Are you a lover of dogs’ sports or you own a dog and you would love to see your dog in a show? There are lots of shows for dogs in the United States of which three of them are the National dog shows which are: the American Kennel Club/Eukanuba National Championship, the Westminster Kennel Club Annual Dog Show and The National Dog Show. Each of these shows is a conformation show where dogs are judged by how closely they conform to the breed standard.

What are Breed Standards?

These are described as the physical and mental attributes of an ideal dog of a specific breed. Characteristics like the appearance of the dog, movement and temperament contributes immensely to its performance at the function for which it is being prepared. When dogs closely conform to the breed standard, it indicates their ability to produce quality puppies. The actual purpose of conformation shows is to appraise breeding stock. For this reason, only purebred, non-spayed or non-neutered dogs are allowed to compete.

AKC/Eukanuba National Championship

This American Kennel Club/Eukanuba National Championship is the newest of the three dog shows, as it was first held in 2011. It has an average of over 3,400 dogs entering the show annually, thus making it the largest dog show. The AKC/Eukanuba National Championship is held in mid-December each year. The location of the show has varied, though it frequently has been in Orlando, Florida. The top 25 dogs in each breed, based on points earned during the year at AKC sanctioned shows, qualify for the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship.

Westminster Kennel Club Annual Dog Show

The Westminster Kennel Club Annual Dog Show is the oldest dog show that dates back as far as 1877. It is held annually at Madison Square Garden in New York City in mid-February. It has around 2,500 entrants of dogs in the Westminster show. Dogs must be either invited to enter or have Championship status or have won at least one 3-, 4-, or 5-point major award. The show is broadcast live on national television, and rebroadcast during the week after the show.

The National Dog Show

This show was first held in 1879 by the Kennel Club of Philadelphia in Pennsylvania, which served as the beginning of the show now called The National Dog Show. The Show is currently held at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Centre in Oaks, Pennsylvania and has an average of 2,000 entrants. It takes place in mid-November and is broadcast nationwide each year on Thanksgiving Day after the Macy’s Parade. It also is sanctioned by the American Kennel Club.

Breed Groups

All three of the shows organize dog breeds into seven different groups for the competitions. The groups are as follows: sporting group, hound group, working group, terrier group, toy group, non-sporting group and herding group.

Benched Dog Shows

Both the Westminster Kennel Club Annual Dog Show and the National Dog Show are benched dog shows. Benched dog shows offer a broader experience because when the dogs are not being shown, they are at their assigned benches so that breeders, handlers and spectators can meet the dogs and talk to their owners.