Another round of dog shows have come and gone and there is still a little nagging voice in the back of the head, “My dog is better looking than that dog!” Well, that may be true, but no one will ever know unless the dog steps foot in the ring. How exactly does one get involved in dog showing? Normally a pure breed dog is involved; but there are a whole slew of other things to train for before Fido is ready for his close up.
A Little Background
The dog show was started by breeders to have their stock judged; the better the “stock” the higher the price for breeding. Most dog shows are run by the American Kennel Club (AKC), There are also some shows through the United Kennel Club (UKC) and the Mixed Breed Dog Club of America (MBDCA).
American Kennel Club
One of the most recognizable dog organizations, the AKC has been working hard since 1884 to bring forth the best and the brightest of purebred dogs. Adhering to a strict breed standard, each dog breed must meet certain criteria in order to be eligible for the show ring, including being “intact”.
United Kennel Club
The UKC, established in 1898, recognizes that every owner/handler has to start somewhere. They welcome new owners and handlers into their classes. While they also judge by breed standard and their dogs often are “intact” the UKC also offers an “Altered” division of dog show allowing for pure bred dogs that have been fixed to strut their stuff in the ring.
Mixed Breed Club of America
There are a myriad of events hosted by the MBDCA throughout the year. Conformation is standard show practice. At the MBDCA events, any mixed breed dog that has been fixed may compete for “Best in Show”. For conformation rules click HERE.
Conformation, running around a show ring, putting their best paw forward and being judged on their looks is just one of many, many shows available for a dog to compete in. There are over a dozen sports to choose from and Obedience shows as well. To compete in an Obedience Show, a dog must perform certain tasks to show that he is well trained and a good listener. Not only is a dog required to know the standard sit, down, stay but may be asked to retrieve a foam dumbbell while jumping over a wall.
It’s never too late to enter a dog show. Best in show is there for the taking. To find events in your neck of the woods, click HERE.