Category Archives: AKC

The Advantages of Belonging to a Dog Club

By Linda Cole

Dog events are held around the country every year, and they are all sponsored by a dog club. Whether it’s an event in obedience, a conformation dog show, agility or field trials – it was organized by a dog club. Even if you have never participated in a sponsored event, joining a dog club is to your advantage and may even inspire you to enter your dog in one of their events.

Before joining any dog club, you must first decide what it is you want from one. You can find a variety of dog clubs, each with their own area of interest, and not all dog clubs are AKC sponsored. Clubs are for people and their dogs who share a love for a specific breed, or an enthusiasm for hiking, surfing, field trials, agility, obedience and many other interests. The one thing they all have in common is a love for dogs and an activity the members are interested in. Some dog clubs have a relaxed atmosphere while others are more demanding and want the dogs to be well behaved. It depends on the individual club, so you need to understand what’s expected before joining one. However, all clubs expect dogs to be socialized with other dogs and people.


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What is a Conformation Dog Show?

By Linda Cole

If you want to see a good representation of purebred dogs looking their best, a dog show is the best place to go. A conformation dog show is considered to be a beauty contest, but there’s a lot more to it than that. The dogs are well trained, and each one is an ambassador representing their breed.

The recent showing of the National Dog Show on Thanksgiving and Westminster Dog Show are good examples of conformation shows. These are benched shows, which means people attending are allowed to mingle with the dogs backstage and talk to dog experts who can answer their questions. Both shows are nationally televised, but conformation dog shows take place across the country all year.

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What are Earthdog Tests?

By Ruthie Bently

The most cited definition of an earth dog is “a dog that will dig in the earth, or enter holes of foxes, etc.” Earth dogs were originally used for hunting food for the table or vermin, and were bred to track badger, otter, weasels and other quarry to their den. At an Earthdog Test or Den Trial, a dog is competing against themselves and their own natural ability to hunt when confronted by an underground hunting location.

Earthdog is a newer sport based on an old practice. There are several dog breeds that have been used for many years for this purpose. It is now a recognized competition by the American Kennel Club (AKC), the Canadian Kennel Club (CKC) and the American Working Terrier Association (AWTA). Called both “Earthdog Tests” and “Earthdog Den Trials,” their purpose is the same – to test your dog’s natural instinct and trained ability to work and hunt a quarry after they have “gone to ground.”

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Could Your Dog Ace the “Canine Good Citizen” test?

By Julia Williams

Having a well-trained feline is not something most cat owners care about. Not because cats can’t be trained – they certainly can – but it’s really not necessary for everyday life. Dog owners, on the other hand, do need to make sure their canine buddy is well trained and well behaved. Trained dogs make better companions, and the training process helps you build a stronger bond with your dog.

Many pet owners use the AKC’s Canine Good Citizen® (CGC) certification program as the first step in training their dogs. Passing the 10-step CGC test ensures that your dog has good manners both at home and out in the world. Having a well behaved dog makes you a better neighbor, and makes it more likely that your dog is welcomed in your community.

What is the Canine Good Citizen program?

The American Kennel Club started the CGC program in 1989 as a way to promote responsible dog ownership and to encourage the training of well-mannered dogs. A dog and his owner (or handler) must take a short behavioral evaluation consisting of ten objectives. Dogs who pass earn the Canine Good Citizen certificate from the AKC, which some owners use after the dog’s name, e.g., “Rover, CGC.”

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An Introduction to United Kennel Club

By Sara Chisnell-Voigt

Established in 1898, the United Kennel Club is the largest all-breed performance-dog registry in the world, registering dogs from all 50 states and 25 foreign countries. More than 60 percent of its 13,000 annually licensed events are tests of hunting ability, training, and instinct. UKC prides itself on its family-oriented, friendly, educational events. The UKC has supported the “Total Dog” philosophy through its events and programs for over a century. As a departure from registries that place emphasis on a dog’s looks, UKC events are designed for dogs that look and perform equally well.

“Total Dog” Award 

The “Total Dog” Award is just one of many things that makes UKC so special, and illustrates that function is just as important as form. In order to win a “Total Dog” award, a dog must obtain a competition win in conformation, and must also earn a qualifying leg in a performance event (agility, obedience, weight pull, or a licensed hunt) at the same event. This rewards dogs that not only shine in the show ring, but are superb athletes as well.

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Can You Register Mixed Breed Dogs?

By Linda Cole

For decades, only purebred dogs could be registered. Now, kennel clubs around the country are opening up their doors to mutts, giving every dog his chance to shine and show off. A mixed breed dog may not have papers, but he can still run, jump, sit and run a trail with the best of them. Is there an advantage to registering a dog with mixed lineage, and what are the benefits to the dog and its owner?

Every dog lover who shares their home with a mixed breed can picture their furry friend standing in the winner’s circle at a dog competition. However, the purebred dogs strutting their stuff are well trained dogs, and their trainers spent hours working with them. You can also have a well trained dog, and that’s one of the benefits to registering your mixed breed dog. In order to join in on the fun, your dog has to mind his manners and it’s up to you to make sure he’s properly trained. All of the organizations promote responsible dog ownership to help teach owners how unique and special their mutt is.
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