Explanation Of All-Breed & Specialty Shows (from the AKC)
All Breed Shows
All-Breed shows are conformation events that are held for the more than 190 breeds and varieties of dogs recognized by the AKC to compete in, unless otherwise noted on the club’s premium list. Also listed under All-Breed are the Group Shows, or shows limited to one of the seven AKC Groups: Sporting, Hound, Working, Terrier, Toy, Non-Sporting and Herding. Approximately 1,500 AKC All-breed conformation point shows are held throughout the United States each year.
Specialty shows are events limited to a single breed, e.g. Labradors. Some Specialty hows may be held in conjunction with an All-Breed event while others are stand-alone events. There are about 2,000 independent national, regional and local Specialty point shows held every year. There is no better place to learn about your breed than at a Specialty Show.
A class win at the Specialty can be a high point of a dog person’s year, and a Best of Breed or Best in Sweepstakes is often a pinnacle achievement for person with a long history in a breed. Whether you’re a prospective owner researching a breed, a new owner, or an experienced breeder, handler or judge, Specialty Shows are your best opportunity to spend time with others who share your love of your breed.
A non-regular class, usually offered at Specialty shows, which are specifically designed to recognize outstanding young dogs and puppies, as well as veteran dogs. Winners of Best in Sweeps, Best Opposite Sex in Sweeps, and often all of the class placement winners, receive a portion of the entry fees as prizes for their placement. Puppies must be under 18 months (24 months at some shows) to be eligible for Sweepstakes competition and Veterans must be 7 years or older (8 years or older at the National Specialty). The judge for sweepstakes is a different judge than the regular class judge(s). This is a good place to practice with young dogs and allow them to have a fun, relaxed experience,
What is a Match?
AKC Match Shows are a great opportunity to socialize your dog in an informal and educational dog show environment, all while meeting other dog lovers who are already part of the AKC community. Most of all, it’s pure fun! Get started with your dog now:
Match Shows provide people who are new to, or interested in getting involved in, Conformation, Obedience, Rally, or Agility events (depending upon the club). These Events are often used as practice for puppies and their owners, providing guidance and feedback from seasoned handlers, judges or fellow newbies. Match Shows are as enjoyable to watch as they are to participate in! If you are a first time participant you could easily come and observe with or without your dog. If you are coming to participate then you may need your dog’s registration information to enter. The other benefits AKC matches offer is that you are meeting other people that are trying to learn about their dog and the various sports that the AKC has to offer. At the end of the day there is no wrong question to ask. Matches are an excellent point of public education for the new participant, but most important giving you and your dog a relaxing fun no pressure environment to come and learn.
Is an informal event at which neither Championship points nor credit toward an Agility, Rally, Obedience, or Tracking title are awarded. They are events at which dog clubs, judges, stewards, and exhibitors and their dogs gain experience needed for licensed events. No dog that is a champion of record may be entered in a conformation match (except that champions may be entered in any junior showmanship classes). All of the Rules Applying to Dog Shows, and the Agility, Tracking, and Obedience/ Rally Regulations will apply to sanctioned matches, except those which specifically make reference to licensed and member events and except where otherwise stated in the Regulations.”
An informal dog event that is not approved by The American Kennel Club as a sanctioned match. These events are commonly held by clubs that are not on the records of The American Kennel Club as being eligible to conduct sanctioned matches, dog shows, agility or obedience/ rally trials. Fun matches are designed to provide handlers and dogs with an opportunity to practice in an environment that simulates a trial. Training in the ring is usually encouraged. Bring lots of treats and toys and reward accordingly. Remember, fun matches are supposed to be just that, FUN!