Go to a Dog Show – and Learn a Lot about Dogs!
By AKC GoodDog! Helpline Trainer Hilarie Erb
If you are thinking about getting a dog, looking for ways to work with the dog you already have, or just need a fun way to spend a day, go to an AKC sanctioned dog show.
There isn’t a better place to see breeds that you probably have never seen and performance classes that let dogs show off their smarts and skills. There are also vendors selling supplies for dogs that you won’t find anywhere else.
Most dog-loving people have never been to a dog show. They have an idea that it’s an exclusive event, only for fancy, expensive dogs and their people. Not so! The vast majority of exhibitors are hard-working, down-to-earth people who simply love dogs.
When they have time, most owners and handlers are happy to talk to you about their dogs. You can wander around the grooming areas, taking care not to be in the way, keeping in mind that they are getting ready to compete.
Don’t touch a dog without permission – this rule applies everywhere, but at the dog show it’s especially important. You won’t make friends if you mess up a grooming job!
Often there are AKC Obedience and AKC Rally classes held at all-breed shows. Sometimes AKC Agility and/or non-AKC sports like flyball or dock diving are held in conjunction with larger events.
You also can find “standalone” obedience and agility trials, which are not held in conjunction with a conformation dog show. These are great places to see talented performance dogs, both pure-breds and mixed-breeds.
It is easy to find AKC events in your community via the AKC event search engine - http://www.akc.org/events/search/
- Choose the tab labeled Event Search
- Choose the type of competition you want to see from Competition Type drop-down menu
- Choose the time frame you want to search from Time Range drop-down
- Click on the state or states that you want to find events in
- Click Search button at the bottom
- List of events will appear. Click on each individual box to get more information and to get contact name and contact informationFor descriptions of the many different competitive opportunities for all dogs, visit http://www.akc.org/events/.Enjoy the show!