For an AKC conformation show, the first requirement is a purebred dog registered with the
American Kennel Club.
Showing dogs is fun! Dog shows are another way to interact with your dog; a competitive sport,
a proving ground of knowledge and skill, a way to show off your breeding program, and a new circle of friends.
If you are just beginning, take the time to find a reputable, successful breeder.
They will be the ones who answer your questions, acting as long term mentors that will save you any number
of mistakes along the way. A caring breeder will ask you questions; find out your goals and intentions,
and whether a particular breed of dog is right for you.
The breeder may sell a puppy with "strings", or conditions. Possible stipulations may include
co-ownership agreements, promises to have the dog shown a certain number of times, or by a certain handler,
or perhaps an arrangement to return a puppy from a future breeding. Be sure you understand these conditions,
and can live up to them, before you sign the contract. As appealing as young puppies are, they are only
potential show quality. Until a puppy has grown enough, it just isn't possible to guarantee show quality.
Two options for showing a dog - either a professional handler or exhibiting your
dog yourself. Dogs shows are unique in that amateurs and professionals compete on equal terms in the show ring.
The amateur must try hard to equal a professional's expertise, but has the advantage of concentrating all
his efforts on his own dog.
SHOW YOUR DOG YOURSELF...(Click to Read)
USE A PROFESSIONAL HANDLER...(Click to Read)
We are a community of friends and acquaintances with our dogs in common. Consider the competitive
element before you expect someone to give you, and a rival puppy, full effort. It is just human nature that
your own breeder/mentor will care more about helping you with your puppy than will anyone else.