Labradors, golden retrievers, Dachshunds, beagles, border collies, poodles and hundreds of other purebred dogs will invade Oyster Bay’s Planting Fields Arboretum for Gold Coast Cluster — four days of dog shows, Thursday through Sunday May 19-22, sponsored by the Westbury Kennel Association (Thursday), Ladies Kennel Association of America (Friday and Saturday) and Long Island Kennel Club (Sunday).
“We draw approximately 600 to 800 dogs per day,” says Pat Cruz, secretary of the Ladies Kennel Association of America. “Eight judges from across the U.S. will rate each dog in the ring against their breed standard.”
IF YOU GO
More than 180 breeds recognized by the American Kennel Club are divided into seven canine groups: hound, working, toy, sporting, terrier, herding and non-sporting. Spectators can watch as each dog competes in conformation (how well it holds up to breed standards), obedience (obeying commands) and rally (going through a timed obstacle course). The event is rain or shine.
BRING YOUR DOG
Visitors are also welcome to bring noncompeting dogs to the shows and let them participate in some of the day’s activities.
Test their skills at the “My Dog Can Do That” obstacle course, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. It’s filled with weaving poles, tunnels and jumps all designed for non-show dogs. Then, head to a dock diving area, where dogs can leap into a pool and take a swim as their jump is measured for length (fees vary).
“It gives people a taste of what agility is all about,” says Cruz. “The dogs love it because they are natural athletes.”