FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Close to 5,000 of the country’s top dogs are gathering at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum for this year’s Old Fort Cluster Dog Shows.
The annual four-day event runs from Thursday through Sunday. Doors open at 8 a.m. each day and festivities run until 5 p.m.
The 2019 show will include the Marion, LaPorte, and host Northeast Indiana Kennel Clubs.
The event has a storied past as it’s been around since the early 1930’s, and the Coliseum has played host since the early 1950’s.
Attendees can expect to see dogs from more than 170 breeds face off in a variety of obedience and rally competitions.
This year’s premier event is the “Field of Champions” following Friday’s All Breed Show. It’s a competition between dual champion dogs – dogs that have won in the conformation trials at the Champion level and then go on to win in competitions that represent their natural instinct. Championships that reflect natural instinct include scent work, hunting field trials, herding, pulling and more.
The weekend event also includes one of the largest gatherings of Golden Retrievers in the Midwest as Fort Wayne has been selected for a specialty show by the Land of Lincoln Golden Retriever Club. Other elite clubs putting on special shows include the English Springer Spaniel Field Trial Association, the Parson Russell Terrier Club of America, and the Chesapeake Bay Retriever Club of America.
If you’ve ever wanted to learn more about the different dog breeds that exist in the world, you can “Meet the Breeds” on Sunday. The special activity will allow attendees to become acquainted with unusual breeds and their attributes in a rare, in-person opportunity.
Additionally, the Old Fort Cluster Dog Shows will offer the AKC Canine Good Citizen Test, Canine Eye Clinic Evaluations, Cardiac Auscultation Certification, and a Junior Handler Seminar.
And don’t forget to grab a specialty product from one of the many unique vendors from all over the country.
Entry for the event is open to the public and costs $5 for adults. Kids 11 and younger are free with a dog food donation.
To learn more about the host Northeast Indiana Kennel Club, visit http://www.neikc.org/old-fort-cluster/