Dog Showing is a very old sport to promote the love of Purebred Dogs. There are a variety of Registries out there and most follow the Rules and Procedures held by the AKC, American Kennel Club. The AKC is probably the best known registry in the country and the one we prefer. We have however played in other registries and had a great deal of fun.
A registered puppy can begin showing in matches at 3 months old. These are fun and casual opportunities for both you and your pup to begin training in the sport. Normally held after a dog show in the evening or late afternoon. They use the same facilities as a regular show but there are adjustments made for the age of the pups. At 6 months they can go into the AKC rings where they begin competing for points towards their Championship
Handling classes are often available through your local Kennel Club. And your Breeder may be happy to train the two of you. For owners who do not wish to go into the ring themselves there are professional handlers, who train, groom and show for you. You may arrange to have them picked up at ringside or you might choose to have the handler take the pup / dog to a series of shows. Traveling with the handler and staying at their home or facility between shows. Years ago a top handler told me that you could count on finishing a dog with a handler to cost about $1500.00 , and owner handler starting out would expect to pay easily double that amount, in entries, hotels and travel. In today's economy it's any-one's guess I'm afraid. My husband often jokes that I told him this would be an inexpensive family hobby..... we are on our 6th motor home!
Dog Showing like any other sport can become addictive. It is a great deal of fun to spend the weekend with a 1000+ dogs, networking and chatting, learning the stories and tips that fanciers share. And then you have the Vendors... how fun to shop in the little stores that have any and everything you could think of for you and your Dog! I admit I enjoy the art, the fashion and the toys!!
There are many Performance Sports that are both competitive and fun. Obedience, Agility, Rally, Lure Coursing, Herding, Tracking, Weight Pulling, Dock Diving, Hunting Trails to name a few. Being a team with your dog as they run through an obstacle course, racing the clock for a clean run. Or the practice that goes into the high scores in an Obedience Trial. An Additional one perk is while your registered dog may have an fault that would keep it out of the show ring , but that may have zero effect on them in the agility ring! A few of the Performance Sports may have Disqualifications. For example a Ridgeback without a ridge can compete in Obedience but not Lure Coursing. Check with your breeder for details..