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Think your new puppy has what it takes to be a show dog? Before you enter your puppy in a show, here’s what you need to know about becoming a show dog.
Register Your Puppy
Make sure you register your puppy with the AKC. There are three core behaviors that a dog must learn to do well. Gait, stack and be examined.
Conformation Classes will teach you how to present your puppy in a show. You can show find them by contacting your local kennel club.
Classes, Breeds and Groups
What’s the best class to enter your pup in? If you have a puppy, go for the puppy level while you can. Other levels are Novice, American-Bred and Bred-by-Extension. From there the levels go up.
Once you get to the level of Winners Dog or Winners Bitch, there are those championships you have to worry about. These are done by point. It takes 15 points to become a champion.
The AKC will have match shows with your kennel club. Attend as many match shows as you can. To find shows, go to AKC.org.
Keep control of your puppy at all times. Ask before you pet or approach another dog. If your children are with you, make sure they don’t approach the animal without permission.
Hiring a Handler
If you’re not keen on handling your dog, hire a professional handler to show your puppy.
Judges are only offering their own professional opinion to how your pup compares to the breed standard. Always be polite and respect their views.
To Bench or Unbench…
Most show are unbenched which means that you can time the time you puppy wil show along with the ring number in your judging schedule. Once you’re judged, you can leave. At a benched show. You and your puppy have to stay from beginning to the end of the show.
The show world is unique. Regardless of anyone’s professional opinion, just remember to have fun with your puppy.