformation shows. However, with only 15 all-breed shows this year in the state, this is a big dog show weekend for Nebraskans.

The Fulton County Ohio Kennel Club hosts back-to-back shows on October 6 and 7 at the Fulton County Fairgrounds in Wauseon. The clubs don’t offer obedience, rally or agility, but they are participating in the AKC Owner-Handler Series both days.

I’m guessing that one of the more popular perks of this show weekend is the free pancake breakfast starting at 7 a.m. on Sunday, lasting until the last available pancake is eaten. These clubs also have interesting Group and BIS prizes each day, with a $150 gift certificate for BIS and a $50 gift certificate for each Group First offered by Cabela’s, the store that outfits hunters, fisherman, boaters and campers. Cabela’s has offered a utility knife for each Best of Breed winner both days.

On Saturday, the AKC Registered Handlers Program, Purina and the FCOKC will present “An Afternoon with the Professionals,” an adult handling clinic free to anyone who wants to attend. They’ve offered a special invitation to new and novice exhibitors. On Sunday, Therapy Dog International Inc. will offer testing for people who would like to get Therapy Dog titles on their dogs. The cost is just $15.

Of course, many other shows will be closing on Sept. 19, and many clubs are working hard these days to offer those little extras that will draw exhibitors, spectators and others interested in dogs to their events. Sometimes clubs do special things for their exhibitors that aren’t listed in their premium lists, and I apologize if I overlook something. If you would like to let us know what your club is offering at an upcoming show, please write to me at