He’s your best friend – and he’s quite handsome, if you do say so yourself. You think he has what it takes to compete in a dog show, but where do you begin? Here’s everything you need to know to start showing your dog:
First things first; the official term for dog shows is Conformation, as in, the act of conforming to the breed standard. While a dog show may look like a beauty pageant, it's not. Each AKC recognized breed has a parent club that writes and submits an official breed standard. The breed standard is the official blue print the spells out exactly how your favorite breed should look, move, and act so they can successfully do the job they were bred to do, and give us predictability in temperament. Dogs are not being compared to each other, they're being compared to their individual breed standards. The purpose of Conformation is to evaluate breeding stock; this is the reason why spayed, neutered, and mixed breed dogs are not eligible to compete. The goal of Conformation is the preservation of historic breeds and to produce the next generation of our favorite breeds, improved from the preceding generation.
Six months or older on the day of the show
Recognized breed by the AKC
NOT spayed or neutered
No disqualifying faults, as stated by their breed’s parent organization.
In sound health and up-to-date on vaccinations.
A conformation class will prepare you and your dog for your first experience – and for your best chances at winning. Designed to prepare dogs and handlers for competitive dog showing. Stacking, gaiting techniques and tips on best presentation are covered.
The instructor will have hands on your dogs to teach acceptance of the judges.
Recommended Age: 3 months or older
Equipment needed: Show lead, treats