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All fanciers are eagerly awaiting the day when they can resume their favorite pastime: going to dog shows. That day will come, but with announcements still coming of events being canceled, there are still many dog show-less weekends to come.

That leaves us with time on our hands for long-neglected projects that will make going to dog shows and trials in the future even more fun and rewarding.

When you’re on your way to a show, do you think about things you wish you had time to do that would make the show experience better? Well, now you do have the time.


Whitney Meeks of Fuquay Varina, NC, and her father, Darryl Meeks, spent a weekend insulating her dog show van. Another project she had wanted to tackle for a while was organizing the enclosed porch where she stores dog supplies.

She got to spend quality time with her dad, and now her van will be quieter and more comfortable on long drives to dog shows. Plus, thanks to the now-neatly organized supplies, she said she can find things more easily to get it loaded up!

“I’m thrilled with how well the van turned out, and the best part is that I got to spend the time doing the project with my Dad,” Whitney said.


This may also be a good time to start something that you’ll continue with even after dog competitions resume.

Lorraine Rothrock, of Star, ID, has begun offering grooming to fellow Wirehaired Pointing Griffon owners. She competes in hunting trials and conformation with her Griffons, and some local Griffon owners are very pleased with their dogs’ new looks. Jynx, pictured, will return for another grooming session before the next hunting season begins.

Additionally, Lorraine is offering training for puppies 4 months to 1 year – basic field commands, introducing them to birds, and teaching a foundation of pointing and steady to flush, with the pups on a check cord. The grooming and training she started with friends are garnering referrals and is keeping her busy.

“I’ve groomed other people’s dogs forever; I enjoy it,” Lorraine said. “I’ve trained at no charge but have some good references now, so I’ll start doing it for some extra money.”

Here some other ideas for projects to tackle:

  • Clean/reorganize your dog show vehicle or dog room. A new coat of paint can make everything look brand new.
  • Revitalize your kennel landscaping.
  • Build a puppy play box for your next litter to enjoy:
  • Think up names and/or themes for future litters. Be sure to record them somewhere, so you’ll have them when you need them. Sometimes you think you’ll never forget a great idea, but if you don’t make a note of it, you just might.
  • Update your website, if you have one. If you don’t, consider creating one with some free software. It’s easier than you think.
  • Update the information packet you give to your puppy buyers.
  • Read a new training book or take an online class. The courses on AKC Canine College are 50% off!
  • Groom all the dogs, even the ones you aren’t showing anymore. It’s also possible to safely take on extra grooming jobs, with social distancing.
  • Train your dogs. Try something different, such as rally, tricks, or scent work – all things you can enjoy at home.

AKC is offering plenty of exciting opportunities to earn virtual titles from home: Trick Dog, Rally Novice, ACT (Agility Course Test), and Fit Dog. Read AKC Titles & Programs You Can Do From Home for information and links to get you and your dog started with all of these. You’ll find Trick Training videos, Rally Novice and ACT1 courses, and more. For young dog lovers, there is the AKC Virtual Patch Program.

Take a look around you; undoubtedly, you’ll see a few things you’ve been putting off. We are experiencing challenging times, but it’s a good time to remember that there is more to dog showing than dog shows.