Basic terms in showing dogs
In the ring
In the ring, judges examine all of us carefully—dogs, that is. They feel over each of us and watch the way we move. The judges also compare how we stand in line and move together.
All judges follow the same basic guidelines but each has his or her own process for judging us.
Because the judges are all different, Matt says, "Knowing what's going to happen in the show ring is a big part of training."
I say, "And they call it "dog training"?
I'm allowing the judge to examine my head.
If you don't have a dog, dog shows are one of the best places to learn more about us.
At shows you can talk with breeders and owners of different breeds to see which breeds you like best. Of course, I'm the best but, go find out for yourself.
Going to dog shows is also the best way to learn about them before competing in one. You can find a show near you by visiting the Events tab on the AKC website.
Local clubs often offer training classes with experienced teachers. Matt says, "Ask people at dog shows if they know of good classes."
The price is right
Matt says that showing dogs like me is a rewarding hobby.
Showing dogs like me takes time and can cost a lot of money. In addition to the regular costs of buying and caring for a dog, you need:
- Training classes (about $5 a week)
- Fees for entering shows ($20 to $30 a show, often half that for Junior Showmanship)
- Equipment and grooming supplies (costs vary depending on our breed)
- Travel expenses for shows held far away
You won't always win. Matt says, "Learning to show dogs is often a lesson in losing graciously. It's an exciting, rewarding hobby."
Win or lose, the time spent bonding with your human is special. I guess the reverse is true for Matt, because he says that bonding with me is "why I like to compete in dog shows."
Click Abe's head for the answer.