Learn About Dog Shows

Showing dogs is a great sport where the thrill of competition is combined with the joy of seeing beautiful dogs. Dog shows are one of many types of

 

AKC dog events in which AKC-registered dogs can compete. These events, which draw over three million entries annually, include dog shows and tests of instinct and trainability, such as obedience trials, Canine Good Citizen tests, field trials, agility trials, lure coursing, rally, hunting tests, herding trials, tracking tests, coonhound and earthdog events.


Dog shows (conformation events) are intended to evaluate breeding stock. The size of these events ranges from large all-breed shows, with over 3,000 dogs entered, to small local specialty club shows, featuring a specific breed. The dog's conformation (overall appearance and structure), an indication of the dog's ability to produce quality puppies, is judged.

 

Conformation Dog Shows 

  • All-breed shows offer competitions for over 150 breeds and varieties of dogs recognized by the AKC. All-breed shows are the type often shown on television.
  • Specialty shows are restricted to dogs of a specific breed or to varieties of one breed. For example, the Bulldog Club of America Specialty is for Bulldogs only, but the Poodle Club of America's specialty show includes the three varieties of the Poodle - Standard, Miniature and Toy.

  • Group shows are limited to dogs belonging to one of the seven groups. For example, the Potomac Hound Group show features only breeds belonging to the Hound group.    >> Click here for more information on Getting Started in Conformation

Junior Showmanship

The AKC offers children 9 to 18 years of age the opportunity to compete with others their own age at various AKC events. Juniors competing in conformation events are judged on how they present their dogs.  Participating in AKC Junior Showmanship offers youngsters the opportunity to: develop their handling skills, learn about good sportsmanship, and learn about dogs and dog shows.  
>> Click here for more information on Junior Showmanship

obedObedience

Enter the world of AKC obedience and help your dog realize its full potential by competing in obedience trials and earning obedience competition titles. AKC Obedience Trials demonstrate the usefulness of the purebred dog as a companion to man. Obedience trials showcase dogs that have been trained and conditioned to behave well in the home, in public places, and in the presence of other dogs. AKC trials and tests allow exhibitors and their dogs to enjoy companionship and competition as they proudly earn AKC titles.   >> Click here for more information on Getting Started in Obedience

 

Rally

rallyAKC Rally is the new dog sport that is taking the nation by storm.  Rally offers both the dogs and handlers an experience that is fun and energizing. The canine team moves at their own pace, very similar to rally-style auto racing. Rally was designed with the traditional pet owner in mind, but it can still be very challenging for those who enjoy higher levels of competition.

A rally course includes 10 to 20 stations, depending on the level. Scoring is not as rigorous as traditional obedience. Communication between handler and dog is encouraged and perfect heel position is not required, but there should be a sense of teamwork between the dog and handler. The main objective of rally is to produce dogs that have been trained to behave in the home, in public places, and in the presence of other dogs, in a manner that will reflect positively on the sport of rally at all times and under all conditions.  >> Click here for more information on Getting Started in Rally