• American Kennel Club

A Beginner's Guide to Dog Shows by American Kennel Club

Updated: Jan 28

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 more than three 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, hunting tests, herding trials, tracking tests, and coon-hound and earthdog 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), is an indication of the dog’s ability to produce quality puppies.

AKC Guide for Beginners
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