Over 900 different races compete in Cranberry Cluster

A crowd that David Harsch describes as “hundreds of well-behaved dogs competing with their dedicated humans” will gather again this weekend for the Cranberry Cluster of dog shows and events held each fall at the Cape Cod Fairgrounds.

The Cape Cod Kennel Club has been running two types of events over four days in East Falmouth and has been doing so for decades, organizers say. A long list of breeds will participate in three types of events each day: so-called “confirmation”, obedience and dock dive.

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About 750 dogs competed on weekdays last year, says Harsch, publicity manager for the local kennel club, while the number of confirmation and obedience dogs soared to around 1,000 on weekend days. Additionally, anyone can bring a dog for the dockside diving contest, for which he says 2021 numbers were unavailable.

Confirmation is the most popular event, according to Harsch. Purpose-bred dogs compete for points, titles, placements and Best of Show under a large tent that will be set up on the fairgrounds. There are also daily special owner-run dog shows, he says, because many dogs are professionally handled.

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Owner-kept dogs also compete for their own Best in Show. There will also be daily competitions for dogs between 4 and 6 months old, as well as for young exhibitors between 9 and 18 years old. The show schedule for each breed will be available on infodog.com (see instructions below).

Wearing rain boots, Penelope McDonald-O'Neil of Shelburne Falls runs around the competition ring with her 17-month-old German Shepherd,

For obedience, dogs compete against other dogs of similar skill level (rather than the same breed) for qualifying scores, titles, placings, and best indoor trials. Obedience trials are divided into two types: traditional obedience and rally. The rally encourages more interaction between dog and handler; Obedience trials only take place on September 15 and 18.

For Dock Diving, dogs of all breeds and sizes compete for titles related to the dog who can jump the farthest above the water in an outdoor pool. Unlike the first two events, any dog ​​can try out this event for $10, and no pre-registration is necessary. These competitions take place from Friday to Sunday.

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Well-trained show dogs must meet the standards set for their breed by the American Kennel Club, organizers have previously told The Times, but the dockside diving competition is something of an equalizer, as there is no no breed requirements for entry. All it takes is a dog that will jump off the dock into the water, usually encouraged by a favorite toy.

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To watch the Cranberry Cluster Dog Show

When: Thursday to Sunday, September 15 to 18

Where: Cape Cod Fairgrounds, 1220 Nathan Ellis Highway, East Falmouth

Admission: $5, $2 for children under 12. Participants may be asked to sign a COVID-19 waiver. Only event-registered dogs are permitted, with registered dock-diving dogs with admission.

Information and list of events: www.infodog.com (click on “view information”, then “view calendar”, then “premium listings”, then search for Cape Cod Kennel Club before the September 15th date) https://www.infodog.com/show/club_page.htm?ev=2022098704. For a list of breeds that compete when, as well as an obedience and rally schedule, click “Judging Programs” instead of “Premium Lists”.

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