We’re So Excited About Our 2022 Show!

Like many kennel clubs, we had to cancel our 2020 show, which was to be our first in our new digs at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds. We did have a show in 2021, very scaled back with rigorous pandemic restrictions. This year we’re back with a new date, the second weekend in April, and we are ready to roar.

In addition to our stand-alone two-day show where we always offer NOHS competition, we are bringing back some of our favorites– the commemorative veterans’ competition (which is open to altered dogs) on Saturday, Brace competition on Sunday, our Gun Dog Sweeps for working hunters (you just have to have a measurable achievement in any field event, FT, Hunt Test, WC, NAHVDA, etc.)

We’ll be back with our Friday evening puppy match– $10 day of entries only– also open to adult dogs without majors, a relaxed and fun event to help get your puppies and novice dogs ready for the show ring. There is a free handling class at 5:30 p.m. on Friday. For the first time ever we will have a separate competition for Beginner Puppies 4-6 months of age on Saturday and Sunday. You can find our premium list at MB-F the week of February 7th. Entries close Wednesday, March 16th at noon, or whenever we reach our numerical limit of 1500, whichever comes first.

We are loving our new buildings, new and clean with plenty of restrooms and climate-controlled. The Montgomery County Fairgrounds is at a secure park-like setting (regularly patrolled by the local sheriff’s office) There is no grooming allowed in the show building (it plays havoc with the HVAC) but there is a building (with restrooms) located about fifty feet away across a paved apron. Reserved grooming space is available for the entire weekend for $25, and there will also be free spaces available after 4 p.m. on Friday. There are no wash racks, and we ask you to please not bring high-velocity forced air dryers to this venue.

Our poster lady this year is Dayton native, Natalie Smith Barney, who moved to Paris as a teenager where she lived out her life as a writer, activist, and bon vivant, hosting literary salons for all the important artistic personalities. She is shown here around 1900 (still in the U.S.) with her French Bulldog.

Spectators are welcome, admission and day parking are both free. We are expecting around 150 different kinds of dogs to see!

This year’s shows are dedicated to the memory of our long-time official show photographers, Brian and Betsy Kurtis, who both tragically succumbed to cancer within months of each other over the summer, and to legendary Afghan Hound breeder and club member, Gary D. Sinck, who died last spring just prior to his 80th birthday. We miss all three of these wonderful people so much.

And finally, last but not least, we are pleased to tell you that the free coffee is back. Fresh, hot coffee, all day long, with real half-and-half, if that’s the way you like it.

Come Join Us for Our Annual Fall Fast CAT!



On September 28 and 29 we will be hosting our annual autumn Fast CAT trials, this time at K9 Splash Zone, 9386 National Road in Brookville, OH. (More on K9 Splash Zone here.) We’ve attached three documents below– the Premium List in a “read only” version, in a “print version” (so the pages come out in the right order) and just the stand alone entry blank, if you just want to read the premium list and only print the entry blank.

There will be four tests, two each day, with a limit of 125 dogs per test. Entry fees are $20 per test if you send them in postmarked before September 23. Day of trial entries will be $30 each, and we can’t promise that we’ll have them available, as sometimes the tests do fill up!

If you’re wondering, what is this Fast Cat stuff? Do they chase cats? No, no, no, goodness, no! The “cat” stands for “coursing ability test” and a Fast Cat is simply a 100-yard dash for dogs. You do have to have a “number” from the AKC to participate, but it doesn’t have to be a registration number– as any “Canine Partner” is welcome to participate. (Though mixed breed dogs must be neutered to do so.) More on the AKC’s canine partnership program here.


How Does a Fast CAT Work?

Fast CAT is a timed straight race of 100 yards.  Dogs run by themselves and the time it takes to complete the 100 yd dash is converted into miles-per-hour. (My dog likes to stop midway and look at butterflies.)   A handicap system is applied to a dog’s miles-per-hour to determine the number of points earned. (The handicap system is based on the height of the dog at its withers: a. 18”or greater = handicap is 1.0 b. 12” up to less than 18” = handicap is 1.5 c. Below 12” = handicap is 2.0) Then the miles-per-hour is multiplied by the dog’s handicap for their point total.

Fast CAT suffix titles are earned at designated milestones: a. BCAT = 150 points b. DCAT = 500 points c. FCAT = 1,000 points d. FCAT# = every additional 500 points

The time to complete the 100 yard dash is recorded to the nearest 1/100th of a second (e.g. 9.11). The club may use stopwatches or break-the-beam electronic timer to obtain the time. If stopwatches are used, two timers are positioned at the finish line. An individual at the start line signals with an arm drop the moment the nose of the dog crosses the start line. The timers start their stopwatches at the bottom of the arm drop and stop their watches when the nose of the dog crosses the finish line. The times from the two stopwatches are averaged to determine the recorded time.

The area of the course is fenced with a large secure “recovery” area where the handler is reunited with the dog. The dogs chase a “lure”– generally a white grocery bag on a continuous loop– though many dogs are so excited to run to their owners, they don’t much notice the lure. Dogs of all sorts compete in Fast Cat: tiny dogs, giant dogs, bulldogs, fast dogs and slow.

If you just want to come out and watch, it’s free for spectators, and we’ll get started about 8 in the morning and then again around noon on both Saturday and Sunday.

If you’re interested in entering, check out the Premium List below. If you have questions, please feel free to give us a shout and we’ll do our best to answer them.


Larkin Vonalt

Trial Secretary, (937) 781-6561 (you can text to this number too.)


Read Only Fast Cat Premium

Printer friendly Premium


Dog and Puppy Match Friday, April 26th


Join us on Friday night, April 26th for our AKC Sanctioned B Match!

Registration starts at 5 p.m. and judging at 6 p.m.

Everyone welcome! We’ll have beverages and snacks and time to socialize too. This is a great opportunity to get a little practice with your dog before the weekend’s shows– in the rings that you’ll be showing in over the weekend. And if you’re not entered in the show, you can still enter the match.

AKC Entry Form

This is the entry form for the 2019 match.

Click on the image to make it larger. When you go to print, make sure your printer is set to horizontal (“landscape”) .

Pre-entries must be postmarked by Monday, April 22rd, and cost $4.  If you wait until the day of the match to enter, entry fee is $5.

Send pre-entries to match secretary Gary Sinck, 725 Xenia Ave, Dayton, OH 45410.

Dogs must be in show trim, no taped ears please, and professional handlers may only show their own dogs.  Dogs with majors may only be shown as exhibition. Class divisions are 4-6 months, 6-9 months, 9-12 months and adult. We will award Best Puppy in Match and Best Dog in Match.


#We are Not a Pet Store

Fort St. Clair Kennel Club presents Breeder Forum on “Pet Store License” issue

In January, something strange started happening to Ohio dog breeders. People we know. Handlers. Preservation breeders. Hobbyists. They started getting letters in the mail from the Ohio Department of Agriculture, informing them that under Ohio Revised Code statute 956, they were now considered to be “pet stores” and they were obligated by law to apply for a “pet store license.”

“Our office has received notification that you may be operating as a high volume dog  breeder, a dog broker or a pet store in violation of ORC 956.04, ORC 956.05 or 956.21” . . . the letter begins. It goes on to define “High Volume Breeder”, “Dog Broker” and “Pet Store.” Those of you who envision rows of pet toys and fish tanks, dog kibble and kitty litter when you think of “pet store” may be very surprised by the State’s encompassing definition: “an individual retail store to which both of the following apply: the stores sells dogs to the public; and  with regard to the sale of the dog from the store, the sales person, the buyer of the dog and the dog for sale are physically present during the sales transaction so that the buyer may personally observe the dog and help ensure its health prior to taking custody.”

They go on to say that animal rescue, animal shelters and humane societies are not pet stores, but some of us might beg to differ.

It’s a funny thing, you can find a list of exact physical maladies you might possess that would compel shopkeepers to provide you with the use of their restroom whether they consider that facility public or not– but you cannot find in the Ohio Revised Code the exact definition of a “store.”  Nevertheless the Ohio Department of Agriculture had determined that if you sold a single puppy your house, regardless of its zoning, HOA or other factors constituted a retail establishment. In signing the application, you agree that your “premises” will be open for inspection at any time, without notice. Oh, wait, did we forget to mention that an annual pet store  license has a fee of $500? And that failure to comply can result in a fine of ten grand?

Then inspectors started arriving unannounced on the front porches of people who’d bred a litter or two last year.

After a whirlwind campaign of letter writing and telephone calls, and with the considerable assistance of the Government Relations department of the American Kennel Club, it all came to a halt, albeit a temporary one. On Friday, March 8th, the AKC announced that the ODA had agreed to suspend pet store license applications and enforcement while the legislature worked out a solution to the language in the statute.

In a matter of days, many breeders and exhibitors became aware of how vulnerable they are, and how vulnerable they could be again with the stroke of a pen.

On Wednesday, March 13th, Fort St. Clair Kennel Club is hosting a Breeder’s Forum to discuss the limbo in which we all live, to exchange ideas as to how to best make our voices heard in helping the legislature come to a sensible solution that would prevent this kind of wild misinterpretation in the future. Attorney (and longtime Labrador breeder) Chris Wincek and his legal partner (and son) Chris “Chap” Wincek will be on hand to offer some insight into the process of clarifying the legislation and with suggestions of what to do next. We will have an “up to the last minute” report from Jennifer Clark, director of the AKC’s government relations office and we have invited local legislators from Hamilton, Warren, Clermont, Greene, Clark, Montgomery, Butler, Preble and Darke counties to join us.

The meeting is open to everyone and is being held at The Grange, 501 Nation Ave in Eaton. We will have postcards to mail to your legislators, contact information, printed advice from the AKC on meeting with your legislator, and letter templates to help you craft your own input on how to re-shape the law.  Come on out and help us make history.

We’ll also have pie and coffee for you.