The World of Dog Shows
Showing dogs is a great sport where the thrill of competition is combined with the joy of seeing beautiful dogs. Dog shows are one of many types of AKC dog events in which AKC-registered dogs can compete. These events, which draw over three million entries annually, include dog shows and tests of instinct and trainability, such as obedience trials, Canine Good Citizen tests, field trials, agility trials, lure coursing, rally, hunting tests, herding trials, tracking tests, coonhound and earthdog events.
Dog shows (conformation events) are intended to evaluate breeding stock. The size of these events ranges from large all-breed shows, with over 3,000 dogs entered, to small local specialty club shows, featuring a specific breed. The dog's conformation (overall appearance and structure), an indication of the dog's ability to produce quality puppies, is judged.
Which Dogs May Participate
To be eligible to compete, a dog must:
- be individually registered with the American Kennel Club
- be 6 months of age or older
- be a breed for which classes are offered at a show
- meet any eligibility requirements in the written standard for its breed
Spayed or neutered dogs are not eligible to compete at a dog show, because the purpose of a dog show is to evaluate breeding stock.