Why You Need to See the Puppy & Junior Stakes at the National Championship



Love puppies? Love to see them strutting their stuff? Then you’ll really love a new event at this year’s show, the AKC Royal Canin National All-Breed Puppy and Junior Stakes. The event is open to all AKC-registered breeds, including Miscellaneous Class breeds and is divided into classes by age. You’ll see puppies as young as six months up to 18-month Juniors and any of them could be part of the next generation of champions.

Here’s how it works

There are four ages classes: Puppy 6-9 months, Puppy 9-12 months, Junior 12-15 months and Junior 15–18 months old. The classes are also divided by sex. Just like conformation for adult dogs, the judging begins at the breed level and the eight class winners compete for Best of Breed. The Best of Breed winners then compete in their groups: Herding, Hound, Non-Sporting, Sporting, Terrier, Toy and Working. And finally, the Best of Group winners compete for the national All-Breed Puppy (or Junior) of the Year—Best in Stakes. Not only are the winners the future stars of the dog world, they are even awarded prize money, from $25 for Best of Breed through $1000 to be awarded to Best in Stakes.




What will I see at the AKC Royal Canin Puppy & Junior Stakes?

You already know what conformation looks like. Now imagine it with puppies. Judges will examine the dogs, looking for those that most match their breed standard. Dogs and handlers will make their way around the ring, showing each puppy’s gait, along with his personality. At the very least, the pups have basic leash training and are properly socialized. Keep in mind that these are puppies and very young dogs, so you can expect the unexpected. Will the Pembroke Welsh Corgi pup lay down and roll around? Will the Border Collie try to herd the other dogs? Will the Boxer pup do a Boxer dance? Who knows? And that’s part of the fun!

This is the first National Puppy Stakes ever and the event is being held exclusively at the AKC National Championship presented by Royal Canin, so don’t miss your chance to see these champions-in-the-making on Friday, December 15 from 7:00 am—11:00 pm.

Selecting a Puppy

How do you know what breed is right for your family? How do you find a reputable breeder? What questions should you ask a breeder? Download this e-book for guidance on these questions and other important factors to consider when looking for a puppy.

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