Get Yourself To A Dog Show
Having an interest in showing dogs requires a pretty good understanding of how a dog show works. Often times I hear people say, “I want to show my dog!” but they have no idea what it entails or how they work. Some have never been to an actual dog show in person, only having watched a televised event and getting hooked. I know how that is – I wanted to be a gymnast after watching Nadia Comaneci in the 1976 Olympics! I joined the local gymnastics club and quit within a year, not fully understanding what I had signed up for! To the novice, the words “Dog Show” can be interrupted in a broader realm than what it truly means. AKC Dog shows are actually only one of nine types of AKC dog events in which AKC-registered dogs can compete. At a dog show, the main consideration is the dog’s conformation or overall appearance and structure.
There are three types of conformation dog shows: specialty, all-breed and group.
- Specialty shows are limited to dogs of a specific breed or grouping of breeds; for example, the Chihuahua Club of America Specialty is for Chihuahuas only.
- All-breed shows, on the other hand, are open to over 130 breeds recognized by the AKC.
- Group shows are limited to dogs belonging to one of the seven groups into which AKC-recognized breeds are categorized.
Check Out A Dog Show
Before you get yourself all pumped up for the gold, you need to go to the InfoDog website and look for events that are in your area and plan a day to spend at a Dog Show. The InfoDog website is a bit cumbersome to navigate but if you do get bit by the show bug, this website will be your new best friend. Or at the least, high up there and a favorite bookmark. From the home page, go to Show Information and then Search By State.
And don’t just spend one day at a show – Plan to attend several shows. The majority of the events are All Breed Club shows, where you will bet to see All AKC Breeds perform in Conformation as well as Agility and Obedience. If Conformation is the route you are intending to travel, look for events that are listed as AB (All Breed), LB (Limited Breed) or S/SWPC (Specialty/Sweepstakes, Conformation).
Based on your new-found understanding of the different types of AKC clubs, you will be able to differentiate between the AB as a show held by an All Breed club while the S or SWPC events are held my a Local Speciality Club and LB events are held by Limited Breed clubs (generally classified by the Breed Group the dog is in).
The more shows that you attend, the more you will not only become familiar with how dogs shows work, but also how a show quality Chihuahua looks as well as those individuals that are involved in the fancy. These are the people that will help you eventually find your new Champion. It will not be on an internet website or in a local newspaper classified ad. These are the people that have spent their heard earned money, blood, sweat and tears to produce the best possible. They are the key to helping you obtain the best quality dog possible and that is not something they will let go to any stranger that walks up to them off the street.
If by attending the shows, the bite of the dog show bug has sunk in deep, then your next step is to become more involved – MUCH MORE INVOLVED!