What is a Dog Show?

What exactly is a “dog show”?
“Dog Show” can actually refer to many different canine events.  There are conformation
shows, where a dog is judged on how she/he conforms to their breed’s standard.
Other kinds of shows include obedience, agility, rally, herding, tracking, carting, lure coursing,
weight pulling and much more.
The Greater Monroe Kennel Club hosts two all-breed dog shows each year.  These shows
include agility, conformation, obedience and rally.  They are back-to-back, one on Friday and
the other on Saturday, November 19 & 20, 2010.  This year Fayetteville Kennel Club will be
having their show on Sunday following our two day show and specialty trials will be held on
Thursday, November 18, 2010.
For more information on various types of canine sporting events, visit AKC dog events or
contact a member of the Greater Monroe Kennel Club.

Can spectators attend?

Yes! Spectators are welcome.
Will there be puppies for sale at the show?
No.  However, a show is a great opportunity to learn about and meet different breeds.  This
may help you decide which breed is right for your family.
It might also help you find a breeder, although not every breeder at a show is responsible and
not every dog being shown should be bred.  (Note:  The AKC cannot guarantee health or
quality of the dogs in its registry.)  Showing is one piece of the breeding puzzle, health and
temperament are just as important as conformation.  Buyers are encouraged to do their
research and take their time.  A great starting point is this article about finding a responsible

Can I bring my dog?

No, non-entered dogs should be left at home.

What goes on in the ring?  What is the judge looking for?
At a conformation show, judges are looking to see how closely the dogs conform to their breed
standard  They exam (“go over”) each dog with their hands to see if the teeth, muscles, bones
and coat texture conform to the individual breed standard  They view each dog in profile for
overall balance, and watch each dog gait (move) to see how all of those features fit together in
Read the AKC’s “Beginners’ Guide to Dog Shows” for details of how the show process works.

Why do people show their dogs?  What do they win?
Showing is an expensive hobby, not a money-making venture.  It’s a fun way to meet people
with similar interests, participate in a sport with your dog and gain unbiased opinions about a
dog’s breeding potential (although not all people that show breed their dogs).
Mostly, all that an exhibitor will win is a small ribbon.  For some wins, a trophy or dog related
item is offered.  Cash prizes are occasionally offered for big wins, however these cash prizes
do not offset the money spent to show a dog.  In general, prizes won do not come close to the
expense of showing when one figures entry fees, traveling & equipment expenses, training,
grooming and all other expenses that go along with showing a dog.
The real prize is training and working with your dog...and ultimately knowing the “team” effort
has done such a good job the “team” takes the reward.  After all the dog loves you, most dogs
could care less if the judge likes them or not...It’s all for their family.

How can I find dates and locations of shows in my area? and are great resources for finding shows.  A
quick way to utilize website is to click on “Show Information” and then
“Search by Sate”.  To attend a conformation show, look for an All-Breed show or a Specialty
show of the breed in which you are interested.  For information on all of AKC’s scheduled
.  Or go to their site and click on the Events tab.

How can I get involved in showing?
A good first step is joining a club.  Learn first hand about dog shows, gain valuable contacts
and earn peer respect by assisting with club needs.  This may also help decide if this is a
hobby for you.
It is advantageous to join a club and become involved prior to purchasing a show potential
dog, as your experience and contacts will lend to a more educated purchasing decision.
Although there are various types of clubs, for someone looking to start showing in
conformation, a breed or all-breed club would be a good choice.  AKC’s website has a club
search to help you find the right club.
Visit AKC’s New Exhibitor corner for more details.

What other types of activities can I do with my dog?
Tons! Obedience, agility, therapy, tracking, herding, rally and much more.  Visit our Dog
Activities Page!

Links of interest
Westminster Kennel Club’s About Dog Shows
Dogpatch’s Dog Show Links & Info
Dog Owner’s Guide to Conformation Shows
What Happens at a Dog Show?
The User’s Guide to Dog Shows
Confusing Terms for AKC Dog Show Beginners
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