Show dog requirements for the shih tzu and other purebred dogs

There are rules and regulations you must follow if you want to show your Shih Tzu or any breed of dog. Among those rules are:

* To compete in conformation, your Shih Tzu or other breed of dog must be a purebred registered with a kennel club.

* Purebred Shih Tzu or other purebred dogs adopted from shelters or rescue groups can get a special listing which allows them to compete in performance events, but not in conformation.

* Registration papers must accompany the Shih Tzu or other breed of purebred dog to participate in dog shows.

* The UKC welcomes mixed-breed dogs to compete in performance competitions.

* Shih Tzu and other purebred dogs must be intact to compete in much of conformation.

* The Canadian Kennel Club has a class for spayed and neutered dogs to show in conformation.

* The Australian Shepherd Club of America is also trying out the idea of a class for spayed and neutered dogs to show in conformation.

* You do not have to own the Shih Tzu or other breed of dog. You can show someone else’s dog. There are professional handlers also.

There are places where you can practice showing a Shih Tzu and other breeds of dogs. They are called “matches.” Matches are specifically for practice. Judges of matches do not have to be licensed and/or approved by any kennel club. The Shih Tzu will not earn points toward a championship practicing in matches. A match is just a place for you and your Shih Tzu to get some experience. This is a wonderful place to learn how it feels to be in the ring before an audience and a judge. If possible, take advantage of matches.

There is stiff competition in the actual show ring. Do not even enter until you are fully prepared. You will only be wasting your money, which in the actual show dog arena can be “big bucks.” You can also destroy your reputation by entering the ring not fully prepared.

Be prepared to run into dog fanciers and Shih Tzu fanciers who snub the newcomers. They may even openly insult your dog and resort to dirty tricks in the ring. As with all groups of people, however, you will also meet kind exhibitors who love to share their joy for their breed and the sport. Be aware that how you handle yourself with the “bad” apples in the basket can also either make or break your reputation in the show dog arena.

Matches and shows are further subdivided. The most informal match is called the “workshop.” Other divisions of the match shows are:

* The fun match * The sanctioned match

There are three types of sanctioned shows. These are:

* All-breed show * Multi breed show * Specialty show

All of the sanctioned shows offer championship points to the winners. They may be held indoors or outdoors and be benched or unbenched.

At a bench show all dogs entered for competitions are required to remain on the show grounds in their assigned space when they are not actually in the ring or being exercised or groomed. Among the few bench shows are:

* The Westminster on the East Coast * The Golden Gate on the West Coast