Beginner's Guide Page 8
How Do I Get Started Showing My Dog?
The best place to start is by joining a local kennel club, whether an all-breed kennel club or a breed-specific specialty club. A listing of clubs by state can be found on our AKC Club Search page or through our customer service department by calling (919) 233-9767.
Local clubs will have information on training classes for the show ring, and for obedience and agility classes. Even if the show ring is not your ultimate goal, the relationship that training forms between you and your dog will be very rewarding to you both. Local clubs also have "Fun Matches" where you and your dog can test your skill in the ring.
Handling your dog is an exceptional and enjoyable experience. From the grooming table to the show ring, you and your dog will develop a bond. While training classes offer the best hands-on way to practice for the show ring, attending shows and observing your breed is also a great way to gain understanding of what judges and other competitors do.
If you do not wish to handle your dog yourself, or have a friend or family member do it, you may contact a professional handler who charges a fee for showing your dog.
You're on your way! You are entering a sport that will bring many hours of enjoyment and education to every member of your family. You will make many friends in the sport, and will enjoy your dog and your new hobby for many years to come.