This coming weekend almost everyone in the US will be within driving distance of a dog show. We have shows scheduled from Alaska to Florida. The good news is that there are shows in eleven different cities this coming weekend. The bad news is there are no cluster shows.
For the first time since we began reporting for you, there are no extended weekend shows. That’s right folks, we are limited to just the traditional Saturday and Sunday events. And as long as we are going retro, it doesn’t get any more traditional than the Golden Gate Kennel Club show at San Francisco’s legendary Cow Palace.
The show is one of the country’s last benched shows, an anachronism of which we are extremely fond. For those of you unacquainted with the format, benched shows require that the entered dogs be available for the public to view during the time the show is open to the public. “Benches” are a form of doggy cube farm like canine office space, normally arranged by breed, allowing spectators to locate their favorite breed as easily as picking up a quart of milk at the local food store.
As a newbie, benched shows were my classroom where I could sit and listen to veteran exhibitors who had nothing to do but talk about dogs for the bulk of the time they were confined to the show hall. The Cow Palace is not Madison Square Garden, but the Golden Gate KC does afford a glimpse of dog shows as they once were and it always draws some of he best dogs around. There are just over 1400 dogs entered on both Saturday and Sunday.
However, if you are seeking a larger entry and a shorts & sandals environment, go down south to San Bernadino CA and the two shows hosted by the Orange Empire Dog Club. Sun seekers on the east coast can try out the Great Gainesville DFA’s two shows in Ocala FL. Other clubs hosting double headers include the Alexandria KC (Alexandria LA), St Charles MO KC (Lake St Louis MO), Erie KC (Erie PA), and the Abilene KC (Abilene TX).