The official term for dog shows is conformation — as in, the act of conforming or producing conformity. While a dog show may look like a beauty pageant, it’s not. Dogs are not being compared to each other
Think your dog is an A+ student? Are your friends and family jealous with how well you’ve trained your dog? Then you might want to take things to a new level by participating in Obedience competitions (also called “trials”).
Developed in the 1930s, Obedience is one of the AKC’s oldest sporting events. From walking on- and off-leash to retrieving and jumping, or demonstrating your dog’s ability to stay, Obedience trials feature dogs that are well-behaved at home, in public places, and in the presence of other dogs. It is essential that the obedience dog demonstrates willingness and enjoyment while it is working with the handler.
Whether or not you want to compete, every dog owner should consider some form of obedience training. It’s the best way to establish good communication skills between you and your dog – and to make sure that your dog is the most well-behaved one in your neighborhood!
As Michael Jordan, one of the world’s most famous basketball players, said, “Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships.” When you participate in an AKC Rally event, you get to show off both: Your dog’s talents and the teamwork between you.
Think of an AKC Rally® event as any team sport: You and your dog navigate a course, side-by-side, as you steer him through a course of 10-20 different signs. Each of these signs provides instructions regarding the next skill that is to be performed. The dog and handler move continuously throughout the course with the dog under control at the handler’s left side. There is a clear sense of teamwork between the dog and handler both during and between the numbered signs. Although each performance is timed, having a good race time is not the goal; it’s all about working as a team while performing the skills, with the dog under control.
Started in 2005, AKC Rally is a fun family sport and participation increases each year. It’s a perfect starting point for those who are new to canine sports as AKC Rally provides a challenging introduction to all AKC Companion Events for dogs and handlers to strengthen their skills.
Imagine a look of determination on your dog’s face as he runs hard, nimbly making each turn. He keeps his eyes on you while scampering through tunnels, jumping over hurdles, and beaming with pride. The crowds in the stands cheer as you move together in perfect harmony. That’s the sport of Agility. It can be quite a rush – and one of the best ways to create an even deeper connection between you and your dog.
Agility is a growing dog sport in the United States, with over 1 million entries to the AKC’s Agility Program each year. Dogs race against a clock as they navigate an obstacle course with strong concentration and speed. Whether you just want to have fun exercising with your dog, or want to go further and enter an Agility competition, get ready for a fast-paced, rewarding experience that will get you and your dog in the best shape of your lives!