||On September 7, 2019 from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm, the Somerset Hills Kennel Club proudly celebrates its 84th all-breed dog show at North Branch Park in Bridgewater, NJ. The Somerset Hills Kennel Club is the cornerstone club for four days of dog shows known as the North Branch Cluster. Purina is the event sponsor. There is no charge for admission or parking at the shows. Attendees can purchase food and a wide range of unusual gifts and things for their dogs from a variety of wonderful show vendors.
With all AKC breeds represented and an estimated 2000 dogs competing, this will be a great weekend for dog lovers. Prospective puppy buyers will have an opportunity to see different breeds up close and speak with knowledgeable owners and breeders. Each day, visitors will be able to watch dogs compete in events including the familiar Conformation, Obedience & Rally and Fast CAT (Coursing Ability Test) an exciting event that tests individual dogs on their speed in a 100-yard dash.
The cluster’s main shows include:
• Thursday, September 5th – Central New Jersey Hound Association and Non Sporting Group Club of the Garden State
• Friday, September 6th – Tuxedo Park Kennel Club
• Saturday, September 7th – Somerset Hills Kennel Club
• Sunday, September 8th – Westchester Kennel Club
More details regarding all the cluster events can be view at: http://northbranchcluster.org/index.htm
Some family viewing highlights at this year’s Somerset Hills Kennel Club show include:
• Junior Showmanship where young children show their dogs and are judged on their handling skills.
• Pee Wee Pre-Junior Showmanship a closely supervised, non-competitive class that welcomes children ages 5 to 9 years old, their socialized dog (at least 4 months old, purebred or not), and their responsible adult for a fun time as they learn the basics of dog shows and junior showmanship. Gifts and prizes will be given to all entrants and a special Pee Wee party will be held afterwards. Limited to 12 Pee Wees, the Pre-Entry and Day-of Entry is $10.
• 4-6 Month Puppy Competition intended to introduce new exhibitors and their puppies to the dog-show world in a stress-free and relaxed environment. It also provides an opportunity for puppies to socialize with people and other dogs at an optimal time of their development.
Lisa Warren, show chair for the Somerset Hills Kennel Club says, “We are extremely proud of our club’s long history of promoting responsible dog ownership and the enjoyment of dogs. We are delighted to continue including events that introduce young dogs and children to our sport. They represent what we hope is a very bright future for the ancient bond between dogs and humans.”
If you want to plan your visit to the shows around seeing a specific breed or event, a week before the shows you can get the complete schedule for each show at http://www.infodog.com/show/state_show_details.htm?state=nj . Look for shows held in Bridgewater, scroll to the day and the show you are interested in, click on that show and then find the link to the “Judging Program”. All the breeds will be listed with the times they will be shown and the ring they will be in.
Tips for the First-Time Dog Show Spectators
• After you arrive at the show site, find the superintendent’s table and purchase a show catalog. All of the rings at the show are numbered and the catalog will tell you which breeds are being shown in which ring and at what times.
• If professional groomers are free under the exhibition tents, visit and talk with them to get tips on keeping your dog looking his best.
• However tempting, do not pet a dog without asking for permission first. The dog may have just been groomed in preparation for being judged.
• At each dog show, you will find vendors and information booths. Many club booths offer helpful information to the general public.
• Wear comfortable shoes – you’ll be doing a lot of walking. Unless you bring a chair or arrive early, be prepared to stand most of the time, as seating is usually limited.
• If you bring a baby stroller to a dog show, be careful that you do not run over any dog’s tail or feet, and that your child does not grab or poke the dogs it can reach. Avoid having them near ring entrances, which are especially crowded. Some shows prohibit baby strollers.