Does Your Pooch Have What it Takes To Be a Show Dog?

In light of the 2018 National Dog Show on the 22nd of this month, we believe it is fitting that we briefly discuss just what it takes to be a show dog. Though you may believe that your little fur ball has the talent to be a show dog, we promise you, being a show animal takes a lot more effort than you might assume.


To be a show dog, your canine has to be well trained and docile. Show dogs need to maintain a perfect stillness when being inspected by judges, and stay focused throughout their program. Your pet also needs to be expertly trained to walk briskly and eloquently in order to showcase their musculature and fur coat. Training your pooch can take years, and most dogs don’t make the cut.

Only Pure Breeds Are Allowed to Compete

Only pure breeds are allowed into national dog shows. Plus, their pedigrees are checked and need to be approved by the American Kennel Club (AKC). In order to have your canine’s pedigree analyzed, you need to not only pay the registration fees for the AKC, but also pay for the results to be printed and presented. If your dog has any mixed bloodlines or “mutt” lineage, they will not be able to participate.


Grooming a show dog is far more complex than you might assume. Each owner can either groom their own dog or have a professional do it. In order to fully groom a show dog, a groomer will need 10 different styling tools, not including products and order styling items, such as vaseline, gel, baby powder, and even hairspray.
There are seven steps necessary to groom a show dog.

  1. Dog Brushing
  2. Coat Washing
  3. Conditioning
  4. Dry
  5. Cut
  6. Dog Styling
  7. Trimming Nails and Cleaning Ears and Teeth

All of these steps are necessary to prepare a show dog for their program. Though you might assume that all of these steps may only take an owner, some owners and groomers spend hours preparing a show dog for the ring. Show dogs have to be groomed, cleaned, and trained to perfection in order to gain attention and praise. For instance, long-hair breeds have to be washed with high-quality products and even massaged with specialized oils to help their hair glisten.
You may have noticed how the order of dog grooming for show dogs may be different from regular breeds. Even humans, when we have our hair cut, have to have our hair wet in order to be cut properly. For show dogs, this order is different, as groomers have to cut the hair as it will appear when the dog is fully dry and in the ring. Dog grooming for show dogs is also much more detail oriented than human or mutt trims. For instance, show dog grooming requires precision and such attention to detail that their coat is almost perfectly cut, with no stray hairs to speak of.

Canine Oasis & Country Club in Meridianville

At Canine Oasis, we offer dog grooming, cleaning, and de-matting services for canines in the Meridianville area. With our help, your pooch can look and feel their best. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.