The American Kennel Club (AKC) sanctions hundreds of dog shows around the country each weekend. The AKC is a national dog organization that oversees and maintains the registry of purebred dog breeds as well as supervising the showing of these dogs. 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.
What are the pros and cons of dog shows?
In favor of dog shows
- Dog shows, especially the high-profile televised ones such as Westminster, expose people to various breeds including some of the rarer ones.
- Dog shows often convince people who are on the fence about adopting a dog to do so.
- In order for a dog to look good, he must be treated well and exercised regularly.
- Shows allow breeders to get an expert opinion on how well their breeding program is doing.
- Dog shows are a fun activity to do with your pet. They will especially enjoy the fact that it is all about them.
- There is no proof that purebred dogs have more health problems than other dogs.
- The shows encourage breeding of certain breeds which are near extinction.
Against dog shows
- Dog shows emphasize physical appearance. The judges have no knowledge of the temperament of a competing dog or of how how well it is treated. All they see is how the dog looks.
- The shows put great importance on purebred dogs, taking away from the value of mutts. Many shelter dogs are mutts and are not being adopted due to the great emphasis society puts on purebreds.
- PETA claims that dog shows contribute to genetic defects since they encourage inbreeding.
- Dog shows serve people’s need for validation and human greed and are not in interest of the dogs.
If you do decide to show your dog, the first thing you should do is join a local kennel club. These clubs will have on training classes for the show ring, and for obedience and agility classes. Decide whether you will be training your dog yourself or hiring a professional handler. Learn good grooming practices and make grooming fun for your dog.
Make sure your dog is registered with the AKC (in the U.S.) and current on all inoculations. And don’t forget supplies – take a grooming table, dog food, water, chairs, a first aid kit, and show clothes to the dog show.