Tiaras aren’t just for toddlers. Your pet can have one, too! Reality competition shows are sweeping the nation right now, and they aren’t excluding animals! Animal Planet hosts dog and cat shows which feature popular and exotic breeds, along with their owners. You may have even tuned in to the Westminster Dog Show, which was recently held at the famed Madison Square Garden in New York City. The big winners of that evening were the Dalmatian, Pekingese and the German Shepherd.
While most owners at shows are seasoned pros at competing, newbies are still welcome. If you are a newcomer to the show dog scene, the first thing to do would be to register your pup at a local kennel club. You can find a dog club in your area simply by using an online search engine. The American Kennel Club (AKC) also has a club directory located on their website.
“Showing dogs is a great sport where the thrill of competition is combined with the joy of seeing beautiful dogs,” according to the American Kennel Club website. Dog shows include tests of trainability, instinct and obedience, along with specialized skills such as herding, rallying or hunting.
The AKC states that another purpose of dog shows is to allow you and others to see which dogs might produce a beautiful litter together. In other words, to show the best, your pup’s coat should be shining! So there is a reason why show dogs are said to be very pampered.
Every show has different regulations and requirements. For example, for AKC shows, dogs must:
- Be registered with the AKC
- Be at least six months old
- Be of a breed listed in the show guidelines
- Meet all the requirements for the particular breed.
Plus, show dogs must not be spayed or neutered, this is because the purpose of dog shows is to demonstrate the dog’s potential to create exceedingly cute puppies!
The AKC also recommends that you start training with your pooch early. (On a side note, this is a good idea to do even if you are not interested in showing your dog. Training and daily grooming creates a bond with you and your furry friend.) Also, watch a few dog shows before actually participating. This allows you to see how the judges interact with the handlers and their pooches, along with what you should expect. Dog shows are fun for viewer and participant alike!
Do you have a show dog? Tell us about it in the comments!