Welcome to the sport of dog shows.
To enter a dog show all you need to do is fill out the AKC Entry Form, which is located in the show’s PREMIUM LIST, and submit it with payment for the entry fees. Most shows can be entered by mailing the printed form, or online. Caution if you are entering a show online, be sure to read thoroughly the Premium List first. There’s lot’s of great stuff in the Premium List, but more important are the announcements of what will and will not be offered at the show. Some classes or breeds may not be available or judged, or there might be a special discount for a Puppy or Bred by Exhibitor class and an opportunity to compete in a Puppy or Bred By Exhibitor Group.
AKC does have blank entry forms, but it is easier to use the entry form provided in the show’s Premium List.
The Entry Form
At the top of a show’s entry form is quick reference to important information.
- Location: – Name and Address of show
- Mailing Instructions – Superintendent’s Name and Contact info
- Closing Date: Usually in BOLD. This is the date and time when entries close and entries cannot be accepted or changed after closing. This is not a postmark by date. It must be received by the show superintendent PRIOR TO the closing date and time. Most online entry services accept same day entries, but check what time zone they are in. If you have entered a show, and want to change the class or add a handler, you can contact the superintendent prior to the closing date and time.
- Entry Fees: – Fees may be different and usually there is a reminder of special classes. As an example, the Entry Form may read: Puppy (6-9) (9-12), Bred By, and Jr. Showmanship – reduced entry fee of $23. Any other class or FIRST ENTRY is $30.
Breeds and Classes
An Entry form is for one dog only. Each individual dog that you wish to enter needs a complete entry. Let’s go over the options.
- Breed (5) – Name of AKC Breed or All-American Dog/Mixed Breed (if
allowed in Performance or Obedience (see Premium)
- Variety (1) – Some Breeds have different Varieties within the Breed. Some Varieties are by size, some by coat. Poodles have Toy, Miniature and Standard. Dachshunds have Smooth, Long-Haired, and Wirehaired. Refer to the Premium List for the correct terminology. Leave blank if it doesn’t apply to your breed.
- Sex – Male/Female, or Dog/Bitch
- Dog Show Class (2,3) – Classes available are in the premium list. Regular Classes usually include Puppy (6-9 months)(9-12 months), Novice, Amateur Owner Handler, American Bred, Bred By Exhibitor, and Open. Winners Dog is not a class that may be entered, but the final competition between the first place selections of the classes. Specialties and supported entry shows may also offer Sweepstakes or Veteran Classes. Always check for special competitions before selecting a class. Some shows offer National Owner Handler Series (NOHS) where the owner must be the handler and a non-professional.
Selecting a class may be important in your overall strategy. Some classes limit who can handle or what dogs may enter. Check out our CLASSES article for more detail.
- Class Division (3) (Weight, Color, etc) – Class Divisions are in the premium list. EX: Great Dane – Open Dogs/Open Bitches are usually divided into colors.
- Additional Classes – Sweepstakes, Veterans, Stud Dog, Brood Bitch, Brace – if offered. Specialties usually have additional competitions. These are also considered NON-REGULAR CLASSES. See CLASSES for more info.
- Obedience Class (Jump Height) – Refer to the Obedience Rules
- Rally Class (Jump Height) – Refer to Rally Rules
- Jr. Showmanship Class/Name/Handler Number – Important to note is there is a second portion of the entry form that needs to be filled out for Jr. Showmanship. Also included is the AKC phone number to acquire a Jr. Showmanship number.
Entry Form – Individual Dog
This information can be found on the dog’s AKC REGISTRATION CERTIFICATE and to ensure accuracy, it is advised to copy directly from the registration certificate. Note that the information should be as of the date entry is submitted. Perhaps there is a change of ownership being considered, but the entry should reflect what is approved. If any questions, check with the show superintendent or AKC.
- FULL NAME OF DOG – Title (if Champion), Full Name, followed by obedience, performance, rally or other AKC designated titles. EX: CH Great Dog Abbey, CGC
- REGISTRATION NUMBER – Enter number and check appropriate box
- DATE OF BIRTH
- PLACE OF BIRTH – Country only, not city, state or address
- BREEDER – Copy exactly from Registration Certificate. When filling out online, some programs ask to separate the names so read the instructions.
- SIRE AND DAM – List the Sire and Dam with Title(if Champion), Full Name, and followed by obedience, performance, rally or other AKC designated titles.
- ACTUAL OWNERS – Copy from Registration Certificate. When filling out online, some programs ask to separate the names so read the instructions. Note: Put accurate address for mailing purposes, and submit a change of address to AKC as well.
- NAME OF OWNER’S AGENT (IF ANY) AT THE SHOW – If you are the owner handling the dog, leave blank. If a profession handler, or someone else will be handling the dog at the show, put their name in here. This is important because you are authorizing that person to act on your behalf with the superintendent at the show. If there is an entry issue, or your dog finishes their championship and you want to MOVE UP to the Best of Breed competition, only the owner or authorized agent may make that change. This name is printed in the show catalog.
- NOHS Eligible – If offered, a Yes or No Box for National Owner Handler Series may be present. You must be the owner and handler to participate.
Entry Form – AKC Agreement and Signature
To complete your entry, the AKC Agreement needs to be acknowledged. On paper, it includes a signature, phone number and email. Online there is usually an checkbox required to accept the agreement. Entries without acknowledgement will not be accepted according to AKC rules. And that’s it! Just be sure your entry is submitted online by the closing date and time, or that it will be received by closing.
Welcome and Good Luck
Welcome again to the sport of dog shows! For more Dog Show 101 helpful tips and videos, please visit our Learn Page at Championship Breeders.com.