Friday, March 26, 2010


No, I’m not talking about a match for a cigarette. I’m talking about a match show for German Shepherds. When’s the last time that you went to a match show? Better yet, when’s the last time you even seen a match show offered in your area? I used to love going to match shows. I just don’t see that many of them around anymore.

What is a match show, some of you may be asking? A match show is a “practice” show for puppies and young adults that you want to show at AKC point shows in the future. It’s good training for the youngsters, future handlers, stewards, and future judges. The youngster gets a feel for what it’s like to be shown inside of a ring. The future handler gets practice showing a dog. The steward learns the ring procedure and how to mark a catalog. Then the judge gets practice with ring procedure and examining the show dog.

Many years ago there used to be a wonderful Match Show magazine that announced the upcoming shows in your area. When researching for this article, I didn’t see it on the web. It doesn’t mean its not there, but I forget the official name of the magazine. I used to subscribe to it and have it sent to my house when I was raising puppies. Now there is a great website to check out upcoming match show events. It’s free so I would encourage any of the specialty clubs to check it out and list any of your matches that are coming up. It’s free advertising for your club’s match show events. The website is:

Did you know that there are different types of match shows? You might think that they are all the same, but they are not. Here is the information that you might need to know before you enter a match show.

FUN MATCHES: This is a match that is not approved or sanctioned by the AKC. It’s informal and there are not too many set rules one must follow. You sign up for a class the day of the match and wait for that class to be called into the ring. The procedures are quite lax at a fun match. It is an excellent training experience for the puppy, handler and judge. Puppies younger than six months of age may be shown at a fun match.

MEMBERS ONLY MATCHES: I’ve never seen this kind of match before, but the title pretty much sums it up. This is a matched offered to clubs that are recognized by the American Kennel club and it is for members only.

AKC SANCTIONED MATCHES: According to the AKC: “An AKC match is an informal event at which neither championship points nor credit towards obedience title is awarded. They are events at which dog clubs, judges, stewards, exhibitors, and their dogs gain experience needed for licensed events.” All of the AKC show and obedience rules and regulations apply for these types of matches just like they would for an actual AKC point show. At these type of matches, the dogs that are entered must be at least six months old on the day of the event. When judging at an AKC sanctioned match, the judge must know the standard and the disqualifying faults of the breed. The dog can not be disqualified, but can be excused for the day.

From what I read, it was stressed that an AKC sanctioned match is NOT a fun match, but should be taken more seriously and adherence to the AKC rules for a point show should be strictly enforced at this type of match show. It was emphasized that if you are showing a dog in obedience at an AKC sanctioned match that if excessive corrections are needed for your dog to obey his commands that you should not show him in this type of match. Show him in a fun match instead where the rules are not as strictly enforced.

Having a match show can bring in revenue for the hosting club’s treasury. There is a charge for entering your dog in a match show. Also the club can make money by offering and serving food for the exhibitors.

As I’ve said earlier, I haven’t seen many match shows around lately. I wonder why that is. Maybe it’s because of lack of volunteers to put the show together. The setting up of the ring/rings, setting up the table for refreshments, having a clean up person for the inside of the ring, etc. is hard because of the lack of membership at some clubs. Putting on a match is like putting on a point show……you need the man/woman power!

Planning for a match show is not too much unlike planning for a point show. First of all you got to find a week-end that doesn’t have any point shows close by on the day you want to hold your event. You need to hire the judge, hire the stewards, ask for volunteers to help put the show on and then ADVERTISE it! You should put it on the difference e-mail lists that allow advertising of these events. Put it on Dog Match and talk it up to your friends and fellow exhibitors and breeders. Most breeders are looking for a place to get their puppies and youngsters out before exhibiting them in the point shows.

Remember when you go to a match show, it should be about the training for your young dog. Who cares if you win or lose? It really shouldn’t be about that. It should be getting your dogs trained and liking the show ring. Making this a pleasant experience now can pay off later on when it really counts!

My rating: match shows: (4)

From the book: "THE ABSOLUTE BEGINNERS GUIDE TO SHOWING YOUR DOG".....The Blue-Ribbon source for showing your dog.
Showing your dog can be great fun! You know your dog has what it takes to be a champion, but how do you get started? Inside is everything you need to know about the rewarding world of the dog show circuit.
This easy-to-read guide will help you discover whether the show ring is the right place for you and your dog, learn the basics of training, and develop the skills for successful showing. In the end, both you and your dog will be ready to succeed in the show ring!
"A comprehensive how-to manual that encompasses every level of experience." —Corky Vroom, president, Professional Handlers' Association
"Masterfully written, offering insight and tips for both aspiring and experienced dog show enthusiasts. By far the most complete book on the market." —Susan Bulanda, senior conformation judge, UKC
"Demystifies the sport of dogs without erasing the wondrous mystique of the art, and mentors the novice through the world of dog shows." —Lilian S. Barber, exhibitor, breeder, and AKC judge
"If you've ever wondered about dog shows, shown a dog, or wanted to try it, this book is tailor-made for you." — Darlene Arden, author, The Irrepressible Toy Dog

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