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Among the Shows Closing May 1, 2013

All of my readers know how important I think it is for clubs to include something educational for the general public when they hold dog shows, and Meet the Breeds is one of the best things I think any club can offer. It not only gives spectators an opportunity to learn something about those specific breeds and to meet a few dogs “in person,” it also gives them a chance to interact with purebred dog people and to find out that we’re not monsters, just people who love dogs too.

When reading through the premium list for the Kokomo Kennel Club shows on Saturday and Sunday, May 18 and 19, 2013, in Greentown, Ind., I noticed that there will be Meet the Breeds, but only for Brittanys and Siberians. Including only two breeds seemed odd at first, but then I noticed that the Greater Indianapolis Brittany Club and the Central Indiana Siberian Husky Club are the hosts, and the more I thought about that, the more I realized how ideal it is for the breed clubs to get involved.

Meet the Breeds is the ideal way for the public to get to know not only a particular breed of dog, but also to have a positive interaction with the purebred dog community. Photo courtesy of AKC.

Most breed clubs have literature and other educational material available for the public about their breeds, something an all-breed club can’t provide. In addition, it would be far easier for a breed club to get people organized to participate with one breed than for an all-breed club to do so for dozens of different breeds. Maybe more all-breed clubs should coordinate with local breed clubs in their areas, and encourage them to be part of a Meet the Breeds event during the next show weekend. The all-breed club can provide the venue, and the breed clubs, the organization, people and dogs. It really would be a win-win situation for everyone.

Kokomo will also hold a B match on Saturday after Best in Show, and the Chow Chow Club of Indiana, an A match that evening. There will also be an eye clinic on the show grounds that day.

A great way for a club or a cluster to really set itself apart is to do something completely unique, something that will brand the shows or the cluster, and that people will remember year after year. It can be something as elaborate as Woofstock, the Northern California shows where the entire weekend – judges, exhibitors, dogs, music, trophies, everything – prove that it’s hip to be cool, or it can be something as simple as Moon Pies and R.C. Cola in the South.

The Greater Kingsport Kennel Club will hold back-to-back shows May 18 and 19 at the Appalachian Fairgrounds in Gray, Tenn., and sure enough, on Saturday during Group judging, they’ll serve R.C. Cola and Moon Pies. “It’s a Southern Thing,” as proclaimed around the South and in the premium list, and it’s such a unique offering that people are bound to remember this club for it.

GKKC also offers a pizza party for junior handlers on Saturday, obedience and rally both days, rally team competition and the American Bullmastiff Association specialty with sweepstakes on Saturday. There will be armband drawings both days for a $50 prize each day.

Another club that will host a pizza party is the Mt. Baker Kennel Club, where the B match on Saturday after Best in Show will be accompanied by savory pies for participants. Obedience and rally trials are included in this weekend event in Mount Vernon, Wash.

Many kennel clubs include extras with their shows that are fun, educational, memorable or that just make their events more pleasant to attend. We’re always interested to learn about anything unique that will be included at upcoming shows, so email me at Christi@bestinshowdaily.com about what your club has planned.

Written by

Christi McDonald is a second-generation dog person, raised with a kennel full of Cairn Terriers. After more than a decade as a professional handler’s apprentice and handling professionally on her own, primarily Poodles and Cairns, she landed a fortuitous position in advertising sales with the monthly all-breed magazine ShowSight. This led to an 11-year run at Dogs in Review, where she wore several hats, including advertising sales rep, ad sales manager and, finally, editor for five years. Christi is proud to be part of the editorial team for the cutting-edge Best In Show Daily. She lives in Apex, N.C., with two homebred black Toy Poodles, the last of her Foxfire line, and a Norwich Terrier.