A Beginner's Guide to Dog Shows
This is the AKC
The American Kennel Club was established in 1884 to promote the study, breeding, exhibiting and advancement of purebred dogs. It is the largest not-for-profit purebred dog registry in the nation.
The AKC approves and maintains the official records of over 15,000 sanctioned and licensed events each year.
The AKC has approximately 500 member clubs and over 4,000 affiliated clubs. These clubs are more than show-giving entities. They are public service; educational organizations whose activities benefit their entire community. Some AKC club activities include public education through presentations at schools, fairs, libraries, shelters, hospitals, rescue leagues, scouts and 4-H; training classes; and health clinics.
AKC registration means a dog, its parents, and its ancestors are purebred. It does not indicate health or quality. Dogs registered with the AKC can have their offspring registered and compete in AKC events.
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 nearly two 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 earth dog 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.