So You're Thinking of Showing

The sport of purebred dogs is thrilling, competitive, educational and rewarding. However, like any sport, it takes discipline and hard work to succeed and you'll need to know some basic rules before jumping into competition. The best way to answer your questions is to get yourself an AKC rule book. This can be obtained, free of charge, by writing and requesting the book you want. For conformation - the Rules and Regulations, for obedience - the Obedience Regulations, for agility - the Agility Regulations.....get the picture? :-) You can go to AKC's website at and send them an email with your name and address and your request.Or print them off the site... Simple as that!

Next you need to ask yourself some questions....

Is your dog eligible to enter? A dog is eligible to compete in a dog show if it is registered with the AKC, is at least 6 months old, hasn't been spayed or neutered and measures up to its breed standard.Which brings up the next question.......

How do you know if your dog is a show-quality dog? Each breed has a standard. The standard is the official guide by which dogs are judged at dog shows. The standard may specify everything from the curvature of a dog's tail to the color of its eyes. It even stipulates the temperament certain dogs should have. You can find the standards for all AKC recognized breeds on their website and in The Complete Dog Book. After you study your dog and the standard, seek some expert advice. Ask an experienced dog handler or reputable breeder to evaluate your dog. ( They don't have to have your breed.)

Your local dog club should be able to provide you with a list of respected breeders and knowledgeable dog people who may be willing to help. You can find a list of dog clubs nearest you on the AKC webpage.

What if your dog doesn't measure up to its official breed standard or isn't eligible to enter a show? If your dog doesn't meet the requirements set out in its breed's standard, then breeding and showing your dog probably aren't for you. But don't give up! There is a whole world of fun dog things to do out there! From the AKC's Canine Good Citizen Program - open to all dogs, purebred and "all-american"; a variety of tests, trials and events including obedience trials, agility trials, field trials, hunting tests, earthdog tests, lure coursing and a whole lot more...the AKC has plenty of programs and events you and your dog many participate in and enjoy.

For those who have purebred, but for some reason aren't registered , you can obtain an ILP ( indefinite listing privilege) and participate in performance events.....I think most dogs enjoy these the most anyway!

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